Not too long ago, eloping meant running off to Vegas or to the local courthouse. It was about tying the knot quickly, often with a rushed ceremony and “no frills.” But that’s not what eloping means today! Not to mention, you deserve a day that’s special, meaningful and truly celebrates the two of you and your love! This guide is all about how to make an elopement special. You’ll find tips, unique ideas and things to do when you elope.
Have a Full Day Elopement!
A full day elopement is usually one that lasts at least 8 hours – but it can be even more! A lot of couples have a hard time imagining how their small, intimate wedding can last all day, but we’ll talk about some unique elopement ideas in the next sections. First, let’s talk about why your elopement should last all day.
A huge part of making sure your elopement is special is to avoid treating it as “less” than a traditional wedding. This isn’t a less meaningful, less important version of a wedding. It’s the day you get married… and it deserves to be celebrated! Deciding to elope in no way makes your elopement less special.
This is important – you’re getting married and promising to spend forever with your best friend. So treat it that way!
Choose an Amazing Elopement Location
One of the best things about eloping is that you have so much freedom when it comes to where you tie the knot and how you get married. One of the first things you’ll do is choose a location, so make it a good one! You can elope abroad in Iceland, have a ceremony in a national park, rent a cute cabin or Airbnb and choose from countless amazing places to get married. Choose a spot that’s meaningful to you. Whether it’s one you already love or a new place to explore! Amazing doesn’t mean you have to jet set across the globe either. Heck… you can get married in your Grandma’s garden and it could be the most beautiful location for your story! Having an amazing location to look forward to is one of the first things you’ll do to make your elopement special and unique.
Plan a Unique Elopement Adventure
Elopements are customizable, so while you’re planning, make sure you include some adventures. This can be literally anything – dream big and imagine what would truly make this the best day ever! Here are just a few ideas for how to make an elopement special and things you can do on the big day.
Go for a Hike
A hike is a fun, unique way to celebrate your marriage. You can do an epic hike in the mountains or an easy nature walk! Some couples choose to hike to their elopement location, while others have their ceremony in a more accessible spot before taking off for a solo hike.
Enjoy the Water
If you’re a couple who loves the water, you can incorporate that into your elopement day! You can relax on the beach, go swimming, paddle board, kayak, boat, snorkel, have a picnic by the lake… or anything else you can think of.
Take a Helicopter Tour
A truly epic way to explore your elopement location is by helicopter! You’ll get the most incredible views, without having to hike. Many places, especially in the mountains, offer some amazing helicopter tours. This is a really unique way to celebrate your elopement!
Rent a 4×4
Another amazing way to explore is with a 4×4. You can take a tour or rent a vehicle and hit the backroads and less traveled spots. It’s a great way to see tons of breathtaking scenery!
Incorporate Your Favorite Food
Weddings don’t have to be all chicken and fish! You can stop for ice cream, order your favorite pizza, get burgers or even hire a private chef. Celebrating with your favorite food (or by trying something new) is a fun way to make your elopement unique!
Find the Perfect Elopement Attire
Eloping doesn’t mean you can’t get an amazing outfit that you feel great in! Look for a dress, suit, or some non-traditional attire that you’re excited to wear on the big day. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this one too – remember, there are no rules! For some non traditional elopement dresses, you can check out this guide.
And keep in mind – you can plan two different outfits or a variety of accessories to change up the look mid-day.
Include Your Friends and Family
Your elopement can be just the two of you, if that feels right. But, you can definitely include a few guests if there are people you can’t imagine your day without. Having your loved ones is an amazing way to make an elopement special, so think about who you want to be around you when you marry the love of your life.
And if you decide to keep your experience to just the two of you, or if there are some people who won’t be at the ceremony, use these ideas to include them!
One of my favorite new finds is After the Tone. It’s a telephone guest book that you can use to record your closest family and friends messages for you. To make your “just us” elopement day extra special, plan a small pre-wedding get together and have these people leave you messages. You can listen to them after you say your “I do’s.”
Think About What Matters to You
The most important thing when you elope is to stay true to yourselves and your relationship. Think about what truly matters to you and how you can make sure your wedding day reflects that! Every couple is different, so your day should be unique too. Invest in experiences that you’ll remember forever, spend the day doing something you love, and make sure your day is true to you, every step of the way!
Hire an Elopement Photographer and Videographer
One of the most important things when it comes to how to make an elopement special is to hire a photographer and a videographer too. Not only will this give you priceless, precious memories of the best day of your life that you’ll be able to share with your loved ones, but it’s also part of my job to make sure your elopement day is the best day ever!
I’ll help you brainstorm things to do, make recommendations based on the two of you and your unique love story and ensure that you have the most amazing day ever. If you’re ready to plan your unique, meaningful, special elopement day, contact me!