Modern eloping gains steam as affordable wedding option

    (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

    Are big, expensive weddings becoming a thing of the past?

    According to Jon-Paul Brown, founder of Elope Asheville and The, the national average cost for a wedding is now over $35,000.

    "Their average for the caterer is $70 per person. So, if you have a hundred people there, that's $7,000 just for the caterer," Brown said.

    But thanks to a local company in Asheville, couples are tying the knot for way less than that.

    Elisa and Jacob Jacobs-Thompson are just one of many couples who used Elope Asheville to plan their wedding day. After just two months of planning, they got married for less than $10,000.

    They told News 13 they chose this route because they wanted it to be more intimate--but saving tons of cash was also a bonus.

    "We used that money to pay off debt. It just made so much more sense for us," Elisa said.

    And they aren't the only couple choosing this easy walk down the aisle.

    Brown said in the 10 years that he has been facilitating these quick weddings, his company has expanded to numerous states and five countries.

    "The great thing about it is you can go to, let's say, Ireland. You can get married in Ireland, and for 10 days, air fare, accommodations, car, wedding, all included for less than $6,000," he said.

    Brown said eloping is no longer taboo. Instead, it's actually practical, affordable, planned in advance and, often times, more meaningful.

    "There is still room for the large traditional wedding, and we don't put those people down because that's an awesome thing if that's what people want to do for their whole family. But some people do just want to have a thing just for themselves," he explained.

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