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The Knot Just Acquired Simply Eloped… What Are They Up To?

Published Wednesday, Jul. 10th, 2024

Newlweds pose with a happy smile outside in wedding attire and leather jackets, holding a small sign that says 'Just Eloped!'
Ready for some exciting wedding industry news? The Knot Worldwide is making waves with its purchase of Idaho based company Simply Eloped. (Photo cropped: pixdeluxe / iStock)

Is The Knot Worldwide preparing for a microwedding boom? 


The big news of the week is that digital wedding giant The Knot Worldwide (TKWW)  just purchased Simply Eloped: a midsize Boise-based wedding planning platform that specializes in elopements and microweddings. But beyond the usual worries of a Knot monopoly, we’re curious what they’re planning next…


The acquisition isn’t that surprising when you consider TKWW’s insatiable appetite for market share in recent years. The global tech giant has been unstoppable since its formation in 2018, when XO Group, The Knot Inc, and WeddingWire, Inc merged in a $933 million deal. The company currently owns several dozen brands internationally, including,, The Bump, The Bash, WeddingPro,, and others. 


Their aggressive positioning leaves little room for healthy competition within the industry, and the mega-group has been accused of engaging in questionable business practices to keep ahead of the pack. Just last year, Forbes published a candid piece on the “explosive allegations of widespread fraud” and deception that have haunted TKWW for several years. There’s a dedicated website for former Knot employees and whistleblowers to share information of bad practices, and they were even investigated by federal regulators, though no further action has been pursued.


Given their track record, it makes sense that TKWW might scoop up young competitors…


But why buy a smaller startup like Simply Eloped? Yes, the company provides a sweet and low-stress service, providing couples with complete wedding packages on a budget, including vendors and venues. Still, the wedding planning platform receives fewer than 20,000 visitors a month – a drop in the bucket compared to The Knot Worldwide’s collective 35 million monthly visitors.


Simply Eloped has grown quickly in its 8 years of business, and currently works with about 750 wedding professionals in 18 states. Their packages cater to elopements and microweddings with 15 to 50 guests, with an average cost between $450 to $5,500 per event (via PYMNTS). Co-founder Matt Dalley described the company as a “happiness machine” in his Linkedin announcement of the acquisition, and we see what he means.


But why not partner with a similar service that already has more reach, like Wandering Weddings, which specializes in adventure elopements throughout the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere; or Here Comes the Guide, with its nearly 400,000 visitors a month? 


The answer might be a sign of the times: shrinking budgets, a small-wedding boom, foolproof packages, and a focus on technology. 


Keep reading and you’ll see what we mean, and what it might mean for couples and wedding professionals. 



Two brides hold hands during a wedding ceremony outdoors in the forest, joined by a wedding officiant.

Photo: Tash Jones - Love Luella Photography / iStock

Some couples choose a small elopement ceremony (10 or fewer people) or microwedding (50 or fewer people) over a large wedding ceremony in order to save money, time, and reduce the stress that goes into wedding planning. The average number of people at a wedding is about 115 guests (ccording to The Knot), but that might be changing. 



Why did The Knot buy Simply Eloped? What are they up to?


So, why did TKWW purchase Simply Eloped? The Knot’s CEO, Tim Chi, said this about the company’s reasoning in his July 8 press release: 


 “We were excited when the Simply Eloped team proposed the idea of an acquisition to join our family of brands, as we have long admired the business…


Today’s micro wedding and elopement couples are increasingly seeking to personalize their celebrations. We are combining forces with Simply Eloped to provide these couples the end-to-end support and talented vendor network they need to make their dreams a reality, while introducing new business opportunities for vendors.” 


Simply Eloped Co-founder Janessa White mirrored this admiration in her July 8th statement on Linkedin

"We had a relationship with [TKWW] for years and really cultivated a lot of trust and awareness prior to the acquisition."


This sounds good, but we have to wonder if that’s the full story. Is it simply mutual admiration for the brand? Or is TKWW positioning themselves for a microwedding boom? 


