Elopements: A Before-The-Fact Guide
There are the couples who want to have that big, white wedding… and those who prefer to skip the complexities of planning said big white wedding by eloping. By definition, to elope is to “run away secretly in order to get married”, which is an incredibly romantic way to marry the love of your life!
THE MODERN ELOPEMENT:
A New Approach To An Intimate Wedding
In traditional society, elopements used to be frown-upon affairs that, for a variety of reasons, excluded family and friends from the ceremony and festivities. Luckily the meaning of “elopement” has changed over time into a unique alternative wedding option, without the rushed and secretive aspect. Modern elopements are typically smaller and more intimate, which means that you can include as many close family and friends as you want without the stressful obligation of planning a traditional big white wedding!
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR:
Before you rush off into the sunset, here’s a few details that you can keep in mind and plan for to make sure that the occasion runs smoothly:
Whether or not finances are a factor in your decision to elope, setting aside a specific amount that you’re willing to spend on an elopement is a good starting point. Things to plan for may include transport/travel, hotel, reservation expenses, and the investment in items such as rings, wedding outfits, and photography services (all of which depends on your specific plans).
If the idea of simply ‘making it official’ at the courthouse or running off to Las Vegas seems too predictable for you, just remember that there are nearly infinite options for places to elope to. Maybe there’s a beautiful National park or landmark that you’re both fond of, or a place that you both want to visit. You can make it even simpler by looking for hotels and venues that offer elopement packages.
Depending on the location and region that you want to elope to, keep in mind that there are a few logistics, such as a permit and marriage license, that you’ll need to take care of in advance. And since not all places recognize self-officiated marriages, make sure to hire an Officiant!
Speaking of the legalities, you definitely want to read up on the marriage laws and guidelines of the state and country that you plan on eloping in. For example, some states may have rules about how long you have to wait to get married after getting your license, or you may be required to present a witness.
If you want to exchange rings in your elopement ceremony, be sure to plan for the time it will take for ordering and fitting.
Vows are something that you’ll want to put some time and effort into, so be sure to plan for this if vows are a tradition that you want to include in your elopement.
GOOD-TO-KNOW VENDORS AND SERVICES:
Did you know that you can actually hire someone to plan your elopement and take care of all the logistics for you? Once you’re aware of it it’s an option to consider, especially if you want the occasion to be as carefree as possible.
Your Wedding Look:
While one of the major pros of an elopement may be the absence of the usual pressures of wedding planning, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a completely casual affair. No matter how subtle and quiet you want the day to be, it’s still worth taking a few weeks to plan special attire. Whether you decide to go formal or casual is completely up to you.
In general a non-traditional wedding shouldn’t exclude you from having the customary experiences of visiting a bridal boutique, finding the perfect dress, and looking like your most beautiful self on your wedding day
The same goes with details like florals and Hair and Makeup appointments – go as simple or as complicated as you want to make sure that you look your best.
Capturing The Moment:
The day will be special, intimate and unique to you as a couple, and definitely something that you’ll want to look back on and remember. Booking a Wedding photographer to capture the important moments of your elopement will make sure that you have something to look back on and show your family and friends, while adding an element of fun.
The Announcement & Celebrations:
The announcement of your elopement is inevitable, and there are many creative ways of going about telling your loved ones. How you break the news is entirely up to you, though we would suggest erring on the personal side by doing it in person or on the phone. Some couples even throw a casual party for close family and friends, which is a great time to show your appreciation for their support of your decision.