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If your vision of an elopement is a young couple sneaking out of their bedroom windows to marry against their parents’ wishes, you’ll be pleased to know that elopements have changed… a lot.
After all, elopements are really just purposely small, intimate weddings. They can be as planned and coordinated as any other wedding ceremony or as spontaneous as a summer storm.
People of all ages are going the elopement route, so they aren’t relegated to teenagers. And contrary to what some people think, an elopement isn’t a selfish act.
After all, your wedding day is supposed to be about you and your partner.
Probably one of the best parts of eloping is how unique you can make your ceremony.
You can elope anywhere you want, from your own backyard to a beach a thousand miles away with significantly less stress than a traditional wedding.
So whether you’re a shy person who hates to be the center of attention or you’re simply looking for something more intimate and less expensive, let’s walk through some of the steps to making your elopement the best day of your life.
Consider the Impact
Yes, it’s YOUR day. But real life and families can also be complicated.
Before you jump in, consider how this will land.
Will your family and friends be happy for you? Will some of them have hurt feelings but get over it?
Will your mother cry for a year and your grandfather disown you?
Decide whether it’s worth the reaction. Then make your decision and don’t look back.
Check the Laws
Find out what you’ll need to get married in your state. Find out what you need to get married in a different country.
Where do you get your marriage license and how long will it take?
Are witnesses required for your elopement?
Can you choose just anyone to officiate?
Once you get that information, the rest of the planning will be much easier.
Choose Your Wedding Date
If you’re not quite ready to spontaneously get married with an hour’s notice, that’s ok.
Instead, secretly pick a time and day so you can plan a little.
The date you choose might be impacted by a few other things, including:
- Will you be inviting anyone? If you’d like to have your best friend or sister present, you’ll want to choose a date that works for everyone.
- Do you want an outdoor wedding in, say, Montana? Probably don’t want a winter date. This is an advantage to marrying in a warm location like Las Vegas — it’s almost always outdoor weather.
Choose a Location
Here’s the fun part. Be as creative as you please!
Electric Sugar Elopements offers so many options for elopement locations and not one of them is a dreary courthouse.
If the two of you love hiking with your dogs, what about an outdoor wedding in the mountains?
Maybe you both love architecture. Find the coolest architecture in the area — an old library, museum or historic movie theater.
The choices are seriously endless and depend solely on what feels right to the two of you.
Find an Officiant and Plan the Ceremony
Once you’ve chosen your location, time and date, it’s time to find someone who will do the honors of officiating.
You’ll be surprised at your options, from a friend to a ship’s captain.
You’ll need to make sure you understand the laws regarding a legal officiant. See “Check the Laws” above for help with that.
Before you meet with an officiant, sit down as a couple and decide what kind of wedding ceremony you both want — long, short, formal, informal, funny, sentimental…
Knowing which routes you’ll take will make choosing your officiant much easier.
Then, once you sit down with them, it’s okay to treat it like an interview. Do a vibe check to be sure they’re the one!
Here are some of the best parts of a wedding of any kind. It’s time to pick the clothes.
If you’ve not already done so, choose that ring you’ve always dreamt about. Maybe you want something a little unique, less traditional.
Since you know where you’re getting hitched, you’ll also have a good idea about extras.
Do you want to carry a bouquet, or maybe something more unique?
Will you have a long veil?
What kind of shoes will be best for your location?
Hire a Wedding Planner and Photographer
After the initial adrenaline rush of your wedding ebbs a bit, there’s nothing quite as fun as sitting down to look at photos and video from the day.
So don’t miss the opportunity to hire someone awesome — someone who gets you and your vision.
Plus, your family and friends will enjoy seeing those photos. It might even help to smooth over any hurt feelings.
Decide How You Plan to Spread the Good News
Even though you didn’t want a big wedding, you may still want to share your awesome news with the masses… or at least your family and friends.
Since news travels fast, pick your announcements ahead of time and have them ready to go.
That way, once you’re happily married, you can drop them in the mailbox and let the good news spread.
Elopements have come a long way — you can wear what you want, elope anywhere and make the day yours.
So enjoy this next step in your life. Let’s chat about how we can make your elopement stress-free!
For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.