Things have evolved and couples are shifting from the regular ways of getting married. Thus, we have many different options to celebrate your Big Day, for instance, a destination wedding, a traditional wedding or eloping. Particularly, the elopement is an insane trend now.
So, if you are a couple looking to elope for your wedding, this article will tell you all you need to know. We have brought you a “take to the bank” guide for a successful elopement. This guide covers all the important aspects to give you the best elopement wedding.
What Is Eloping And Why Couples Do It?
Some couples prefer an eloping marriage because they are facing oppositions from their families. Others want to avoid the stress of wedding planning, a huge budget or family input. Also, some couples who have had previous marriages may not want any excessive celebration or noise this time. Eloping couples want intimacy, peace, serenity and a cheaper wedding.
An elope ceremony happens on short notice at anywhere with very few people present. So, no bridal party or posh trimmings, it’s you and your spouse with witnesses only.
However, eloping marriage is different from the traditional marriage type. While a traditional marriage involves all the necessary stages and activities. In addition, it is very public planned and premeditated. There is a huge reception filled with invited guests unlike in eloping weddings where the guest count is less than 20.
The Hard Choice: Elope Or A Destination Wedding
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Eloping is more or less a last-minute decision to have a secret wedding. And one can have an elopement wedding anywhere and in a matter of days. However, the couple mustn’t go abroad, it can hold in the living room, the park, city hall, etc. Only a few witnesses are to be present.
At the same time, a destination wedding is well planned and lots of money spent. As against an elopement wedding, guests who can afford the trip are present. All important documents are signed and no matter where it is in the world, the couple is legally bound.
For a destination wedding, all legal documents have to be complete before the wedding departure. Although, some countries even demand the couple stay some days before the wedding.
In general, an elopement wedding is cheaper and faster than a destination one, but the couple can choose which suits them best.
Multiple Ways To Elope
Looking at your wedding budget, you may realize that an elope wedding is what you need. Re-investing a heavy wedding budget in a business, a car or a new house can be more appealing than hosting a lot of people.
The next thought after deciding this is how to elope. Also, there are many ways to elope that will give you the satisfaction you want. Like there are different roads that lead to a market, a wedding is a wedding, whether traditional or not.
Five ways to elope:
- The city hall or courthouse kind
In general, we consider this is the best way to elope. The city hall or courthouse wedding is still a wedding. A couple can travel to a place that holds pleasant memories for them and gets married at the city hall or in a local way.
Therefore, get your marriage license and skip town to your chosen spot, do your eloping marriage and go on your honeymoon.
It is important to book a court wedding on time because some states have a waiting period before the wedding. Other courts will hold an elopement wedding on a first come, first serve basis.
Also, we have to remind you that a marriage cannot hold without a marriage license – so get it first!
This wedding type does not need many guests. A bride’s maid and a Bestman can serve as witnesses. Look stunning in an elopement wedding dress for the day, in preference a little white dress. Have a photographer on standby to capture all the beautiful moments. A trusted friend or the bride’s maid can live stream the wedding, so that loved ones at home can follow it.
After the elope wedding, you will want to have a get-together and some fun. Courthouse weddings take place on weekdays, so options for a get together may be narrow. A pub, a bar or a hotel lounge with some bottles of champagne and finger foods will give the day a beautiful finish.
- The couple-and-officiant kind
This elopement wedding is between only the couple and the officiant. And it can be done anywhere. The garden, backyard, a beach, a restaurant etc. All that’s needed is an ordained officiant to sign the marriage license and you are as married and any other person.
- A self-uniting marriage
Many couples are opting for a self-uniting elope marriage these days. In particular, the states of Pennsylvania, Colorado and the District of Columbia allow this practice. They issue self-uniting licenses also known as Quaker wedding licenses. With this, a couple will be in unity without a third-party present. This style of eloping ceremony believes that a wedding should be between a couple and God. A clergy interference is unnecessary.
- The last-minute tiny/surprise wedding
A wedding of this type is not particular to only eloping couples. Couples can decide to have a wedding on short notice if they want to. They may want to get married because they can’t wait anymore, a job opportunity abroad or a quick wedding before the baby comes.
A last-minute wedding can be a project of as little as four days and can be anywhere suitable. There are many elopement wedding packages that can cover everything about the wedding at cheap rates. A surprise wedding is not always an eloping marriage, but a union of two people who do not want to spend another day apart.
- Las Vegas
Running off to Vegas is one of the best ways to have the fastest wedding and avoid wedding stress. Las Vegas is a wonderful place to elope, there are wonderful elopement packages with options. The Vegas atmosphere is alive and so full of excitement, enough to suck one in.
A Las Vegas license is must though. This marriage license application, you can download and print through the Clark County marriage bureau’s website. So the couple will tender it to them in person at their office with some proof of identification.
A clergy person then has to be there to solemnize the wedding.
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So, what do you need to elope?
For an elopement ceremony to be a success! The guide of an elopement wedding checklist is essential.
The checklist is yours to-do-list of everything necessary, from before the wedding till after it.
Before the wedding
- Think and decide on when you want to get married.
- Prepare all important documents and book accommodation in advance.
- Do all official paperwork.
- Pick some choice locations and decide on the best one.
- Select your guests. It is safe to say you do not want a huge wedding, so decide who attends.
- Book an officiant and inform a witness in advance.
- Book a photographer to capture all your best moments.
For the wedding
- If you want something unique, write your own vows.
- Choose an outfit. There are many beautiful options for a bride to choose from for the wedding.
A sheer lace dress
A ball gown
A slinky wedding dress
A bridal jumpsuit or playsuit
A fringe mini wedding dress and other beautiful available choices.
