One of the most important things when thinking about your elopement day is how much can you spend and what your budget should be. The total average cost of a traditional wedding (as noted by The Knot’s 2022 Wedding Data Insights) last year was $30,000. By eloping, you can cut more costs that traditional weddings have typically.
Budgeting for an adventure elopement/elopement in the United States will depend on several factors such as the location, the time of year, the number of guests, and the activities you plan to do. If you are eloping, you can save a lot more (depending on where and all that you do).
<< Free Budget Tool included below >>
Here are some general tips to help you budget for an adventure elopement in the US:
Determine your budget by deciding what is important to you
Start by setting a budget for your elopement. This will help you prioritize your expenses and make sure that you don’t overspend and you spend in the right direction. If you don’t care about having something, don’t have it. If you feel like your day won’t be what it is without something, have it. But make sure it’s something you really want.
CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION
Decide where you want to have your elopement. Popular locations for adventure elopements in the US include national parks, mountains, and forests. Some of the more popular places are going to be more expensive, whether it’s how much it takes to travel or how much vendors, permits and lodging is too. There are many smaller, lesser known places that will be cheaper for you, like the east coast Appalachian Mountains or some of the lesser visited state parks and national parks.
DECIDE ON YOUR LODGING
Think about your lodging. Depending on the location you choose to get married, you may need to increase your budget for lodging. Options can range from camping or renting an Airbnb/VRBO to staying at a resort or hotel. We have lots of rentals in the Thomas/Davis area that aren’t too costly and we can share some of our favorites. If you stay in a more visited location (near national parks), the lodging will tend to be more, but there are always ways to save money. We have camped on a lot of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land and in free camping spots (if you are into that) and have never had any issues. It’s your one day, so you can always choose to splurge on a nice place with a hot tub if you want to. ;)
PLAN THE ACTIVITIES
Determine what activities you want to do during your elopement, such as hiking, kayaking, white water rafting, local tours, or rock climbing. Consider the cost of any gear you may need to rent or buy (like hiking boots, skis, etc), as well as any fees for activities like national park entrance fees or permits.
HIRE THE VENDORS YOU WANT/NEED
Decide on the vendors you want and need for your day. You may not want feel like you need custom flowers or your hair and makeup done (if you are great at those things). You can self-solemnize in some places also, so you won’t always need to have an officiant. If you don’t feel like you need a certain vendor/thing, don’t have them. We can help you decide on what is absolutely necessary to making your day as seamless as possible.
FACTOR IN ALL YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSES
If you’re not local to the area where you want to elope, be sure to budget for travel expenses like gas, airfare, food, travel to and from the airport, lodging, and rental cars. Things tend to add up pretty quickly.
Don’t forget to budget for other miscellaneous expenses, such as food, drinks, and any necessary permits either for your day or while you adventure.
It’s definitely important to be flexible with your elopement budget and consider any areas where you can cut costs. For example, you may be able to save money by eloping during the off-season when lodging rates are lower or eloping in a lesser known area. Remember to try to prioritize the most important aspects of your elopement and try to be willing to adjust your plans to fit your budget. We can help with it all and find the perfect vendors and location that fits your budget.