Why I Wish We Eloped

October 29, 2019

Wedding at Big Bend National Park | Couple embracing on mountain top overlooking Big Bend National Park in Texas at sunset after hiking the Lost Mines Trail.

Why I Wish We’d Chosen to Elope

I’m hoping this post may answer the question “Why should I elope?” for couples considering alternative wedding options. And inspire couples like you to think outside the box and really put thought into what’s important in regards to your wedding day.

So, I loved our wedding day, it was absolutely beautiful and surrounded by love. There were a lot of intentional decisions that went into making our day the way it was. But it was filled with so much stress, I didn’t get quality time with really anyone, including my partner… Wait what?

Isn’t that what a wedding day is supposed to be centered around? Yes, but so often people (including myself) get swept up in the way a wedding “should” be, the traditions, who to invite, the details, that the day quickly snowballs into a huge production that’s not at all about the couple anymore.

So my mission is to save couples from that fate. To encourage them to make decisions that truly reflect their love for one another and create a day that’s 100% about that.

Want to learn more about eloping? Click here!


Please, don’t get me wrong. I loved our day.

It was truly beautiful and fun and best of all I got to marry my best friend.

But I just don’t remember a lot of the details like I wish I did. I was stressed & pulled in a million different directions. I was left feeling cheated.


Why Elope | Alternative outdoor wedding ideas | Adventurous wedding | Sand dune wedding in Monahans Sandhills State Park in Texas. Couple walking along sand dunes after saying vows at sunset | Alternative wedding

Reasons I wish we’d chosen to elope

instead of having a traditional wedding

The next couple of images are from our wedding. They are not my images.

Make it to the bottom you’ll find a few from my personal favorite elopements!!



When I think about our wedding, the first thing that comes to mind is how beautiful it was. The weather, the colors, the people, I mean, it was just so perfect.

The second thing, is how much time and energy we poured into making this ONE DAY, so perfect. I sometimes wish, I’d clocked how much time I spent, not just wedding planning, but y’all… finding the perfectly coordinated & mismatched bridesmaid dresses *facepalm* I can say it is as minimum, 30 hours. On bridesmaid dresses. That’s just embarrassing!! But, I am really pleased at how they came out. And… c’mon people. THIRTY! Plus however many more hours spent finding the right bow tie/tie floral combinations, the thrifted vintage plates & chairs, etc.

All of the little things I think people forget to account both time and money for when planning a wedding.

The next thing that comes to mind is how little time I got to spend doing what *I* wanted to do. I wanted to dance and have fun partying with Daniel and visiting with all the family and friends we’d invited, especially those that come from out of town.

After the ceremony we had 3.5 hours, to do our portraits, eat, toasts, dances, and cake. Which left us probably 1.5-2 hours. When I spent well over 30 hours planning this day, all we got was at best 2 hours to enjoy it. What a scam. A part of me felt so cheated.


Mismatched bridesmaid dresses. Beautifully coordinated floral, pink. purple, magenta, & gold, bridesmaid dresses. Bohemian wedding inspiration. Bride & groom with all bridesmaids.

… it’s beautiful though, amirite?


Everyone says it. Weddings are expensive, and it’s true. I think you can make it less expensive a lot of different ways, but everyone wants a beautiful day.

Beauty can look different to different people as well. To me, there’s so much beauty in nature. We had our wedding at my family’s land in the country, there’s so much natural beauty. So, we didn’t spend much on decorations, what we did add were florals… so more nature!

I think picking a place to get married, that’s naturally beautiful, can end up saving a lot. So picking some place that’s naturally beautiful is a great way to save.

We did have a lot of guests though. Just feeding 100+ people can cost you a thousand dollars, easily. We chose to have a less expensive food option which saved us some. You can read more about some money saving tips with this blog post, “Having a Party Instead of a Wedding Reception”.

Having less guests, like you would with an elopement or intimate wedding would definitely help save on the money factor!


Bohemian wedding inspiration. Macrame alter details at ceremony. Wedding guests group photo with bride & groom up front.

Photos from our wedding by: Kelly Garvey Photography 🙂


I am a pretty laid back person, it takes a lot to stress me out. But I will say, finalizing all the little details stressed me out. I wanted it to be perfect and at times it felt like too much.

I struggle with perfectionism at times so that was amplified. Several times I had to catch myself when I was spending the 10th hour on making sure the plant arrangements were just so.

Then, the day of, I thought we’d done everything and would be able to relax… ha! There were STILL final details my husband and I were running around finalizing. This may be part because we chose to have our wedding at our house, and felt responsible for the grounds… and knew where everything was, so that made delegating difficult.

But I finally had to take a deep breath and let it go. I needed to get myself ready and whatever was incomplete, was going to stay that way.


Bride and her cat, a necessary wedding day photo idea. Bride next to window with cat standing up on her leg to be pet.

But this image wiped all the stress away. Literally the ONE picture I told my photographer we HAD to have :’ ) This probably wouldn’t have been an option with an elopement, ha!

Time… in another sense

To have your ceremony and be relaxed for that, the way it should be (in my opinion) and have time to celebrate and have a party with your friends and family. To try and do all of that, on top of getting everyone ready… AND not blowing your budget on how long you can have your venue. Much too much to do in one day.

I think eloping intimately, just the two of you or only including immediate family and then having a party afterwards is the way to go. That way you can completely enjoy BOTH parts of your day.

Couple sitting on blanket at top of mountain on wedding day in BIg Bend National Park in Texas | Why I wish we eloped and you should elope too | Traditional wedding regrets | #whyyoushouldelope #elopementphotographer #samanthaschaubphotographer

Final Thoughts on Why I Wish We Chose to Elope…

I had no idea eloping outside of a courthouse wedding was even an option and I’m kind of frustrated that it’s not more well known or that I didn’t think of it myself!

Also, had I known about it, I’m not sure that’s what we would have chosen anyway. It is clear to me, in hindsight. But I think choosing to elope can be a difficult decision.

There are a lot of factors (and people) that go into wedding day decisions. Sometimes too many factors if you ask me!

But if we’re going purely off of hindsight. I’d 100% elope. No question.

We’d elope and have an intimate & connecting day with just me, my husband, and a photographer to document the day.

Afterwards, have a party instead of a typical reception. It would have saved me from all of the above, time, money, & stress!

I have a blog post about having a party instead of a reception >here<. It’s full of ideas on ways to celebrate with your friends and family after you elope. Because let’s face it, that’s the fun part anyway!


Living my elopement dream through your pictures :’ )

So now, I’m on a mission to inform couples about the endless options they have with their wedding day.

You can have a day that’s nothing but joy, no regrets, no stress, no drama, just pure bliss and amazing memories. I love helping couples craft a perfect day that’s personalized and catered to reflect their love story.

If you’re not convinced or would like to learn more, I have a lot of resources on this blog full of information about eloping and what that could look like. OR, feel free to reach out and I’d love to chat with you about what YOUR totally unique and 100% your wedding day could look like, contact me!

If you’re already married, feel free to live vicariously through these like I do!! Maybe for an anniversary or vow-renewal shoot we can do something different that time around 😉


Read more like this:

Having a Party Instead of a Wedding Reception

Top 5 Places to Consider for Your Texas Elopement

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Why I wish we eloped and you should elope too | Traditional wedding regrets | #whyyoushouldelope #elopementphotographer #samanthaschaubphotographer