Elopement vs. Wedding: The Differences and Choosing Which Is Right for You

Elopement vs. Wedding: The Differences and Choosing Which Is Right for You

11 minute read

All right, boys, time to have a lengthy discussion about weddings and more. Now, you and your partner have surely run through all the planning for your wedding. But is a traditional wedding your only option? 

There are other options besides the traditional wedding. You can even go with the courthouse ceremony, which is simple and straightforward, shared with you and your closest family. But you can also consider an elopement. 

Welcome to the showdown of the century! Forget Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather. That joke has long passed, even if you still regret paying for it. We’re talking about the showdown to end all showdowns: elopement vs. wedding. 

Boom! There go the fireworks. There’s the entrance music. Both are entering the ring, and it’s about to go all twelve rounds. So how do we break it down? How do these two compare? Is it as simple as saying it's a tux vs. suit wedding? There’s a little more that goes into it. 

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Elopements vs. Weddings 

Elopements vs. Weddings

Your Guests 

Weddings are all about the guests. You invite everyone you know and love. Scotty, your freshman year college roommate, who puked in your biology 101 textbook that cost $350; Dave, the guy who’s been by your side from the start, and who knows the wildest stories about you; Karla, your aunt who never knows quite when to stop talking. They’re all there in attendance, and they’re all ready to see your biggest moment. 

Elopements are guest-free. There might be some people in attendance; maybe someone who stumbled in or other people waiting their turn, but you’re generally on your own—just you and your spouse.  

What Do You Want? 

Do you want a big wedding? Or do you want the backyard wedding? Do you want to go as extravagant as possible? Or do you want no budget, no commitments, a place where you can just walk in as a couple and leave married to one another? If the former sounds great, you’re looking at an elopement. Anything else is some form of a wedding. 

Ol’ Family Values 

Now, if you come from a family that loves its old-fashioned values, chances are you’ll be having a wedding. Weddings are steeped in culture and religion, standing for the binding of families and the expectation of offspring to be birthed from the marriage.

Maybe that’s not your family. Or maybe you shirked that type of lifestyle. If so, an elopement might be right for you. But maybe not! Even if you’re not the religious type, you still might like the idea of a wedding ceremony. Whatever suits you and your spouse-to-be! 

bride and groom on motorcycle

The Stress Level

Elopements are simple. In and out, and you’re done. We’re not talking about the night of your wedding, okay, buddy? You head in unmarried, have the officiation done, and leave married to one another. No commitment, next to no stress.

Now, weddings have a lot of moving parts. That can lead to aggravated stress. If you’re okay with it, all the power to you. Otherwise, you might feel more comfortable avoiding it. 

Planning an Elopement 

So, you and your partner think that an elopement is the way to go. You don’t want all the fuss and flair of a traditional wedding, so you’re going to elope—get it over with, avoid the stress. But how do you ensure you have a stress-free elopement? 

You might feel compelled to just jump into the deep end—say, head to Vegas—but we recommend planning ahead to avoid any potential snags. Don’t forget the gold wedding rings at home. Bring everything you need and make the most of your elopement. 

couple talking

Double - check you’re on the same page. 

Before you go through with your elopement, you and your partner should discuss what you’re doing—on at least a few occasions. You’re making a big choice! And what do people often say? 

I dream of the day I get married. I see it now: the big church, the flowing dress, all my family smiling, Pop Pop smiling down at me, Nana staring into space, unable to remember whether she’s at my wedding or her own. It’s all so beautiful, everything is so beautiful and perfect. 

We might have ad-libbed a bit, but you get the point. And just as some people get cold feet leading up to their wedding, you might find that your partner gets cold feet regarding the elopement. You might even feel it. You might find yourself wondering “Is this the right choice? Am I making a mistake by not having a wedding with all my family in attendance?” 

Have the conversation. Trust us. It’s always better to talk about things than just running straight ahead, thinking everything is copacetic until it isn’t.  

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Don’t forget your documents. 

Now, you can get eloped, and that’s all fine and dandy, but you need it to be seen as legal in the eyes of the law for it to be valid. You know, so you and your partner can be legally married, get tax breaks, all that jazz. That’s why you’ll need a pre-filled marriage license. You can get one from about any town hall, particularly your own, and all you need to do is dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Fill it out, have it signed by the officiant, and you’re good to go. Now you and your partner are spouses! 

Remember your rings. 

Vegas elopement. You and your partner decided to do it. You’re stoked, you just got off your flight, and you scheduled your elopement to take place at the chapel that very afternoon. 

