Read ten (10) reasons to elope during the pandemic from a couple who eloped. Keep reading to hear our experience eloping in Colorado and advice for how we made our big day extra memorable and full of adventure!
Getting engaged is a memorable life event. And, getting married is supposed to be fabulous, full of love, joy, and happiness. The reality now means wedding venues cost quite a bit of money, and coordinating the event takes time. But most awkwardly, in 2020-2021, we are going through a global pandemic. I have been seeing a lot more people elope during the pandemic and think it is fantastic for many reasons.
My husband, Pablo, and I eloped a year after dating. Surprisingly, we went down the path of spending our weekends looking at outdoor wedding venues all over Western Colorado and Canyon Country, Utah. Every venue, though spectacular, was a minimum of $5,000-10,000 USD for less than 50 people. This shocked us both because, at the time, neither of us had any money.
With this in mind, Pablo and I grew more and more disheartened as our search for the perfect venue went on. We knew we would be paying for everything ourselves, and most of the numbers did not include libations or overnight accommodations!
On top of the venue, we were trying to coordinate friends and family who lived all over the world. Things became stressful for me, the soon-to-be bride, and the last thing I wanted to do was turn into a Bridezilla. I was working full-time, which required commuting an hour each way to work. My workdays were easily 10-12 hours during the week at the time. Does this sound like you too?
As our new love for each other grew stronger by the day, and as time went on, Pablo and I decided just to elope!
After deep thought and conversation following the holiday season, Pablo and I did a little research on what it entailed to elope in Colorado. Much to our surprise, it was a piece of cake! Finally, getting married was starting to sound fun and easy. And, I love fun and easy.
To elaborate, you can marry yourselves in Colorado. Yes, you read that correctly! Couples can solemnize their own marriage in Colorado. You don’t have to have your marriage officiated. You simply can head to the County Clerk together, sign the papers, and it’s a done deal.
The next thing we know, we were hiring an AWESOME photographer as a friend referral, telling our parents of our plans, and setting the date. We were on track to elope!
I was curious about wedding dresses and found a darling boutique bridal store (which is no longer open) two days before we decided to elope. I was lucky enough to purchase a floor model wedding dress that fit perfectly. The owner and seamstress were incredibly sweet and helpful. Things were really starting to fall into place. Pablo wore a suit he purchased at the outlets. Go us! Getting married was beginning to flow how I thought it would. I was very excited!
Next, Pablo called a local flower shop and had a bouquet and boutonnière made (he’s the sweetest). All the floral shop ladies were super excited for us and had the flowers ready without delay.
We even ordered a gluten-free cake!
Things were totally falling into place. Everything felt right. Everything felt perfect.
The morning of our elopement, Pablo and I slept in, went out for coffee, and had breakfast at our favorite breakfast place. Next, we came home, got ready separately, and off to the County Clerk we went! The bridal boutique owner and seamstress helped me get dressed at their shop! Sooo sweet.
Our photographer met us at the County Clerk.
We signed the marriage paperwork, and that was it. Our marriage was official right then and there!
However, we wanted to do something extraordinary for each other and marry ourselves outdoors in the Colorado National Monument.
The Colorado National Monument is where we said our sacred marital vows. Our wonderful photographer and little dog were the only other souls accompanying us. It snowed, which Pablo wished for. It was beautiful.
The day was romantic, memorable, and fun. We weren’t even cold – we were full of so much excitement and adrenaline. My white dress became gloriously soaked with canyon country dirt. It was so much fun. We were truly in heaven…
Eloping turned out to be more special than I could ever have imagined. Neither of us regrets it one bit. In fact, we tend to encourage it to others wanting to get married!
We started our marriage off with a day totally about us and our love. I’m so glad we hired the photographer to capture the special outdoor elopement. We even got to have our best friend and best man, Sunny, the chihuahua.
It will be so worth it! You want to be able to cherish this precious moment. Carrie Johnson in Silt Colorado did our photos.
Now we are finally to what you want to know! Below are 10 reasons to elope during the pandemic.
I say this in the most loving way possible. Eloping is empowering! It is exciting! Eloping gives a new couple freedom to go with the flow. It also gives a new couple courage to start making decisions together as a team.
Communication is key if you are worried about informing your friends and family of your decision. Communicate lovingly and openly. Solicit support for your decision (just in case you are concerned about how other people in your life will react).
Weddings cost mon-ey. Eloping makes more sense for couples that don’t want to start a marriage in debt. Or worse, put pressure on family to help pay for an event.
Save money for more honeymoons! We went on three honeymoons! Yes, please!
Americans are drowning in debt. Set yourselves up for success. Keep your hard-earned money in savings to buy a home or pay off something super meaningful for your future together.
Eloping means less waste, less mess to clean up, fewer clothes you and your guests don’t need, and less pollution. Definitely, less pollution for people traveling from all over the world to attend a formal event.
This is one of the most important reasons for eloping! Less planning, fewer decisions, and most importantly, less stress. Because let’s be real… Most people are working 8-10 hour days, and we need time for self-care, working out, walking the dog, cooking, having fun, cleaning, oh my gosh, the list goes on! Try to plan a wedding on top of that? No, thank you…
Haha, I laugh as I write #7, but it is SO TRUE. I know everyone reading this is thinking it (wink, wink)!!!
Be sure to communicate lovingly and openly to the people you care about regarding your decision to elope.
Get married anywhere you want for little to no money! Literally, with only two people and a photographer, have your dream destination. You deserve it. You really do.
Intimate vows for life are super private and sacred. Pablo and I are both introverts and wrote our own vows to each other. There is no way either of us would have been comfortable sharing these with the world.
Make eloping one of the best and happiest days of your life! Elope exactly how you dream it. This becomes more possible without complicated logistics, crowds, and financial strains.
Don’t let the pandemic discourage you from getting married now. Elope during the pandemic!
Start from day one. Though eloping is not traditional, we hope this post inspires and encourages you to follow your heart and dreams as a couple. That is why we decided to share our true story of eloping in Colorado.
Be sure to communicate with loved ones on why you have decided to elope. Solicit their love and support ahead of time. If eloping is the route you and your partner have decided to take, let loved ones know your reasons.
You may be surprised how many people will applaud and outright encourage you! Remember you can always plan something special with everyone later.
You can always host fabulous festivities at a later date for family and friends, especially if the pandemic has delayed your special date.
In fact, Pablo and I had two post-elopement parties. Our loved ones in Breckenridge threw us a memorable party! Pablo and I also hosted a brunch months later for close friends and family in another town. This made sense for us, especially since we were from different places and countries. Hosting a brunch is also more affordable than hosting a dinner.
Hosting a party at a future date is an excellent idea if you elope during the pandemic.
In the long run, everything will be perfect. Just go for it!
There are so many economic, freeing, and fun reasons to elope.
We promise, if you love each other, everything will be more than alright. In fact, I bet your future selves will thank you!
For all our friends and family reading this, thanks for always supporting us. We love and appreciate you!
Ashlee & Pablo
We have a few more life inspirational articles! You might also enjoy:
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I’m a travel and outdoor recreation writer with dreams to inspire happiness through an outdoorsy lifestyle. I want to help people live their best life by sharing free adventure guides. The USA has been my backyard most of my life, and it’s the place where you’ll find most of our escapades! I’m married to an expat Argentine, chihuahua Mom, and am passionate about the environment. I hold a BS degree in Biology and MS in Environmental Policy & Sustainability. We camp in our Aliner often, love road trips, hiking, and SUP’ing!