How To Have an Unforgettable Elopement
For some, a big wedding isn’t the right option. Eloping is a great option for those who want to forgo all the stress and costs of having a big wedding. In this article we are going to talk about how you can elope and have it just as amazing and unforgettable as if you are having a huge wedding.
What Is Eloping?
Eloping by definition is a marriage that is conducted without the knowledge of the couples family or friends. Usually, those who choose to elope only have a ceremony and don’t host a reception.
Why Do People Elope?
Some couples just don’t want to have a wedding. Weddings are expensive and often times stressful. For some, that just isn’t the way to do it. Maybe you and your partner are more spontaneous and want to do something unconventional. Or, maybe that couple wants to spend their money on something else, like a down payment or a luxury vacation. There are many reasons why a couple might choose to elope.
Figuring out how to elope can take the fun out of the whole thing and might cause you the stress you were trying to avoid. However, there is a simple way to go about it and we are here to help. Here are some things you should and shouldn’t do regarding eloping.
How To Elope
Now that you’ve decided to elope, let’s get into how to do it
Set a Budget
Just like a wedding, you will still need to determine a budget for eloping. Unlike a big wedding the cost will be much lower, but there are still costs. Chat with your partner and consider some numbers. How much disposable income are you willing to spend on this? Don’t forget to factor in unexpected costs.
Consider The Location
Do you want a destination or courthouse elopement? Throughout history and in media, we often see the soon-to-be-weds run off to a courthouse to have a civil ceremony. Many partners are eager to get married and choosing a courthouse elopement is pretty straight-forward. You can get your marriage license and get married in the same location. Going with the courthouse is pretty cheap but doesn’t necessarily let the couple be spontaneous as appointment is usually required.
For those couples looking for excitement and adventure, they may favor a destination elopement instead. This usually means more planning and higher costs as it is a trip and ceremony.
Decide On The Location
If you don’t go the courthouse route, consider the locations that speak to you. Maybe there is a place that is significant to you and your partner. Or, maybe there is a place you both have always wanted to visit. While looking for the destination, be sure to keep your budget in mind. When choosing a place to elope, pick something that will hold a special meaning for the both of you.
Look Into The Laws
The marriage must be legally recognized, unless you are more interested in a spiritual union. Be sure to research the legal requirements, local permissions, and any other guidelines you might need to follow. Do you need a license? How long will it take? Do you need a witness? These are questions you should look into before you leave for your elopement.
Book The Travel and Find Your Vendors
Be sure to book your travel and accommodations in advance to save money, time and stress. Once everything is booked, consult with an elopement planner in your chosen destination.
Start Planning the Ceremony
This is when you can start thinking about what you’re going to wear, if you are having rings, if you’re going to exchange vows, will you have a bouquet, and so on. Although you wont be walking down the aisle, you will still want your elopement moment to be special. Unlike a traditional wedding, an elopement allows you to do things your way, so have fun with it!
Are You Having a Post-Elopement Party?
Whether it is just the two of you or you plan on inviting friends and family to an after party, you should decide what your post-elopement plan is. Be sure to make reservations in advance or rent out a private room in a restaurant. Whatever you choose to do, plan in advance. If you are going away just the two of you, treat yourself to a fancy dinner.
Do’s and Don’ts Of Eloping
Do – Prepare For Your Friend and Family’s Reactions
One of the most common fears couples who choose to elope have is that their friends and family might be upset that they weren’t involved. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone will be ok with your decision. Feel free to tell the people in your life that you plan on eloping in an effort to minimize any hurt feelings. Avoid shocking your friends and family on social media with your elopement announcement. This will definitely stir up some mixed reactions. Tell them in person, and if anyone has hurt feelings, do something you know will make it up to them.
Don’t – Forget About The Legal Requirements
If you are thinking about leaving the country on a whim to elope, be sure to go to your local city hall and check everything off the legal to-do list. You will need an officiant and a witness to be legally married in the United States and many other countries. Don’t forget to get your marriage certificate before you set off.
Do – Hire a Photographer and/or Videographer
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you should forgo documenting the celebration. Look into hiring a local photographer so you can have footage of your special day.
Don’t – Forgo Budgeting
Having a budget is important and it is important to ask vendors their exact prices and fees before you agree on anything. Many people choose to elope because it is cheaper than having a wedding, but if you don’t set a budget and do the planning work, it can cost you.
Do – Choose Guests and Witnesses
You will most likely need a witness depending on your location. Although an elopement is often between the couple, there are no rules. Invite whoever you want. You can spare some hurt feelings too if you invite your close friends and family. A rule of thumb is to keep the quest list under 12 people. If you do plan on having guests, you will want to make some more formal plans because you won’t be able to have a huge crew of people in a courthouse.