If you’re wondering if eloping is right for you or if you are having trouble planning and putting it all together, you’re not alone.
There’s certainly thousands of couples in your same exact shoes, getting butterflies and wondering just how they can pull off their elopement without a hitch. There’s this idea that getting married has to be this huge complex beast that oftentimes leaves couples frazzled in the months leading up to the big day.
An elopement should be as stress-free and fun as possible. Here are 5 secrets to planning a successful elopement wedding!
1. Set a Workable Budget
One of the benefits of an elopement rather than a traditional wedding is the money you are likely to save. On the whole, eloping is cheaper than most kinds of traditional ceremonies. That is part of the allure of elopement, the fact that you don’t have to worry about all kinds of extravagant expenses and sinking thousands of dollars on floral arrangements and catering.
However, you are still going to want to setup a workable budget before putting your elopement together. It might sound romantic to just hop on a plane and travel somewhere on the spur of the moment, but if you are looking for something a bit more structured and with less hassle, you are going to want to invest in some elopement services, and other things,,such as the dress, restaurant reservations, etc.
Budgeting properly means less stress when everything is coming together. You don’t want to have to deal with unexpected expenses and financial issues during your elopement. Unlike a traditional ceremony, the goal here is romance and fun with your significant other. That means a little bit of planning can take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of the equation.
2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Invite Everyone
Another benefit of eloping is the crowd size. You’re not here to put on a show for your estranged second cousins and friends of friends of friends. This is about you and your closest loved ones sharing in your special moment.
While there may be tons of people who might want to see you get married, the bottom line is that if you are deciding to elope, it likely means you want a more intimate ceremony without a lot of the chaos that often comes with wedding ceremonies.
By all means, invite who you want, but don’t feel pressured to send everyone an invitation. Keep it simple. Closest relatives and best friends only. The fewer people that get invited, the cheaper the overall cost and the more intimate the experience.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but elopements are often at their best when they are shared only by a select few of the bride and groom’s most closest friends and relatives. This makes everything far more manageable, especially if you are planning to elope far away from where you live.
Tip: Ask your photographer to send you an elopement announcement after your ceremony with a photo or two from your wedding day and share with those who were not present.
Keep it simple and you’ll be a lot happier. Have a small party/reception back at home. Don’t worry, your friends and family will understand.
3. Choose the Location and Let a Professional do the Rest
We mentioned earlier about elopement services, and we can’t stress this enough. It is a mistake to think you can pick a random city halfway across the country and decide to get married there on a whim, without planning or knowing the place, and expect everything to go off without a hitch.
You don’t know the sights, the places to get great food, how to avoid tourist traps and really enjoy the authentic experience of the city or location you are visiting.
Rather than winging it, let a professional handle things. Elopement packages provide all sorts of benefits, from photography services, to taking care of catering, seating, hotel arrangements, decorations, the cake, and even sight-seeing advice.
At ElopeToNola.com, we offer elopement packages that are perfect for couples who want to explore New Orleans and have the time of their lives, with everything taken care of.
So it’s important to decide early on in the planning where you want to elope, and then get in touch with an elopement service that’s reputable, so they can take care of all the work, leaving you to focus on what matters: your ceremony and your love!
4. Get the Legal Stuff Out of the Way
You’re also going to want to take care of the legal aspect of things as soon as possible. Don’t try and incorporate all of this right into the ceremony. Many professional elopement services recommend getting to your selected elopement spot a few days early in case there are any legal "waiting periods" from the time of obtaining your license to actually saying "I Do" in your chosen city. If you are selecting New Orleans, the waiting period is 24 hours from your ceremony time.
If you are planning on getting your marriage officiated in the state or city where you are planning your elopement, read up on all of the legalities of marriage in that state so you can familiarize yourself in case there is anything you need to know. Oftentimes, elopement planners will help you out in this regard, as well as provide the necessary person or officiant to run the actual ceremony.
5. Don’t Get Lost in the Details
Finally, don’t let yourself get lost in the details. An elopement should be sweet and simple. Don’t torture yourself worrying about the fluff: cakes, flowers, hair and makeup. Let a professional handle these things and they will work themselves out.
Most importantly, don’t try and do too much. The best part of an elopement is the freedom it gives the bride and groom to explore the city of their choosing, relax, enjoy cocktails and nightlife together for several days, long after the ceremony is over and done with.
To make the most of your elopement, don’t fret over anything, just allow it to unfold. Enjoy the experience, have fun with your guests, and most of all, let yourself be swept up in the romance, not bogged down in the details.
If you take all of these tips into account, your elopement will unfold effortlessly!