Do you have dreams of a magical wedding but have no idea how you’ll afford it all and hate the thought of planning such a massive event when it should just be about the romance?
You’re not alone. More and more couples are considering elopement as an alternative to traditional weddings, not only because of how fun and exciting they are, but because they are much less of a hassle and will not force you to break the bank.
Eloping once had a reputation for being something only a select few couples would choose to do under extreme circumstances, but not anymore.
In fact, as the economy and our social customs change, many couples are discovering that traditional weddings just don’t “fit” for them anymore.
What’s more, you can tailor an elopement to fit your needs instead of the other way around. You can opt for a super simple ceremony that’s small, intimate, and more like a honeymoon and wedding rolled into one. Or you can hold a full-blown wedding halfway across the country in your city of choice.
That’s the magic of eloping. There’s more control for the prospective bride and groom to do as they wish, with a much more manageable budget and under less stress. In this way, eloping is truly for everyone.
Here’s a few more reasons why you might want to reconsider your traditional wedding plans:
It’s your event, and it can be as small and intimate as you like. When you get eloped, you truly “own” the event.
This means you aren’t tied down to the traditional trappings of normal weddings. You aren’t obligated to invite 250 people, including cousins you never speak to and friends of friends you hardly know.
The ceremony itself can also be as big or as small as you like. It can be a tiny ceremony on the beach with just you, your significant other, and a few close friends and family. Or it can be as big as a wedding in a beautiful chapel half a world away (New Orleans has some famous ones you should check out).
You can also build more personal moments into the day of the ceremony, including a “first look,” event, where the couple gets to see each other before the ceremony, exchange personal vows, spend quality time, or even engage in a photo shoot.
Your choice of venue and events also means that you aren’t limited to making the magic happen just in the church or hotel of your choosing. You’ll have time to visit a restaurant and have a romantic dinner, or even take a moonlit stroll in a park long after everyone has left.
This intimacy is one of the greatest draws to getting eloped. You have all the control, not tradition, which means there is plenty of opportunity to make the ceremony more centered around romance and fun rather than just show.
You’re not going to be breaking the bank with an elopement.
Quite the contrary, compared to the typical wedding ceremony, you’ll be saving thousands or even tens of thousands. This is because, generally speaking, elopement ceremonies do away with many of the expenses of the average wedding. There’s far less people to cater to, there’s often much less emphasis on decorative items, and even the wedding dress doesn’t have to be as fancy.
It’s more about living in the moment and celebrating a couple’s union together. The main expense comes in flying to a location and booking a hotel room, but even that usually is much less than most of what you spend in a wedding. You can often get package deals on elopements, that offer everything else needed for the ceremony other than a hotel room and air fare, for as little as a couple thousand dollars or less.
This is peanuts compared to the cost of most weddings. You can hardly get away with spending that much just on the dress or florist, let alone everything else.
The price is one of the biggest draws to elopement. Instead of forking over a life savings just for one day, there’s more of a focus on saving money for the future and making smarter decisions that benefit you in the long haul. Not to mention you combine the wedding and honeymoon into one getaway, so you’re saving money there, too.
The average cost of a wedding in America is up to around $30,000, while the average cost of a weeklong destination elopement is well under $5000 and can often be much cheaper depending on where you go.
The last thing you want to do is kick off your marriage in debt or squabbling over whose bright idea was it to get a $2000 floral display.
Stress is one of the biggest relationship killers. In simpler times, it was easier to get knocked off your horse and get right back on, say if there was a lost job or medical emergency. Jobs were plentiful and medical costs were nowhere near as high.
Today’s world is different, which means saving money is more important for the long term goals of any good relationship. Sure, you want your wedding to be extravagant, but you also don’t want to start your marriage playing catch-up with your bank account.
Debt is a black hole for peace of mind and contentment. Nothing can gnaw away at a good time like knowing you frittered away over $20,000 for catering and doilies.
Couples are discovering that a smarter start to marriage means more contentment and more opportunities. In fact, starting with a nest egg for emergencies or a future home is almost becoming a trend with millennial couples.
Elopement means being able to save money yet still have an unforgettable experience.
Fantasy Come to Life
When your wedding and honeymoon are all rolled into one, there’s more room for magic.
Typical weddings are very weighed down by tradition and sometimes couples can’t make it what they want. When you elope, there are no rules. You can get married on a luxurious hotel balcony and follow the ceremony up with a romantic tour of a park, and cap the night off with a romantic dinner in a restaurant of your choosing. Or you can do something completely different.
