What does Elope Mean

what does it mean?

Discover the true meaning of this word and
why so many couples are choosing it

Have you ever seen the word “Elopement” or “We Eloped” on social media or googling around? Most probably you saw images of couples hiking a mountain or  posing in stunning wild locations.

So, fair enough if you connected this word with the idea of a photographic session outdoors. But!

Elopement doesn’t mean that.

What does the word “Elope” really mean?

If you write it on google, you will see several definitions.

Most of them will tell you that it means : “Running away to get married secretly”

Yep, not really positive as a description. 

Except that this definition was correct many, many years ago! 

It exactly starts from the 14 Century where the root of the word “aloper” meant, “leap.”

During the great depression, the term has evolved into another meaning, at that time some couples couldn’t afford the cost of a wedding, and an elopement was more practical and affordable, but anyway it was seen as a cheap solution, not worth of respect or consideration unless you were poor. 

As time passed, however, things have changed, and now this word means something completely different! 


“An elopement is an intentionally small, intimate, meaningful, and authentic wedding experience that is a true reflection of your relationship where the focus of the day is really about you two.”

Cit. Adventure Instead

What a lovely, accurate, perfect description!

Picture showing wedding details. A wild flowers bouquet with orange tones, a wooden rings box, and an elopement announcement card

Precisely, we are in 2021, things change, they are evolving, and the concept of getting married is not anymore a standard solution that suits everyone.

There are instead, infinite options, choices and different tastes and new, exciting, alternative ways to say “I do”. You don’t have to do it in a church if you don’t want to.

No need to throw a big party with 150 guests, if you don’t feel like doing it.


There is not a “Must do” list to follow. 

Everything you know about weddings,  it’s a bunch of notions that have developed during the years  making us think that was the only way! 

But what if you don’t like the idea of a traditional wedding?

Maybe  the thought  of saying your vows in front of  many people scares the hell out of you, or doesn’t make you feel comfortable.

Let’s suppose that you are a reserved person, and imagine a more simple day? 

Here comes the option!

You can elope instead!

Elopement now has a completely different meaning, and brings with it so many positive things! 

Just married couple in Rome holding hands


Why freedom? Because this is what happens most of the time, when everybody know you are getting married:

“Did you already think about the table arrangements?” “What wedding favours will you give?”

“You know, I have a cousin who is  a very good dj! I will call him!”

“We have to invite Aunt Jenny, you know? What?

You don’t remember who aunt Jenny is??!” 

Yep…everyone inevitably, some more, some less, they will give their idea of “what to do” and there is nothing bad about it. 

But! These are THEIR IDEAS, and they often come from the same source:

The concept of a wedding done and thought with a STANDARD BASE FOR EVERYONE! 

Here starts the phase, where YOU, future bride and groom, have the right, and have to say what do YOU want and what not! 

That’s why I speak about freedom.

Just married couple walking together and celebrating drinking their favourite drink: beer!


When you decide to elope, you are already announcing that you want something out of the scheme. It doesn’t follow standard rules, but is instead tailored on what  YOU like and what YOU would like to do!

Therefore, if you don’t want many people, but prefer something intimate instead, go for that!

If the idea of dinner in a restaurant doesn’t attract you, don’t do it!

Do you want instead a barbecue outdoors with few people? Do that!

Do you imagine yourself happier, just the two of you and your closest family, eating pizza in a B&B? Perfect! 

Do you feel like a room inside the council/venue is not really what you were imagining and you would prefer a ceremony in front of a lake? Let’s do it!

Couple celebrating with a Picnic in their van.

You can really throw out the window, all the preconceptions of “It has to be done like this” and replace them  with “It has to be done as WE say”.

Just because the rest of the world did like this until now, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same.

Not necessarily. You are unique, and you deserve to have a day that feels authentically yours.

To better understand how an elopement is different from the concept of traditional wedding (this is useful also to figure out if you are elopement type) there is a little exercise to do.


Imagine your “Perfect Day” 

I am not talking about the wedding day, but more in general.

If you could have a “perfect day” that includes all the things that make you feel happy and make you feel good with yourself…

What do you see? 

Where are you? What are you doing? What are you eating and drinking? What do you hear? 

And after doing “x” that was soooo cool, what else after that? 

Good, now you know what to do on your wedding day!

Include the ceremony and it’s done! 

The most beautiful thing of an elopement is that you can create from zero, a day that is a true reflection  of you two, and your relationship, because IS ABOUT YOU TWO and nobody else! 

Sounds nice right? 

Couple roasting marshmallows in front of the fire camp to celebrate their elopement wedding

If you choose to elope you will definitely have so many romantic and personal moments to share!

This is because there will be much less things to think about all connected with “included obligations” with a big traditional wedding.

