Eloping. Brings up thoughts of just the two of you running off into the sunset doesn’t it? Eloping can means many things to many people. To me it brings up an image of a private and quiet ceremony with just the two of you professing your love. To some people it means a destination wedding or an impulsive trip to Vegas. Whatever the word “elopement” means to you please understand that it can be a beautiful thing. There is nothing better than just the two of you exchanging your vows (and nothing more budget friendly either). Big weddings aren’t for everyone. If the thought of a buffet table or a dance floor makes you all cringey then perhaps you and your beau should consider an elopement. Contrary to the popular belief that an elopement is just the two of you, there are actually options for say less than 10 people to witness your happy nuptials. Many of the smaller venues offer elopement packages. But first we are jumping the gun here. Let’s talk about the different types of Elopements.
- Just run away and get married. This is your typical Vegas style shotgun marriage. No one knows about it ahead of time and its just the two of you. Often this may be a impulsive spur of the moment wedding. Guaranteed to piss off a few family members! Also guaranteed to save a lot of money and be a lot of fun for the couple. That air of excitement can be intoxicating! An officiant usually presides over the nuptials instead of a pastor or priest. There may or may not be a small reception or celebration to follow. Notification of your vow exchange is usually sent out after the blessed event takes place. Cute post cards can be super helpful for this. Check out Vistaprints selection. http://www.vistaprint.com
- Planned Elopement, just a few bystanders. This kind of elopement is usually planned with little to no guests in attendance. It can take place anywhere really….a private garden, a quiet little B&B, a friend’s backyard. There may or may not be traditional wedding attire worn. Anyone able and willing (and legal) can officiate and typically there is a small celebration to follow. Invitations may or may not be sent and a standard email or a wedding website will work nicely to notify guests.
- Destination Elopement. Couples may often opt for a wedding and a honeymoon at the same time. A quiet ceremony on the beach can be just what the doctor ordered for a couple looking for some privacy with some exotic flavor. Why not say your vows on a beach in the Virgin Islands or on top of a windswept mountain in Iceland? While sometimes difficult to plan because of the remoteness, a travel agent should be able to help you with all of your needs. And if they can’t….they can find the right people who can. Consider wedding & trip insurance as well as a back up plan. You know…..just in case there is a hurricane or a blizzard.
- Mini Wedding (aka Elopement 2.0). Having less than 20 guests can still qualify as an Elopement. This is for the couples who want most of the jazz of having a wedding without all of the cost, planning, and hassle. Invitations are traditionally sent out ahead of time. The event may take place locally or at an out of town venue within driving distance for the guests. The bride can choose to wear a wedding dress if she fancies it. There may even be attendants on either side. A small reception will usually follow with a cake cutting happening sometime during. The couple may or may not choose to do a registry with the wedding being this small. But as I always say…since it is your wedding then you do whatever the heck you want! Just enjoy it 🙂
So now that we have an idea of the different types of Elopements….where can you elope? ANYWHERE! Get married in your favorite Museum, in a park, in your cousin’s back yard, at a beach B&B, in your fiancés hometown…..just anywhere you choose really. There is no end to your options.
Make your day the way you want it. Dress as you like. Invite who you will. Ride off into the sunset in a rickshaw if you want! You won’t have a single regret as long as you go with your gut feelings about what works and what doesn’t. Figure out your needs as a couple, your budget, and whether not eloping is the best option for the wedding you want. If you don’t mind ruffling a few family and friend feathers then things might turn out better than you could have ever imagined.
Happy running off and getting married! Gigi