Updated: Oct 18
By: Natalie McGrath
So you’ve decided to elope. Congratulations! Many couples opt for this under-the-radar type of wedding for a variety of reasons: cost-saving benefits, less stress, and a smaller, more intimate experience. Nowadays, an elopement can refer to anything from sneaking away to the courthouse, to a quaint ceremony and reception for 2 or a micro wedding up to about 30 guests. While eloping can surely save you the hassle of a bigger wedding, many couples begin planning only to realize they have no idea where to start. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled our top five tips for getting hitched on the fly.
1. Don’t Forget the Legalities
Amongst the excitement and buzz of eloping, it can be easy to forget one of the main components of getting married: the marriage license. Of course, if you’re heading to the courthouse on your big day, this will likely be your main focus. But, if you’re dreaming of an elopement on a sandy beach or mountainside retreat, the necessary paperwork can be easily overlooked. Check the process for your state and plan accordingly. Many couples who opt for an elopement recruit an ordained friend or family member to officiate. However, you also have the option to book an officiant. It also may be necessary in your state to have a witness present. However you choose to go about signing your marriage license, having your ducks in a row beforehand will save you unnecessary stress leading up to your wedding.
2. Consider Your Wedding Party
When eloping, some couples opt to get married with just an officiant and witness present. Others may want certain friends and family involved. As a general rule of thumb, a marriage is considered an elopement if there are 12 people or less present. You may want your closest friends and family there on your big day! An elopement can still take place with a small group present for the ceremony and after-party to help you celebrate. For loved ones that are not present the day of, consider sending out a marriage announcement, or having a larger party afterward to celebrate!
3. Hire Your Vendors
One of the main reasons couples elope is to forgo the stress of a more traditional wedding. Although your wedding may be small, there are still various moving parts to take into account. Do you want to plan an after party or reception? Do you need help deciding on a location or photographer? Don’t overlook hiring professional help! A planner can help you get everything in order before your big day with minimal stress on your part. There are even companies, planners, and venues that specialize in elopements and can lend you their expertise.
4. Narrow in on Ceremony Details
You may be eloping, but it’s still your big day! You deserve to look and feel exactly how you’d like when you say “I do.” Do you and your significant other want to exchange rings? Are you going to opt for traditional wedding garb or something more casual? Are flowers your thing? The sky’s the limit. The point of eloping is to get married in a way that is uniquely yours. We recommend making a list of all the components you want in place during your ceremony (this is also something a planner can help with) so that your wedding day can go off without a hitch.
5. Enjoy Your Elopement!
Even when you're eloping, weddings can be stressful! Remember to enjoy your day, and connect with your partner. This may go without saying, but it is something that is often forgotten among all the pre-wedding excitement. Connect back to your core reasons for getting married, and remember to enjoy each other's presence! This is truly a day unlike any other; savor each moment, have fun, and feel the love.
Ready to book your elopement? Take a look at our newest venue, Simply Sweet.
Photo credit: @gabymariephoto