You spent weeks planning your dream elopement and had everything perfect, right down to the gorgeous New Orleans hotel and planned garden photoshoot.
Then out of the blue, Coronavirus comes around and seemingly upends the world overnight. While stocks plummet and everyone’s focus shifts to personal finances, job security, kids out of school and social distancing, couples all over the country have been left wondering, “what now?”
With the advent of Coronavirus, the entire wedding industry has been jostled. As if you would want dozens of your friends and family all gathered in one closed space for several hours during one of the largest viral outbreaks in modern history, you don’t even have a choice in the matter. With new social distancing and quarantine mandates, making plans for any kind of a wedding has been put on hold.
While traditional weddings may be out of the question, what about elopements? They are smaller, often take place outside and in warmer climates, and don’t necessarily rely on tight planning schedules to come to fruition.
Let’s take a look at the state of eloping during COVID-19 and how you and your significant other can weather the storm.
Is it Possible to Elope During Quarantine?
Needless to say, getting eloped right this moment may not be the best idea in the world. It’s not only a matter of safety, it’s a matter of logistics and personal finance.
First of all, traveling on airlines to get to your elopement destination poses its own set of risks. Many hotels are not even open at the moment due to local and state laws prohibiting non-essential businesses from operating. Even if they were, would you really want to stay in such a place, especially if many other people were there?
Then there is the planning aspect. Many florists, photographers, and other key professions that make elopements and weddings run properly are considered non-essential, meaning they are running with a skeleton crew, not running at all, or out of business entirely. Something like 10% of the entire workforce is out of a job right now, according to the latest statistics.
This means that even if you wanted to push for an elopement during this time, you may not be hiring the best services and may not have nearly as many options at your disposal in order to make your vision come to life, because so many places are simply not operating at this time. And again it’s worth mentioning, would you really want them to be anyway? Essential workers like grocers and doctors are putting their lives on the line every time they step out of their doors, all so we can continue to have these important services.
To add to this, there is essentially a countrywide social distancing mandate at the moment that strongly encourages everyone to stand at least 6 feet apart when in public. This makes any kind of festivities during an elopement hard, if not impossible. Are you supposed to stand 6 feet away from the officiant? Are you even allowed to greet your guests or receive their gifts without rubbing them down with Lysol?
It’s a giant mess, to say the least. Weddings and elopements are by definition highly social affairs that require multiple corners of society to come together in a cohesive system: cooks, hotel management, elopement planners, photographers, caterers, florists, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, flight attendants, musicians, decorators, DJs, church personnel, and the list goes on. When the majority of these professions aren’t even working at the moment, and the rest are pressed for time, working insane hours, or possibly at risk for contamination, the end result is not optimal if you are planning on holding a wedding or elopement.
So the short answer is, for now, eloping during quarantine is probably not the best move. While it is still an option to hire an officiant and get eloped without many guests and without traveling far or relying on many extraneous services, your ceremony is almost surely going to be lackluster and there will always be that feeling of a letdown.
What’s a Couple in Love to Do?
The best option any couple could take at the moment is to be patient and reschedule your elopement. Here at IBAY Photography, we can arrange your rescheduling for up to 24 months, just call and inquire with me. It’s understandable that you may be facing an extremely difficult time and don’t want to deal with trying to arrange your dream elopement in the middle of a pandemic.
There’s another aspect to this that’s important to consider: finances. With the instability of the markets and the general chaos that has resulted from the Coronavirus outbreak, as well as rampant job loss, protecting your finances is of paramount importance.
One of the best ways you can invest in each other as a couple is to spend your money wisely and plan accordingly. Make arrangements to hold your elopement in a few months once the quarantine is lifted and life begins returning to normal. You’ll be able to better gauge the state of the economy and you will have all the right options available to you to plan the best elopement possible.
Right now, it’s more important to look after your health and the health and security of your loved ones. In the meantime, you can look at our plethora of New Orleans elopement inspiration here and plan your dream elopement with us for later this year or next year. Love is patient above all else, so don’t feel pressured to get eloped now. Reschedule and wait for normalcy to return.
Stay safe everyone, and if you have any questions about our elopement services at this time, please feel free to contact me.
