Elopements can be done in different ways, it can be a quick visit to city hall, it can be with a few of your closest or (my favorite) it can be just the two of you abroad. So Elopements can still be a lot of questions and need some planning. So here is, what I hope is a little help if you are thinking about eloping.
B E F O R E T H E E L O P E M E N T
Be sure to check what the law says and the permits you need before going. If you are elopeing abroad it is really important that you do things right so you actually end up married. Often the most easy way is to get married in a city hall before you are eloping but still have a beautiful ceremony in that country. A tip is to do a law-to-do-list.
Just the two of you, or?
You need to think about if you want to elope all by yourself or if you want the closest friends and family to join you. Only you can deside what feels right for your love story.
Why couples chose to elope it's various, some feel shy just to think about being watched by many people, some do it to get married on a budget (not all elopements need to be cheap though!), they have some tricky family situations, love to travel or it just seems normal to celebrate their love on their own. As long as it feels right for you, it is right.
I think there are many out there who would have prefered to elope, but didn't do it because they would have felt guilty. Please don't. Do what feels right for you, listen to your love story. So if you want to elope just the two of you, it is the right thing to do. If you change your mind along the way and want to best friend to come with, that is okey. It is your wedding day. You shouldn't feel like you have to justify it to anyone.
But you also need to be prepared for your family and close friends reaction. Not all will be happy to miss your wedding day. Here are some tips how you can handle it:
Don't tell people via posting on social media. Take it in person.
If you elope because you want to have your wedding day together but don't feel the pressure with a party. Have a post marriage reception?
Show a slideshow with pictures from the wedding day.
Instead of a save the date card - send a "we got married" card.
Here are the best part about elopements. There are no rules! It is your day, so you can do what ever you want. But make sure to splurge on the items that are most important to you and your fiancé. You can look for a venue who does it all, or you can decide all on your own. Maybe a wedding ceremony standning on a cliff and then dinner on a resturant.
A wedding planner?
If you do a elopement abroad I would 100% recommend to hire a wedding planner. Because they will know about how it all works, and if you hire one in the country you will be in they will know even more. It is a lot to think about, rings, vows, hotels, travel plans, clothing, photography, flowers, hair and make up. Even if you are elopeing the details are so important, so together with the wedding planner you can really pay attention to the small things. Imagine a beautiful table, set up on a balkony in beautiful Tuscany, only for the two of you. Dreamy. Treat yourself with something extra luxurious.
Hire a wedding photographer
This is close to my heart of course, but hire a professional photographer. It is the safest, best, most luxurious way to save your memories. It will be something you can look back on forever. You can hire a photographer at the place were you are getting married, or today most of the photographers travel. So choose the photographer you love, both the pictures and his/hers personality. I think for an elopement it is even more important (if that is possible) to have a photographer you really love as a person, beacuse he/she will be closest to you on that day.
Y O U R W E D D I N G D A Y
I know that the moment when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony is magic. Pure heart. But you can also choose to get ready together. Just being close all day. It is something really special about that.
The wedding ceremony
This is the most amazing thing about elopements, only your imagination can stop you! You can choose to get married on a mansion in Italy, standing on a cliff in New Zealand, with the toes in the ocean in Cape town, in the pavilion in Central park, in the heart and life of London or under a beautiful tree in your garden. Pick a location that means something to you, to make it extra special. Perhaps were you first meet, were you/he/she proposed or a place that just makes your heart beet faster. Make it purposeful when you choose were your ceremony should be. You can skip wedding venues, you can be totally free. Hurray!
And if you already have married back at home, anyone can be your clergyman/wedding registrar, to make your day extra special.
Dinner and party
Same as the rest. Haha! Do whatever you like. Do you want a venue that have it all? Or do you want to eat at your favorite local restaurant? Do you want a picnic? Or an intimate dinner for two on a balkony? Decorate to make it incredibly beautiful and focus on the food. Enjoy the most tasty food and desserts. Celebrate your love story!
And party for you might be a club, to sit in a hammock against each other and look at the stars, taking a walk or playing board games with you friends. But make it a day to remember.
T R A D I T I O N S
To finish I want to say something that I say you all my wedding couples: question the traditions. Plan your wedding with a purpose that it should be you. If you don't want t wedding bouquet, then you don't have to have one. Or you can make one out of jewelry. If you don't want a wedding cake, HELLO free candy for everyone! Or 7 different desserts for the indecisive. You and your love decides.