11 Unique Elopement Ideas For Couples Who Don't Want to Stress Over a Big Wedding

Some women are more bridechillas than bridezillas and would rather keep the guest list down to a minimum than worrying about the stress of planning a wedding. And what better way to achieve that than to not invite anyone else but your soon-to-be spouse?

More couples are foregoing the traditional ceremony and reception for low-key nuptials like an elopement, and we completely see the benefits of doing so. You can save time, money, and effort, and most importantly, you're able to focus on what your big day should really be about: you and your partner. Because let's be real, most weddings aren't about you, they're about your guests. One way to shift that power back into your hands is to elope! Even if the idea of running off with your SO sounds more stressful than romantic, the concept of an elopement has been redefined by modern couples. Think of it as an intimate wedding between just the two of you and/or with your closest friends and family. (The whole secret part is only optional nowadays.)

To help inspire you, we've put together 11 different elopement ideas; some are unique and casual, while others prove that small doesn't have to mean simple. See them ahead!

01
Destination Elopement
Melissa Mercado Photography

Destination Elopement

A destination elopement is an especially great idea because you don't have to worry about flying your guests out, and your wedding can also double as your honeymoon. How about a personal ceremony in Cancún, Mexico?

02
City Hall Elopement
Heather Rice Photography

City Hall Elopement

Dress as casual or as fancy as you'd like at City Hall. This couple, in particular, decided to fly to San Francisco alone to tie the knot and make it into a five-day trip of sightseeing.

03
Cool and Casual Elopement
Everly Studios

Cool and Casual Elopement

This couple held an old-school-style New York elopement, allowing just a handful of friends and family to witness their union. The couple then celebrated with a private reception between the two of them at a classy cocktail bar.

04
Pop-Up Elopement
Lo and Behold Photography

Pop-Up Elopement

Why stress over selecting a wedding venue when you can bring the wedding to you? This couple opted for an intimate sunset ceremony on the edge of Pinto Canyon, followed by a Champagne celebration with a small white cake. The only people invited were the bride, groom, officiant, and photographer.

05
Disney Elopement
Degrees North Images

Disney Elopement

This elopement at Disney World's Beach Club Resort is just one example of how you can incorporate your favorite fandom into your big day. Not having a guest list means you have more creative freedom and no one can complain about how over-the-top you go.

06
Casual Courthouse Elopement
Linger Photography

Casual Courthouse Elopement

In the case that you do want to sneak off and marry like these two, a courthouse ceremony is the perfect way to keep it between just the two of you without any of the extra hassle.

07
Elopement Getaway
Photo by Kelli Bee Photography
Concept by Feathered Arrow Events

Elopement Getaway

Say "I do" and don't look back. Ride out the excitement of tying the knot and have a road-trip honeymoon to follow.

08
Hot-Air Elopement
SO Photography

Hot-Air Elopement

Sounds crazy, but it's been done before! If you really want to go with a unique route, exchange vows in a hot-air balloon like this couple, and capture your own photos with a GoPro.

09
Woodland Elopement
J. Christina Photography

Woodland Elopement

Since you don't have a lengthy guest list to work with, virtually any location can be your venue — even a forest. Bring along a violinist to set the scene as you walk to the "altar," and replace the reception with a small hot beverage station to enjoy as newlyweds, like this couple did.

10
Fairy-Tale Elopement
Asya Photography

Fairy-Tale Elopement

Just because it's an elopement, doesn't mean you have to skimp on the details. This beautifully decorated scene in the woods is both the ceremony and intimate "reception" location.

11
Romantic Manor Elopement
Photo by Alisa Ferris
Floral Design by Blooming Hites

Romantic Manor Elopement

How incredible would it be to have an entire wedding venue to yourselves? If budget isn't an issue, go as grand as you'd like and enjoy a private estate between the two of you.