Ready to trade the chaos of seating charts for the simplicity of spontaneous “I do’s”? If your dream wedding involves less fuss and more fun, then elopement might just be the aisle-less adventure you’ve been searching for. And today, our ultimate elopement guide is just what you need to craft the wedding of your dreams.
There is no doubt that elopements offer a unique and romantic way to say “I do” while avoiding the hustle and bustle of traditional ceremonies. If you’re considering this intimate route for your special day, you’ve come to the right place.
Why choose an elopement?
Elopements aren’t just a rebellious escape from the norm; they’re a curated experience, a deliberate choice to infuse your wedding day with authenticity. So, why elope? It’s not about ditching tradition but rather about crafting a celebration that fits your individual relationship and how you “love”.
Flexibility is another perk. What we love most about elopements is that they allow you to curate your wedding any way you want, free from the pressures of the age-old traditional wedding norms. Whether that’s saying “I do” underwater, in a hot air balloon, or on a majestic glacier, elopements allow you to be you – without the rigidity of strict timelines and traditions.
But perhaps the most significant advantage of elopements lies in their intimacy. Free from distractions, elopements allow you to focus entirely on your commitment, creating cherished memories in serene locations far removed from the chaos of daily life.
A simple elopement guide to unforgettable “I do’s”
Choose a date and location
The first step in planning your elopement is determining a date and finding a location. Most couples choose a location that is near and dear to their hearts. Maybe it’s a place they went on their first vacation together, or where the proposal took place, or simply a sentimental location.
But it can also be somewhere you’ve never been before, one you’ve always dreamt about visiting. That’s the beauty of elopements – it can take place anywhere you want!
Consider the season
One important aspect that you should consider when planning your elopement is the season, especially if you’re tying the knot outdoors. Whether it’s the warm embrace of spring blossoms, the sun-kissed hues of summer, the vibrant foliage of autumn, or the cozy charm of winter, each season brings its own enchantment to your celebration.
Make sure to do your research to know the best time for your elopement so you can take advantage of what you love about the destination. If you love the rustic hues that the mountains provide in the fall, research to see when the colours are at their peak. Or if wildflowers are your passion, you need to know when their blooms are the best. A good idea is to hire an elopement planner to help you navigate this part of the planning.
Research legal necessities
This is an important part of the ultimate elopement guide and cannot be skipped. Before finalizing your elopement plans, it’s important to investigate the legal requirements for getting married in your chosen destination.
Each province, country, and even individual locations like national parks may have their own rules and regulations that can include everything from marriage licences and travel visas, to permits for ceremonies and photography. So check the necessary requirements to make sure you’re prepared in advance.
Create a budget
Creating a budget is the compass that guides your elopement journey, ensuring a seamless celebration without financial hiccups. Beyond the obvious venue and attire expenses, remember to allocate funds for often overlooked but essential elements. Account for travel costs, permits, marriage licence fees, accommodations, officiant, photographer and any additional post-ceremony activities you may want to do.
Factoring in these details from the beginning ensures that your elopement is not only a beautiful experience but also a financially savvy one. Let your budget reflect your priorities, be sensible about your financial scenario and prioritize what is most important to you as a couple.
Hire your vendor team
Planning an elopement can be as simple as just whisking off to a location to say “I do” with none of the fluff of weddings. It can be as glammed up or as dressed down as you want – you can even tie the knot in your regular civvies if you want, with just an officiant and a witness! But if you want to gussy things up a bit, you’re going to need to find local vendors to pull off your vision.
As part of your elopement guide, research local photographers, officiants, florists, and other vendors to help create your unforgettable elopement ceremony. You can look for vendors who specialize in elopements and have intimate knowledge of your destination because they will ultimately have the best contacts and advice on making it perfect. But make sure to read reviews, view portfolios, and interview them to ensure they align with your vision.
Plan ceremony details
Personalize the ceremony to reflect your unique love story. Consider the vows, readings, and any rituals or traditions you want to incorporate because although you’re not having a traditional wedding, there are some elements you may still want to include. Remember that elopements are all about creating an intimate and meaningful experience, so focus on what feels right for you as a couple.
Post ceremony delights
Our elopement guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning what to do after the ceremony is over. Sure, your elopement will probably be a short ceremony, but the celebration doesn’t have to stop there!
After the “I do’s,” your elopement adventure is far from over – it’s just taken a different turn. Now, it’s time to savour the post-ceremony bliss. Consider embarking on a post-elopement photo session to capture the joyous moment, or indulge in a quiet meal for two at a special local spot.
Whether it’s a scenic hike, a cozy picnic, or simply basking in the glow of your newlywed status, the world is your celebration canvas. Don’t rush – relish these initial moments as a married couple, and let the magic of the day linger a little longer. The beauty of elopements lies not just in the “I dos” but in the endless possibilities that unfold afterward.