You can plan an entire day or weekend’s worth of events that culminate in exchanging vows, or kick everything off with a simple chapel ceremony and then spend the week touring famous attractions or taking a cruise. The options really are limitless, and this is one of the main reasons why elopements are becoming more popular all over the world.
The only true downside to an elopement is that inevitably there’s going to be that one cranky relative that thinks you’re bucking tradition by not having a traditional wedding… and that’s OK!
Don’t feel obligated to bow to the whims of random family members. It’s your special day, you can make it what you want.
Truly, there are no real cons to elopement. You save money, you get to experience a more intimate kind of marriage, and you can craft the ceremony however you want. Unless your dream was always to have a 300 guest church wedding, there’s no way you can go wrong with an elopement.
Remember this if you’re on the fence about getting eloped and you have a few friends or family members in doubt, you should do what’s right for you.
Want more information about how to have a magical elopement right here in New Orleans? Just follow this link!
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Over the past decade, New Orleans has solidified its reputation for being an amazing spot to hold your elopement ceremony.
The city boasts the perfect combination of location, scenic areas for photo shoot opportunities, amazing chapels and elopement services, plenty of art and culture, and some of the finest restaurants in the country.
This unique combination of amenities makes it a dream come true for couples looking for an unforgettable elopement experience. Couples come from all over the country just to experience the fun and excitement of New Orleans, and that goes for LGBT couples as well!
But what makes New Orleans an especially great place for the LGBT community? It starts with the fact that New Orleans has a long history of culture, art, and inclusivity. It prides itself in being a city that is a melting pot of different and varied cultures, beliefs, and ways of life.
This openness has always been a part of the soul of New Orleans, so it’s no wonder why it’s become a popular destination for happy couples looking for an amazing elopement. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from (or who you love!), New Orleans will welcome you with open arms.
Here’s a bit more about why the city makes such a perfect place for anyone to get eloped.
LGBT Nightlife, Same Sex Bars and More
New Orleans is no stranger to nightlife. It could be argued that the city has some of the most impressive and vibrant nightlife activities of anywhere in the country, and that is no exaggeration. The eclectic mix of music, festivals, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and more, come together to create an active and ever-moving community.
In fact, the city is home to an impressive amount of clubs and bars that specifically cater to the LGBT community. This has been true for a long time, as the city has always had close ties to the gay rights movement and has been a haven for anyone marginalized.
You’d be hard pressed to find a greater selection of LGBT bars and clubs anywhere else. New Orleans is even home to the longest operating gay bar in the entire country, Café Lafitte’s in Exile. This makes it an obvious and incredible option for any LGBT couple looking to elope – you already know the restaurants and nightlife options will be amazing.
LGBT Festivals and Events
Looking for something a bit more exotic than the traditional wedding ceremony? There are a huge amount of events in New Orleans that are hosted and cater specifically toward the LGBT community.
This includes much of Mardi Gras, which has been a part of the LGBT community for decades. New Orleans even has its own annual pride festival, as well as Southern Decadence, the community’s own long-running Labor Day Weekend extravaganza celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of the local LGBT community.
So if you’re looking for something a bit more spicy to center your elopement ceremony around, line up your plans with one of the city’s famous and incredible festivals. Talk about an unforgettable way to tie the knot!
Keep in mind if you are planning to attend these festivals, let your elopement planner know ahead of time, and make sure you take into account that many of these festivals last for several days and are a whole lot more than just street parades! New Orleans festivals are sometimes a week-long experience and include everything from tours, to live music, to shows and much more.
This is also why planning your elopement around an LGBT festival is an incredible idea: you hardly need to plan your own entertainment and what to do every day, the entertainment will practically come to you!
New Orleans and LGBT Weddings
It’s no secret that the city has passionately fought for the rights of LGBT couples, while being a long-standing proponent of same-sex civil unions and simple same sex couples in general.
While battling state legislature and ruling all over the country on these heated issues, New Orleans has remained a safe place for LGBT couples wanting to solidify their love. If there’s any one city in the country that welcomes LGBT unions and won’t discriminate, hassle, or otherwise hinder your plans with red tape, it’s the city of New Orleans.
This alone makes the city one of, if not the best places in the entire country for LGBT elopements. It’s never been easier to take advantage of what New Orleans has to offer, fly down, and seal the deal. There are elopement planning services that are more than welcome to help you put everything together and make sure you have as easy a time as possible making sure your ceremony goes off without a hitch.
