All You Need To Know About Planning An Elopement Wedding

elopement wedding bride groom main
Photo by


An elopement is a wedding without most of the couple’s friends and family knowledge. Couples that elope do so to avoid their dramatic family members and friends or to save money. Read on to know what to consider when choosing your location, budgeting, and planning for the actual elopement ceremony.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of an elopement wedding?

An elopement wedding refers to a marriage ceremony that is typically conducted in secret and without the presence of family or friends. The couple often runs away to a private location to exchange vows and get married without the traditional fanfare and planning that typically accompany weddings.


  • If you are a spontaneous couple interested in unconventional adventures or want to save money, you can choose to elope. An elopement saves you the long stressful wedding planning processes, and you can use the money for your honeymoon, buy a house, or other financial demands.
  • An elopement wedding often does not have a list of invites.
  • Therefore, you can focus on a high-quality ring or honeymoon rather than hiring service providers and venues like you would in a typical traditional wedding.
  • You will also enjoy the flexibility in location and timings.
  • Couples also choose elopement weddings when the family and friends’ demands from both sides become overwhelming. Families may try dictating your guest list or location; eloping will help you easily bypass this dramatic step. Also, through eloping, you will block unwanted guests from attending your wedding.
  • Elopement weddings are also more intimate and personal, unlike traditional weddings. You will not have many people, opinions, and demands, enabling you to focus more on your partner and enjoy the freedom to celebrate your way.


Planning Your Elopement Wedding

Here is what you need to plan your elopement wedding

1. Choosing the Location
Elopements offer flexibility regarding location, and you can hold your ceremony anywhere in the world. When finding an location, consider the following:

  • Your favorite season
  • Favorite activities
  • Travel requirements and restrictions
  • The scenery you want surrounding you as you take your vows
  • Accessibility of your location
  • Privacy and seclusion

Selecting elopement wedding packages also requires considering their significance to you and your partner. Your destination can be in your backyard or as far as you want. Most couples prefer state and national parks, but you can also consider an Airbnb, beach, city, vineyard, or an international destination. Popular destinations include the Venetsanos Winery in Santorini Island, Greece, Round Hill in Jamaica, Sanara in Tulum, Maui in Hawaii, and Santa Barbara in California.

2. Legal Requirements
No matter your destination, your marriage needs legal recognition. Since states and countries have unique elopement wedding laws, read the legal requirements, guidelines, and location permissions you must adhere to. Check the requirements for getting a license, the waiting period, whether you need a witness, the officiant requirements, and the paperwork you must submit.

3. Elopement Packages

With many couples switching to elopement, weddings, hotels, and venues are adjusting by offering elopement packages for smooth transitions. Elopement wedding packages contain
everything you need to get married, including the wedding ceremony, photographer, flowers, romantic dinner, and accommodation. Since elopement packages are not customizable, choosing the right package requires checking that the provider has everything you need for your big day before paying. You can follow the following steps when selecting the package:

  • Decide your destination and date
  • Establish your budget
  • Decide who to invite
  • Select an elopement package that suits your needs.

An example of an elopement package will include a marriage license, location, local
photographer, hair and makeup, clothing, flowers, dinner, and travel.

You can also have a package comprising a marriage license, officiant, permit for the ceremony in a national park, photographer, florals, hair and makeup, clothes and accessories, travel, and Airbnb.

Another package can include a marriage license, an officiant, a wedding permit, a videographer, an elopement planner, hair and makeup, clothing and accessories, travel, and hotel accommodation. Your package choice will depend on your budget.


Managing Elopement Risks

After choosing your location, checking your legal requirements, and settling on your preferred elopement package, you need to manage any risks that may hinder your plans from actualizing. Here are ways you can manage elopement wedding risks.

  • Safety Considerations
    Depending on your venue, you will experience elopement risks. For instance, national parks can be subject to wildfire risk or attacks by animals and poachers. Hence, liaise with the team on the ground, depending on your venue, to ensure you are safe.
  • Weather Planning
    Before planning your elopement, check with the National Weather Service in case of nasty storms that could affect your plans. While at this, chat with your vendors about their thoughts about the weather to see if they are flexible and, if possible, move the date to a better time or select an alternative venue.
  • Health Concerns
    If eloping during the pandemic, you may want to remain safe by being vaccinated, especially if you are traveling out of the country. Also, minimizing your guest list in a foreign land will be ideal. If you tag a few friends and family, have them take necessary health precautions such as quarantine before and after the elopement day.


