If you look for definitions of Elopements on the internet, you will find a lot: the act of leaving home secretly in order to get married; for a married woman to runaway with a new lover.
Big weddings became the standard and elopements were for people who wanted to do something quickly.
Summarized, Elopements tended to describe marriages conducted in sudden and secret, usually involving a Destination flight away from one's place of home together with one's partner with the intention of getting married.
The definition has changed as nowadays the term Elopements can be used more widely.
Today Elopements are "a small wedding away from one’s residence". Its no longer a marriage performed in a hurry, in secret. It’s a Destination Wedding, intentionally small and intimate that allows more emphasis on the points that are important to bride and groom: the destination, the period of the year, the food, the kind of ceremony and where to be held, the commitment between them.
What can still be valid today might be the reason to avoid family, cultural or religious objections.