Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion

Mar 25, 2016 | Planning

No matter what route you take, traditional wedding or intimate elopement, the end result and goal should be the same: getting married to your love. We love to feast our eyes on both types of weddings (and all of the million variations in between!) over here on Wedding Sparrow and absolutely adore the fact that every couple is different. What works for one couple would never work for another - this type of diversity is what makes each wedding special.

There are many different ways to arrive at the same result of marriage, but one thing is for sure: we rarely hear of brides completely regretting their decision! Before we get into our discussion, our best advice is to make a decision with conviction and stick to it. Your gut knows the right path for you and your love!

We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so be sure to leave a comment here for future brides to read. Oh, and how about this adorable couple here, photographed by Emily Katharine Photography? Below Emily chats about their magical love story and their love for travel, so be sure to check that out...


Traditional weddings, held near the hometown of the bride or close to where the couple current resides, can be a beautiful celebration with as many or as few friends and family members as the couple wishes. Brides and grooms love these because everyone is there! Especially if the bride and groom did not grow up together, odds are they will have different groups of friends and being able to celebrate with EVERYONE at once, now that's a blessing!

Further, the most common type of wedding that little ones envision for themselves is the traditional route. By choosing a white or ivory gown, a bouquet of flowers, the bride's father walking her down the aisle, serving each other cake, and so on, brides and grooms feel like they've achieved the wedding of their dreams! Besides, the planning process including all of the above is to be expected and can be super fun, right?

On the negative side, larger, more traditional weddings can simply mean more expenses and sometimes couples must sacrifice a few things they want in their wedding for the greater good. An example is if there is a certain budget, but your Mom wants to invite her closest 40 friends (eek!), then you may have to sacrifice that elegant champagne toast with the good stuff for your crowd of 200. Of course this is a huge generalization, but these are some of the things that come up with more traditional weddings.


We've definitely heard this before: "I loved my wedding so much! But if I could do it all over again, I'd probably elope". We can see why some brides would think this. First thing is first, no matter what type of wedding you're having, be sure to keep yourself grounded. The exact shade of lavender on the supplemental floral in your bridesmaids' bouquet shouldn't give you heart palpitations. Some couples get so caught up in the details that they let what's important slip away.

But for others, it has nothing to do with stress and an elopement is their idea of a dream wedding! Elopements can mean a smaller, more intimate affair; those few that mean the most to you and you and your love. Or just you and your love! That's it! Without the distractions of a 3-day event leading up to your wedding day and sans the stress of "she RSVP'd but isn't coming and he didn't RSVP his guest" etc... sometimes an elopement keeps things meaningful in a different way. We also love the flexibility in terms of schedule, location, capturing your wedding day on film, etc. You have the world at your hands in regards to location. Start off your married life with a destination elopement to your honeymoon location then carry on with your honeymoon! Take bridal portraits in an exotic location during sunrise! No one is telling you that you can't!

On the negative side, elopements do leave some people out. Some elopements are even unannounced, meaning some close to you didn't even know it was going to happen. Also, older family members are typically more traditional, therefore would most likely wish you would have a traditional wedding so some couples find themselves having to explain over and over why they did what they did.


At the end of the day, the choice is yours and yours alone. Brides and grooms - you can't just be complacent with your wedding decisions... you have to be so in love with your plan so it becomes the day of your dreams! And like we mentioned earlier, the most important thing is beginning a life together. Never forget that.

Brides, grooms, photographers, wedding professionals: What do you think? Leave us a comment below, find us on Facebook, tweet us, 'gram us... whatever you want to do and weigh in on this discussion!

Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it
Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Pin it


Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion Elopement or Traditional Wedding - a discussion

From photographer Emily Katharine Photography: "The love story between Brad and Morgan is straight out of a fairy tale. They first met about a decade ago in a youth choir at a local church. At that time in their lives, their age gap kept them apart, but it was clear there was interest in one another.

Several years later, after Brad had graduated from college, they went on a date and were inseparable. Over the course of their relationship, they endured a good amount of long distance. Brad spent time in England, pursuing his Master’s degree and Morgan decided to join him across the pond and study abroad for her senior year of college.

During this time, they explored numerous countries in eastern and western Europe – tasting new foods, exploring new cultures, even hanging out with camels. Their adventures didn’t stop there. They spent their three year anniversary climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Their love of travel and exploration was the inspiration for this elopement shoot.

I envisioned a couple that decided to skip the big party and all of the extras, in exchange for adventure. A couple that values natural surroundings as opposed to confined rooms. A couple that knows that adventure is out there, and wants to share new experiences together.

I was fortunate enough to come across Abby & Luke’s shop on Etsy – Wayfaren & Co. Their pieces were the perfect element to complete the rest of the story. Morgan and Brad read their vows from their travel journals – journals that would be filled with words from their honeymoon and journeys throughout the years. After the ceremony, they pinned their travel map – with their past destinations, and the locations they were dreaming of exploring together.

Morgan wore an ethereal Watters gown from BHLDN and carried a jaw-dropping bouquet created by Elizabeth Earnest Florals. She wore a delicate Romantic ART Life floral hair piece to complete the look of her hair and makeup done by Nicole Pechonis.

This shoot was a dream, and the love between these two is absolutely contagious. I know their life, and travel journals, will be filled to the brim with adventure and love."

Vendor Details

Photography: Emily Katharine Photography | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Travel Inspiration Pieces: Wayfaren | Bouquet: Elizabeth Earnest Florals | Hair & Makeup: Nicole Pechonis | Vintage Rentals: Ever After Vintage Weddings | Ribbon & Cloth: Silk & Willow | Hair Accessory: Romantic ART Life | Dress: BHLDN


Lorna Lovecraft - 26 March 2016

What an interesting discussion. I suppose it really does boil down to what the bride and groom want - after all, its their special day

Emily Roberts - 25 March 2016

Thank you for the feature Sara! I love that you opened this up as a discussion. My fiance/second shooter/business partner and I are getting married next week and we are having a smaller, planned wedding…but we wanted the idea to be “a planned elopement.” It was hard to cut down on the guest list, but it allowed us to create the wedding that was truly us. We have decided not to follow many traditional guidelines (we are slipping a wedding party and are having a brunch wedding) to provide more of an elopement vibe. All weddings are beautiful as long as the priority remains on the love that the couple shares.


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