What are the benefits of eloping vs wedding?

There are many ways to celebrate love in the best wedding destinations in Mexico. One of them is to have a wedding ceremony that will legally and/or religiously recognize the union. However, it is not the only option. Paraíso Wedding finds out what are the benefits of eloping vs wedding.

Elopement ceremony in Mexico

The history of weddings is quite long, as the first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia. But there are many ways to celebrate the love between two people. In recent years, elopement ceremonies have started to become more and more popular. What are those events and how are they different from traditional weddings?

Elopement meaning

The meaning of elopement has undergone a big transformation. According to Merriam-Webster, this word previously meant “running away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent.” However, the negative side of the definition has vanished, and elopement turned from being something scandalous into an intimate celebration that focuses on the couple rather than on the guests.

Elopements come in many forms and are usually performed in nature to highlight the event’s magical meaning. If there are guests, couples tend to invite the closest people (yes, family members and friends can be present) with whom they will enjoy this important day the most. So, if you do not feel that formalities and traditions are for you, eloping could sound appealing.

Is it better to elope or have a wedding?

If you are struggling to decide which of these two types of celebrations suits you as a couple, we compared some of the most important eloping vs wedding points to help you answer this question:

  • Guests
  • Venue
  • Traditions
  • Planning and time
  • Money

A wedding often has a long guest list and gives a sense of community and support. If that is what you wish for, celebrating the big day with all the people you love can be something truly special. Deciding whom to invite, however, can easily get overwhelming. The fact that some people may get upset if they do not receive an invitation can be stressful, even more so if you feel an obligation to invite your boss, colleagues, and distant family members you do not even have contact with.

Elopement is usually a more intimate ceremony. It involves the couple and their closest friends and family members. So, if you are more into a “just us” experience, elopement will allow you to spend more time with your loved one and express your feelings more freely.

Regardless of how big is your event, eloping vs wedding difference is more about the experience and what you want it to mean than the number of guests.


The more people involved in the celebration, the more limited your possibilities to select a venue because it will have to accommodate all the guests. If a traditional wedding limits your options too much, you may want to consider a destination wedding, as it is a great way to shorten your invitation list.

Elopements do not necessarily require a venue, since these events can be organized in open spaces that allow connection with nature. You can have an elopement on the Mexican beach while listening to the sounds of the waves, for example! Being in a secret place with your partner and close friends and family members will make your special day truly magical.


Weddings are all about entertainment and they usually feature many traditions, including speeches, parent dances, bouquet toss, cake cutting, etc. And that is just during the actual celebration! There is also a huge preparation process that involves a search for the perfect wedding dress, invitation design, pre-wedding parties for bride and groom, etc. All these traditions can create beautiful memories that will be fun to remember.

If wedding traditions do not resonate with you or your partner, that’s totally okay. Elopements completely focus on the couple and may include celebration elements that you desire. Or you can simply enjoy some private time with your partner. Just imagine eloping on the beach under the moonlight or on the top of a mountain!

Planning and time

Some couples truly enjoy the process of looking after every detail together with an event planner and deciding on the centerpieces, decorations, invitations, and everything that comes with a celebration. Planning a wedding, however, requires a lot of time and energy. There is a need to receive and entertain the guests, work with a big number of vendors and make sure everything goes well even if the event extends for several days.

Eloping allows you to skip the formalities and traditions. One of the most important aspects of elopement is how free and flexible is your schedule. Choosing the best location for your day and whatever else you consider essential considerably reduces the effort and time needed to plan the ceremony.


It is often believed that weddings cost more than elopements. It could be the case, given that they usually have more guests and require more planning. Most of the money is used on the venue and the catering, as well as entertainment services for your guests.

Eloping is thought to be more cost-effective if you just agree on the destination, the photographer, and the dress. But lots of couples use the money that otherwise would have been spent on entertaining the guests at a traditional wedding to make the celebration unique and elegant. And then enjoy long honeymoons or travel around the world.

So when it comes to the economic differences between eloping vs wedding, is that you invest differently. It all comes down to what is really important to you.

Elopement vs wedding Q&A

Can I elope and have a wedding?
If it’s hard to decide on one, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to have both. And the answer is definitely yes. Mixing it up is a great way of personalizing the celebration and getting the best of both worlds. You can enjoy some traditions you like of traditional weddings, while still keeping the intimacy of eloping.

Where can I elope or have a wedding in Mexico?
You can do it anywhere you want. At Paraíso Wedding, we believe that celebrating your big day on the beach and surrounded by nature is a truly magical experience. Mexico is a very popular destination thanks to its beautiful sceneries, fun activities, and affordable costs. Here we have listed some unique places to elope or have a wedding in Mexico.

Bottom Line

Whether you decide on eloping or celebrating a wedding, mixing them up or having both, just remember that your special day should reflect you both and the love you have for each other. In the end, there’s no wrong answer to eloping vs wedding question. Whatever feels right for you will be the best option!

If you are planning on celebrating your wedding or elopement in Mexico, learn more about our services and contact Paraíso Wedding.

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Main photograph: Unsplash

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