Elopement Budget Tips & Template

2022’s Guide to Epic Elopements

Elopement Budget Guide: Step-by-Step Tips & Template


There are a lot of reasons to love an elopement. For one, they tend to cost substantially less than traditional weddings. By virtue of a small wedding, you have fewer people to feed. You don’t need a venue with as much space, and you have more flexibility in terms of where you can tie the knot– it’s a heck of a lot easier to elope in a national park than to try to have a big wedding.


But how much does an elopement cost? And how do you budget for one? Most of the resources out there tell you how to plan a traditional wedding. To help every eloping couple… and everyone considering eloping, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to putting together an elopement budget.

What Does it Cost to Elope?


The cost of the average elopement can range from around $3,500 to upwards of $20,000. Eloping couples have more control over their budgets because each element of the wedding can be executed for far less money than a traditional wedding. You can splurge where you want to and save where you need to. If you want to elope for as cheap as possible, you can get married at city hall for as little as the cost of the marriage license (typically $50-200, depending on the location).


What does a traditional wedding cost?


In 2019, the average traditional wedding cost was $33,900, making it much more expensive than the most lavish elopements.

What to Include in Your Elopement Budget: The Complete Breakdown


What goes into an elopement budget? In addition to your marriage license, you’ll also need to budget for everything from accommodations to your ceremony to your wedding attire. When you’re planning any wedding–even an elopement– it’s easy to get overwhelmed by details, so let’s break down what goes into each category and how much you can expect to spend.


elopement budget template



Accommodations and Transportation


When allocating for your accommodations and transportations costs, you’ll want to include airfare, hotel rooms, and transportation in your budget. If you’re tying the knot in your home city, then you may only need to budget for a hired car. If you’re traveling for your big day, those costs can increase– with domestic travel, like a Las Vegas wedding costing less than an elopement in the Amalfi Coast.

Typical accommodation and transportation costs: $100-3,500


Ceremony and Reception


When planning your ceremony costs, you’ll want to consider the venue fee and any decor costs. You may also want to budget for an officiant or musicians/a DJ depending on your elopement ceremony plans.

You may choose to celebrate your wedding day with a small group of close friends and family, or you and your partner may choose to celebrate your special day just the 2 of you. When planning your elopement reception budget, you want to consider what kind of celebration you want. You’ll want to include any venue costs, food/catering, wedding desserts (will you be doing a traditional wedding cake? Or opting for something like cupcakes or macarons?), and decor.

Even with these costs, an elopement wedding tends to cost substantially less than a traditional wedding. For most elopements, you can budget $750 or less, whereas a traditional wedding venue can cost as much as $80,000.

Typical elopement ceremony costs: $0-750




There’s one of the largest ranges in terms of cost when it comes to wedding attire because the apparel budget depends so heavily on personal preferences. If you’re someone who doesn’t really see the value in spending money on something you’re only going to wear once, you might be able to pick up a wedding dress for $100 or less. On the other hand, you might have been waiting your whole life to drop $10,000 on an unforgettable, show stopping wedding dress or custom tux.

When determining your wedding attire budget, you’ll want to have a discussion with your partner to get on the same page about how much of your elopement budget you want to spend on apparel.

Typical elopement apparel costs: $100-$5,000


Jessica and Eric Wedding




Elopement flowers tend to be much more affordable than traditional wedding flowers. Your budget might start around $30 for a DIY bouquet from a local florist or the grocery store. If you want more formal, traditional wedding flowers, you can order them from a florist. You’ll want to account for a bouquet or bouquets and a boutonniere or boutonnieres for the eloping couple. You might also choose some sort of flowers for your witnesses or your parents/grandparents if they’re attending your elopement. The type of flowers you choose will also factor into the cost.

Typical elopement flowers cost: $30-$650




Similar to wedding attire, the ring budget is dependent on personal taste. Many eloping couples might opt for a simple wedding band. Engraving continues to be popular, giving couples the ability to inscribe their elopement date or a special message to their partner inside the wedding ring. Some retailers provide complimentary engraving services, and others may have an additional charge.

Typical wedding ring costs: $500-2,000


Video and Photography


Most elopement couples choose to have a videographer or elopement photographer to capture the big day, and for many, video and wedding photography can be one of the largest elopement expenses. Why? In addition to capturing the joyful moment from your intimate wedding, you can also share your wedding video or wedding photos with friends and/or family members who won’t be there with you.

While your elopement photographer might be the largest cost associated with your elopement (or one of the largest costs), it’s still about half the cost of a traditional wedding photographer.

Typical elopement photography costs: $2,000-5,000


Elopement Planner


An elopement planner can take a lot of the headaches out of planning your big day. As professionally, they know the ins and outs of planning a flawless elopement. You can find a minimalist elopement package that covers permits or you can find a more robust package that includes everything from your flowers and an officiant to a picnic reception.

For many couples, this expense ends up saving money in the long run because you avoid first-time mistakes when you’re working with an experienced professional. If you’re planning a destination wedding, for example, an elopement planner will already have an established network of trusted vendors, meaning you won’t end up ghosted by your florist or overcharged on your wedding cake.

Elopement planner costs: $1,000-5,000

Ways to Save on Your Elopement


Because an elopement is a more streamlined event than a 200-person black-tie dinner, you have a lot of flexibility in where you can save in your elopement budget. Here are some of the ways we’ve seen couples save while planning their elopement day:

  • Create a budget before you start planning. Otherwise, it’s easy to add a little bit here and a little bit there. Before you know it, your elopement costs have ballooned.
  • Find second-hand wedding attire. As a bonus, this option is environmentally friendly, too.
  • Stay flexible on your date. As you’re planning your elopement adventure, flexibility can help you save money on airfare, accommodations, and it can even make your dream elopement venue easier to book.
  • Work with a professional. An elopement planner can do more than rescue you from decision fatigue. They can guide you away from costly mistakes.


Use an Elopement Budget Spreadsheet to Make Planning a Breeze


We’ve put together a comprehensive wedding planning spreadsheet to help you come up with a wedding budget that works for you. Whether you’re elopement planning or (traditional) wedding planning, we’ve laid out everything you need to consider so you won’t be surprised by any overlooked costs.

Download our free elopement budget spreadsheet to start planning your wedding day. The worksheet breaks down all the costs commonly associated with a wedding. In addition to the topics covered in this guide (flowers, wedding attire, hair and makeup costs, rings, travel, etc), the worksheet also covers additional costs like the honeymoon and any other festivities (like a rehearsal dinner).


LAST UPDATED ON March 14, 2022



Our team of elopement planners, coordinators, and writers are happy to share their insights and expertise to help educate and inform those looking to elope. Their goal is to make your lives easier and spark inspiration! And when you’re ready to elope, they’ll be here to help you with your special day.

Jump to another section of the 2022 Guide to Epic Elopements:

Epic Elopement is a provider of elopement and intimate wedding planning services and can help you plan an amazing personalized wedding on a budget! Say yes, to an epic elopement.

Let us help you book your epic elopement today!

Contact Us