Planning an Elopement
An elopement can help you avoid the fuss of a bigger wedding and be so romantic and fun. It can also be deeply personal and an experience that truly is just for the two of you (and maybe a few others). You can feel free to really get creative with your elopement. Still, there are some basic rules for planning an elopement, similar to planning a wedding.
Make a budget
Yep. You still need a budget when planning an elopement. Even though an elopement might not cost as much as a traditional wedding, you still have costs. These can include the marriage license, the officiant, your clothes and accessories, your post-marriage celebration (whether it’s just you two or not), and any vendors you need. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll have to include costs like your airfare. Regardless, know how much you’re comfortable spending, so the final price tag doesn’t sneak up on you.
Pick a spot
This is an extremely personal decision that’s going to be based on you two as a couple. Maybe you have an important restaurant that you always go to or an adorable bed and breakfast you love. Maybe you want to get married in a unique venue like a pretty cemetery (I know that that’s weird, but I swear it exists). You might have always pictured yourself getting married in France. Maybe you just want to get married in a courthouse. Figure out what your dream elopement looks like and then figure out what you can get for your budget.
Secure your vendors
No, seriously. You’ll still need vendors. This varies depending on what kind of elopement you’re having. Odds are, you’ll want a photographer and/or videographer. You might also have a cake maker or a professional hair and makeup artist. You might even have a wedding planner if you don’t want to take care of the details or if you’re having a destination wedding.
Decide on your apparel
This can be so much fun. You can always go all out with a dress and a suit. You can get as fancy as you want. You can also go more casual and relaxed. It’s entirely up to you. Wear Converse on your day-of if that is what makes you happy. Obviously, this sentiment is always true, but it’s especially true with elopements because you don’t have all the expectations of other people.
Figure out the legalities
What you need to do legally to be married varies state to state, country to country. If you want a destination wedding, you’ll probably have more hoops to jump through. Even if you’re in the US, you still need to be aware of what your location’s marriage laws are. Do some research to figure out what you need to do, and realize that some of these steps take time. Some places may have a waiting period. Be prepared by having all your needed paperwork ready.
Plan a post-elopement celebration
This can mean whatever you want. You can hold a bigger reception party for all of your family and friends. You can plan a small dinner for just the most important people in your life. Or you can just have a romantic experience just the two of you. Whatever you do, take the time to celebrate your new lives together.
An elopement can be a wonderful experience. Just make sure you are positive it’s what you want. Not that you can’t always renew your vows later, but you want to remember your wedding fondly. When planning your elopement, think carefully, and create an experience you’ll never forget.
Are you planning an elopement? What’s your biggest concern right now? Let me know in the comments!