Big weddings aren’t for everyone. Whether you’re looking to avoid the stress, save money, or are simply being spontaneous, getting eloped is the perfect solution for many couples. Every decision for elopement is a unique and personal choice, and can lead to beautifully intimate ceremonies. We asked the Weddingbee community to share stories of their elopement, and here are our staff picks!
1. Backpack Wedding
DH and I had been planning a backpacking trip through Europe when he mentioned we should just go ahead and get married while we were there. Neither of us enjoys being the center of attention so the idea of something intimate and personal appealed to me. We settled on a Parisian Elopement. I found French Grey Events on Instagram and Kasia arranged the entire thing. We booked a two hour wedding package.
I was lucky and everything I needed fit in my backpack! It was a cold and rainy day but it was so magical. After our wedding we took a romantic stroll through the Louvre and catacombs.
– submitted by cameobride
2. See You Soon
We met abroad while I was earning my master’s degree. After returning to the states, we traveled back and fourth to see each other over the span of several years. Fatigued from constant transatlantic flights and eager to be under the same roof we decided to elope, and skip the stress of planning a ceremony or trying to please every other family member who would be in attendance (of which, we could only name around ten). The trouble was an endless labyrinth of paperwork required to gain permissions to marry in his home country, and the discouraging cost of fiance visa applications. Then it hit us: why not spend that money on a trip to yet another country where we could be legally wed?
After narrowing down the options, we landed on a little, black, extremely isolated chapel in the beautiful western peninsula of Iceland. A mossy lava field along the shore with wild roaming horses — truly more than we could imagine! We hired a minister and found a husband-wife-photography-duo willing to capture our day for free! Keeping costs and pressures low, we decided to get ready together, walk over together, and close the night with our hotel’s signature courses and cheers of prosecco. We made plans to spend the next five days hiking and exploring the landscapes, experiencing Icelandic nightlife and culture, visiting art museums, and of course, swimming in the blue lagoon. Bidding each other goodbye in an airport without knowledge of when we might be together again is never a pleasantry — but, “see you soon” sounds so much sweeter followed by “my husband” or “my wife.”
– submitted by servingcrow
3. Secret Decision
We were two utterly broke college students who were about to move in together with real jobs for the first time. Looking at the cost to apply for each versus as a married couple, we looked at each other and went back to our respective apartments.
I changed into my prettiest church ready dress and he put on his suit. We stopped at a florist to get me a single rose and then headed to get a license and a justice of the peace. I used my class ring on his little finger and he used his class ring on my thumb for our wedding rings.
We then went out to a nice dinner, got a bottle of port and went back to my apartment to celebrate. We didn’t tell ANYONE until after the fact.
– submitted by bywater
4. A Hike to the Top
We eloped and it was amazing! For us it had less to do with the expense of a wedding (although recently attending a $75k hotel wedding that reminded me of 99% of the weddings I’ve ever attended did help drive that home) and more to do with how stressful, unnecessary, and depersonalized the wedding industry is.
We wanted our wedding to be an intimate celebration of a union, not making sure Great Aunt Linda has been picked up, the bridal party all has their matching accessories on correctly, or shoving in your family members’ religious/cultural ceremony so everyone feels happy- or feeling guilty for leaving them out.
For us, weddings have become too big and lost their meaning. Everyone is pushing you to buy and buy into their product to “make your day perfect!” To plan or hire planners for a year or more! That puts such an onus on THE DAY not the purpose of the day. I wanted my wedding to celebrate my partner and I, doing what we love, with just us and the Universe present so it stayed genuine.
We hiked a mountain with an ordained friend and his photographer/witness wife which made for a nice metaphor (although a bigger challenge than we originally estimated!). It was a beautiful, quiet fall day at peak foliage and no one was on the trail. I hiked in my dress with the bouquet and although we both carried moccasins to the top to wear for the ceremony, we went up in hiking boots. We sweated, got lost, sang songs, and took dumb vlog videos of the trek. Our ceremony wasn’t scripted. There was no right or wrong way for us to marry. There was no stress about the videographer being in the wrong place, the speakers malfunctioning, or saying the wrong thing. Our dog laid by our feet. We kissed, we cried, I threw my bouquet over the cliff, we hiked down, and grabbed dinner at a roadside brewery where people tried to figure out weird, sweaty, dirty wedding-clad party out. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
– submitted by leahbeeah