How To Plan An Elopement

Are you dreaming of an intimate and romantic elopement? Then look no further, we’ve put together the most essential tips below for how to plan your dream elopement!

Eloping is a unique and exciting way to tie the knot, allowing couples to have an intimate and special ceremony without the potential stress and costs of a traditional wedding. The best part is that planning an elopement is quite simple when you break it down into smaller steps. From finding the right location to deciding on the details of the ceremony, with the right guidance you can create an unforgettable experience that you and your partner will cherish for years to come.

Follow these essential steps for how to plan an elopement that’ll guarantee your special day is perfect!

Set Your Budget

Setting a budget for your elopement is an important first step in the planning process. Elopements tend to be more affordable than traditional weddings, but it’s still important to set a budget and stick to it. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on your elopement and make a list of your priorities. Determine what is most important to you, whether it’s hiring a professional photographer, renting a beautiful location, or buying a special outfit. Once you have a rough idea of your budget, you can start to plan your elopement and make any necessary sacrifices to stay within your budget. Remember that it’s okay to splurge on some items while cutting back on others, as long as you stay within your overall budget.

Choose Your Location

One of the most important steps for how to plan an elopement is to find the perfect location. It’s also one of the main reasons couples choose to elope, as it can be anywhere you want if it’s just the two of you. You might dream of saying ‘I do’ on top of a mountain in the surrounded by endless natural beauty, a private beach, a hidden cabin, or from your favorite rooftop view. Your location will set the tone for your entire day. So, consider what type of atmosphere and backdrop you want for your elopement. The location of your special day will also help you decide when to elope. From gorgeous fall tones, or snow-covered surroundings, to warm summer sunsets, there’s an infinite range of possibilities to suit your style. You can also choose to carry out your legal ceremony locally, and have a small celebration in a destination location perfect for your elopement. For instance, consider an intimate wedding in Italy where the possibilities are endless for stunning backdrops!

Invite Your Guests

Some couples choose to elope so that it can be just the two of them. This gives you the freedom to do things completely on your terms and keep the intimacy of your special day to yourselves. However, there are options for inviting special people to celebrate with you. One is to have a few of your closest family and friends stand next to you as you tie the knot. Another option is to host a separate event after your special day to celebrate with loved ones. Or if you prefer to take things digital and make planning very simple, then you can just invite your relatives to a video call so that they can witness as you say ‘I do’! Whichever option you go for, make sure to send out invites ahead of time, especially if you’re choosing a destination that’s further away.

Hire a Photographer

Eloping doesn’t mean you have to forego beautiful wedding photos. Once you have your vision and location in mind, search for local photographers to capture your special day. As you’ll have more room budget-wise, you can hire a videographer too. For instance, if you’re considering a destination location like Tuscany, make sure to check out photographers and videographers who have extensive experience locally. It’s important to find someone that you trust to help you remember your magical day, so check previous work and make sure your concepts align.

Plan Your Attire

Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. You can stick to a traditional white bridal gown, go for a modern look to match your unique wedding, or even keep it informal to go with the impromptu nature of an elopement. There are no rules! Whether you want a dress or suit, white or colors and sequins, the most important part is that it is special and meaningful to you. If it’s just going to be the two of you, then you can even include a special necklace or family heirloom as a nod to your relatives. The aim if to have fun with your outfit and make sure you feel your best!

Plan Your Transport & Accommodation

This step will depend on your location. Depending on how far away it is, you’ll need to figure out the logistics for flying or driving. It’s best to start planning this early so that you’ll have more availability and reduce costs, especially if you need to look for accommodation. Think of how you’ll need to get to a remote location, if there are taxi services available and how you’ll transport your wedding attire. If you hiring a vendor from out-of-town or you need to host guests, think if you have enough room in your budget for covering these costs for them.

When it comes to accommodation you might want to splash out on a luxury hotel resort to combine your honeymoon if it’s just the two of you. If you’ve invited a few friends and family, you can look for a villa or cabin to host your guests and spend as much time as possible together celebrating this special event. Also, consider the aesthetic of your accommodation, as it’s likely you’ll use it for photos. This means lots of natural light!

Check Legal Requirements

Another key step is to make sure that you’ve researched legal requirements for your elopement. Although eloping might seem quick and easy, there are still some legal considerations you have to take note of. You’ll need to find out how far in advance you have to register, what paperwork is needed, and whether your marriage license will be valid where you live. If you’re getting married abroad there might be extra requirements too. It’s also worth thinking about hiring an interpreter to make it easier for you.

Relax and Enjoy

The most important thing about eloping is to relax and enjoy your special day. It’s your dream day so focus on what this day means to you. The best part about this type of wedding is that you can truly do whatever you want! Don’t get too caught up in the details and remember to take a moment to soak in the beauty of the day.

Enjoy an intimate and personal wedding day with our tips on how to plan an elopement. Head to WedBoard for more wedding planning tips or if you’re planning an elopement in a European location. You’ll find stunning venues across Italy to choose from and talented local vendors that you can connect directly with. You’ll also find inspiration and advice for all aspects of your big day including 28 Creative Bachelorette Party Ideas, How To Create Perfect Wedding Welcome Bags, and 24 Unique Wedding Reception Ideas.

Featured image: Anni Graham

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