How to Make Your Elopement Still Feel Like a Wedding

A bride and groom standing on a beach at sunset.

Your elopement deserves to feel special. While an elopement isn’t a “typical” wedding, it’s still a wedding and deserves to feel like one! Because an elopement is so small and intimate, you might be having trouble with knowing how to make your elopement feel as connected and celebratory as a traditional wedding. Don’t worry! With our helpful tips below, you can make your elopement feel just as meaningful, romantic, and exciting as a wedding—if not even more so!

Choose a Venue that’s Special to You

A venue, or a location, sets the tone for your big day. Since your elopement involves just you and your partner, it’s important to select a place that’s special for just the two of you. Maybe it’s the site of your first date, or the beach where you said “I love you” for the first time. Select a location that’s meaningful to your relationship to add that extra special touch.

Plan Your Day

While you might not have a group of people involved in your wedding, you should still take the time to plan out your big day. When will your day start? Will you and your partner spend the morning together, or will it be more traditional where you spend some time apart as you prepare? Also, include how you want your ceremony to go. That’s the most significant moment of your wedding. What do you want it to look like? How do you want it to feel? Are you going to have a religious or spiritual ceremony? Will you write your own vows? When it comes to post-ceremony, decide on how you and your partner will celebrate. Will you go out for celebratory burgers and fries, or will you have a sit-down elegant dinner? By planning the day of your elopement, you’re ensuring that your special day feels just that.

Make a Day of It

A bride and groom sitting on the beach looking at the ocean.

As you’re planning your day, consider making a day of your elopement. Often, couples believe that elopements are short-and-sweet affairs, but that needn’t be the case! Make a day of your special day. Plan a relaxing morning with a massage or a hike, then end the day with a gorgeous dinner and a sunset walk on the beach. Make the most of your time together.

Select an Officiant You Connect With

When you elope, usually the only other person present is your officiant—which is why it’s essential that both you and your fiancé connect with them. Are you comfortable with a justice of the peace or a stranger marrying you, or would you prefer to have someone you know do the honors? Whoever you decide upon should feel personal and right to both of you.

Hire a Professional Photographer

A bride and groom on a beach at sunset during their elopement.

Even though your day involves just the two of you, you will still want it to be documented as professionally and beautifully as possible. After all, your wedding photographs are long-term memories of the day, and allow your loved ones the opportunity to witness it. If you’re on a tight budget, consider hiring a photographer for a few hours, only covering the most important aspects of the day like the ceremony and a first look.

Have a First Look

The first look is a lovely wedding tradition that doesn’t typically occur with elopements since often the bride and groom are getting ready together. However, consider getting dressed and ready for the ceremony apart so that you can share in this beautiful moment that will make your wedding feel all the more special.

Have Loved Ones Send their Well Wishes

Just because your friends and family aren’t there with you in-person doesn’t mean their well wishes and love can’t be! Ask your loved ones to send sweet emails, text messages, and letters to be read on the day. If you’re comfortable with the idea, livestream your vows so they can watch via FaceTime or Zoom, or call them after your ceremony is over. Find the little meaningful ways that can allow your inner circle be a part of your wedding.

By including some of the traditions of big weddings, and choosing to see your elopement as special as any other wedding, you’ll easily be able to make your elopement feel like the wedding of your dreams.

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