We are proud to say that we have planned many beautiful LGBT ceremonies here in New Orleans. If you are interested in having your elopement in New Orleans, we’ll make sure it’s an unforgettable experience.
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Whenever you think of romantic elopement settings, parks are usually up there on the list. After all, what could be more perfect than holding your ceremony outdoors in a beautifully cultivated, natural setting?
Parks are certainly an elopement staple, and couples scour the country looking for possible parks to get eloped in. It’s no wonder then why New Orleans always finds itself at the top of so many couple’s lists!
New Orleans has numerous parks of all shapes and sizes, some of which have become synonymous with settings for elopements. So much so that a few even cater directly to couples looking to get married.
Instead of having to do all the research on these parks yourself, we’ve done it for you! Here is a rundown of everything you need to know about some of New Orleans’ best parks for getting eloped.
A well-loved landmark of New Orleans, this giant sprawling park is the perfect setting for any couple looking for a place to have an unforgettable ceremony.
Picturesque lakes, majestic oak trees dripping with spanish moss, and even a botanical garden await you in this southern gem. Because of its size and amount of interesting attractions, it’s been a favorite event spot for decades.
The park itself is old, dating back over a hundred years. Its 1300 acres include several bridges, an art museum, and more than enough room for even the biggest wedding or elopement ceremonies.
Perhaps its greatest feature is simply its sheer natural beauty. The grounds are carefully managed and cultivated, making them an exceptional location for photo shoots as well!
Another expansive park with tons of attractions, Audubon Park features everything from riding stables to an actual zoo, as well as several gardens, monuments, and ancient oak trees.
In other words, everything you could ever want out of a picture-perfect elopement setting!
Just like City Park, Audubon Park enjoys a rich history dating back to the 1800s, and is full of interesting areas to explore. The horticulture staff are tasked with taking care of the numerous oak trees, which date back to this period and before.
You can feel the richness of New Orleans history and culture in the park, which is one of the reasons couples choose it for their entire ceremony. With gorgeous views of the Mississippi, plenty of vistas for photo shoots, high class picnic areas for dining, and even horseback riding available, you really can’t go wrong choosing Audubon for your elopement.
Compared to City Park and Audubon Park, this place is rather tiny, but don’t let that fool you. Lafayette Square has been a staple location for ceremonies and entertainment for years, because of its central location in the city and historic backdrop.
This picturesque little park is home to an array of monuments and shade trees, with just enough room to host a cozy little elopement. If you’re looking for something simple with that signature New Orleans touch, this tiny slice of the city is probably what you’re looking for.
Press Street Gardens
You might be shocked to learn that Press Street isn’t a park at all – it’s actually a garden!
Well, it might sound unorthodox to get married in a garden, but this isn’t at all out of the ordinary for New Orleans. This beautiful garden project has just enough space and is aesthetic enough to make for a perfect fit on our list.
Press Street Gardens is a little urban garden project that has a beautifully manicured little spot in the city, and yes they actually grow everything from flowers to vegetables.
Actually, the garden is managed by the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and they crafted the garden with space specifically for meetings and other social events. This is not your typical garden, to say the least.
If you’re looking for a “city elopement” with just a dash of nature, Press Street Gardens can be all that and more.
Louis Armstrong Park
A park dedicated to the famous jazz musician of the same name that sits right off of the French Quarter.
While not as expansive as some of the other parks mentioned here, Louis Armstrong stands out for its beautiful architecture and statues, as well as its picturesque fountains, ponds, and bridges. Actually the result of an urban renewal project from the 60s, it now stands as one of the most iconic and scenic places in the city.
It is to be sure the perfect little place if you are at all interested in experiencing the best of New Orleans’ historic beauty in one package during your special day.
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Are you looking for a little more out of your elopement? You’re not alone!
Couples everywhere are beginning to push the definition of what it means to get married, and to that end, they’ve begun taking their ceremonies to the next level.
If you’ve dreamed of flying off to a faraway city or resort just to get married, why not take it a step further and ditch the traditional ceremony setting altogether?
Who says you have to get married in a chapel?
Turn your elopement into a true adventure with these inspirational ideas.
