Making Your Elopement Memorable

The wedding planning process can leave many people overwhelmed and ready to quit. Couples plagued by the stress of traditional weddings may find the answer in an unlikely place - an elopement. Sure, the concept is often stereotyped with visions of fake Elvis and extra booze, but elopements are actually on the rise. And they are much more than the “run away to Vegas” kind. These small, intimate ceremonies can be just as classy and elegant as a traditional wedding. To create the best experience, we’ve gathered a few helpful tips for planning a memorable elopement.

Paige Steele Photography

Paige Steele Photography

Find the perfect location.

A traditional wedding demands a venue that meets many requirements. This includes a set price range, date availability, and a space that will hold all invited guests. An elopement, however, allows couples to be married nearly anywhere they choose - a beautiful mountainside, a tropical beach, or the end of their favorite hiking trail. Follow your heart to a dreamy elopement in Hawaii or an intimate ceremony in the Redwoods. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit a quiet Italian villa or a colorful village in Greece. Feel free to use your destination as the beginning of a beautiful honeymoon. Staying local? Check out some reasons why you should elope in Colorado.

EJ Dilley Photography

EJ Dilley Photography

Select the right photographer.

Choosing to elope inevitably means cutting down on guests. Hiring a photographer will allow you to remember your day and give you gorgeous shots to share with those special people in your life. Some photographers work exclusively with eloping couples, while many others offer reasonably-priced elopement packages. As a bonus, most photographers will travel to your destination of choice for a small fee.

Autumn Cutaia Photography

Autumn Cutaia Photography

Dress it up (or keep it casual).

If you want to opt for a jeans-in-the-courthouse wedding, we won’t judge. But just because your wedding won’t be in front of your friends and family doesn’t mean you can't still dress like a traditional bride. Don’t be afraid to spend money on a beautiful wedding dress and flowers. Or, fly in the face of tradition and wear a bright dress, casual outfit, or fun attire. This is your day, and it should absolutely cater to your tastes!

June Cochran Photography

June Cochran Photography

Do your homework.

Make sure you check marriage requirements by state so you’re prepared for the big day. Different destinations have varying requirements when it comes to witnesses, marriage licenses, waiting periods, and officiants. Nothing would ruin a wedding moment quite like a missing piece, so do plenty of research before your big day! We’re probably biased, but wedding planners or day-of coordinators can be very helpful in making sure your elopement details run smoothly.

Stevie Rhiannon Photography

Stevie Rhiannon Photography

Consider an elopement party.

Eloping can erase significant stress, but it can also be a major source of guilt for many couples. These intimate events often exclude friends and family for the actual ceremony, but they can still be part of your celebration. Consider throwing an elopement party to commemorate your recent nuptials. This can be as casual as a backyard barbecue or a potluck, but provides a way for the important people in your life to celebrate your love.

Elevate Photography

Elevate Photography

Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. If you find yourself ready to run from the stressful, demanding process, consider taking the leap and really leave it all behind. Eloping can be as intricate as a traditional wedding or as simple as you would like it to be. Don’t let the stigma stop you from having the perfect wedding day.

Adrienne Coffey