This is What You Need to Know Before You Elope
August 28, 2020
Big weddings are obviously not the vibe right now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, so we understand if you and your partner are highly considering eloping on a romantic getaway. The perks of eloping are kind of endless: more budget-friendly, less guests to worry about, more control over your special day and so on - but don't think that you can just wing your elopement without any type of planning. You'll have to make sure you have witnesses, a marriage license and a wedding day planner if you want an after-party at the bare minimum! Basically, we're here to let you know that if you still want some semblance of a ceremonial structure, planning an elopement is a little more complicated than you might think.
Below - what you need to know before you and your partner run off to tie the knot:
Make sure you're aware of the law.
Do you need a marriage license? Do you need witnesses? Do you need a city hall appointment? Is this even legal? Help!
These are the questions that should be circling in your mind as you begin to plan your elopement. While the legal stuff isn't necessarily fun to think about, you should be aware of these requirements so that your wedding day can proceed without a hitch. Make it a priority to call your local courthouse to ensure that you're aware of everything you need in order to be classified as legally married, and if you're getting married outside of the country, contact the country's embassy to see what the requirements are for nonresidents.
Have a game-plan for your ceremony (and reception if you want one).
Even if you want a really simple elopement, it's smart to have a layout of what the special day will look like before you and your partner tie the knot. Do you know what you're going to wear? Where will you say "I do"? How are you getting there? Having a schedule will ensure that your big day goes as smoothly as possible. These are also questions that you should consider if you and your partner are wanting to throw a reception afterward with more people. If this is the case, consider hiring a wedding day planner to relieve some of the stress.
Keep the budget in mind.
While an elopement is a more budget-friendly option than a traditional ceremony, prices can still rack up if you're not careful. Make sure you sit down with your partner to discuss how much you're willing to spend on travel, food and accommodations so that there are no surprises when you get the bill. Pro-tip: don't be scared to negotiate with vendors about lowering their prices. Since you aren't hosting a traditional ceremony, you shouldn't always be paying the premium wedding prices they might be upcharging for big day events.
Choose your guests and witnesses.
Now for the fun part: inviting guests and witnesses! Whether this includes your parents and a close friend or just one other person, make sure you know who you want to be there on your big day. Choosing the right people can go a long way to making your nuptials feel that much more special.
Hire a photographer.
If your budget allows, hire a photographer. Trust us when we say that you're going to want to go back and relive these beautiful moments with your partner. Make the experience even more special and ask a close friend to be the photographer - this way everyone at your ceremony means something to you and yours.
Send out an elopement announcement.
Time to alert the press: you just got married! Make sure you carve out enough space in your budget to send out an announcement to your friends and family that you and your partner just got hitched. If you don't want to spend too much money on this, consider hiring a designer to create an announcement in the form of an email and blast it out to everyone in one click. This way you save money, paper, time and energy.
Prepare yourself for reactions from family and friends.
Finally - prepare for the reaction of others. While COVID-19 is making elopements more socially acceptable, there will probably be some family and friends that will feel slightly offended that they weren't invited to your wedding. But fear not - as long as you keep in mind that this day was about the love story between you and your partner, you'll be able to take on any remarks with grace. They'll come to understand your decision with time - we promise!