With flowers, ball gowns, music, and romance, there’s a reason weddings are something we dream about for years. But they can also be incredibly expensive. In fact, the average wedding costs around $35,000. Since they’ve become such over-the-top affairs, many couples are opting to take to take the plunge in a more intimate setting and combine their weddings and honeymoons by traveling to exciting locations to hold elopement ceremonies.
“Millennials tend to value unique experiences, which is a key driver behind the growth of elopements,” Janessa White of Simply Eloped tells Brides. “They can experience a new place, get married, and still save way more money when compared to a traditional wedding. Couples can elope for well under $1,000, which is naturally appealing.”
Meet the Expert
Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped, an elopement planning service that offers several packages and destinations for couples looking to elope.
Hotels have even taken notice of the trend and have started to offer elopement packages to make getting hitched even more hassle-free. But just because the matrimonial fete is lower key, doesn’t mean these properties are skimping on luxury details.
Here are five elopement packages that will you have reconsidering a traditional wedding.
Secret Wedding Service at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
Why not get married in the ultimate honeymoon destination? This intimate rustic-chic resort offers a “secret wedding service,” which allows couples to secretly tie the knot in the island’s wedding overwater chapel with a special blessing from a local Maldivian cleric, before being serenaded by a traditional Bodu Beru band, and sailing into the sunset on the island’s traditional dhoni boat. Couples can also opt to marry underneath the stars on the white sands of Palm Beach, or on the idyllic sandbar of One Palm Island. No matter what you choose, romance is guaranteed.
Ayni Despacho Elopement Ceremony at Red Mountain Resort, Utah
While the resort offers couples practical elopement services such as a Snow Canyon State Park ceremony, it’s their spiritual Ayni Despacho Ceremony that’s perfect for the out-of-the-box pair. Traditionally performed by shamans of the Andean mountain regions to honor and give thanks to Mother Earth, this ancient ceremony offers prayers for healing and transformation making it perfect to mark a new chapter of life together.
The Elopement Package at Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
We know you don’t want a lot of guests at your wedding, so consider getting hitched in an actual ghost town. The 19th-century mining town-turned-luxury resort in the Colorado Rockies has an elopement package complete with an officiant, flower bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, freshly baked wedding cake for two, bottle of Champagne, and a special wedding photography session. And, of course, bride and groom have access to all of Dunton’s activities to kick off their newly married life such as hiking, horseback riding, dogsledding, and even ice climbing.
Mustique’s Exclusive Elopement Package
The renowned private island in St Vincent & Grenadines is one the most exclusive addresses in the Caribbean and it has been attracting A-list guests and celebrities for generations their weddings. Now, elopers can get married on the island with a package that includes four nights’ accommodation for two at The Cotton House, champagne and canapés in room at arrival, return flights to St. Vincent, all ceremonial organization, a wedding dinner for two at the hotel venue of choice, and a surprise wedding gift. This package is also buildable with add-ons that include spa treatments, florals, a private sunset cruise, photographer, music, and more.
Traditional Elopement Package at Bristol House, Rhode Island
If you still want all the makings of a classic wedding—flowers, cake, photographer—but none of the hassle of planning it, the Bristol House has you covered. The romantic inn created an all-inclusive package that includes two nights in the Deluxe Harbor Suite with a private bath, sitting area, and views of the backyard gardens, a multi-course, gourmet breakfast for two, each morning, licensed officiant to perform ceremony, floral bouquet and boutonniere, small two-tiered wedding cake, and a professional photographer for two hours. All you have to do is bring the dress.