You Don’t Have to go Very Far
Adventure is waiting right outside your door. Okay, maybe not “right” outside, but you get the idea. If you had your heart set on getting married in a beautiful city like New Orleans, for example, but still want an adventure elopement, don’t feel pressured into choosing another location and flying to the Himalayas.
In fact, just a couple miles past the city limits of just about any major city in the country, great times are there for the taking. Only minutes outside New Orleans, there are beautiful biking trails, rivers to canoe in, bayou tours, sightseeing flights, gondolas, nature preserves, and more.
You can easily transform an ordinary elopement into a magical experience full of fun and adventure with just a little bit of planning and thinking outside the box. You don’t have to fly halfway around the world or climb a mountain to do it, either!
Dress For the Occasion
That being said, make sure that if you’re going to go out adventuring, you bring the right clothes.
If you’re planning on holding the ceremony after hiking up a trail, don’t forget your hiking boots. If you’re going out on a river, you still need life preservers. Not to mention protection from the sun.
In other words, the attire you would typically wear during a wedding, or even your average elopement, won’t cut it if you’re planning on going into the elements.
Plan accordingly and put together an ensemble that matches the theme and location of your ceremony, while also being practical and comfortable.
The Perfect “I do” Moment
Where do you imagine yourself when you finally tie the knot with your significant other? In the middle of a lake on a canoe? Standing in a quaint field surrounded by ancient oak trees? On a beach with your feet in the sand?
All of this is possible if you plan an adventure elopement. The keyword here though is “plan.”
While part of the thrill of an elopement is taking advantage of the moment and keeping things somewhat unscripted compared to a traditional wedding, you still want to plan out some important things in advance.
If you are planning on holding the actual ceremony in nature, make sure you do your research beforehand.
How difficult is the area to access? Does it require a lot of walking? Would it be inconvenient for the officiant and your guests (if you have any)?
You might want to think about planning the ceremony in different parts. Maybe you want to go on a long nature hike before actually saying “I do,” and the end point of the trail, everyone will be waiting for you there. Or perhaps you want to tie everything up on the banks of a river and then spend the day going on a canoeing adventure.
Whatever it is you choose, just keep in mind the logistics of it. And remember to let your photographer in on everything so they know how and when to follow you around and get the best shots!
Plan a Multi-Day Excursion
Maybe you can’t fit everything you want to do into one day. If you really want to take advantage of your time on your elopement, and sightsee or even camp in the wilderness, you might want to think about holding your adventure over the course of several days.
Keep in mind the needs of your guests and everyone else involved with your ceremony, but if your heart is calling to the great outdoors and you want at least three or four days to “get away from it all,” there’s nothing wrong with planning for this.
In fact, an adventure elopement should be about embracing what you want and going all in.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace the thrill. The ceremony is just the beginning, if you want it that way. Alternatively, you could spend several days adventuring and then cap the trip off with the ceremony.
The Adventure is What You Make It
And that’s the key to making the most out of your elopement: it’s as amazing as you want it to be. There’s really no limit or anything holding you back.
The best part is, many nature activities are cheaper than what goes in to a typical wedding by a long shot, so even if you opt not to have a regular elopement, you’re still going to be saving some money.
Take advantage of the freedom and plan an event you’ll never forget.
At the end of the day, it’s what you make it, it’s what you want it to be. For you, that could mean a chapel elopement with a dash of hiking afterwards. Or it could mean a weekend exploring New Orleans beaches and then topping it off with a full ceremony right there in the sand.
Don’t limit yourself to the traditional ideas of weddings. As long as it fits your style and embodies what you want out of your ceremony, go for it!
Just remember those hiking boots!
The elopement of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank. Quite the contrary, these summer trends prove that elopements are still one of the cheapest ways to get married.
Every year more and more couples seem to be looking into “unconventional” ceremony formats, and getting eloped just fits. What’s could be better than a romantic getaway that actually cuts expenses compared to a traditional wedding? That’s music to every couple’s ears.
Let’s take a look at a few trends that you might want to incorporate into your ceremony this summer:
First Looks are Bigger Than Ever
A few months ago we wrote about how First Look elopement photography was taking off. That trend has only risen as couples everywhere are learning about this new “tradition.”
If you’re not familiar, a First Look is a pre-ceremony activity that allows the couple to meet each other right before the ceremony takes place, to give them a more intimate time together before the actual ceremony starts.
This is perfect if you are having a medium to large sized elopement with friends and family, which gives the couple some space before having to present themselves to the crowd.