You may have finally decided to elope, but after you look at all of the different ways there are to have an actual elopement, you may feel overwhelmed. Finding the perfect cheap elopement package can make all the difference.
While elopements on the whole are less complex than other kinds of marriage ceremonies, there’s still a lot that goes into an elopement ceremony, including the location and level of extravagance. Unless you’re going for the bare minimum (hop on a plane without warning and get married at the nearest chapel you see when you touch down), you’re going to want to take the time and weigh all your options.
And there are a lot of them to weigh! What kind of venue do you want to hold you elopement at? Are you interested in an indoor ceremony or an outdoor one? Does your elopement have a specific kind of theme or require some kind of special element? What about the number of guests?
All of this has to be taken into account. If you are specifically looking for a cheap elopement package, the details are all the more important. It’s true that elopements tend to cost far less than traditional weddings, but you can easily spend thousands of dollars you don’t have if you’re not careful.
So what goes into the perfect elopement package and how do you find the one for you?
The Elements of a Great Elopement
Regardless of how you want your elopement to unfold, there are a few select elements of any great elopement package that you should consider.
First of course is that it includes a location that you would like. Many elopement packages are location based because it’s the location that will determine the price. The great news is that professional elopement planners go to great lengths to find the best deals, which means that it’s unlikely that you could lock down the same location for a similar or cheaper price on your own. This is one reason why elopement packages are so useful.
Another important aspect of the package is how many photos or photography time you will get. You should try and find a cheap elopement package that has a reputable photographer, because pictures are something you will treasure for a lifetime. This is not an area you want to skimp on.
Often, a solid elopement package will include an hour of two of photography, which usually covers the entire ceremony and then some. Prioritize photography services in your elopement package and you won’t be disappointed.
You also have to look at the various services and extras that are bundled. Will there be a bouquet? Any kind of a cake? If you’re looking for an elopement package that won’t break the bank, these elements should be beautiful, functional, and modest. Nothing too off the wall or extravagant – just enough to create that essence of romance and excitement. If these aren’t elements you want incorporated into your elopement package, that’s also fine, but you may end up spending more if they aren’t bundled.
Of course, your cheap elopement package should also cover the cost of an officiant to perform the actual service. In some cases an elopement package will only cover hotel expenses and catering, or photography, leaving you to find an officiant. If this is the case, you want to plan accordingly and find a great officiant beforehand.
You can avoid a ton of headaches simply by choosing an elopement package in a beautiful location like New Orleans, that covers all the essentials, including an officiant and a professional elopement photographer, and that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Elope to NOLA for the Perfect Experience
No other place captures the charm and the essence of the elopement experience quite like New Orleans. While it's true that many cities and locations across the country have been diving into the world of elopement services, New Orleans has always been at the top of the list in terms of places couples want to get married at.
This is due to the mixture of rich history, gorgeous parks, generally amicable weather year round, amazing nightlife, and of course a wide variety of 5-star accommodations, chapels, and other much-needed components of a great elopement.
If you're considering elopement and are looking for the best elopement package for the price, I highly recommend checking out this cheap elopement package featured here.
Do you have your heart set on a micro-wedding in New Orleans but haven’t quite picked out the right venue yet? This is the guide for you!
New Orleans is full to bursting with charming and quaint little spots that seem almost conjured specifically for small weddings and elopements. Tiny gardens, historic alleys, famous landmarks, beautiful little parks, the cutest hotel balconies you could possibly imagine. It’s all part of what makes NOLA such a great destination for couples in love.
That being said, it can be somewhat daunting trying to get a handle on exactly the right spot to get married at. There really are so many amazing places to choose from, even narrowing it down to “hotel,” or “park” gives you so many great options.
Here’s a simple to follow guide that will help manage your decision-making process so you can find a venue that’s just for you.
St. Ann Cottage & Courtyard
The literal definition of romantic, this small courtyard at the Bourbon Orleans in the French Quarter is just what you’re looking for in a small wedding venue. Nestled between historic buildings, this private and magical locale will make you feel like you’ve stepped into your own movie.
Bourbon Hotel itself is a luxurious delight and gem of New Orleans. Feel like royalty in this award-winning Belle Epoque-style haven.
