How Much Does it Cost to Elope?
Elopement Planning Costs
Is an elopement right for you? Read on to learn more about elopements, what an elopement can cost, and what they can include. This guide will help you get an idea on how much it costs to elope and what your day can look like!
What is an Elopement?
Elopements aren’t just about running off to Vegas and getting married in secret. You can totally do that if that’s your jam, but now elopements have so many more options. The underlying point to eloping is to create a day that is meaningful and intentional to you and your partner. It’s a day that’s more focused on you, your love, and the handful of things that matter most. You can elope with guests! Elopements tend to include less than 15 people so they are those that you are super close with whether it be family, friends, or both.
Elopements vs Intimate Weddings
Intimate weddings are similar to elopements but tend to include more people and have some more focus on the guests. Typically around 30 people, intimate weddings require more planning, tend to cost more, need an accessible ceremony location that everyone can get to, and might have a small ceremony set up like you would see at a traditional wedding.
Intimate weddings are still very couple focused and can be perfect for you if you have lots of close family and friends that you want to include!
How Much it Costs to Elope
In my experience, eloping couples have spent $5,000-$15,000 on their elopement. A lot of costs factor into the overall cost such as the amount of vendors you hire, what adventure you add to your day, and where you travel to. The typical traditional wedding costs $30,000. This cost really comes down to the venue, which often needs to be booked out far in advance and takes up most of a traditional wedding budget.
Vendors You Can Hire for Your Dream Team
I want to start with reminding you that there is no *right* way to get married. You can have a full vendor team or you can just have a photographer. You can go on a big adventure or you can drive up to a scenic overlook and hike. Your day is yours. Don’t forget that! Here are some vendors that folks tend to choose between. No matter how many vendors you hire, your adventure is going to be epic. Below I’m going to break down a bunch of costs for you. While it may seem overwhelming, remember that eloping is just planning a fun vacation where you get to get married! A few extra steps and you have that wedding day you’ve always wanted.
An elopement photographer: I’m a bit biased, but having someone there to capture your day is super important. Not only will your photographer (hi that’s me!) recommend everything you need and help you with planning, they will tell your love story so you will never forget how incredible your wedding day was. You’ll be able to look back for years to come and see just how amazing your relationship was and how it continues to grow. Photographers range anywhere form $4k-$12k depending on the coverage!
A videographer: Videographers bring something extra that photos just can’t do. Imagine being able to look back at your day and see the landscape move, see how sweet you two are together, or hear your vow again and again. Videographers range anywhere from $3k-$8k depending on the type of work they create.
An officiant: If you opt to have an officiant who can deliver a ceremony that will really make everybody cry, tell your love story, and bring you together as a couple you will definitely be adding to your day past the simple marriage license signing I offer. Officiants can range anywhere form $200-800 depending on who you hire and what they do for you.
A hair and makeup artist: You deserve to feel amazing on your wedding day! A HMUA can help you bring your look to life, help you feel pampered on your day, and recommend styles that go along with your adventure. HMUA can range anywhere from $400-$1,200 depending on how far they have to travel from and how experienced they are.
A florist: Florals add an extra pop of color to your look and can be so beautiful in the landscape. Be sure to find a florist that works for you and can create a bouquet and boutonniere that can handle your adventure! Florals range anywhere from $200-$2k depending on what you get.
A baker: Whether it’s cake or cookies for your day, having a sweet treat is real nice after a long hike. Treat yo self! Your cake can be a work of art or simple and delicious. Baked goods range from $50-400 depending on what you choose.
A private chef: Staying out late and don’t want to choose between sunset or a nice dinner? A private chef can help bring a nice meal to wherever you are staying. It’s definitely a meal you won’t forget! Private chefs range from $150-300 per person depending on the meal.
A musician: Some couples opt to get a musician to play during their ceremony which can be super romantic. Depending on where and when you get married a musician can charge anywhere from $200-$500.
Renting a small venue/ceremony permits: Depending on the size of your group or where you are having your ceremony, you may opt to get a small venue or need a ceremony permit. For example, National Parks require ceremony permits. Many of these cost anywhere from $150-$500. Small venues can include the airbnb you stayed in, a cute outdoor venue, a national or state park, or a group campsite. Costs can range anywhere from $200-$2k.
Other Costs to Keep in Mind
Adventure Experiences: Are you traveling via helicopter or jeep for your elopement day? Or maybe you are hiring a guide for a new experience? This makes for a super epic day, but the price for guides will need to be kept in mind! I’ve got these prices available for you and even have some packages that include adventure. Adventures can range anywhere from $200-$6k depending on the scale!
Travel: Will you be flying to your elopement destination or driving there in your own vehicle? If you’re flying be sure to get tickets asap so you can get lower prices. Shopping on a weekday and away from holidays can help you score better prices. Flights can easily add anywhere from $800-$2000 per person into your planning.
A rental car: Your destination is probably one you will want to drive around so when you get your flights lined up be sure to get a rental car too! You can opt to get something at the airport, rent from Turo, or rent an RV or camper van for extra adventure! Costs really depend on which option you got for and can be anywhere from $100-$500 a day!
Accommodations: Where you want to stay is also a big thing to think about for your trip. Do you wanna go all out and stay in luxury, will a simple airbnb do, or do you wanna camp in a van? Costs like this also really depend on which option you choose and on average can be $150-$500 a night! Some really bougie places cna start at $2k and be an experience you’ll never forget!
Groceries/Gas/Souvenirs: A few more things to think about! Cooking your own food, getting a place to stay with a fridge or small kitchen, and planning your route so it cuts down on miles will help you have more money to spend on fun experiences.
Your Marriage License: Licenses can cost anywhere from $30-$120 depending on where you get married. In Utah the max cost is $50 while in Alaska it’s $60!
Eloping in an Economical Choice
When you choose to elope you put yourself before a big, traditional party. If this sounds like your thing then be ready to go on an adventure! Eloping can be more economical, especially if you were already looking forward to a honeymoon and choose to do it all together as one big trip. You can start your honeymoon where your wedding day leaves off in the area you chose to elope in, go on a cruise, or on a big, epic road trip home!
Ready to Plan Your Elopement?
I can’t wait to help you plan your adventurous wedding day. Let’s take your love on a wild adventure!