As an added bonus, a First Look is often like a private photo shoot. It is becoming customary to invite the photographer to this intimate meeting, so they can shoot an on-site pre-ceremony collection that often creates beautiful moments.
After all, the bride and groom are seeing each other on their special day for the first time and this creates electric photography. First Looks are even more popular in summer months and warmer climates like New Orleans, where couples have the liberty of staying outside for longer periods and can decide to have a fully outdoors shoot if they desire.
Less Formal More Fun
Eloping has taken off in part because it allows couples to do away with many of the old formalities and just get married where and when they want without a ton of hassle.
This trend is only increasing, as we’re seeing more and more couples go the casual route when it comes to their ceremony. There’s much more focus on having a good time and an authentic experience rather than spending a fortune on a particular item or place.
When there’s less focus on the formalities, it allows couples to unwind and just enjoy themselves, and shouldn’t that be what getting married is all about?
It’s so important for couples to realize that if they are feeling pressure in wedding planning maybe it’s time they look into getting eloped. It’s a very different experience when you can just focus on your significant other and not have to plan for months on end just to “get everything right” and please 100 random relatives that insisted on coming.
Less formal also often means less money spent. Ditch the expensive trappings of typical wedding ceremonies and just let loose and enjoy yourself. Wear what you want, go where you want, and focus on the romance!
Back to Nature
What could be better than getting married under the boughs of giant weeping willows, in the middle of a picturesque park, or right on the shoreline with the sea breeze in your hair?
Holding elopements and weddings in the outdoors is nothing new, but it’s certainly a growing trend. What better way to save money and transform your ceremony into a special adventure than having the entire thing outdoors?
This is the perfect answer for couples looking to save a ton of money on things like hotel halls and chapels. Not to mention, a natural backdrop is the ultimate elopement set. You can choose exactly the kind of atmosphere you want to accentuate your big day, whether you want a more earthy event in the middle of the woods or want to go full blown mermaid by the sea.
That’s the beauty of having an elopement, you don’t have to worry about the logistics of planning for 100 or more people on a small patch of beach or in a particular corner of a park. The crowd size will be small, no parking snafus, and you don’t have to somehow cater a feast in the woods.
And above all, most of the time it’s free! Some parks in New Orleans charge a small event fee for hosting crowds at certain times of the day and after a certain size, but for the most part, if you seek out a particular area of nature that you want to transform into your perfect elopement backdrop, you’re not going to be spending a penny.
There’s nothing quite like the romance and fun of a perfect elopement, but the special moments can pass by in the blink of an eye. This is just one of the reasons why professional photography is one of the critical elements to any elopement.
Think of what goes into an elopement: it’s like taking the best parts of a wedding ceremony and a honeymoon and combining them, and pulling it all off in only a few days. It can truly feel like a whirlwind for the couple and anyone else joining in the experience.
Photos of the event help ensure that the memories and special moments of an elopement last forever.
Here are just a few of the reasons why photography is the true elopement secret ingredient you simply have to have.
It’s All About Preserving the Memories
A lot can happen during the course of an elopement. Besides the ceremony itself, which you are going to want to look back on and cherish for a lifetime, there will be dozens of tiny spur-of-the-moment events that you would regret not being able to recall after everything is all said and done.
Many couples even stage pre-ceremony photoshoots, which are becoming a popular trend. Being able to spend some much needed alone time with your significant other, while posing for romantic pictures in the location of your dreams: what could possibly be better?
If you have a professional photography service with you on your elopement, they will be able to be there when you need them most, to capture each and every moment of your special day. They are trained to make sure they preserve what matters most to you, as if they were bringing form to your memories. But even better, they might be able to capture something you would have forgotten about altogether in all the excitement.
Whether you are holding a tiny ceremony or having a full scale destination wedding with a bunch of your family and friends, you’re going to want to make sure that these important moments are preserved.
Everyone Can Join The Ceremony
One of the key parts of an elopement is typically the smaller size. You’re not going to be inviting extended family and friends you haven’t seen in ten years, although you may still want to inform them of what’s going on and include them in spirit.
This is where good photography comes in.
You obviously can’t invite everyone on an elopement, and that would kind of defeat the purpose anyway. Most couples choose an elopement over traditional marriage because they want to have a ceremony better suited for themselves rather than what’s expected of them by family and tradition.
Not having to cater to 100 different people when all you want to do is focus on your union together is part of what makes elopement so special.
