Should We Elope?


The average cost of a wedding in the UK is around £20-25K.

The average salary in the UK is around £22k.

That means the average wedding costs the same amount, for one day, as somebody earns in a year, pre-tax.

That’s a perspective that freaks me the hell out.

engagement in paris

Before becoming engaged I would see that average wedding cost figure floating about the internet and I’d say to myself “that’s insane, who would spend that much?!”.

Once engaged and once we embarked on the process of organising a wedding it was easy to see just how quickly those figures add up.

It was at once enlightening as it was scary.

You see, in the UK at least, add the word ‘wedding’ to anything and you automatically get added a surcharge. A bacon butty for your ‘evening do’ gets quoted at £11.95 instead of the £2.50 it’s probably worth. A cake becomes £800 when it’s just £70 for any other occasion. A dress costs £1500 when it could cost £350. A venue … let’s not talk about the venues.

Planning a wedding is something I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve had years of visions and ideas in my mind of how my wedding would look. However, the practicality of such a wedding is looking more and more likely to be just an idea.

No matter how many different approaches we take, no matter how much we try to ‘hack’ or find ‘bargains’ we are still looking at a lot of money for a wedding.

Which brings me to the current question in hand. Should we elope to get married?

destination wedding

Reasons To Elope

1. Weddings are ludicrously expensive

As mentioned above, anything with the word ‘wedding’ attached seems to be excessively costly. And we’re just not sure that it’s a sensible thing to spend so much on one day.

2. Destination weddings combine holiday with the legal bit

Get married abroad and you’re already there to start your honeymoon and have a well earned holiday.

3. Save the stress of choosing napkins etc.

Organising a wedding includes making so many different, and often arbitrary, decisions. From the colour of bridesmaid dresses to favours to photographers to flowers to the kind of underwear you’re going to wear. So. Many. Decisions.

4. The guest list dramatically reduces

Get married abroad and you’re guaranteed the majority of your guest list will not be wanting to fly over for it. Alternatively, you can get away more easily with no inviting everyone and their dog. You’re eloping. It’s supposed to be secret.

5. There are less ‘opinions’

Mention you are getting married and suddenly every single person you speak to is an expert. Yep. Thankfully, we’ve been lucky that our immediate family have been pretty chilled and told us to go with whatever we want. Hawaii it is then!

6. You get to spend more of the day together rather than chatting to guests

Less guests = more time with new husband.

7. Better chances of good weather

Love being British and love my home country but we do have ALL  THE WEATHER no matter the month or season. Eloping to warmer climes means a huge chance of a sunny wedding.

8. It’s bloody cheaper!

Even if we had the full shebang destination wedding with guests and dress and stuff, it would still be cheaper than marrying in the UK.

Have you eloped or had a destination wedding? I’d love to hear your experiences.


P.S. I’m not really that miserable about getting married. Honest! I’m just thinking through and airing the gazillion thoughts running through my brain right now. 🙂

  1. I would never elope. I think my wedding day should be in the places I love with all the people that matter to me. Although, I wouldn’t said no to eloping to Gretna Green and getting married by the anvil, as I’ve read in so many regency romantic novels as a teenager.
    I had my wedding day 9 years ago (actually I had 2, a couple of months apart as one was for legal reasons and the 2nd one was in church) and it was magical. If I would do a vows renewal I would do so many things different, but now we both think differently and we now have different priorities.

  2. Honestly, I loved my day – but I can 100% see the benefits of eloping, especially with you two being such digital nomads. Planning a wedding is ridiculously stressful. You could do what Denise Duffield Thomas did and get married in lots of places 🙂 Or elope then have an evening party (which is a lot cheaper!)

  3. Your wedding day should be yours. No one else can decide for you. We had an amazing day and with 99 days from proposal to vows we had a lot of decisions to make in a short space of time, there were days when I couldn’t make one more decision, but it was how we wanted to do it.
    The best wedding I have ever been to (apart from my own obvs) was when my BF got married in Zanzibar with 4 guests. It was intimate and magical. We had 17 guests and a big party in the evening – and it cost no where near £20K. But you’re right as soon as the word wedding is involved the price is hiked up – so don’t tell them. Call it a family gathering.
    But if eloping is what feels right, do it. You can’t worry about upsetting other people, because no matter what you do someone will be upset in some way. It’s unavoidable.
    Good luck with it all!

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