In 2020, eloping no longer necessarily means secretly running away to Vegas or sneaking into a courthouse for a hush-hush marriage. For many couples, eloping is a cost-effective, intimate, drama-free and unique wedding experience. With less pressure to focus on tradition and pleasing all the family members, eloping can be a good option for couples who want to keep it simple and avoid the pressures and obligations of a more traditional wedding. These alternative weddings are not necessarily spontaneous and unplanned, they are not done solely because of family challenges or conflicts, and most importantly, they do not mean enjoying any less of a romantic and memorable wedding. 

Thanks to COVID-19 and social media posts about creative solutions couples have come up with when they couldn’t have a larger, more traditional wedding, our cultural understanding of eloping has evolved. Out of necessity, many couples have significantly cut their guest lists and wedding parties, moved venues, canceled receptions, and completely changed their wedding plans for their own safety and that of their guests. This has led to many small and intimate weddings in outdoor settings with no reception and the couple heading off to easy-to-drive to honeymoon destinations. Even before these more elopement-esque weddings were done out of necessity, TikTok provided a platform for many photographers and videographers who specialize in elopements to feature their clients’ ceremonies. This brought awareness to the fact that the stigma surrounding the small ceremonies is outdated. Many videos have now gone viral and in a time where nothing seems ‘normal’, young adults are warming up to the idea of these non-traditional weddings and road trip honeymoons. They can be fun, less expensive, less stressful, and extremely romantic. This new practice of eloping is not transforming the whole traditional wedding industry, but it’s another great option to get married in a safe and intimate way, despite the pandemic, or a creative solution for those who simply don’t want a big wedding, regardless of the circumstances. 

So what do elopements look like now?

There are truly no rules or guidelines for elopements now. If you want to wear a ball gown in the forest with your immediate family and a friend who got ordained online, go for it. If you want to hike to the top of a mountain with your wedding party, get changed into special wedding outfits, and get married on a cliff overlooking the sea, that’s fair game. How about just standing on the deck of a gorgeous oceanfront rental home with your love and a justice of the peace or local pastor? The whole point of the alternative ceremony is to be centered around what the couple wants, not tradition, and to make the experience personal and memorable. 

Where could I elope or honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest?

In short, just about anywhere! We may be slightly biased, but the Oregon Coast has some of the most beautiful locations in the U.S. for your ceremony and your honeymoon. It truly is unique to each couple, but many elopements happen outdoors and have some amazing natural backdrops for your photos. On the Central Oregon Coast specifically, some possible locations include: 

As for your honeymoon, why not relax and enjoy one another in the beauty and comfort of a Sweet Home? Our Love Shack is a given for an intimate honeymoon in an adorable studio in Yachats that’s perfect for two newlyweds (and your pup, if you have one!). Looking for something with woods and an ocean view? A home sitting right on the rocky shore where waves crash spectacularly? Or maybe a gorgeous house on a quiet sandy beach overlooking the mighty Pacific? We’ve got a home that will fit your needs. Be sure to check out all of your options on our website. Most of our homes have oceanfront hot tubs!