Maison Dupuy Hotel
Located in the heart of the historic French Quarter, the charming Maison Dupuy Hotel offers an authentic New Orleans experience set in a romantic private courtyard for your intimate wedding. Just 2 blocks from Bourbon Street in the heart of the Vieux Carre, this central location makes it easy to explore the restaurants, shops and local attractions in New Orleans and the French Quarter.
A two-story luxurious cottage with its own courtyard - includes two king bedrooms, two full bathrooms and spacious living area with wet bar. The master bedroom is located upstairs connecting to the master bathroom which features a two person jacuzzi tub and stand-alone shower. The second king bedroom is located on the first floor adjacent to the wet bar and living area
Hotel Le Marais
Another fine location in the heart of the city, Hotel Le Marais stands as a more modernist option while still retaining all the class and charm you’d expect from New Orleans.
An open-air courtyard, pool, quaint balconies overlooking the city, lounge style atmosphere, and central location are just some of its many draws, making it one of the most sought after wedding destinations in the area.
Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast
The Grand Victorian B&B is one of the ideal places for small weddings because of its charm and natural beauty. It is situated under the shady and colorful St. Charles Avenue oaks, so even before your guests arrive, they will be treated to the lovely scenery of the colonial and Victorian style architecture and structures that line this historic street.
Grand Victorian opened its doors as an official wedding spot in October of 1998, and since then, it has been offering some of the best services within the city of New Orleans for couples looking for micro-wedding and elopement experiences.
Another famous and idyllic hotel with a courtyard, pool, and more. Couples love Dauphine for its cottage-style rooms and distinctly southern feel. For an authentic New Orleans experience, this is the venue you’re looking for.
City Park, Audubon Park, Exchange Alley and More
New Orleans is a city full of hidden gems and small historic alcoves that are a testament to the city’s rich history and unique cultural blend. Not only are there a large number of restaurants, gardens, parks, and hotels that can trace their history to the turn of the last century and are now restored to glory, there are new pockets of luxury and class popping up around the city all the time. The eclectic mixture of Victorian, Creole, Southern, African, French and Spanish architecture, music, food, and art has combined to create a tapestry of dreamlike venues.
Not only are there amazing hotels to hold your small wedding at, you should also consider historic parks like City Park and Audubon Park, with their oak trees, foot bridges, beautiful statues and more.
You should also look into alleys like Exchange Alley and Pirates Alley. These special locations are pedestrian walks, lined with historic architecture, restaurants, and more, and make incredible places to get married at.
One of the best parts of an elopement is the sense of truly being able to own your ceremony and make it yours. This can leave couples asking however, what in the world do you actually do on your elopement day?
Bucking the traditional wedding format means you can pretty much do whatever you want, but this is where confusion can set in.
When do you have the ceremony? Can we squeeze in a romantic photo shoot in the park beforehand? Do we have to have a reception at a hall on the same day? What about entertaining our guests?
The freedom that elopement offers can seem daunting when it actually comes time to plan everything, but that’s why I put together this handy guide.
An elopement doesn’t have to follow the typical structure of a classic wedding. In fact, part of the appeal is in mixing it up and adding activities and events that you wouldn’t normally be able to cram into a traditional wedding day, such as viewing a parade, a night on the town, or a whimsical garden photo shoot.
The possibilities are truly limitless and that’s why it’s important to plan your elopement day well beforehand to get the most out of it. Sure, the idea of spontaneity is probably one of the things that attracted you to the idea of getting eloped in the first place, but too much of it will just lead to a mass of confusion and headaches you don’t want.
Maximize the excitement, fun, and carefree feel of your elopement by structuring your day with some of these popular ideas.
Private Photo-shoot Before the Ceremony
Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the actual ceremony?
Not when you’re eloping!
In fact, a rising trend that couples love involves having your own private scheduled photo shoot before the ceremony even begins.
Not unlike an engagement shoot or something similar, couples work with their elopement planner or photographer to pick a romantic location such as a garden, public park, or hotel balcony just to have some personal time together before everything gets rolling.
Couples claim that pre-ceremony photoshoots (also known as "first looks") ease tension and can be extremely romantic. Even during an elopement, things can get busy, leaving little to no private time for the couple. Sometimes a little quiet intimacy goes a long way.
You can even incorporate the photo shoot location into the ceremony itself if you want. Just make sure to work it out with your elopement planner.