How Much We Spent to Elope

Many couples begin to consider an elopement wedding when they realize just how expensive a traditional wedding could cost them. By contrast, elopements are not only cost-effective, they tend to be lower stress affairs. Combine less cost with less stress, and an elopement begins to make more sense.

My wife and I were recently married on a beach in Southern California. We kept track of all of the expenses related to our nuptials. We then put them into the table that you see on this page.

As you can see, our elopement costs added up to less than four grand. That’s less than 1/4 of the average cost of a wedding in Idaho, the least expensive state for traditional wedding celebrations.

Our elopement included an experienced and professional officiant, a fantastic photographer, a wonderful after-ceremony dinner, and took place on a gorgeous beach near Santa Barbara, California. You could do far worse with a traditional wedding, and have a massive debt to go with it when it’s over. The catch: for one thing, there were no guests at our elopement ceremony. Only a witness – the groom’s sister – was in attendance (and perhaps a handful of dolphins secretly enjoying the ceremony from out in the ocean). Look over the table below to find out how much we spent to elope. We hope you’ll find this information helpful as you begin to consider your own simplified wedding ceremony.

Beachside Inn: 2 Rooms for 2 Nights445
Bridal Gown107
Bride's Accessories126
Bride's Hair, Mani/Pedi242
Bride's Ring527
Dinner for Newlyweds and Witness220
Gas, Food, Snacks, Misc.200
Groom's Haircut16
Groom's Ring395
Groom's Shirt, Tie, Accessories176
Groom's Suit321
Kids' Outifts, Shoes, Accessories56
Limo to/from Inn & Beach150
Lunches to/from Beach32
Marriage License110
Repair Bride's Father's Watch10
Wedding Night Treats33
Witness's Round-Trip Flight280