I love the romance and adventure of eloping – personal, intimate, beautiful – and it creates such a special story to pass down the generations. Yet elopement is no longer just for those who are firmly unconventional. Rather than waking up and packing a case on a whim, more brides and grooms are setting their sights on elopement months in advance.
It’s safe to say that the traditional understanding of elopement needs a shake-up – so let’s explore what eloping truly means in the modern day.
| Read also: Planning the perfect elopement
No longer just an event for two, eloping could include your nearest and dearest for a smaller and more intimate affair, or it could mean a last-minute decision to hotfoot it on holiday (or down the high street to the local registry office), just you two, together. Whatever you choose, it has to be right for you as a couple.
Then there’s the issue of cold hard cash. In the US, the average wedding tops $30,000. Over in the UK, the figures are even more intimidating – coming in at £27,161 (even the average guest spends £1015 simply attending!). In contrast, eloping can be as cheap as you make it.
But perhaps the best bit about eloping is that it’s all about you – just you, no tricky seating plan, no family politics, no possibility of transforming into Bridezilla without even noticing.
For the couple who elopes, there’s a lot to look forward to. But, if you’re thinking about taking the leap, there are also a few things to carefully plan beforehand…
A tick list for the couple getting set to elope
How to say “Surprise, we’re married!”
Even with the best of intentions, everyone, everyone has an opinion on your wedding matters – from the day chosen to the planned beverages and menu. It might even be why you’ve chosen to escape the age-old wedding stresses and strains in the first place. But here’s the thing – not everyone will be delighted by your decision to elope – so handle your announcement with care. DO NOT (even ever) CONSIDER letting your closest friends and family know by social media – it’s totally impersonal. Phone people, Facetime, invite them digitally to see the ceremony (if you wish). You could also throw a party on your return home.
The legalities – dotting the I’s, crossing the T’s
Before you race off to throw a veil in your overnight case you need to research the legalities. What papers do you need? Are you even allowed to get legally married in your destination of choice? Always contact the relevant government department if you’re not sure.
Go – be free, don’t constrain yourself to the most popular places
Sure, Las Vegas is fun, and of course Gretna Green is an elopement destination with heritage and history, but eloping could take you anywhere (so long as you tick off the point above).
Big white wedding dress or flower crown and bikini – do it your way (whatever that means)
Eloping is all about you. Do it in a way that reflects your personalities and style. Don’t feel as though you can’t go for the big dress, the dramatic hair and red carpet makeup. Traditional dress and vows are every bit as valid as getting wed in your jeans, putting your vows together on the plane and doing an epic hike to the top of a mountain for your nuptials.
As for a photographer – they’re a non-negotiable (perhaps even more so, when eloping)
Your wedding photos will be the invite to your day that many never had – the memories of your matrimonial vows for those who weren’t there. For elopers, the choice of photographer is not to be underestimated.
| Read also: How to choose the right photographer
And with that – your elopement education is complete. All that’s left is for you to pack your bag and go!