When it’s all over though, you’re going to have family and friends that want to hear (and see) what happened. Photography provides this medium, so you can share the experience on social media and any other way you want without them actually being there.
Great Photography Can Bring Out the Best in Your Elopement
Stress, nerves, butterflies, this is all common even with the simplicity and freedom of an elopement ceremony compared to a wedding.
A great photographer can help put you at ease and bring out your playful side.
In our experience, one of the most difficult parts of marriage for couples the day of, is just unwinding and not letting the gravity of things get to them.
Pre-ceremony photography for example is a great way to help release stress and have fun. Photo shoots in general on an elopement allow for freedom and fun without all the hassle and show of a wedding ceremony.
During an elopement, the world is on your plate. Shoot some romantic pictures in a park, or on the balcony of your hotel (which New Orleans specializes in by the way!), or in front of an historic monument as if you were on vacation!
Great elopement photographers know all the sights and know just how to tease out a playful mood from even the most nervous couples, allowing them to unwind and enjoy the experience.
It’s one of the best parts of the job when you help couples be themselves and enjoy the experience, and see them open up and just live in the moment. Capturing these intimate moments is why so many couples insist on having a great photographer at the heart of their elopement experience.
You can see why photography is the "secret ingredient" to a memorable elopement. It's truly the best way to take your ceremony to the next level!
The bouquet is certainly one of the most iconic parts of any wedding or elopement ceremony. It’s a tradition spanning hundreds of years and can make for some perfect and elegant photographic moments as well.
When it comes to New Orleans elopements, seasonal flowers are typically what work best and that’s why Elope to Nola specializes in them. It’s important to know beforehand exactly what kind of bouquet you can expect in order to help you plan for the perfect elopement.
Seasonal Flowers Means Better Quality
While the selection may be less broad, this will work in your favor to not have any additional stresses of flower details. With ElopeToNola bouquets, you simply need to select a color theme!
The reason we have simplified the flower selection is that some flowers just don’t work because they have to shipped from far away, which is expensive and also tends to damage the flowers in the process. Other flowers wilt fast shortly after they are cut, like the magnolia, and are not ideal for most elopement bouquets. Some simply don’t do well outside in Louisiana’s humid climate, like the lily.
Some couples may want certain flowers from a faraway state or even exotic ones like the Hawaiian plumeria, which are quite popular in wedding ceremonies in certain parts of the country. However, it would be extremely expensive and impractical to import such flowers to Louisiana.
Remember that elopements rarely take place in the controlled confines of a church, where flowers can be preserved and tend to remain in air conditioned surroundings. Most New Orleans elopements take place in parks, outdoor courtyards or beautiful streets of the city itself; often in less than ideal conditions for certain flowers.
Many of the classic pictures of bouquets you can find on Instagram and Pinterest were designed with either church halls or a lot of money in mind. That’s not practical for an elopement, which should be focused more on romance, affordability, and spontaneity.
Here’s some of the best seasonal flowers you can expect from one of our elopement package bouquets that ensure top quality:
You can always ask our florist if a specific flower you want may be available on hand, and she will do her best to make it happen if there is a supplier that can get them (premium flower upgrade fees may apply). Keep in mind if you asked florist for pink roses and that week of your wedding only ivory roses were available, she will incorporate pink color to your bouquet in some other way either by adding another pink flower or using pink ribbon tied around the stems. Because we focus on seasonal, fresh flowers, sometimes substitution is necessary!
You can be sure that whatever our florist comes up with, it will be absolutely stunning, and perfectly fit the theme of your elopement.
If you have any questions about what kind of bouquet you can expect, or help planning and putting everything together, get in touch with us. Sometimes it takes that expert touch to make everything fit, and creating gorgeous bouquets for our couples is one of our specialties!
Elopements are certainly easier to manage than traditional weddings but there’s definitely still room for problems to pop up if you don’t have the right info or plan ahead.
It would also be a mistake assuming an elopement is just a small wedding in an exotic setting. There’s certain things you have to think about when you get eloped that aren’t really an issue at all in traditional ceremonies, and likewise, some problems and situations you encounter with traditional wedding ceremonies aren’t a factor at all when eloping.
There’s a certain formula to crafting the perfect elopement that we’ve helped implement time and time again, and that other elopement and wedding planners and experts tend to agree on.
Here’s important tips that will save you a lot of hassle when it comes time to elope!