You get dressed in your finest tuxedo t-shirt, but decide to leave your Monster Energy flat-brim cap behind. Suddenly, you pat the pockets of your jean shorts and nearly sh*t yourself: You forgot the wedding rings at home! They’re sitting next to your box of commemorative, never-used Boring Company Flamethrower, doing you and your partner no good. 

Don’t forget them! Double-check before you leave. 

couples’ wedding rings

Last minute wedding and you still don't have your rings? Not a problem. We have a collection of Ready to Ship rings that can get to you as soon as the very next day! Have a bit longer, we recommend the couples’ wedding rings for the man looking to tug at her heartstrings. Don’t worry! We’ve got you, fella. 

Wear what feels right. 

Okay, we might have been a little harsh above. You’re wearing your finest cargo shorts and checkered Vans shoes you saw The Mighty Mighty Bosstones in (twice). We apologize. 

You and your partner should wear what feels right. No need for an extravagant tuxedo and wedding dress. And no need to have a bunch of bridesmaids and groomsmen dress up, too. Forget it. No need to budget for a dress and tux. Instead, the two of you can wear whatever feels nice. 

This could include the nicer clothes you already own or it could be whatever you’re wearing that day. You and your spouse need to decide your level of comfort. Once you know what you’re both okay with, go with that. 

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Double-check everything. 

We said it before, and dammit we’ll say it again. Double-check everything before you leave. Make sure you have the money you need, your marriage license, the personal identification required, and your wedding bands. Avoid all stress. Make your life easier by checking twice. 

Get ready to break the news. 

Now, an elopement is a surprise. You and your partner are basically running off, getting married on a whim, all to the surprise of everyone else you know. Some other friends and family might be in the know, but there are others who are sure to not be expecting it. 

You’ll have to create a game plan that allows you to break the news. It could be as simple as posting a photo on Instagram. It could even include you visiting your family at their home or inviting them over for a backyard barbecue. Whatever is, make the choice that feels right to you. 

Remember, not everyone might be amped.

Okay, here’s the thing: An elopement might be the right choice for you and your partner, but not everyone—e.g., your parents—will feel the same. It’s unfortunate. You’d think they would support you in any endeavor in your life, but people can be selfish. That’s not meant as a fault, either: Some people have an image of what should happen for a special someone else they know, such as parents thinking who their child will grow up to be or a friend thinking who their friend should marry. 

Truthfully, life doesn’t always go that way, and that can be tough for some people to swallow, especially if they expect to be a part of the event. But you shouldn’t let it get you down if they get upset. Stand your ground, tell them it was the right decision for you and your partner, and move on. They’ll move on from it. And if they’re unwilling to let go, that’s on them, not you. 


bride and groom after ceremony

The Basics of a Wedding

So, what does a wedding look like in comparison? It’s the storybook ceremony, the thing we’ve all heard about most of our lives. The groom and his groomsmen in tuxedos; the bride and her bridesmaids in their dresses; the bride wearing all white, wearing a traditional wedding dress, a symbol of purity in an unclean world; both families coming together to celebrate the marriage of two beautiful people; the father walking his daughter down the aisle, to give her to the groom; the vows; the kiss; the reception; on and on. 

Weddings are all about tradition. It’s what makes them so important. They are significant for the cultural role they fill: People know what to expect, and they follow through with the rituals. And there is a joy to that. There’s joy in knowing what to expect. 

Why? Because it’s what you’ve always known. You’ve thought of this day for months, years, your whole life. You know what is going to happen, and your guests do too—a majority of them have likely lived it out themselves, having gone through one, two, or six marriages of their own. 

Whether a Wedding Is Right for You

There’s no right answer here. You won’t know whether a church wedding is right for you unless you feel it in your bones. In some cases, your family might be telling you it’s the right thing to do—again, it’s part of tradition. Your to-be spouse could be saying the same to you, too—maybe their family is in favor of it. Or maybe it’s what you’ve always imagined, what you’ve always wanted.

If it sounds like the right move, you should go with it. If not, you can still go with it. Just make it your own. You don’t have to be married in a place of worship. You don’t even need to have a large guest list, a professional videographer, or the crazy reception afterward. You could even have a wedding in your own backyard. How comfortable is that? 

Whatever you do, make the choice that feels right for you and your spouse. That’s the only thing that’s important. It is your day after all.   

Whatever you do

Put A Wedding Ring On That Finger, Already

Whether you choose to elope or have a traditional wedding is up to you and your partner. Whatever your decision, you and your partner are going to need the perfect wedding bands. If you’re still searching, look no further than Manly Bands. We have all the rings a man could possibly ask for. 

So, put a ring on that finger, already. Make your love official and get a ring of your own. 

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