What Does Elope Actually Mean?

What Does Elope Actually Mean?

Defining elopement and a guide to deciding whether it’s right for you.

As much as the popularity of elopements is on the rise, they still may seem like a rather ambiguous idea to many couples who haven’t been exposed to much talk about eloping.

Eloping most definitely doesn’t mean what it used to once upon a time! When you mention elopement to your grandmother, she might think you want to run away to somewhere so you can secretly get married and never come back. But as the times have changed, so has the nature of eloping!

If you’re curious to know more about what eloping is all about and why some couples might choose to their pack their bags and jet off to say ‘I do’  on top a mountain somewhere then read on!

If eloping is intriguing you, take a look at some of my favourite locations to elope in the UK over here!

Where Did Eloping Originate From?

Eloping is not what it used to be but then again, neither is marriage! Elopement has evolved with our modern-day culture but here is a peek into where it all started.

The word ‘elope’ derives from the Anglo-Norman French ‘aloper’ which literally means ‘leap’. Originally, to elope meant to “escape” or “flee” and since the beginning of the 17th century, it often referred to lovers who were forbidden to marry so they ran away to wed elsewhere and love each other freely. It has a romantic notion to it and it relates to the modern-day version of elopement in the sense that couples still want to escape the traditional expectations of a wedding and rather feel free to do it however feels good to them!

Elopements can definitely be misperceived because of the reputation they carry from their place in society a few centuries ago but today, they are less about running away because of adversity to the marriage and more about an adventure and choosing to do things exactly how you want to!

What Does Eloping Mean Today?

Today, eloping has an entirely different definition. Elopement has evolved to be an intentional, intimate, and sincere way of choosing to get married so that you can focus more on your marriage and less on the admin that comes with planning a wedding.

Eloping is all about minimising all the stress, expectations, complications and obstacles that may come along with planning a wedding. Your elopement is all about you and your partner and you get to choose HOWEVER you want to do it, there is absolute freedom! It’s not to say that no planning is required but you get to choose exactly how much or how little planning you would like involved.

It’s not always possible to get officially married in the location you choose to elope so make sure you do your research! You can check out my ultimate guide to getting eloped in London over here.

Basically, if all you truly desire is a day that feels authentic and true to you and your partner with the focus on your commitment to each other and the actual act of marriage, then eloping might just be the intimate way to say ‘I do’ that works for you!

Reasons for Eloping

Every couple has unique and personal reasons to them for choosing to elope but here are a few common factors that might play a part in the decision.

  1. Planning a wedding can seem too overwhelming and stressful to some so often eloping feels like the more authentic option.
  2. Some couples choose to save money on a wedding budget so they can put those funds towards something else. You can have an epic elopement for a fraction of the price of a wedding.
  3. Elopements can be really adventurous and for some couples, walking down the aisle is just not as appealing as climbing a mountain or hiking through a forest.
  4. Sometimes the reason is that there are family politics and their families don’t approve of the union. In this case, couples want to get married in peace and enjoy the right energy around their union.
  5. There are also many couples who live very busy lifestyles and so the planning that goes into eloping is a lot less demanding and offers an adventurous and more stress-free break from their schedule than a wedding would offer.
  6. There are so many more reasons! Ultimately, you don’t really need a reason to decide to elope- if it feels good for you then that’s a good enough reason to do it.

is eloping right for you?

It’s important to have this conversation with your partner and dig deep into what your wedding is all about. I have put together a blog on planning an intentional, sincere and authentic wedding over here that might help with that.

When it comes to choosing between a wedding and elopement, it really depends on how you feel. Take some time to weigh out the pros and cons of both and give yourself some time to think about it. Sometimes the thought of eloping requires some time for our minds to wrap around the concept since it’s quite different from the norm! But, once you start grasping the idea, you might find that you are really drawn to an elopement experience rather than a wedding.

There is no right or wrong answer to getting married and don’t listen to anyone who tells you any different. It’s about you and your partner so whatever way of celebrating your marriage makes you happy is exactly what you should do!

You might want to have an intimate ceremony with just the two of you or perhaps you want to invite a few of your closest loved ones to witness the ceremony. Whether it’s an exhilarating adventure you choose or a simple and sentimental occasion that is uncomplicated, just remember to do whatever feels authentic to your unique relationship.


If you’ve made it this far, you might seriously be considering eloping! Whilst elopements are events that are a lot more manageable, there is still some planning that is required to make sure your experience is smooth and legal. Here are your next steps!

  • Choose your elopement location. I have put together a list of the most gorgeous places to elope in the UK, you can take a look over here.
  • Inform yourself and do your research to see what is required for the location you have chosen to elope, especially if it’s abroad.
  • Inspire yourself with some elopement ideas, you can view a few of my favourite ideas over here.
  • Take a look at our ultimate elopement guide for the ins and outs of what you need to know over here!
  • Finally, if you decide to elope- own that decision! Know that it is totally your prerogative and be willing to gratefully take the positive feedback from friends and family and politely leave the rest.

If you’re still on the fence, take a look at the London wedding venues I love the most here!

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