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How Much Does It Cost to Elope?

drive-up wedding

So, you want to elope? While this sounds like a romantic idea, there are a variety of details to address before you hit the road with that special someone.

For some, though, the idea of taking off and getting married without a lot of fuss seems like an attractive alternative to the big, over-the-top wedding.

While this removes some of the stress from the process–such as concerns regarding the guest list–there are still things you need to think about to plan a wedding you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

The Cost of Destination Eloping

According to Travel+Leisure, eloping packages can start as low as $799 for a small ceremony at a bed and breakfast in Rochester, New York. However, the cost could also reach as high as $5,325 if you’re thinking about heading to the Bahamas.

However, even the high end of these eloping packages can pale in comparison to the cost of some weddings.

The Knot suggests that an elopement usually costs about 10 percent of the average wedding.

Although eloping can save you money, there are still costs to plan for:

  • Travel to and from the destination
  • The venue (church, chapel, hotel, etc.)
  • Marriage license
  • Wedding attire (if this is important to you)
  • Honeymoon (including accommodations, food, entertainment, etc.)

While eloping has the potential to be cheaper than a traditional wedding, the costs can add up in a hurry.

Eloping Questions to Answer

If eloping sounds like a great idea, it’s time to take a step in the right direction. This means answering several important questions, all of which will help you decide what to do next.

  1. Which destination is best for you and your fiancé?

You can elope to pretty much any destination in the world (within reason), but some are more popular than others. Top choices include:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Sonoma Valley, California
  • Nevis, West Indies
  • Provence, France
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • John, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Tamil Nadu, India

Some of these destinations, such as Las Vegas, are top choices thanks to the “ease of elopement.” Others are the perfect choice thanks to price, the beauty of the area, and/or available accommodations for your honeymoon.

  1. Will you invite other people?

Eloping doesn’t necessarily mean that you leave everyone else out of the equation.

You have the right to sneak away with your fiancé and wed without any onlookers, but there’s nothing wrong with inviting others, such as close family and friends, to partake in the action.

just married car
Italian small car “just married”
  1. What’s your budget?

One of the reasons for eloping is to save money. If this is your goal, make sure you set a budget and stick with it.

Without a budget in mind, you could potentially spend more than you would on a traditional wedding. This is particularly true if you choose an exotic destination.

  1. Where will you tie the knot?

Some people don’t think twice about this. They show up in Las Vegas, find a chapel, get married, and hit the casino floor.

Others would rather plan in advance, searching for a luxury hotel or church that suits their needs.

The choice is yours; just make sure you plan accordingly.

The Wedding Loan Option

However you decide to get married, it can be a big cost depending on your financial situation – whether it’s $5,000 or $35,000.

If costs are an issue, a wedding loan is one way to afford the celebration you have in mind. These loans can cover anything from the trip to your elopement destination to a special honeymoon.

While everyone’s idea of a wedding is different–from the most spontaneous to the most meticulously planned–a wedding loan should fit most any type of celebration.

Learn more about wedding loans from Discover Personal Loans