Elopement Attire

Other than planning the wedding logistics and managing risks, you still need to plan for your attire. Here is all you need to consider when choosing an elopement wedding attire.

  1. Elopement Dresses
    Dressing for elopement is flexible; you can wear what you want in style and color. When selecting a wedding dress, you want one that you can easily walk in. Therefore, pick a comfortable dress and avoid constricting mermaid, trumpet, and ball gown dresses. An A-line and princess-style dress with manageable length and train is the most appropriate.
    When picking your dress, also consider the weather and your fabric weight. Wear chiffon, lace, tulle, velvet, and silk for colder weather in warm weather. If packing your outfit, consider wrinkle-resistant fabrics like lace.
  2. Elopement Suits
    When choosing the suit, consider comfort, the weather, shoes, and accessories. Some styles you can wear include a three-piece tuxedo for a formal elopement or a button-up shirt and dress pants for a laid-back wedding. A jumpsuit can also work if you want an unconventional wedding.
    If your wedding is during the warm weather, consider a suit with a removable jacket and breathable fabric like cotton, linen, and chambray. If eloping in winter, consider flannel or wool fabrics.
  3. Accessories
    Keep your accessories simple, elegant, and reflective of your style for your elopement wedding. Consider the style and color of your wedding dress and theme. With the right accessories, you can achieve a stunning bridal look that perfectly showcases your custom engagement and wedding ring.
    Remember that your engagement and wedding rings are an essential part of your bridal look and hold a special significance as symbols of your love and commitment. It’s always best to order and personalize your wedding ring beforehand to ensure it shines on your hand. Customizing a special bespoke wedding ring with jewelers can reflect your personality and style, suiting your elopement wedding location and overall theme.

Elopement Announcements

You should inform your family and friends about your elopement. Announcing your elopement can be nerve-wracking as you are unsure how your loved ones will take it. Based on how well you know their reactions, you can lessen the blow by announcing at the right time, whether before or after. If you wait until after your wedding, announce it as soon as possible. You can inform relevant parties by sending announcement cards, phone calls, or one-on-one, especially for the family.
Alternatively, throw a party when you return to celebrate your wedding and make your family feel part of your milestone. Social media will also be useful for distant friends and family members. You can also announce your elopement over a dinner party, and if you have children, find a thoughtful way of involvement. Some creative announcement ideas include:

  • Buy an announcement card
  • Send a photo or text announcement
  • Send an invitation to your post-elopement party
  • Send a photo of your wedding attire


Ideas for Elopement Weddings

You can select any destination from a beach, city, vineyard, or international destination for your elopement wedding. To make the day special and memorable, you can incorporate your traditions or choose to write your vows.

When it comes to elopement weddings, you have the freedom to make your day as simple or extravagant as you desire. You could choose to hire a wedding photographer to capture the special moments or have a small intimate ceremony with just the two of you. Additionally, you can make the day even more special by incorporating your traditions or crafting your own heartfelt vows.

One way to ensure that your elopement wedding is captured beautifully is by hiring a professional wedding photographer. A skilled photographer can offer new and unique ideas for your wedding, ensuring that you have stunning and memorable photos to treasure for a lifetime. They can also capture those special moments that you might miss in the excitement of the day, from the first look to the exchange of rings.

Post-Elopement Celebration Ideas

After returning from your elopement wedding, consider a private celebration or a reception with your friends and family to celebrate your union. You can rent a private room in a restaurant after your wedding.  Or set the celebration for a later date or during your first anniversary. To make your loved ones feel like part of your event, you can stream your event or share videos and photos from your elopement wedding ceremony.

An elopement wedding is a good idea if you are tired of family drama during weddings or want to save for your marriage. This wedding is flexible; you can have it from any location if you meet legal requirements. The wedding does not limit you to traditional setups; you can be as creative as you want to make your day special.
If you plan an elopement wedding, factor in your friends and family throughout and establish a suitable communication mechanism to ensure they support you before and after your wedding. Remember, you still have your marriage ahead, hence the need to start right with the people that matter.