1. Find Affordable Accommodations for Guests
If you’re bringing some friends and family along on your elopement, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money, and hassle by researching the best possible place for everyone to stay at.
Remember, part of the appeal of an elopement is to save money, right? Don’t feel pressured into inviting friends or co-workers or even including 6 bridesmaids. Keep it simple and you’ll be able to focus more on what matters: the actual elopement and the people you hold dearest to your hearts.
Don’t forget to notify them about the proper date and time, as well as the exact location and directions.
2. Your Elopement Destination Should Have Meaning
This is kind of a biggie. Part of the benefit of eloping is that you aren’t pressured into getting married in a local church or other place that doesn’t necessarily have any personal meaning for you.
Instead, you get to choose a location that means something to you and your significant other. Maybe the spot of a former vacation, a place you met while on business, or a place you’ve mutually fantasized about traveling to for years.
Whichever the case may be, take the time to pick a spot that will hold a greater meaning for you both, it will make everything that much more memorable.
3. Make Use of Your Setting
Another big time and money saver is planning your elopement around a theme that matches your destination.
There’s no sense in traveling to the mountains in Maine and expecting tropical flowers in your set pieces. Look into local flowers, local styles, dress for the weather and pick a color scheme that matches the destination and time of the year.
You’ll be rewarded with less headaches and more money in your wallet.
4. Your Wedding Dress Should Fit the Theme
Traditional weddings don’t really offer a wide variety of styles when it comes to wedding dresses. When you elope, the sky’s the limit!
This is your opportunity to create an outfit and look that really fits the theme of the event and location. Don’t feel like you have to don the traditional white gown and lace. There are a multitude of options, from simple sundresses paired with elaborate up-dos, to an array of tropical and bohemian styles to experiment with.
In other words, go with the look you want rather than the look that’s expected!
5. Spend on Lavish Meals and 5-Star Accommodations for Yourself
The area where you might want to splurge is in the “treating yourself” department! Think of an elopement as a hybrid wedding and honeymoon put together. Don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for the master suite and a fancy dinner.
Compared to the prices of normal weddings, this is a drop in the bucket and will make the entire experience come alive. When you elope, it’s not just about the ceremony, it’s about the magic and adventure.
6. Make a Simple Budget
Yes, eloping is about being free from the constraints of traditional weddings, and that includes their gigantic, outrageous budgets with dozens of expenses.
That being said, you don’t want to overspend or forget something.
In the planning phase, you should definitely put together a simple budget, and stay true to it. This will allow you the peace of mind not to worry about financial issues while you’re eloping, and show you a bigger picture of what you’re working with. Maybe there is room in the budget for that triple layer cake or that extended cruise?
Whatever the case may be, you’re going to want to keep track of the basic expenses and make sure that you have a price limit on things like clothing, travel, hotels, and guest needs. Eloping should be simple and affordable, just keep that in mind. Don’t break the bank!
7. Be Sure to Have the Marriage License Legalities in Order
Check with officiant 2 weeks prior to arrival at your destination.
Read up on the laws on marriage in the area you are getting eloped, and don’t wait until the actual day of the elopement to do anything with marriage licenses. You’ll be setting yourself up for complications and headaches.
The best course of action is to get in contact with an officiant or your elopement planner to make sure you’re covered. Speaking of which…
8. Think About Hiring a Professional
This is the “big secret” to making sure your elopement goes exactly the way you want it, with minimal hassle and the most bang for your buck.
Hire an elopement planner! A wedding planner that specializes in destination weddings works too.
You might think you can handle everything by yourself, but chances are if you are flying halfway across the country to an exotic location, you’re going to need someone who knows the lay of the land that can guide you to make smart purchases on your behalf, schedule everything the right way, and set up the ceremony just the way you want it, without risk of forgetting something or letting something slip through the cracks.
Elopement planners are the magic makers behind the scenes, often making calls and taking care of your needs up to the last minute to make sure you don’t have to worry about any of the hassle that goes into event planning.
We specialize in elopement planning and have packages for couples looking to tie the knot in New Orleans.
Regardless of where you’re headed to elope, a professional elopement planner is a must. Not only will they help you save time and money, they’ll know the destination better than you and are trained to know the best places to eat, the best hotels for couples, and local attractions.
Not to mention they can take care of more than half of the tips on this list, including providing an officiant and taking care of your legal issues.
What more could a couple want?
So you have your heart set on an exciting New Orleans elopement. You know the date, you know what you’re going to wear, and you even picked out a theme.
