Picture this: You've just been proposed to by the love of your life, and you're ready to make all your wedding dreams come true! You take a deep breath, thinking about all the details you'll need to finalize to pull off the wedding of your dreams—the date, location, dress, food, decorations, and more. But what if you didn't have to worry about any of those details? What if you chose to elope and start your new life amidst a great adventure?
Eloping is a growing trend for couples who want to keep their weddings simple and intimate. And there are plenty of benefits to eloping that you may not have considered!
What is eloping?
The traditional definition of eloping is for a couple to get married without telling their family or friends beforehand. The couple would usually travel to a different location, often without any witnesses or anyone else present. This was mainly done to avoid family pressure or financial obligations and because it was considered romantic and adventurous.
In recent years, however, the definition of eloping has shifted significantly. Many couples now use eloping as an opportunity to create a unique and intimate wedding experience away from the hustle and bustle of traditional weddings. This could involve anything from having a beach wedding on an exotic island to getting married in the middle of a vast national park.
In a society that is obsessed with weddings that are big and flashy, eloping represents a return to intimacy and simplicity. For couples who want to focus on their relationship rather than on putting on a big production, eloping can be the perfect solution!
Why do couples choose to elope?
There are many reasons why a couple may decide they would rather elope than walk down the traditional aisle. Some of these include:
Ditch the stress & say hello to bliss - Elopements offer a more low-key wedding alternative that can be much less stressful. Because there are fewer guests and less planning involved, elopements tend to be more relaxed and intimate. This can allow couples to truly enjoy their special day without all the fuss.
Epic explorations - Eloping unlocks a world full of possibilities! Whether it be to a far-flung destination or into the heart of nature, you can use your elopement as a chance to create something extraordinary. Live out your dreams and make them come alive with your own intimate experience.
An intimate and sentimental journey - the small guest list means that each person in attendance is there because they genuinely care about the couple. This creates a more intimate atmosphere and allows the focus to be on the relationship instead of on entertaining guests. Second, elopements often occur in unique and beautiful locations, making the occasion even more memorable.
A drama-free zone - With fewer family members present, there's less chance of Uncle Joe getting into a heated discussion with Cousin Sarah or Great Aunt Mildred speaking out of turn after a few too many drinks! Of course, eloping doesn't mean you have to cut off your family completely. Some couples choose to invite a few close relatives or friends to witness their nuptials. But, even if you do have a few guests, the overall atmosphere of an elopement is typically much more relaxed than that of a traditional wedding.
Tips for planning an elopement that perfectly fits your style
Location, location, location
There are so many beautiful places in the world, how can you possibly choose just one?! Here are a few helpful pointers to consider when making your decision:
First, think about what kind of environment you want. Are you looking for a scenic mountain location or a beachfront paradise? Do you want to elope in a foreign country or stick closer to home? Once you've decided on the general location theme, start narrowing down your options. The perfect spot may have popped into your head as soon as your loved one got down on one knee, or this step could take a couple of weeks as you browse Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration.
Next, take into account the logistics of getting there. If you're planning on eloping abroad, ensure you have all the necessary travel documents. And if you're choosing a more remote location, research whether there are any transportation or accommodation options available.
Finally, consider the time of year you want to get married. If you choose a popular tourist destination, you'll want to ensure your desired date doesn't overlap with any major events. Or, if you're looking for a secluded spot for your ceremony, ensure the area is accessible year-round. Also, check the general forecast for your location during your chosen month so you can plan accordingly.
The big day budget
Although elopements are typically considered a cheaper alternative to weddings, it is essential to remember you will still need to budget for your travel, hotel, photographer, officiant, and marriage license. So, before making any final decisions, sit down with your partner and map out your budget.
Choose who has made the cut
Once you have decided on a location, it's time to determine who you will invite to join you for your special day. You can invite a few of your close family members and friends, or keep it simple with just you and your love, whatever makes you feel most comfortable! If you do choose to invite friends and family, remember to send out the invitations as soon as possible so that everyone can save the date!
No dress? Don't stress!
The beauty of eloping is that you can wear whatever you want. With nature as your backdrop, you might prefer a breezy sundress or maxi skirt so that the majestic backdrop dominates your photographs. Or, perhaps you feel most comfortable in some distressed jeans and an oversized t-shirt. There are no rules and no expectations, which can be incredibly liberating!
But if you do want to get dressed up, don't be afraid to do something a little different. If you're in an outdoor setting, ditch the heels for comfy hiking boots instead. If you're having a beach wedding, forget the dress and opt for a bridal-white swimwear ensemble. And why not leave the veil at home? A flower crown might be the perfect way to accessorize your outfit if you are going to be engulfed in nature.
Finding the perfect way to commemorate your elopement
Your elopement will be a special, intimate event that you won't soon forget. To ensure the memories last, hire an elopement photographer to follow you on your journey and capture extraordinary shots. With their help, you can document the story of your elopement uniquely. Plus, with beautiful photos, you can share the experience with friends and family who couldn't attend.
If you are having a few family members and friends join you for the day, why not equip them with Polaroid cameras so they can capture candid photos of your life-changing day taking place?
Another fantastic way to commemorate your big day is to purchase souvenirs from your elopement destination. Whether it's a postcard from the beach you eloped at or a painting of the city skyline, these mementos will help you to remember the amazing experience you had when you look back on them. Plus, they make great gifts for any friends and family who didn't attend your special day!