Related: 10 Micro Wedding Ideas to Inspire An Intimate Ceremony



Are We in Our Elopement Era? 


Is this the era of elopements and small weddings? That’s what we suspect!


Why? Many couples can no longer afford a ‘full size’ wedding, and an increasing number of couples are opting for smaller guest lists to avoid taking on new debt just to get married. The average wedding cost is a staggering $35,000 these days, while a microwedding or elopement can be planned for $10,000 or less – and often much less. 


Related: Plan Your Entire Wedding at Target (For Less Money Than Your Last Vacation)


Business Coach and Wedding Officiant Bethel Nathan, who performs weddings in sunny Southern California, has seen this trend takeoff firsthand. 


“Many of us professional wedding officiants have long understood the draw for couples to have elopements and micro-weddings," Bethel tells us, "and this desire by couples to have a more intimate and also less stressful experience has only continued to grow throughout the pandemic into the current wedding year.


...As a result, it seemed inevitable that elopement companies would spring up – whether local or nation-wide – focusing specifically on elopements and what those couples are looking for.”


Yes indeed! By tapping into the small wedding trend, TKWW can reach a new dedicated demographic of couples, and one that has the potential to grow quickly in the coming years.


While wedding prices will likely continue to increase year-over-year, most couples’ budgets will stay about the same or even decrease, as rising housing costs and other necessities cut into their celebration funds. We suspect the small wedding trend is here to stay and microweddings may even become the norm – and TKWW might agree.


Related: Can’t Afford a Wedding? How to Get Married for (Almost) Free



Close up of bride and groom wearing colorful sneakers on the wedding day

Photo: Wirestock / iStock

Many couples want a wedding day that feels custom-made, without the stressful footwork of choosing vendors, venues, and coordinating services. 



Foolproof planning without the footwork


But size isn't everything! We can't discount how wornout many modern couples are. After a challenging few years, many couples are over the stress and expectations that come with wedding planning, and that’s probably where Simply Eloped really stands out from competing ‘small wedding’ sites like Wandering Weddings: they offer a custom-feeling event without the footwork of vetting vendors. 


With Simply Eloped, couples don’t have to handpick vendors, and they don’t need to hire a wedding planner or coordinator to make sure everything aligns smoothly on the big day. The packages are ‘foolproof,’ made easy and seamless with the use of technology. 


“Couples who did not place a high value on choosing each individual piece of their wedding...were able to get their entire intimate celebration booked from afar and with minimal stress,” Bethel Nathan says, describing the appeal of Simply Eloped.


And the approach even works well for vendors looking for a more hands off approach, she says: “Vendors looking to do more elopements and earn more wedding income were able to get many more of them without the hassles of having to do their own marketing or manage their own business and booking infrastructure.” 


Bethel adds, “Simply Eloped seems to have been built as a tech-focused company, just as WeddingWire was…so that approach fits in well with TKWW too. I expect that this will mean that the tech platform created by Simply Eloped to satisfy their model will have even more support in the tech-forward environment of TKWW.”


Related: How to Create a Brand Identity for Your Wedding Officiant Business


TKWW has a massive audience and a strong tech background, one that could help Simply Eloped expand its current offerings from a few dozen cities in 18 states, to a thriving national brand – and beyond. 


We’re curious to see what changes are made to Simple Eloped’s services in the coming months! As TKWW helps the brand expand its reach and create more online content and resources, we hope they’ll also provide new opportunities for a large number of wedding professionals – especially wedding officiants.


Time will tell! 


In the meantime, wedding officiants can respond to the changing needs of couples by offering elopement packages, marriage license signing ceremonies, microwedding rates, and by partnering with other vendors to create their own 'foolproof' packages for couples looking for low-stress planning options. 


Related: Officiate a Micro Wedding Like a Pro: Know Your Audience


Newlyweds smile at their elopement ceremony, posing in front of a steel garage door, embracing happily

Photo: LaylaBird / iStock



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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