What obligations I am talking about? Things like “Check if all the guest arrived at the restaurant”

“Go to every table and speak with all the guests, making sure you are not missing someone ”   and many other things to do during the day, to make sure that everything goes on smoothly following the timeline.


I don’t want to be the one that says “Big traditional weddings are evil”, is not absolutely like that.

But consider the side effects that a big party has, and lack of intimacy is one of those. 

Imagine instead, how much free time you would have if you decide to elope instead!

All that time that you would have spent for technical and management details it’s all for you and you can spend it however you want. 

Whether it’s for an hour cuddling on a hammock in the woods, or a meaningful, relaxed chat with your families and friends, with no rush or worrying about anything… you can have that!

A black and white portrait of a just married couple. The bride is gently rubbing her face to the groom face
A couple sharing their vows on a cliff. The bride id reading her love words, smiling and enjoying the moment. The groom is gently stroking her face

Think also about the intimacy you could have during your ceremony! 

As I said, there are NO RULES when you elope, you can share your vows just between you two far from the guests eyes, for example, and then have the ceremony with them! 

If the idea of speaking, expressing your feelings in front of many people, is not so appealing to you, an elopement can blow this fear away, and give you an amazing, romantic, personal intimate moment where you can let yourself go… with no fear, no expectations… nothing that you don’t want.

There is you, and your love for each other… you don’t need anything else. 

A couple getting married under a gazebo in Lake District. The bride has a flower crown, and a wool cloak. The groom wear a vintage leather jacket. They are holding hands, and laughing
Elopement ceremony in Lake District Hause Hall


If you have married friends, certainly they told you about how much planning there was behind it .How many months were spent looking for suppliers, locations, solving problems and thinking about thousands of details. 

Most of them ended up the day before the wedding exhausted and overwhelmed.

Is all part of the game obviously, you can’t expect to be relaxed and calm when you are planning the biggest event of your life! 

Please note, however, I said EVENT… 

What causes all this stress?

It’s because you are not planning something focusing just on you two, but you are actually planning something where the focus is ON THE EVENT.

Imagine instead, how easier would be, planning a day based and really focused on YOU AND YOUR DESIRES.

There is obviously some planning to do too, but it is much, much less work! 

Portrait of a just married couple. The bride wear a flower crown, and she is smiling and so happy. The groom wear a vintage leather jacket, and has a eyebrows piercing


To make you better understand, this is what me and my hubby did: 

  • Booked a B&B in Lake District 
  • Found a outdoor natural location for our ceremony 
  • Found an officiant willing to come to the location 
  • Bought dress for me and outfit for him  + shoes 
  • Bought a bouquet, flower crown, boutonnière 
  • Rings + Box 
  • Booked a photographer 
  • List of songs for the ceremony 
  • Written vows 
  • Booked a private chef for an intimate dinner at the end of the day 
  • Booked a day at the  city council to sign the paper later

That’s it! Does it sound stressful?

As well as having less things to think about for the planning part, think also about how the day will be! 

You won’t have to run from one place to another keeping constantly an eye on the watch.

No need to manage anything, because everything has been planned before, with my help.

Obligations  to do things that you don’t want? Naaahh!

On this day there is space just for relaxed, happy, quality time! 

Eloping couple in Lake District in Haweswater reservoir. The groom is covering the bride with her wool cloak. The bride wears a boho wedding dress. The groom wears sun glasses, a white shirt, and ironically as a joke the bride flowers crown
A couple eloping into the wild in Lake District. They are standing close to each other, smiling and buzzing as they are happy to be just married
Eloping couple in Lake District Haweswater reservoir. The groom is carrying the bride towards the car. The bride smile and say hello with a peace gesture


If you are the type of people that prefer going on holiday in a new place instead of a last model car,  you should consider an elopement.

If you value experiences over stuff, then most likely you are an elopement type! 

The beauty of the elopement world is that you can combine these things!

 A day where you commit to each other’s life, spent doing activities together that you actually enjoy! 

Instead of spending your money for a massive huge villa party or decorations, you can spend them on breathtaking experiences! 

It can be flying somewhere else, but not just that.

It can be bungee jumping, a tour on a boat, hiking on a mountain, swimming, a flight on a helicopter!

Literally whatever you want, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as  it makes you feel amazing! Think big! 

Couple standing in front of the Colosseum. They are close to each other, their lips almost touching
Couple that gently hug each other in front of San Pietro church in Rome at night. The bride is wearing a white wool cape, and the groom is wearing a red silk jacket. There are fairy lights spreading around them

As you can see, the meaning of elopement is far from the old preconception of running away, but it assumes instead, the power of creating something unique, and personal based on YOU and what makes you feel happy.

If I put a flea in your ears, and you would like to know more about it, contact me!

I would love to give you as much information as you need.

Meanwhile, have a look at other articles I wrote like“Four reasons to elope” you might find it interesting.

I look forward to helping you if you decide to do things IN YOUR WAY.

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