Written by our rad team member, Jessica Dastous.
How much does it cost to elope
Wondering how much does it cost to elope? The quick answer- an adventure elopement can range anywhere from $5,000 – $30,000+. This is an estimation based on what the over 100 elopements we have photographed here at Between the Pine. Some couples choose to just pay for their marriage license and get married, while others will choose to have an adventure elopement with guests, which adds additional elements to your day and will raise the cost of your elopement. Our hope in writing this guide is to help you understand a realistic budget for the type of elopement you are dreaming of!
The quick breakdown of how much it cost to elope
We’ve created a quick breakdown of how much it costs to elope based on what our couples have done in the past and what we’ve seen in the industry. We want to express there is no right or wrong way to elope, your dream day can look however you envision! The cost of eloping will vary based on your location and these numbers are based off of vendors we have worked with in the Pacific Northwest, but they will give you a ballpark figure on what to budget for when planning your best day ever!
We want to give you an idea of the different costs associated with your elopement and the things you want to consider when planning your budget. This will help give you an idea of what you would like to prioritize when thinking about how much an elopement costs.
Here at Between the Pine, our elopement packages range from $4,500 – $10,000+ based on how you envision your adventure elopement. The cost of eloping with us changes based on where we are going, the length of coverage and the number of days we are with you! We’ll plan out your day from hikes, to lodging suggestions, to a list of dream team vendors we recommend and of course a few back-up plans in case the weather changes on the day of your elopement! Want to start planning your dream day with us, click here! If our prices are not within your budget, there are other photographers out there that start at around $1,000.
If you are crunching numbers and looking to save on the cost of your elopement there are a few areas you can include friends and family or even do it yourself! Looking to include a friend or family member in your elopement and save on the cost of an officiant, have them become ordained by clicking here! You can also save on hair and makeup if you do it yourself or maybe even have a friend or family member help you get ready!
Keep reading for a general breakdown on how much it costs to elope based off of what we’ve seen throughout our years as elopement photographers!
Nine things to consider when thinking through the cost to elope
1. Travel and location
First and foremost, the location of your elopement is something you need to consider when planning for the cost of your elopement. If you are traveling to where you are eloping, flying or even driving in your town, all of these factors will affect how much your elopement costs. Something to consider is how much your plane tickets will be and the cost of a rental car to get to your destination. Laying out each of these aspects when thinking through how much your elopement will cost, will help to determine if this location is feasible and how much of your budget will be dedicated to travel!
Here are a few elopement guides to help you start dreaming up the location you envision as your backdrop for your elopement day!
What are you hoping your experience to be like during your elopement? Maybe you are looking to have an adventure elopement where you go hiking, you’ll need to look for an elopement photographer who is experienced with adventure elopements (and I know a couple ladies that would be a great fit, *wink wink*. Click here to reach out to us!) An adventure elopement photographer is going to be a bit more expensive due to all of the pre-planning leading up to your day versus an elopement photographer who would be joining you at the courthouse for your elopement day. Other experiences to think through, would you like to fly on a seaplane, or maybe a guided jeep excursion and maybe even set sail along the coast. However you envision your day, you’ll need to think through the cost to elope when planning your experience.
3. Wedding Attire
I’m sure you have dreamed of how you would look on your elopement day since you were a little girl and your attire will play a big factor in your elopement cost. There are a few different avenues you can take when purchasing your wedding dress like buying a second hand dress or purchasing it off the rack. Second hand will save you money when thinking through how much it costs to elope versus buying a brand new dress off the rack and having that high end wedding experience. The same thing goes for a suit, are you hoping to rent a wedding suit or have one custom made for your best day ever? All of these factors will affect the cost of your elopement.
Looking for your dream elopement dress, head to my wedding dress guide and start dreaming up your best day ever!
When considering how much an elopement will cost you’ll want to look at lodging and the various factors that will go into your stay. Some factors that will effect the price of your lodging will be length of stay, location and size needed for your experience. I always recommend my couples stay at least two nights wherever they are going and encourage my couples to choose three nights so that you can get there, have a day to explore, enjoy your elopement and have a day to recover before checking out. Some of my couples will even use their Airbnb as a location to host their celebratory meal!
Want to see some of the best lodging recommendations? Check out my Airbnb Elopement Guide!
5. Vendors Needed
When you are thinking through how much do I want to spend on my elopement and the various aspects that go into your day, you’ll need to consider if you’ll want a photographer, videographer, hair & makeup, florals, catering, an officiant and rentals. You don’t want to have the sticker shock of booking your dream photographer and not being able to afford other aspects that will need to go into your day. Vendors will play a big factor when considering how much it costs to elope and planning your dream day!
6. Tipping Vendors
SO many of our couples have been transparent and have asked “are we supposed to tip you or not?” and that is why we are addressing that big question. We always tell our couples, specifically if you are working with our Between the Pine team (other vendors may have other opinions), a tips is never expected, but it is always greatly appreciated! Then that goes to the next question of how much should you tip? This really varies on the service the vendor is providing and what you feel comfortable with tipping. We have had couples give us a thank you note, we’ve had couples give generous gift cards to REI, we’ve had cash tips ranging from $100 – $1,000, and we’ve also had tips of thoughtful care packages with items that were from the couples home state. We want to express a tip does not always need to be monetary and it truly means a lot when a couple puts thought into it is really appreciated! A rule of thumb is if you do decide to give your vendor a cash tip, a minimum of $100 is going to be appreciated.
7. Special Use Permits & Marriage License
Depending on where you envision your elopement day, your special use permit can vary in cost from free to upwards of $200. Here in Washington our special use permits range from free to about $120 and same goes for Kauai. Your marriage license will typically fall under $100. These are elopement costs you will need to factor into your budget when planning your best day.
8. Group Size
When you are planning and elopement with just you and your partner, the elopement cost will be significantly less expensive, even if you have all the bells and whistles then if you have a group of 15. Depending on the number of people you have at your elopement, you’ll have to pay for food, permits, lodging, florals and more! Your group size is going to impact the cost of your elopement.
Check out my blog on how to incorporate friends and family into your best day ever!
The last thing to consider when planning through the cost of eloping is rentals. There are many different types of rentals you can incorporate into your day like decoration rentals, chairs, tables, plates, cutlery and more. Thinking through these things prior to your elopement day will help you determine how much this is all going to cost.
Real examples for how much it cost to elope
We wanted to include real examples from couples we have worked with in the past to help you envision how much it would cost to elope. These budgets are from couples I have worked with within the past four years and this is literally what they spent on their adventure elopement.
Trying to stay on the lower end for your budget during your elopement? Check out the cheapest budget one of our couples has ever spent on their elopement day below!
Looking for more of a middle of the road budget? Check out our full day elopement package that one of our couples booked and all of the aspects that went into their day.
Don’t really have a figure in mind and you want all of the amenities during your best day ever? Our two-day elopement package is for you! Peep what one of our couples planned for during their two-day elopement and all of the vendors that went into their day.
We hope this blog helps you plan through your cost of eloping
Your elopement cost will vary greatly depending on what you envision for your dream day! We hope this gives you an idea of what to consider when planning your elopement and a framework for helping plan how much it will cost to elope. Whether you are thinking about eloping or you are planning your elopement soon, we hope this tool helps you when planning your best day ever!