SO YOU WANT TO ELOPE? HERE IS HOW YOU GET STARTED…
It’s settled: you and your partner want to get married in a special place far away. The question is: How to elope? Don’t worry! Eloping is a wonderful idea, and we’re here to guide you on how to get started with elopement ideas and planning.
Table of Contents
How to elope – Start with “Why”
Love is freedom…
Oh, it’s such an incredible feeling to be in love! Free from restraints or worries. You want to celebrate that love, and to a place that’s special and worth remembering for years to come.
First, arrange a nice, cozy evening with your partner and discuss your elopement ideas over a bottle of wine. If you don’t like a traditional wedding and are searching for something different, start by asking yourself what is it you are really looking for? Why do you want to elope?
For your unique adventure wedding, it’s best for you to know what you really, really want!
Would you like it to be just the two of you? Would you like to have your closest family and friends celebrating with you? Have you always dreamt of getting married on a mountain top, sharing this special place and moment with the love of your life?
How to elope – Step 1: Destinations and activities
Now that you have begun to follow your heart on the idea of eloping, you might ask yourself “how to elope?”. We suggest for you to start with the question of “where to elope” first by thinking about places you would absolutely like to go to. Would you like your elopement ceremony close to home, i.e. at your favorite hiking spot? Or would you like an adventure wedding far away and somewhere exotic? Have you always wanted to travel to an European city, or see the Nordic lights? Do you have a secret dream you never dared tell anyone, like swimming naked in a lake in Jamaica? Or have you fantasized about snowboarding in your wedding dress on your wedding day? Well, we have good news: your elopement can be literally anything you want. The answer to the question “how to elope” is totally individual.
Make a list of what activities and sceneries you would love to explore together on your elopement day in the dream places you have on your bucket list….
Start dreaming big, do not think yet about budget or any restrictions at this point, just have fun imagining a dream adventure wedding day for yourselves. Browse around, spin the globe and look for amazing sceneries and activities. You can check our pre-designed elopement packages for inspiration
How to elope – Step 2: Priorities & interests
Couples can have varying and sometimes opposite interests, so find a common activity you both can enjoy on your elopement. Whether you love skiing, or being on a beach, or you guys are climbers, whatever your favorite hobby is, you can incorporate it into your elopement. Perhaps you would like to have a winter elopement , but your partner is not comfortable in the cold. Maybe you would love to write and read your own vows , but your significant other starts shaking at the thought of having to write up a love declaration. Listen to each other, take the time to find a dream destination and program fulfilling for you both. And remember, your elopement day will be one of the awesome days to cherish for the rest of your lives.
Be inspired by our collection of pre-designed elopement packages that have a wide range of activities and places you can choose from for your wedding day. It is your day, and you can really do what you want. ANYTHING!
How to elope – Step 3: Timing
Deciding when you want to elope depends on many factors and is a very personal question. It greatly depends on your work and life schedule, and on the destination as well as activities you have both decided on for your elopement day. If you want to travel farther away, it is good to have at least a few months to plan your elopement, especially if you would like some guests to come along. If it is just the two of you eloping to a nearby place, you can be more spontaneous.
Do you have some special days, perhaps an anniversary, that you would like to commemorate? You can also agree on a preferred season for your elopement.
Have enough time to be able to plan the travel, accommodation and find the right vendors.
How to elope: Extending it with honeymoon
In the movies, couples are usually depicted driving away with the “Just married” sign at the back of their car. Honeymoon was then understood to be always right after the wedding ceremony. Nowadays, couples have the choice to plan their honeymoon separately from their wedding day. With an elopement, you can easily combine both your elopement day and honeymoon trip. Especially if you are eloping to a faraway country, it is well worth it to take a few weeks off to extend your elopement with an amazing vacation honeymoon.
Now that we have started off with our dreams, let’s get back to reality. It can be such a bummer when your fantasy doesn’t match your finances. But you can be as creative even if you’re cash-strapped and still end up with an amazing elopement package you’ve never thought possible. The good thing in elopements is that instead of spending all that money on a huge traditional wedding celebration, you have the option to invest in travel and an incredible program. Just think it through thoroughly, and remember: it is your wedding, your adventure.
Three’s a Crowd?
Is it just the two of you eloping? Or do you have a child or a pet? Are mum and dad coming along? Or your favorite aunt? Or your best friend? Maybe you think a handful of guests is too much of a crowd already? In the beginning stages of your planning process, you can always limit or expand the number of people you would want to come along on your elopement day. While eloping sounds like escaping to some adventurous place just the two of you, there’s no rule against bringing your favorite tribe to your dream place.
Legal marriage & symbolic ceremony
Countries have varying rules when it comes to a legal marriage. While it may sound like the most reasonable thing to get married legally on the day of your elopement, sometimes it’s not that easy. Some countries require a longer stay or a publication of the marriage intentions. Frankly, in most cases it’s quite some work, and investing so much time on the paperwork and other legal requirements for a legitimate marriage ceremony might not be worth the effort. Our best advice is for you to get legally married in your home country, while your symbolic elopement ceremony can be more meaningful as you reenact your exchange of vows in a more intimate & picturesque setting.
So you have taken concrete steps to make your wedding dreams come true. The next thing is telling your friends and family that you have decided on eloping. Prepare for some not so positive reactions, especially if you are eloping just the two of you! Understand that while eloping is a trend by now and might feel very natural to you, to others it goes against tradition and might be upsetting at first… Take the time to explain to them why you chose an elopement. If there are friends or family members that are opposed to this, just don’t take their first reaction personally. To avoid the drama, some couples decide to tell their loved ones afterwards that they have eloped. You can also decide to hold a little a post- or pre-elopement celebration at home (sometimes with a legal ceremony) to include your family & friends into your elopement experience.
Now that you have decided on where to go, it’s time to book your elopement package & vendors, flights, accommodations and also start planning on what to bring. If you book in advance, and do a bit of research, you might be able to find good deals. For accommodations, consider boutique hotels, Airbnb & camping – anything can be good depending on your travel style, comfort level and the elopement experience you are planning on. Whereas you are most probably able to book the travel by yourself, for accommodation it is already wise to get help from a local vendor, or ask us.
As for what to bring, it really depends on you and the booked elopement package, so best is to check out the individual wedding packages and talk with your chosen elopement expert.
Whereas it can be a good idea to hire an elopement planner, photographers can be just as good planners when it comes to your elopement, especially if you are planning on an adventurous activity. Our selected experts know how to take care of you and will be helping you with preparations.
Check out our other resources as well for elopement planning advice: