Okay, so you said “YES!” and decided you would rather elope than have a big wedding. But now you are wondering… how the heck does one elope? That is a fabulous question and one I would love to answer it for you. I love helping my couples discover how to elope their way. I am so excited to share a little of that wisdom with you!
There isn’t one size fits all when it comes to eloping. Since they are normally such intimate events the options are honestly endless. This can be super overwhelming when you first start to think about it, but once you realize that just means you get to customize it to whatever you and your lover want… That’s when the magic happens!
This blog is meant to help you narrow down all those options and craft an elopement day unique to you and your lover. So let’s get into it.
How to Elope: Where Do We Start?
First off, I always recommend taking an evening and having a date night with your lover, whatever that means to you. Take some time and just enjoy each other’s presence and celebrate this phase of life you get to do together. This is your time to talk through any thoughts and expectations each of you have. This is the time for crazy ideas and no idea is too wild or out of reach. Just take the evening and dream!
Once you have all your hopes and dreams out in the world (and maybe written down), now is the time to start planning. You know exactly what you and your lover are wanting out of your elopement day so it makes it a little easier to narrow down options for how you elope.
Where Should We Elope?
I am so glad you asked! Keep an eye out for some of my future blogs. I’ll be telling you all about the best places to elope and the details on how to elope in that state! For now, my suggestion to you would be to choose a state/city/location that has meaning to you and your love. A location that is special to you and has a little meaning behind it makes your day all that much more beautiful. With that being said though, if you are dying to have the gorgeous mountain backdrops of Colorado or can’t stop thinking about the salt flats in Utah then go for it! It doesn’t have to have tons of meaning behind it as long as it makes you happy. So start with meaningful places and if those don’t have the vibe you were wanting for your day then go with your gut!
When Do We Elope?
This is one topic on how to elope that I won’t have much advice on. This is totally up to you and your lover. Want to plan out every detail 8 months in advance? Do it! Want to be super spontaneous and elope two weeks after you get engaged? Do it! Your elopement day is all about you and your love so do whatever makes you happy. Most wedding vendors will hold spots open for a few spontaneous elopements throughout the year. With how crazy these next couple of wedding seasons are though, I would book your vendors (photographer 😉 ) as soon as you can no matter when you choose to have your elopement!
Who HAS to Be There?
I know what you are thinking and no, I am not talking about a guest list with your Great Aunt Helen on it. I am talking about who legally has to be present for your marriage to be a legally binding contract. This varies based on the state you are getting your marriage license from. For instance, in Colorado you can self-solemnize your marriage license so you really don’t need anyone there other than you and your love. Other states require an officiant or witnesses. Just make sure to check out the regulations in the state you are planning on having your elopement in so there are no surprises on the day!
Shameless plug: it never hurts to, at minimum, have a photographer there to take pictures of you and your love so you have memories and moments to look back on. No matter how much time passes you’ll always have those photos to remind you of little details of the day and just how you felt looking into your lover’s eyes.
What Should We Do On Our Elopement Day?
Your elopement day doesn’t have to be strictly business. I love when my couples plan activities for their day. These don’t have to be super extravagant activities! Even if it’s just hiking to a cute location, camping afterward, or even just roasting marshmallows by a fire. Do something before or after your ceremony to make the day a little more special. If you need some inspiration on unique ideas or activities, check out my Pinterest board filled with ideas and inspiration on how to elope uniquely!
How to Elope: Extra Tips and Tricks
There is no right or wrong answer for how to elope. The day should be all about you and your lover. Go wherever you want to go. Invite whoever you want to invite. Wear whatever you want to wear. Do whatever you want to do! This blog is meant to be your guide on how to elope, but it’s not the end all be all. Every elopement is unique. Don’t let the endless possibilities overwhelm you though. Go with your gut and focus on the memories and love.
My biggest tip would be to hire a photographer you would want to be friends with. You want to be able to remember every detail of this day for the rest of your life. Let us capture your love and the feelings you have for each other to preserve those feelings for you forever. With the nature of an elopement being a smaller event, if you have any wedding vendor that you don’t want to be best friends with then it can make your day a little less bright.
Let me know if you have any more questions or any tips below in the comments! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. If you are looking for a photographer for your upcoming elopement, let’s chat!