You can save on time, money and hassles with an elopment.

Pixland/Thinkstock

Reasons to Elope

A private marriage ceremony means fewer expenses and hassles than its traditional counterpart, and you can focus on starting a life together rather than planning an event. You won't have to spend hours writing thank-you notes or planning a reception so your 200 closest friends can eat, drink and be merry on your dime.

Eloping can save a lot of money. What if you took that $24,000 (currently the average wedding cost) and deposited it into an interest-bearing account or invested it in the stock market? Kind of makes spending $300 for a wedding chapel package a little more attractive, doesn't it?

A private, civil ceremony allows greater attention to starting your life together rather than planning an event. For Sande Fowler and her husband, Branon Martindale, exchanging vows at the Henry County Courthouse in Georgia averted a possible family meltdown over religious differences, too. Anything else "would have caused conflict with my family, and I didn't want the emotional upset to ruin what should be a special day," Fowler says. "Granted, there's not much that's 'special' about a courthouse, but it doesn't have any negativity associated with it, either."

Fowler and her soon-to-be husband simply went to the courthouse after work one Friday, still wearing business casual attire, and wed -- with Fowler's 10-year-old son as the only attendant.