But then you get into the legal side of things and suddenly feel overwhelmed. The good news is, it’s easy to get a marriage license in Louisiana, you just have to meet a few basic requirements and pay the fee.
Here’s everything you need to know about the process so you don’t have worry about doing too much research or feeling like you’re forgetting something. Thousands of couples get married and elope in New Orleans every year, so getting a marriage license is easy when you know how.
What do You Need to Get Married in Louisiana?
Make sure that when you are planning on applying for a marriage license, that you bring all the necessary identification and paperwork. This will ensure that the entire process goes smoothly.
Required documents needed to apply:
Some general words of advice for getting eloped in New Orleans, be sure to check the dates you are planning on visiting ahead of time, so that they don’t conflict with Federal and State holidays, and that you take a morning several days before the actual ceremony to simply take care of all the legal matters, leaving you free to hold your ceremony without worry or red tape.
Getting a marriage license in New Orleans is fairly easy, but always prepare. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where the only day you left for yourself ends up being a Federal holiday.
If you decide you want New Orleans to be where you tie the knot, call us up and let us handle all your marriage needs. We’ll help you arrange your ceremony, take care of your marriage license issues, and even provide an officiant, photographer and your flowers!
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Your big day is finally here. You spent months and months deciding the location, the attire, the theme, the season, even the food. You want these memories captured forever.
Do you really want to take a chance and risk hiring a cheap photographer for that role?
This is something not many wedding and elopement planners are willing to talk about, but it’s important for me to get you guys the best information possible.
After all, photography is our specialty and what makes our elopement packages so magical.
We know how important it is not to skimp in this department.
Here’s a few tips on why you want to go with quality above all else when you’re looking into getting a wedding photographer.
Real Photography Costs Money
Some people assume that all a photographer does is show up on site with a fancy camera, clicks a button a couple hundred times, and calls it a day.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Real photography is extremely labor intensive.
It’s not just about the actual photo shoots. There’s a mountain of work that goes into a wedding photography business.
Just the arranging of the shoot alone can take days of planning, phone calls, emails, and coordination. Bringing the right equipment for the job, cleaning and preparing it.
The actual photo shoot itself can entail hours of intense work, that includes changing out lenses, herding people around, crouching and extending in bizarre poses just to get a good angle, and simply being present enough during an entire ceremony to capture every important moment (there can be a lot of them)!
The photography service extends long after the wedding has concluded, as well. The immense amount of photo editing and preparation for print that the files most undergo is a job within itself, that can often span days.
If you think you’re only paying for somebody to come out and snap some pictures of your special day, think again.
There’s a ton going on behind the scenes, and you should be aware that if the price point seems strangely low, it probably means you are going to get a second-rate service.
Quality of the Work
Do your homework on the wedding photographer you are looking into. You should be able to find ample examples of their work online someplace for you to look at. Either on Facebook, Instagram, or a portfolio of some kind.
This is really important.
Believe it or not, professional wedding photography quality can differ quite a bit. This is not only because of the skill and the experience of the photographer, but the quality of the equipment they are using as well.
Once you get out of the “hobby photographer” sphere, the price of photography equipment can vary wildly. There are lenses that cost thousands of dollars alone, to say nothing of the cameras themselves, lighting equipment, tripods, and other tools of the trade.
You absolutely want to know what you are getting before diving in.
Reputation is everything. What are other people saying about their services? Do they have lots of examples of their work and are they proud to showcase it?
This speaks volumes. Photography is a visual medium, and those visuals are produced through a combination of skill and equipment. If either are lacking, the final product will be lacking by definition.
Some photographers can make up what they lack in skill and equipment with editing, but you’ll know an over-edited photo when you see one.
The last thing you want is for your wedding photos to look like elementary school pics you snagged for your kid for a measly $20.
A quality photographer knows how to maximize skill, composition, lighting, making use of the best equipment they have on hand, and understands that editing is only used to enhance a photo in order to bring out its natural beauty, not to create what is not already there.
This is where photographer quality can differ, and why you should do your homework when you are looking for a wedding photographer.
You don’t want to be heartbroken after getting your wedding photos back only to see shoddy work. This is a once and a lifetime opportunity to hire a real professional and get everything done right the first time.
Hiring a reputable wedding photographer means you are in safe hands, and you know you'll be getting a return on your investment: memories that will last a lifetime! Check out Ibay Photography's past elopement wedding photography Here!