Big weddings are not for everyone. If you find yourself dreading the stress, money and time that goes into planning a large wedding, maybe an elopement is a better option for you! While elopements are much more carefree and relaxing for the bride and groom, there is still some planning that needs to happen first. Follow these steps for a stress free elopement:
Talk to Your Partner
Make sure you’re both on the same page. You might be dreading a large ceremony, but your partner may have always dreamed of a big wedding, surrounded by all of their friends and family. Remember that your wedding day is about both of you, so make sure that you’re both on board for an elopement before planning anything. Explain why you believe it would be beneficial, but be prepared to hear their ideas and opinions too.
Make it Official
If you agree that an elopement is the way to go, you will still need to get a marriage license beforehand. Make sure you do your research and know all of the paperwork and details that are involved. A quick phone call to your local city hall should let you know everything you need. Give yourself a couple of weeks in advance to do this.
Pick a Location
One of the greatest things about eloping, is that you can do it practically anywhere! Is there a place that means something special to you as a couple? Or perhaps you want to travel somewhere and stay for the honeymoon. If you want a courthouse wedding, you don’t have to use the nearest one to you. There are some lovely courthouses with gardens, archways and more that are perfect for taking photos. Once you decide on a place to say, “I do,” just call ahead and make sure there are no issues, restrictions, or appointments that you need to be aware of.
Decide Who You’ll Invite
You may just want to have the officiant, a witness, and your future husband to be there. Will you have a bridal party? Or maybe you’ll invite a handful of your closest friends and family members. This part can get so tricky. There will almost definitely be people who will be disappointed to not receive an invitation. Be prepared for that and understanding- their disappointment comes from a loving place. But, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose who to invite. Stick to what you and your partner decide. The people who love you most will understand.
Have Some Fun!
You’re getting married! And you’re saving tons of money by having an elopement. You can splurge a little bit on things that will make you feel special. If you’ve always wanted a beautiful white ball gown, go for it! Get your nails and makeup done or have a night out with your besties. You’re a bride-to-be and should get to feel like it whether you tie the knot in front of three hundred people or three.
Consider Having a Photoshoot
Just because you aren’t having a big wedding doesn’t mean you won’t want to treasure the memories forever. Hire a photographer to capture all the love you’ll be feeling as you exchange vows and that first kiss. You may even consider having a bridal shoot beforehand and pictures as a married couple after the ceremony. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. (Plus, you can use your favorite picture for your elopement announcements!)
After the ceremony, you will want to send out some, “we’ve eloped,” announcements. Send them to your friends and family who weren’t in attendance. Adding a personal message on each of the cards will help them feel more included and connected to you and your new spouse. Keep a couple for yourself as mementos of your little, big day!