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, when you elope it’s not about the stuff – it’s about an experience. And let’s be real – it will probably cost you less than a traditional wedding day even if you decide on the destination elopement of your dreams.
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.
Honestly – the definition of an elopement isn’t that it’s just the two of you. You can bring whoever you want. The key difference between a traditional wedding and an elopement is the feel and vibe to be honest. You can have a small wedding that is more of a wedding where the focus is on all the things. And you can have an elopement with your nearest and dearest and still have it be all about celebrating your relationship. Because that’s what it’s all about. Bringing your wedding day back to basics.
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 about your wedding – 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 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. Also – just saying your vows is just as valid as worrying about the paperwork!
Go – be free, don’t think you have to go down any beaten path
Seriously – the world is at your feet! You can go anywhere and do anything. Make it part of a two-week long road trip. Or spend a few days at an exotic beach house. Climb a mountain in your wedding dress. This is your adventure, and you can do whatever you want.
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, styled hair and makeup- and don’t feel that you have to have that either. 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 a photographer is not to be underestimated. Bring your photographer along for your whole day (or days). You won’t have this experience again, and make sure you don’t miss out on all the memories. Get in touch today, and let me help you with suggestions and ideas for your day. Being an elopement photographer is so much more than just photographing!
| Read also: How to choose the right photographer
I hope this addressed your concerns. Do let me know by email or comment below if there’s anything else you’d like me to cover. And don’t miss out on my elopement planning guide. It’s filled with everything you need to get started planning your dream elopement.