How to Elope: Tips and Tricks From an Elopement Planner

April 4, 2022

So, we heard you recently said “Yes!” to marry the most amazing human on this planet. We also heard that a big wedding isn’t for you and you and your lover want to elope. First off, congratulations!! You just entered such a fun and exciting phase of your life, but also potentially the most stressful. Eloping has been trending and the definition of an elopement has changed. That is why we are here to let you in on a few secrets of how to elope and make your elopement planning process a breeze. 

Honestly, there are more possibilities and decisions to be made when it comes to planning an elopement than there is a big wedding. When you are planning a big wedding, there are only so many venues in your area. When you are planning an elopement, the location options are endless. Want to tie the knot on top of a mountain? In a forest? In your parents backyard? All of these are possible options, which seems overwhelming when you really think about it. Trust us though, with a few simple tricks and tips we’ll help you make planning your big day as easy as can be.

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How to Elope: Before You Plan a Single Thing

First things first, go on a date with your lover. We want you to take a beat and plan a fun, simple date night where the two of you have planned time to sit down and chat with no distractions. During this date night, you should talk about your hopes and dreams when it comes to your elopement day. The most important aspect of figuring out how to elope is knowing exactly what your elopement must haves are. You may have a random must-have for the day you and your love had never talked about. So use this time to put those thoughts out in the open. Just like every great relationship, the planning process is all about communication.

Take the night with your lover to put it all on the table, dream big, and write it all down. Decide what matters most to you and your love. Are you wanting to plan dinner? Do you want to say your vows on the top of a mountain? Who do you want to attend? Once you have it all out in the open and written down, save those pieces of paper and put them in a safe place… you’ll need them later.

Now that you know exactly what you and your love are hoping for for your day, you can start to make it a reality. There will always be some dreams that might be out of reach, but it’s good to explore your options so you aren’t disappointed down the road and you never know… we make the impossible possible everyday with elopement planning.

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How to Elope: Let’s Begin

Our main piece of advice for where to begin elopement planning after you have put your dreams on paper… Hire a planner. We know, we know. We are definitely bias, but hiring a planner will make the planning process a breeze. Planners have done this so many times before. We know all the legalities of getting married in different kinds of locations. We know how to make a tablescape look picture perfect. There are vendors we trust to make your elopement the best day it can possibly be! So our first piece of advice: Hire a planner so they can help with planning, logistics, timelines, and day of execution.

Equally as important as a planner is hiring a photographer and videographer. You will be spending all this time and money planning your day, you want to be able to remember it forever! They will be able to capture every emotion and special moment of your day to cherish for years to come. You can also share the photos and videos with your family and friends who won’t be in attendance. This will make it so they feel like they participated in your day while keeping the crowd on your day at a minimum.

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How to Elope: The Details

To start the planning process of details for your day, you’ll need to decide what is most important to you. Have a photographer that you NEED to capture your day? Find out the date they have free and plan accordingly. Have a date you HAVE to say “I Do!” on? Great, plan your vendors and location around that. Dying to tie the knot in a certain location? Fab, you’ll want to choose vendors and a date based on that location and weather for the area at that time of year. Depending on what is your most important detail, there are many ways to start the planning process of how to elope. 

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How to Elope: Tips and Tricks

Some of these tips and tricks may seem like no brainers to some, but we wanted this blog to be all inclusive and packed with information for everyone! If you have a question about anything other tips we have, ask them in the comments below.

Check the laws in the area you are planning to elope. We want this to be a legally binding event, so let’s make sure to check all the nitty gritty details. You want to leave your elopement married to the love of your life! A couple of things to double check: 

  • Do you need a witness?
  • Can a friend get ordained and marry you?
  • Do you need an appointment at city hall prior?
  • If you are eloping in a different state than you live, check that that state allows you to get a license as a non-resident. Also check and see if you need to either get a license in your state before you travel or get one in the state you are eloping after you arrive.
  • Some states allow you to self-solemnize as well. Which makes your life a lot easier if you were hoping for it to be just you and your lover on your day.

If you are planning on getting married at a national park make sure you know all the laws for that specific park and getting married there. Some require a pass or a permit, which can cost money and take time to acquire. This is a time when having a planner on your side would be such a huge relief. Don’t spend time researching rules and regulations or laws on getting a marriage license. Let us do that for you!

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Tips and Tricks

You’ll want to also consider your location and time of year. The weather can play a huge role in your day especially if you are planning on eloping in the great outdoors. So consider what the weather normally looks like at that time of year for your location and how long the weather normally sticks around.

Getting married in a busy location? You might want to think about eloping on a weekday to cut down on the foot traffic. You’ll want to be able to find little gems where the views are amazing for pictures with no strangers in the background as well as say your vows without strangers staring at you. So if you choose a popular location to elope just make sure to think about when there are the least amount of people: weekdays or sunrise.

Create a timeline. Even if you don’t have a ton of vendors or activities planned, it’s important to create a timeline. First off, this helps you to think out all the tiny details you might forget otherwise. For example, if you are getting married in a national park a lot of times there will be a bit of a walk or even a hike to the perfect spot. You’ll want shoes for the journey and maybe even a change of clothes. Writing out the timeline for your day not only helps you space out the day (so you understand how much time you have to drive there and get ready), but also helps to make sure you don’t miss a tiny detail that could make a huge difference in your day.

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After You’ve Eloped

You’ve eloped to the love of your life and it was the best day ever… How do you tell your family and friends that weren’t invited? You could put up a post on Instagram. OR you could work with a paper goods team to create a mailing suite to send to your family and friends to tell them that you have eloped. Basically you’ll make an elopement announcement! Include a couple of pictures from your day for good measure. Now you have a bunch of happy humans that get to celebrate you and put you on their fridge!

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We cannot tell you how excited we are for you in this new phase of your life. We hope this guide on how to elope is a good starting point for your big day. If you still have tons of questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! If you are reading this and feeling totally overwhelmed, let’s chat. We would love to help you plan the elopement of your dreams!

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