• 03/31/2021

The Ultimate Elopement Checklist: 10 Things Every Couple Needs to Tie the Knot


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Weddings aren’t always the biggest dream for every bride. You might want to skip the fanfare and months of planning for something simpler. In that case, you need the ultimate elopement checklist. This guide has everything you need to tie the knot without the extra stress and hefty price tags.

1. Make Your Budget

Elopements are fast, but they still cost money. Figure out your budget to lay the groundwork for the rest of your checklist. The ceremony cost depends on where it happens and which officiant makes it legal. Sometimes that’s $50 and other times it can cost a few hundred more.

2. Pick a Date

Do you have a date in mind for your ceremony? You’ll need a firm date to schedule an officiant or another elopement service. You might stick with your current anniversary or choose something new in your favorite season.

3. Create a Guest List

Couples often invite a few guests to watch them elope. If you want loved ones there, pick your closest family members or friends and create a rough draft of your guest list. You’ll narrow down your choices based on guest limits at whatever venue captures your heart.

4. Browse Possible Locations

Sit down with your partner and browse possible elopement locations. You won’t need to rent an expensive venue, but you’ll still have to find the right place for your ceremony. Depending on your preferences, you could get married in a drive-through, a courthouse or a cute countryside chapel. Picking the right place makes your elopement more memorable, which every couple deserves.

5. Consider a Photographer

You can always ask someone to capture a few pictures of your ceremony on your phone, but photographers are also an elopement option. Set up a few consultations to meet with whoever works or lives closest to where you’ll say your vows. Compare their styles and social media accounts to pick one that matches your aesthetic.

While you’re flipping through photos, don’t forget to start your comprehensive beauty routine so your skin is picture-perfect. It’s never too late to add moisturizer, hair growth products and a few other beauty hacks to your daily routine.

Start your beauty routine

6. Research Your Marriage License

Every state has different requirements to make a marriage legal. You could have to submit a premarital blood test or submit to a waiting period after filing your application. Researching your marriage license is possibly the slowest, most unromantic part of eloping, but it’s worth it when you can live in married bliss after saying your vows.

Pick where your ceremony will take place and dive into the state’s marriage requirements. Check how many witnesses you need and if you should schedule an in-person appointment. You may also have to gather notarized paperwork for prior divorces or name changes.

7. Find Your Rings

Saving money by eloping means you can go all out on your wedding rings. Schedule a romantic date and browse the sparkling shelves at your local jewelry stores. If you’re overwhelmed with options, check out the latest trends to find vintage styles and modern cuts that match your jewelry preferences.

8. Arrange Your Travel

You can’t elope if you don’t know how you and your partner will get to the ceremony. Arrange your travel early to explore every possibility. Arrive in style with a rented limo, horse-drawn carriage or vintage car. Fly in on a private jet or book the best seats with your favorite airline.

What about your honeymoon? You could also spend your extra cash on a luxury vacation. See how much flights cost and where you can afford to stay. Try something new by looking into glamping resorts or renting a houseboat. You’ll start your marriage with an adventure and never have to worry about how you’re getting anywhere.

9. Decide on Your Ceremony Outfit

Elopement brides also benefit from breaking tradition in another way. You can pick whatever ceremony outfit you want. Ditch the traditional white gown for a stylish jumpsuit or sundress. Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful and decide on your final look ahead of time so you can craft your hair and makeup around your bridal outfit.

10. Meet With Stylists

Some brides want to put their hair back and jump in the car for their elopement, but you can also meet with stylists near your ceremony venue. Splurge on a professional hair and makeup stylist for your once-in-a-lifetime moment. 

Before booking anyone, bring inspirational photos to your consultation to discuss what they can recreate. You’ll get a better idea of who will give you the ultimate bridal look for a price that works with your budget.

An Elopement Checklist Makes Everything Easier

Every couple needs these tips to make their marriage official, so use this ultimate elopement checklist to simplify your planning experience. Find the best venue, decide on your outfit and look into what your state requires to legalize your marriage. You’ll line up everything you need so you can enjoy every moment without any stress.

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