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?
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!