So you’ve ditched the traditional wedding for its more intimate cousin – the elopement. Congrats! And welcome to the cool kids club, friend. But before you start planning your big day, there are just a few things you should know.
Let’s talk all things elopement: florals, legalities, ceremony, and more. Here are seven facts about elopement that you should consider before eloping.
What is an Elopement?
An elopement is very similar to a traditional wedding – except more intimate.
Just because you’re going for an elopement doesn’t mean you need to forego the more traditional elements of a wedding. Yes, you can still invite guests. Yes, you can make the cake-cutting a part of the celebration. And yes, you can still splurge on that dress, baby!
The main difference between a traditional wedding and an elopement comes down to a few things.
First, the massive guest lists and seating charts are replaced with a smaller, intimate guest list. Or you could keep it a three-person party with just you, your partner, and the officiant.
Second, you’ll likely spend less on an elopement because of its scaled-back nature. That’s not a guarantee, though – especially if you decide to splurge on an exotic destination or gorgeous dress.
Finally, you should still plan out your vendors and support team. I’m talking florals, venue, and photographer. You still might need a few helping hands to bring your vision of your big day to life.
7 Facts About Elopement You Need to Know
Planning your elopement can be much more simple than a traditional wedding. If you’d rather invite just a handful of family members and close friends, an elopement ceremony will do just the trick. You can easily avoid the stress and chaos of a big wedding day by opting for a more intimate wedding instead.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking that you shouldn’t do any planning – you definitely should. Here are seven things you should consider:
Find a Solid Wedding Planner for Eloping
Just because you’re scaling down the size of your ceremony doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include some of the more typical features of a traditional wedding.
Wondering how an elopement ceremony works and how long it takes to elope? An elopement wedding planner can help you iron out those details and customize your elopement to your preference. Plus, they can help guide you through the steps to elope depending on your destination.
Know Your Legal Details
Every state varies in the legal requirements for eloping. You do need a marriage license to elope in every state. However, only some states have waiting periods, and each state has an expiration date on that license.
This expiration date is one main reason you really should take some time to plan out the details of your elopement. Make sure you know the legalities if you’re planning a destination elopement so that you don’t run into any hiccups on your big day.
Most Elopements Don’t Happen in Vegas
When you picture eloping, do you envision a shotgun wedding inside an Elvis chapel in Vegas? Yeah, you’re not alone.
While that’s the most common perception of what an elopement is, in all reality, elopements don’t look that much different than a traditional wedding. You can go for a full-on destination ceremony or a simple county courthouse elopement – it’s totally up to you! That’s the beauty of it.
Don’t Skip the Photographer
Your wedding day is one you’ll never want to forget. Whether you’re planning a courthouse wedding or a ceremony on a mountain with a breathtaking view, hire a photographer to capture those incredible memories.
But not just any photographer will do. Once you narrow down your location and date, look for a photographer that specializes in elopement photography. It can be much trickier to capture those very intimate moments, so choose a professional elopement photographer that knows how to perfectly capture those often-missed moments.
Accept That An Elopement Isn’t Everyone’s Cup of Tea
Although elopements are increasing in popularity (partly thanks to COVID-19), you should be prepared for the possibility that family and friends won’t share the same enthusiasm.
And that’s ok. The important thing is to create a ceremony full of moments that bring you joy. Whether you head to Big Sur or Coeur D’Alene, you can make your day perfect for what you want!
Do Your Research
Elopements may be smaller in size, but you’ll still want to do your research before you finalize all of the details. I put together a planning guide on how to elope in Idaho, but many of the details are the same regardless of which state you’re eloping in.
The good news is that you’re not the only one that’s eloping. Plenty of others have done it, so you can find elopement planning guides on just about every topic, including setting the mood (like boho or minimalist wedding style) and even how to pick the right vendors.
You Still Need a Budget
Sure, you might be saving some money by planning an intimate elopement for your special day – but you still need a budget.
Even though your florals, venue, and reception are scaled back, they can still be expensive depending on which vendors you hire. Plotting out a budget (no matter how small) can help prevent any added stress from overspending.
Capture Your Elopement Memories Forever with a Photographer Who Specializes in Elopement and Destination Photography
See, that wasn’t so hard, right? Now all that’s left is to book the perfect photographer that knows how to capture those beautiful, intimate moments.
Hit the button below, and I’ll work my camera magic throughout your big day so you can take beautiful memories home with you and continue to relive those moments long after your wedding day!