This blog is one that I’m super excited to be bringing you! I am going to be breaking down the top essentials for eloping. I think a common reason that many couples elope is that they feel overwhelmed by the planning that goes into weddings and they wish to keep it simple. Even eloping calls for a bit of planning though. But don’t worry, I am here to help and keep the stress away!
First, I wanted to make sure you all knew what eloping means. Oftentimes people think of eloping as heading to the courthouse, having a quick ceremony, and that’s it. While that can be a version of an elopement, there are so many more versions! You can head to your favorite National Park and elope with your closest friends, you can say “I Do” at your favorite beach and then celebrate with champagne, and you can even have a small backyard ceremony. The options that elopements offer are endless.
The main difference between an elopement and a traditional wedding is that an elopement is typically less than 10 people and there is a LOT more wiggle room on what your day looks like! You don’t have to pick out plates and napkins for dinner and you don’t have to deal with a seating chart for extended family. Eloping means smaller but it doesn’t have to be any less meaningful. So now that I’ve explained eloping, let’s talk about the top essentials!
1. A photographer
This is a top essential in my opinion! Photography is one of the only tangible items that you’ll have left after your wedding day is done. You may have a dress afterwards but I promise you’ll like having photos hung up in the living room much more than a dress! Plus your photos will show off your dress, florals, and location!
Having an elopement is just as much of a reason to hire a professional wedding photographer as a traditional wedding is. You are still getting married and having your own special day. Plus, you won’t have as many formal family or bridal party photos, which means we have more time to focus on you two!
2. An officiant
This is an important one because you want to be legally and officially married at the end of the day! If you do choose to get married at a courthouse, there is an officiant who can marry you there. Otherwise, you are going to want to search for an officiant near you who is available to marry you. You can also have a close family member or friend get ordained to marry you!
3. A location
Next up, you’ll want to decide where you are going to elope. It doesn’t have to be a large venue of course, but you do have to have a location to get married. That can be your backyard, a local park, a National Park, or even your favorite date location! Just make sure to check the laws and rules of public places. For instance, you have to have a license to get married in a National Park and you would want to ask the owner of any establishment what their rules or fees are for getting married at their location.
4. Your outfits
This is a fun part! You will want to pick out your wedding outfits! You can rent suits or even just get a nice button-down from Target for the guys. Ladies, you can shop for a wedding dress in a store or head online to find elopement worthy options! Eloping doesn’t have to mean anything less fancy than a traditional wedding, but it can if that’s what feels true to you. You can choose a dress from a wedding boutique or opt for a white sweater and skirt. There is no right or wrong answer here. Just make sure to decide how fancy you want to be, and then decide on outfits from there!
5. A florist
One of the many reasons couples elope is to save money. An awesome perk of eloping is you can still have gorgeous touches to your wedding, but without having to spend as much as a traditional wedding! Florals are a great example. You can opt for a bridal bouquet or a boutineer and you pretty much have your florals covered. You don’t have to worry about centerpieces or bridesmaids bouquets. Instead you can spend that budget on making your bouquet exactly how you want!
6. A cheering squad (if you want)
Like I mentioned, an elopement is typically less than 10 people. That means that if you want your immediate family or a few of your closest friends to be present, that totally works! It can be super fun to have those closest to you be there to surround you guys as a cheering squad. However, it’s also totally fine if you do not want anyone else there. Aside from your officiant and photographer of course!
Bonus: A whole lot of love!
The biggest takeaway I want you to leave with, is that eloping is just as special as a traditional wedding. Either way, you are marrying your best friend and starting your next chapter together. So whether it’s a small elopement or a large wedding, just know that love is the reason you are both here and it’s truly the only thing that matters.
Vendor credit for photos:
- Venue: Montaluce Winery
- Florals: Arrangements by Rachel
- Invitations: Designs by Courtney Nicole
- Models: Amanda Brown & Husband Jeff