If you’re reading this, you most likely are wondering how to plan a destination elopement on a budget. There are many ways to elope. You can have anything from a simple courthouse elopement to a rather detailed destination mountain top elopement with lots of detail. Therefore, the cost of eloping can vary and range from a very low cost to a higher cost. The average cost of an elopement in the U.S Is $6000-$15000, which is still considerably less than the average cost of what a wedding would be in the U.S. (adventure instead).
A destination elopement can seem like a daunting task to plan + overwhelmingly expensive. Although, you may be surprised that the more you dive into budget, it’s quite affordable.
According to the 2020 Brides American Wedding Study, couples can save a lot of money if they decide to elope. Even the most expensive elopements are often cheaper than other types of weddings. One of the biggest costs saved is on the reception. Couples spend on average a whopping $3034.30 for the venue alone! (Brides.com).
Whether you’re thinking about eloping because its trendy, the views are amazing or because you’re placing more of an emphasis on your experience rather than tradition, you may be wondering what you should plan on spending and how to calculate the cost of your elopement. Well don’t worry, I have all the budgeting tips and tricks for you to plan your best day ever!
When considering the average cost of eloping, you’ll want to consider what you need to plan for in your budget.
Many consider eloping due to the skyrocketing average cost of weddings. Though, what many don’t realize is often elopements can be just as if not more expensive. That being said, there are ways to make your elopement cheaper. To determine how expensive your elopement will be, I encourage you to write down everything you could possibly want in your ideal elopement, if money weren’t an issue. From there, I encourage you to work backwards. See where you can make cuts + what is non-negotiable for you.
Photographer: $4000 to $10,000k+
Cake: $50- 100
Stationery/ invites/ announcement cards: $150-500
Florals $100- 500
Décor/rentals: huge range depending on what you’re wanting (beginning at $100)
Officiant: anywhere from $200-450
Hair and Makeup Artist: $150-600
Bubbly after to celebrate your marriage: $10-30
A meal for the two of you $100- 300
Before diving into figuring out your cost of your elopement, all your elopement planning of each and every detail, you’ll want to make sure you’ve established a budget. It sounds a little counter-intuitive, but I would recommend writing down every possible thing you could want in your elopement day to start. Dream big and don’t limit yourselves! Sit down as a couple + begin brainstorming what you could live without and what your priorities are and work your way down to a small list. To get you started, I’ve began a list for you below of what most couples start out with. Depending on your destination, you may have more specific excursions or activities you’ll want to do surrounding your elopement, so don’t forget to budget for those!
When writing your list about your day, consider every last moment of your day + how you’ll want to feel + how to achieve that, how you’ll dine, where you’ll stay, etc. Think about the memories you’ll want to have created once your day is over and you’re looking back at pictures. Once you have this list, go through + begin crossing things out that you could imagine cutting off your list. If you can’t imagine cutting anything off your list + you feel like you were being realistic from the beginning, then BOOM. There’s your budget!
For Brides :
Here are some cheap destinations below. These are often some of the cheapest to travel to + get to from most places in the U.S. Lastly, they provide amazing views and experiences + are overall the cheapest to get married at.
In conclusion, elopements can be as much or as little as you want them to be. However, you must sit down + come up with a budget to begin planning. I hope this helps get you started with planning your dream destination elopement! If you’re in need of a photographer + want someone who’s going to help you plan all your details, your trip + your dream day, click inquire below! (:
For other planning resources, here are some of my favorite elopement resources I think you’ll like!