Is Eloping Selfish for Christians? How The Truth May Surprise You

Is eloping selfish for Christians? You may have been told it is, but what if eloping as Chrisitians was the best thing you could do to start your marriage?

As weddings have been postponed, rescheduled, rescheduled again, and even canceled, many couples are considering eloping this year. But can Christian couples elope? Is eloping selfish? Is it selfish to run away together and elope with no one there? Is that what elopement means nowadays?

All these questions may be running through your head as a Christian who already was or got engaged during this wild year, the year the Covid-19 Pandemic changed all of our lives.
Maybe you’ve dreamt of getting married someplace beautiful, but it didn’t feel like an option because you couldn’t afford to fly all your guests to a destination wedding, or you felt like you were obligated to get married in a church with the capacity to host your guest list and families. 
couple cuddling as the sunsets behind them who decided eloping isn't selfish for them as christians

When I first considered “is eloping selfish for Christians” I thought it was. 100%

Let’s roll back to my father joking he’d give us $500 to elope instead of planning a traditional wedding. This was back in 2010 when Pinterest just launched and only the wealthy could afford to go to epic places for destination weddings. Regardless, my adventurous heart daydreamed of getting married at the top of our local mountain and snowboarding down. To which my mother promptly replied, “it will be too cold for grandma.” Being young, 20 years old, I gave in to the pressure to please my family and have a traditional church wedding, which we decorated as if we were in a forest… It’s clear my need to be outside for a January wedding wasn’t going to get foiled because I had to stay indoors.

As Christians, it’s part of our beliefs to consider others before ourselves.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 NLT

The Real Consequences of Not Eloping: My Marriage

couple considering "is eloping selfish for Christians" decided it wasn't and eloped by waterfall

While we’d all agree that choosing my grandmother’s comfort over my own desire is being thoughtful and considerate, but what wasn’t being considered at that moment was my future marriage.

When I really considered is eloping selfish as Christians I realized I was asking the wrong question. I should have been asking is this marriage about our guests or us?

Flash forward to today, 2020, I still wish we would have had that adventurous mountain top wedding, gave grandma a warm coat and blanket, and said, “Today is about us getting married. We’d love you to be here, but today, our wedding day, is about setting the tone for our lifelong relationship and union, and we only get to experience this moment once.”

You see, while it may be easy to think that elopements are selfish, from a religious standpoint, they aren’t. Especially when you define them as I do, as an elopement wedding photographer myself. They are wedding days centered around and in celebration of the couple themselves, as opposed to being centered around an elaborate ceremony and hosting guests. That’s it.

Is Eloping Selfish for Christians? Or Is It Calling Us To Remember The Meaning of Marriage

couple snugging at sunset as they contemplate "is eloping selfish as christians"

As you consider “is eloping selfish as Christians” I’d encourage you to start with a different conversation of how can our wedding day be about our marriage.

What more beautiful way to start your marriage than to center your wedding day around the religious ceremony: the union of you and your spouse versus catering to the guests attending — being concerned with meal counts, whether dancing is allowed, and how many seats you can fit into your church building.

While you certainly can celebrate with friends and family too, I truly believe that your wedding day, your marriage, and especially the religious ceremony should be centered around your union and your story. At the end of the day, it’s about the couple and the life they are building together with God at the center.
Wait, but what about having a community around you and your “tribe” giving their commitment to support you on your wedding day? The ceremony should indeed be sacred–about the couple and their bonds together between them and God. But then you can still have that party with everyone, inviting your community to come around you and celebrate your union. Celebrate the guests later, but first, make your wedding day about your bond with God and to each other.

Embrace Your God Give Passions

couple happy because they decided eloping as christians isn't selfish with groom picking up bride in the mountain field
Do you love the outdoors? I believe there is a reason for that, there is something so pure and unadulterated about the great outdoors. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt closer to God outside than I ever did inside a church building. So, why should we live under this pressure of tradition to get married inside a building built by human hands made to shelter church attendees from the weather when we can enjoy the splendor and majesty of creation itself on our wedding days? We have the option to be outside doing the things we love, like snowboarding down a mountain.

Get Creative

couple snuggling after elopement in mountain
How to tie it all together though? How can we practice putting others before ourselves, but also making your wedding day centered around you and your spouse? First, consider your ceremony–what do you feel would honor each other and God the most for your ceremony? Where have you felt the closest to God? Maybe for you, that is inside a church building, which is perfectly fine. If you’re like me, it’s where you felt the breeze through your hair and knew and felt the love of the God of the universe holding you in his hands. There is no right or wrong answer, there is only allowing room to consider what is best for your future marriage versus what is best for a room full of guests who can celebrate with you, again, later, after your ceremony.

Wondering how to navigate eloping during the pandemic? Check out our guide!

Ready to start considering an elopement wedding?

Check out our guide about how to elope

Or for a better understanding what is an elopement truly is check out our guide or see elopement timeline examples to get a good idea! Or head to our how to make an elopement special guide!

And if you’re ready for some inspiration check out our best places to elope or our favorite airbnb wedding venues in Colorado!

Or Take Our Quiz

Want to make sure eloping is really for you? Check out our for you? Check out our free should I elope quiz!

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Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.

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