- Remember the rings.
For after the wedding
- Pick a venue where the after party will hold.
- It’s time to let your family know that you are officially taken. Do not leave them to find out from others or social media.
- Proceed on your honeymoon.
- Live happily ever after.
Pros And Cons Of Elopements
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A wedding is all about the couple, an elopement wedding is even more about the couple without considering the input of anyone. This wedding style, although easier, has its pros and cons.
Here are some to consider:
- It is romantic and void of external opinions. The difference in opinions is often the cause of disagreements at weddings. While suggestions are welcome, you can’t have anyone imposing their opinions on you. An elope wedding allows the couple to be in total control of their wedding day.
- An eloping ceremony needs little planning.
- It involves less stress.
- An elopement wedding is faster.
- It is money saving. A couple will spend less than they would have spent on a traditional kind of wedding.
- Missing out on the celebration with family and friends. Not having the support and presence of family and friends at the wedding will for certain be noticed. The celebration will be light.
- There is a huge possibility that your loved ones will be angry about missing your wedding. While having that “the two of us” wedding, you could be making enemies back home.
- An elopement feels like a regular marriage, but planning a traditional wedding makes you assume and keeps you excited.
- That fairy tale dream wedding you always wanted won’t happen anymore.
- There is a chance that another wedding will hold, please family and friends. At the end of the day, you would have made double of the expense you were avoiding.
Legal Details To Consider Before Eloping
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Before you jump and do that elope wedding, you have to find out and be familiar with the position of the law about the elopement. Some of which are:
- The couple must be above 18.
- Get a marriage license. This is the most important part and you have to get it in advance. Some states request the couple to wait for a couple of days after applying before it is issued. The couple will also show up at their office with some form of identification. i.e. passport, driver’s license etc.
- There must be a witness for the wedding. Either a clergyman, an officiant, a best friend or family.
- File the marriage license after the wedding. Only then does it become a marriage certificate. Do not forget to keep photocopies, this will be granted for a token amount.
- Be familiar with the country’s specific regulations guiding elopement weddings.
- If you wish to have a prenuptial agreement, go ahead and draft it. If this cannot be before the wedding, a postnuptial agreement is possible.
Real Tips For Eloping
Thinking of how to elope and still have a successful wedding? Thus, we have put together valid tips to help achieve that.
- Tell your closest friend or most trusted family member.
- Look for a venue that does it all. Elopement packages are money savers.
- Take time off from work for a few days.
- Move to a romantic venue at your wedding location that can accommodate everyone.
- Plan a vacation with the few invited people.
- Plan for your elope marriage to hold about two days to the end of the vacation. This is a beautiful way to end the vacation because everyone is well relaxed and are into the fun.
- Get your invited friends to take part in setting up the wedding.
- Capture the moments.
Best Spots To Elope
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For couples looking for where to elope, there many unique and beautiful places to go. Here we name places spread around the USA, Europe, and the world.
We look at places like:
- Vegas, Nevada. USA
Nevada marriage laws are accommodating. There is also increased excitement from being married by an Elvis impersonator. Marriage in Las Vegas is quick and the scenery is beautiful for an outdoor celebration.
- Colorado, USA
Colorado is dreamy. The mountains so high, the greenery so lush and the beautiful landscape gives the place a breathtaking view. This place has the tendency to bring out the adventurous side of a couple.
- Hawaii, USA
If a couple wants to have a secret locating for destination eloping, Hawaii is the perfect place to go. The place filled with tropical beaches, carpet grasses and rough mountains that give the place a divine view. This destination is so unique that a couple can get married without witnesses. A very secret wedding indeed.
- Miami, Florida. USA
Miami with its beach which gives the hotels nice views. The beach gives a backdrop back drop for pictures. Getting married on a sunny day or at sunset in Miami will leave you reminiscing for years to come.
- New Orleans, USA
New Orleans is brimming with vintage and French-inspired structures. It also has the Avery Island which is a beauty to behold. The abundant willow trees are also a hit. Taking your wedding pictures in this environment will give you a surreal feeling.
- Bali, Indonesia
Bali has the combination of a tropical island, a clear but serene atmosphere and an array of green gardens.
There are mountains, hot springs and the northern lights from the skies. These combine to give this location an out of the world feeling.
- Isle of Skye, Scotland
This place is for couples that love adventures. The Isle of Skye gives the feeling of being in a time capsule. Feels like time actually stops. The blend of the skies with the dark green and rugged land stays appealing.
- Saint Lucia, Caribbean
This is our favorite of them all. Its shorelines are rocky and it has the remnant of historical ruins. All these blends with the presence of volcanic backdrops. Thus, this location makes it look like it is you and your spouse all alone in this beautiful world.
- Santorini, Greece
Santorini, one of the Cyclades island right in the Aegean Sea. With its flowing water and relative calmness. So, no doubts, the location is beautiful and ideal for an intimate wedding.
Dos And Don’ts You Need To Know Before Elopement
Before a couple elopes, there are to do things and not to do things. Therefore, they should be aware of all these for the event to be a successful elopement wedding.
- Make it all about the both of you.
- Plan a little home party.
- Hire a planner.
- You saved money for a reason. So you and your spouse should splurge on the good stuff.
- Enjoy the moment.
- Ditch the guilt of not inviting family. It’s your day, not anyone else’s.
- Forget about a guest list.
- Do not expect everything to be cheap.
- Do not limit yourselves.
- Don’t miss out on the fun.
All in all, a wedding is all about the couple and eloping is one of the best ways to preserve intimacy. This even more fun, because couples now have the option of even a destination eloping to locations anywhere to seal their happily ever after.