Should we elope?

I get it. Choosing to elope or to have a completely off-the-beaten-path wedding is not an easy decision. Here’s five reasons why I wish we had eloped a few years ago if we had known about the option. 


What is an elopement?  

Before we dive in, let’s talk a bit about what an elopement actually is. Eloping used to be associated with running off to get married in secret – think being officiated by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas or a blacksmith priest in Gretna Green. Thankfully, things have changed quite a bit since then. Modern elopements are a far cry from the spur of the moment events we’re used to seeing on TV which take place after a little too much tequila!

Nowadays eloping is about celebrating your love intentionally, in the most true-to-you way. Elopement weddings are all about the things that make your hearts sing. But, that being said, choosing to elope isn’t always a straight forward decision. There are lots of things to take into consideration, I get it!

Why elope?

Elopements aren’t for everyone and that’s totally ok. If you’re someone who has always dreamt of a big beautiful wedding, go for it! if you find yourself doubting a traditional big day though, here are five reasons my husband and I wished we had eloped instead.


Our wedding was by no means huge. It was a romantic, vintage-style wedding set in an 18th-century manor house featuring a homemade lunch buffet – thank you Mom and Step Mom! The ceremony took place in a shadowy corner of the gardens and we spent the evening pub-crawling with our closest friends but it still took some serious time to plan – an embarrassing amount in fact. Between finding a location we loved, designing our own invites, finding my dress and his suit, and making sure everything ran smoothly on the day, we had so little time to relax and enjoy quality time with our loved ones.


I was in-between jobs when we got married and my husband was working hard to get his new business to take off, so funds for our wedding weren’t huge. Trying to achieve the wedding we’d dreamed of on a limited budget was stressful, to say the least. It involved a lot of DIY as well as trial and error. Money didn’t allow for an on-the-day coordinator either which meant I spent the day itself managing everything from the decorations to clearing up. I actually washed dishes on my wedding day! CRAZY, I know! And not exactly what most brides envision to be doing in their wedding dress, for sure. 
Our friends and family were a huge help, but ultimately, we ended up being a lot more stressed out by the details than we’d have liked. For us, the best parts of the day were the photoshoot and our ceremony. Yes, those bits that we spent with just the two of us, or where, at least, we didn’t have to worry about anything or anyone else. We could have had so much more of those moments if we had eloped!

We’re introverts

Neither of us enjoy being the centre of attention. Big groups make my Mister pretty uncomfortable and I’m super sensitive to noisy environments which, in hindsight, would’ve made eloping a better option for us. We spent the day with just under 60 guests, including our photographer and videographer. But, looking back we wish we’d really invited half that or at least spent less of the day surrounded by such a big group of people (and avoided the introvert hangover that followed). Striking a balance between inviting your loved ones and not leaving anyone out proved to be a tricky challenge.


As I said, we managed to be pretty savvy when it came to saving on the big day but eloping would have allowed us to be more intentional with the money we did spend.
As a couple, we love travelling, but it’s something we struggle to do often. With two small businesses between us, life is always busy, and setting apart time for travel (or even a regular day off, really) is a challenge! It would have been so wonderful if we could’ve incorporated our love for travel, being outdoors, and enjoying quiet moments in nature more of into our wedding.
We did go on a month-long road trip through England and Scotland for our honeymoon, which has become a tradition we’ve stuck to ever since. But, had we chosen to scale things down, we could have spent more on the things that mean something to us as a couple – a faraway location with a beautiful AirBnb, and lots of time just for us.


The style and atmosphere of our wedding definitely ended up reflecting us as a couple. But in the planning phase, we found ourselves juggling the expectations and opinions of well-meaning family members which put a lot of pressure on us. From little things like seating plans to bigger ones like the guest list, we struggled to create a wedding which was 100% ‘us’ without disappointing our loved ones.

It’s not that we regret the day we did have at all.
We have such fond memories of the occasion.

It’s just that eloping wasn’t something either of us knew enough about a few years ago. Making sure our grandmothers were able to attend our wedding was our biggest priority. But if someone had told us we could have had both, an epic and adventurous celebration with just the two of us and another small and casual one with just our closest family … we’d have eloped. No question!

So, should you elope?

That’s ultimately up to you. But if you even have the slightest inkling that your childhood big dream-wedding isn’t really your dream at all, or that maybe it’s just outward pressure and misplaced feelings of guilt and selfishness which are holding you back from following your gut, think again. 

Eloping would have saved us time, stress, money and more, and given us the intentional, intimate moments we really enjoy. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to spread the word about eloping, so that I can help and inspire you to do the same.  

Prioritising you is 100% ok.
You are free to choose you, to choose connection and to choose intentionally.

I hope this post has helped you figure out wether an elopement is for you.

Remember, EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL, and in planning your elopement the sky really is the limit.

Hi there, I’m Isis!

I’m here to capture your love, your adventure, your story, just the way it feels.

I shoot intimate weddings and adventurous elopements, and I’ll be there to walk you through every step of the process. From helping you find the perfect location for your vows, to getting you in touch with the best vendors for your day.

Isis Sturtewagen Photography
+31 (0)639671627

Based in The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy

KVK 67001157

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