We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
If you are ready to go on an adventure, feel empowered, or learn how to level up your business, we are your girls! So.. what are you waiting for? Let's do this thing!
It’s no surprise that the average couple can spend more than $30,000 on their wedding day. The venue, catering, flowers, photography, it all adds up pretty quickly! When it comes down to it, some couples even decide to take out loans to pay for their big day. We decided to really dig deep into the cost of an Indiana Wedding and compare that to what you could get with an elopement at some of our favorite locations! So without further delay, an Indiana Wedding Cost Vs Elopement Cost in one of our favorite locations!
Although budget is not everything, we do believe it factors into what many couples decide to do for their wedding day!
According to Martha Stewart’s article on the price tag of weddings in each state, a typical Indiana wedding costs about $22,090. This includes the price of flowers, dresses, tuxedos, food, photography, venues, and a dj. They explained that many couples likely spend the most on food (the average cost being about $4,270).
According to The Knot’s 2019 Global Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding for the United States is about $29, 200. This report even went on to say that many Americans take out loans or credit card debt to cover their wedding day costs.
We decided to see what sort of epic elopement we could come up with for less than half of the amount of the average wedding cost in Indiana! Let’s see what we come up with, shall we?!
First, we need to pick a location! We decided to choose a place that offers beautiful scenery, year round! (And of course it is our fav. place, too!) The beautiful, Estes Park, Colorado!
It is no secret that the Rocky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places to elope! There are an abundance of locations to choose that are only a short car ride away from Estes Park, Colorado! You can choose from waterfalls, lakes, rock ledges, and even open meadows! I really don’t know how we will even choose for this simulation 😉
First off, a permit to get married in the RMNP is only $250! Let that sink in a bit when compared to all of the barn wedding venues in Indiana!
So for only $250 dollars you could choose the 3M Curve (best mountin views), Sprague Lake (easily accessable), or even Upper Beaver Meadows (gorgeous mountain views).
Okay, we have a location picket out, now lets add airfare and an AirBNB or local hotel.
For the fall, we found tickets for flights for about $300 – 400 per person. We think that fall is the best time to go, but honestly, anytime you go is best!
There are so many great places to stay in Estes Park.
You could stay HERE at this cute AirBNB for 4 night for $1,036 total
Or at the Ridgeline Hotel (we stayed here!) for a total of $500 for 4 nights!
Or stay at the historic Stanley Hotel for a total of $1,196.
Okay, so far we have spent about a total of $1,550 and we already have our plane tickets, our permit for elopement, and a place to stay!
Did you know in Colorado you can self-solemnize? You actually don’t even need an officiant! That means you can actually perform your own marriage ceremony! Talk about exchanging your vows in the most intimate way!
This also means that you’ll be responsible for acquiring, completing, and returning the license to marry to the appropriate county office of the clerk and recorder. (Don’t worry, we will help you with all of that!) But, for short, you and your significant other will just sign as your own witnesses and sign where the officiant would typically sign!
Marriage License: $30.00
After your full day hiking and eloping you will probably want to go somewhere super nice for dinner! A few options are listed below! Let’s reserve a couple hundred for dinner so that you and your lover can splurge on a fancy bottle of wine!
The View Restaurant at the Historic Crags Lodge
Seasoned, An American Bistro
Twin Owls Steakhouse
So now we are only at $1,780! Let’s find you a fancy dress, because let’s be honest, no elopement is complete without a GORGEOUS gown to go with!
How about a beautiful Hailey Page dress? You could truly find your dream dress due to saving on a venue amongst other things! This HP dress is about $3,000 but we found it half off at our local bridal store, Sophias Bridal!
Okay, so now that we have allllll of the above mentioned for less than $5,000 it is time to use the rest of the money to plan some fun activities!
You’ll def. want to go to The Stanley Hotel Night Tour (Ghost Tour). They are $25.00 a piece! You’ll get to see some of the historic architecture, folklore, and listen to a story teller talk about all of the haunts! Although we didn’t see any ghosts, it is pretty common to see them (if you believe in all of it 😉 )
You’ll also want to walk around downtown and enjoy the local shops and eat the candy from The Taffy Shop!
But, let’s be honest. The reason why we keep going back to Estes Park is the hiking! We suggest waking up early to get prime parking spots and enjoy a much less crowded hike! You’ll also want to check out Trail Ridge Road! It is one of the most beautiful roads with views on BOTH sides. It’s highest point is at 12,183 feet! There are plenty of stops along the way to take photos as well. It is usually only open between June and October (weather permitting). So check that it is open before you go!
Or maybe you want the experience of a lifeitme to go camp on a cliff in Colorado?! This AirBNB experience tkaes your on a hike where you can literally set up your campsite in the sky!
So before you go, you’ll also want to secure a photographer! We would love to help plan your dream elopement! Click here to view our elopement packages!
Okay, there ya have it! We officially just planned your dream elopement waaaaay under half the average cost of an Indiana Wedding! Plus you have plenty of money left over to put money down on a house, buy a car, or even go on another honeymoon! Now lets get our hiking boots and have an elopement of a lifetime!
We hope you enjoyed our blog about an Indiana Wedding Cost Vs Elopement Cost in Estes Park, Colorado!
Sam + Bryt