A Little history on eloping…
From the old school of thought to the modern day trend!
So most of you will probably of heard the term ‘elope’ but what does it really mean? Throughout history elopements were often regarded as a ‘quick fix’ to getting married, where the couple would ‘run away’ in secrecy without telling their family and friends. Fast forward to present day and elopements have taken on a whole new meaning!
Where it all began..
Eloping dates back to the 14th century, its origin was in the word ‘aloper’ which meant ‘to leap’, however as time progressed into the 17th century so did the word and its meaning. Eloping became very common during the great depression due to the fact both resources and money were scarce. Elopements enabled couples to ‘wed’ in a straightforward and timely manner, hence where their reputation for being cost-effective and hassle free were coined.
Until the late 19th century, the majority of weddings took place at the brides home, along with immediate family members, a few close friends and a priest. After the ceremony a simple home cooked meal was enjoyed by all spectators and of course the newly-wed couple. In contrast, the few who were from wealthy backgrounds often arranged a much more extravagant affair where the overall goal was too impress their peers by showering their wealth upon invited guests in order to amplify their families social position.
By the 1960’s/70’s things started to change- people started to change! They began kicking back and speaking out which meant wedding traditions underwent some might say a much needed overhaul. The ‘live in peace and be free’ mentality of the 70’s saw couples challenging old traditions and forming new ones. As times had progressed and financial strains had eased, it meant that traditional weddings were becoming more of a social event than times gone by. Wedding receptions were much larger, wedding attire took on a more modern twist and makeup was a must- a bride would not be seen walking down the aisle without her pan stik on! During this time Elopements remained in the shadows and often only utilised as a last resort when family politics were beyond reconciliation.
By the 1980’s/90’s elopements started their break-through as a respected marriage option. This is said to have grown from the growing cost of traditional weddings and lavish receptions which were fast becoming a competition of who’s cake had the most tiers and who wore the most expensive dress. Something we are edging more and more towards in today’s society some may say.
Elopements in today’s world..
Today’s meaning of elopement is simply an alternative to a large, structured and often costly wedding. Gone is the old idea that elopements are for two people ‘running away’ to get wed in secret!
Some couples do choose to go it alone or take along just their nearest and dearest to witness their intimate ceremony, whilst others choose to have all the special touches of a traditional wedding but with a few select guests and less step by step itinerary, adopting a much more relaxed, go with the flow mentality.
What are the options?
‘Simple elopement’ – Characterised by minimal planning, minimal guests if any at all (often just a couple of witnesses or close friends/parents) your wedding clothes and flowers. Often couples will include the traditional ‘essentials’ such as a photographer, hairdresser and of course the all important cake! Elopements are not to forgo anything on your wedding day, they are for including what matters to you and your other half rather than being about everyone else.
‘Destination elopement’ – Las Vegas may spring to mind here! Yes its a popular choice to just pack your suitcase and head off to the bright lights and never ending party which is Vegas, however almost every country in the world caters for elopements nowadays. Its seemingly an ever growing choice made by thousands of couples every year who choose to flee tradition and wed in style, often where they can be sure of the weather for the perfect photos they will treasure for years to come..
‘Surprise elopement’ – Perhaps one of the least common forms of eloping is the surprise choice. If you are up for something completely unique, fun and sure to have your guests speechless then this is the one for you! Think book wedding, telling absolutely nobody, inviting your guests to a fabricated event (think birthday party) then turning up in all your finery! wedding dress, bouquet and your other half stood by your side as you make your entrance.. There you have it in a nutshell! Its a sure fire way to get the most epic wedding pictures ever!!
‘Weekend elopement’ – Your wedding and mini-moon all rolled into one! 3-day elopements are growing in popularity due to them being financially favorable and couples not having to feel like they’ve missed out in any way. Many venues offer this option both in the UK and abroad, whereby the couple and their chosen guests arrive the evening before the ceremony to relax and enjoy an evening meal before the big day itself meaning the next mornings preparations are relaxed and stress free, safe in the knowledge they are already at there venue with their guests and its just a case of getting dressed and off they go! After the ceremony often there will be afternoon tea and champagne reception before settling down for another evening of intimate celebrations.
Why wouldn’t you consider..
Elopements have come a long way over the years and can now be considered a positive option to getting married. Not only are they appealing to the purse strings they also offer a truly unique and special way for two people to commit the rest of their lives to each other. There is no competition or anxieties about what other people will think or what gifts you should buy them or what design of dress they will be happy wearing.
Elopements are at the very heart of what marriage is all about, two people being joined in matrimony, alone to cherish the very essence of their union or surrounded by their loved ones. Wearing what has meaning to them as a couple in a place that feels enchanting which will hold those precious memories for as long as they both shall live..