Tips for Planning the Ultimate Elopement

A bride and groom at their elopement standing on a beach underneath their arch.

Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone, and each couple has to make their own decisions when it comes to whether or not they want to have a big event to celebrate their marriage. In today’s world with weddings being a large financial and planning commitment, more couples are choosing to go a different route: elopement. Instead of a splashy ceremony and reception, couples are having more intimate ceremonies and ditching the party altogether, opting instead to put the funds towards something like travel or a down payment on a house. If you’re considering your own elopement, we’ve got you covered with some advice on making yours a huge success.

You Still Need to Set a Budget

You should still set a budget for an elopement, even if at first glance it seems like it’ll be incredibly easy to do on the cheap. Many couples who elope choose to do it during a vacation and still include certain components of a traditional wedding, such as a wedding dress and photographer. Map out exactly how much you’re willing to spend on your elopement at the beginning of the process to avoid blowing through lots of cash.

You Should Keep Loved Ones in the Know

Consider who you want to tell about this important milestone in your life, even if not everyone will be included in the actual event. Talk about your plan ahead of time with those most important to you. While not everyone may be onboard with the idea of your elopement at first, remember that you’re doing what’s best for you. However, be sensitive to others’ feelings and do them the courtesy of letting them know about your elopement ahead of time or, if that’s not possible, tell them personally after it happens and don’t let them find out about it via social media.

Think About Who You Want to Include

Along the same vein, think about who you’d like to include in your elopement, if anyone at all. Some couples choose to have just immediate family or a small group of family and friends there. Think about this for yourself and also consider how you’ll invite this group of individuals to the event if you don’t do traditional invites.

Choose a Special Destination and Venue

A man and woman at their elopement overlooking a river.

Consider eloping somewhere out of the box or exciting to make this event something truly special for you and your fiancé. Whether you’ve dreamed of a beach ceremony or saying “I do” on top of a mountain, it’s simpler to coordinate a destination event for just the two of you or for a small group than it is for a typical destination wedding. Much of the allure of an elopement is the ability to do it wherever you choose without having to ask many people (or maybe anyone at all!) to travel in order to celebrate your big day.

Decide if You Want Decor

Decide whether or not you will include decor for your elopement during the planning process. You can go either way on this, including as little or as much as you’re comfortable with. You’ll also want to consider whether or not you will have flowers in the form of a bouquet and boutonniere.

Hire Your Vendors

A young woman looking at her phone as she's hiring vendors for her elopement.

Even if you’re eloping, you’ll still need a range of vendors. You will need someone to marry you and likely a photographer. You also will want to decide where you’ll celebrate directly after you exchange vows—will you go to a restaurant or have a catered meal? You may also want to hire a ceremony musician and a glam team to get you dolled up before you walk down the aisle. Make these choices ahead of time to account for a seamless day.

Decide What Kind of Celebration You Want After the Ceremony

Many couples who elope opt to have a party with a larger group of loved ones some time after they officially tie the knot. These parties are typically devoid of a ceremony and are simply to share in this exciting time with those you hold dear. Consider whether this is something you want to do and whether you should allocate part of your elopement budget towards this affair.

Prepare How to Tell the Masses

Consider how you’ll tell your loved ones that you’ve done the deed after it’s all said and done. Will you announce it via social media? Or perhaps send out some sort of stationery that includes photos from your elopement itself? This is definitely something to consider as you’ll want to be thoughtful in how you tell people that you’re officially married.

Planning an elopement may seem like a breeze, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still decisions to be made for your version of a perfect wedding day. If you follow these tips, however, your elopement will surely be what dreams are made of.

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