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Traditional weddings are gorgeous events that aren’t for every bride. You might not want all the fanfare and the costly price tags that come with sprawling venues and designer dresses. If a lowkey affair is more your style, this guide to elopement is for you.
Check out everything you need to know about pulling off the perfect elopement. You won’t need to handle too many details to marry your partner in a simple, romantic ceremony. Remember these tips and your big day will feel extra special without months of waiting.
1. Decide Who to Tell
Elopements are known for being secret events. Famous couples like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio made headlines by getting married in a quick ceremony before announcing their marriage to the world. You can always do the same thing by heading to the nearest city hall with your partner, but loved ones can also join in without it turning into a traditional wedding.
Invite your closest family members or loved ones to wherever you want to say your vows. The five or six people you adore the most can stand with you at the city hall or in your backyard with an officiant. If you can’t imagine getting married without someone by your side, they should absolutely get a secret invitation to your ceremony.
2. Consider Different Dates
Which day will you elope? Your date matters for a few reasons. You’ll want something meaningful to you and your spouse, but you’ll also have to check a few calendars. The city hall may not perform marriage ceremonies on certain days or outside of specific hours. Think of a few possible dates for your elopement before checking your eventual venue to ensure everything lines up.
3. Think About Your Bridal Outfit
Even if you want to skip the traditional wedding gown, you can still design a great outfit for your ceremony. Think about your style preferences and check out top wedding bloggers to see if you love what’s trending. You’ll find inspiration for a variety of outfits and settle on something that celebrates your big day without clashing with your elopement plans.
4. Prepare the Paperwork
Elopement has many significant benefits, like stressing less about planning wedding details. It also has unique priorities. You’ll have to prepare the necessary paperwork before your ceremony, so check your state’s requirements.
There might be a waiting period between when you fill out the paper and when you can say your vows. You might also have to adjust your budget to save for the filing fees. It will likely mean thinking about your elopement for a few days or weeks longer than you’d like, but getting your paperwork together is an essential part of legalizing your marriage.
5. Hire a Photographer
Many brides hire a photographer to capture every moment of their elopement. You’ll treasure the pictures because they’ll save that moment in time for decades. Consider hiring a professional photographer and add their fees to your budget so their bill doesn’t catch you by surprise. They’ll likely only charge a small fee comparative to mini portrait sessions because they’ll only need to be there for an hour or less.
6. Daydream About Honeymoon Options
You may want to elope so you can put all of your savings towards a fantastic honeymoon. Daydream about different destinations and activities that you’d love to do with your future spouse. Go big by staying at exclusive resorts or dine at five-star restaurants. You’ll invest money into an extended vacation instead of a one-day ceremony and meal.
7. Book Your Travel Needs
If you want to travel for your honeymoon, you’ll also have to book your travel needs. Get your plane tickets and hotel reservations ready so you can leave town right after saying your vows. It will add a little more planning to your elopement, but it’s necessary if you want to have a romantic vacation after getting married.
8. Throw a Post-Elopement Party
Post-elopement parties are one of the latest trends taking over the wedding industry. They can happen right after your ceremony or when you get back from your honeymoon, depending on when you want to announce your marriage. You could rent a lakehouse and invite people over for dinner or celebrate at your favorite restaurant. They’re intimate gatherings that often mean much more to brides who don’t want hundreds of people at a reception meal.
Your Guide to Elopement
Use these tips to plan the perfect elopement in just a few days or weeks. Design a ceremony that makes your heart skip a beat and put your energy towards what excites you. Whether you want to get married this weekend or next month, you’ll have a romantic ceremony anywhere and anytime you wish.
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