How to Elope

step one: decide to elope

Eloping used to mean running away and saying your vows with Elvis in Vegas but today it means so much more. To elope means that you are intentionally choosing to follow your heart and create a meaningful wedding experience that reflects you as a couple. Deciding to elope is a big and brave decision so I just want you to know that I am proud of you! Following your heart isn’t always easy but it’s always worth it.  But before you decide to elope sit down with your partner and talk about if it’s the best decision for you. You deserve to have a wedding day that perfectly reflects the two of you. 

One of the biggest reasons that people decide to elope instead of having a traditional wedding is that they want an experience that is completely about the two of them. If this sounds like you and you think that life is meant to be an adventure then you’re in the right place. While I do think eloping is the best way to get married, it’s not for everyone so make sure that you and your partner are on the same page and both are excited to ditch tradition and elope instead!

step two: start dreaming

Now that you have decided to elope it’s time to start dreaming. I want you to sit down with your partner and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let your imagination run wild. If you and your partner imagined the best day ever for the two of you what would it look like? Where would you wake up? What would you see out the window? What kind of food would you eat? What would the weather be? What time of year is it? What friends and family members would you see? Now imagine that your best day ever was your wedding day.

What would your day entail? Would it be snowboarding down a mountain? Cozying up in a quaint Airbnb? Saying your vows overlooking a beautiful lake with your closest friends and family? The possibilities are endless and completely yours. That’s the best thing about eloping, when you ditch the traditions you can create a day that truly reflects your interests as a couple. You can even start an inspiration or Pinterest board to keep track of all your wildest dreams! In this stage it’s best to come up with a general location and date when you want to get married, even just knowing “mountains in the fall” is enough to get started.

step three: research and book your vendors

Now that you have an idea of what you want your day to look like its time to start planning. First set a budget with your partner and prioritize what is important to you on your day. Maybe photography is the most important thing to you. Maybe you want an amazing private chef, or you want fly your family out with you. That will help you know where to make budget cuts later down the line. 

Then the fun part begins! Reach out to vendors, and reach out to more than one if you’re not 100% sold on your vendor. Since elopements are more intimate by nature it’s just that much more important than the people that are present on your wedding day vibe well with you. And trust me, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the first vendor you reach out to there are hundreds of other vendors that would love to help you make your elopement day a reality.  I know it may seem like I am biased but oftentimes for an elopement the photographer is the first vendor you book (in lieu of a venue) as they are often most experienced with elopements and can help you along with your planning as well as connect you with other vendors in your elopement location! All my couples get a 60+ page elopement guide with lots of vendor recommendations. Don’t forget to double-check and make sure that you obtain any needed permits for your elopement as well as look into the way to get legally married in the location you want to elope! This can seem confusing but I am here to help you through all of it!

step four: finalize your plan and get ready! 

By this point, all of your major decisions have been made. You know where you’re eloping and you have a date. It’s time to finalize all the detail and gather up your things!

Pack well in advance so you have time to gather any important details without rushing. Make sure you pack your rings, gifts, or any other unique items for your elopement day. Check the weather when it gets closer to your elopement day and talk with your photographer if you have concerns about the weather and creating a backup location plan just in case. Finalize your timeline and make sure all payments to vendors have been paid in full. Then it’s time to apply and pick up your marriage license and any other documents you might need for your elopement. Make sure you are drinking lots of water and taking care of your mental and physical health so that you can really enjoy step 5!

step five: enjoy the best day of your life

Its time for you to get married!! With everything set in place its time to relax and enjoy your best day ever with the love of your life. Be present on your wedding day and truly enjoy every moment of your time together. You freakin’ did it! 

After your elopement, return home and share the great news with your family and friends. Maybe hold a reception to celebrate with them or print out some of your amazing photos to share. Then enjoy married life and go back to your amazing elopement location on your anniversary and remember the best day ever! 

Ready to start planning your elopement?

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