In the past, eloping had a reputation for being a quick way to get married. And, while elopements can be much more expedited than the traditional wedding-planning process, they aren’t always as simple as Hollywood (or Vegas, in this case) might have you believe. Here are some myth-busting elopement dos and don’ts for your big day.
DO: Plan ahead
At its most basic form, marriage requires three three things: a couple, a marriage license, and someone who is legally able to marry you. Our guess is you’ve got the first one down! But a receiving your license can’t necessarily be manifested in an instant, so be prepared! Find out your state's guidelines for getting a marriage license ahead of time so you can have it on hand. An officiant can be easily sourced (it’s part of what we do here, after all), but you can also consider having a close friend or family member become ordained to officiate your ceremony, if you want to make your day even more personal.
DON’T: Think you have to settle
When it comes to choosing an untraditional ceremony, be your own champion! Never lose the celebration of your love, no matter how big or small it is. Whether eloping is your fantasy, or your current reality, there are so many small things you can do to make it even more magical. Courthouses are only one option out of hundreds, so if it’s not your style, don’t settle (and if it is, go for it! We recommend still having a photographer there to capture those special moments).
DO: Dress for Success
We encourage our brides to wear whatever makes them feel beautiful. But if your elopement is happening in the desert in August, maybe that fur shawl can stay at home. A big part of the magic of eloping is feeling comfortable and confident. A great tip is to check out the average weather for the month and location you’re holding your ceremony, that way you can build your wardrobe based off of the appropriate temps. Dressing for your location will ensure that you’re not worried about sweating your makeup off in the middle of your vows, or shivering in spaghetti straps as you exchange rings.
DON’T: Keep secrets (if you don’t want to)
So, you didn’t want a big wedding and you’ve went ahead and eloped. That’s perfectly wonderful! But if you’re feeling unsure about how your family or friends may react to the news, don’t keep it a secret from them just because you think they’ll be disappointed. You’ve married the person you love! Happiness is contagious, so don’t be afraid to celebrate your choice. You might just find that the people you love most will shower you with love and support. A great idea is to come bearing a few photos from your day so that you can show them just how incredibly perfect the day was for you and your partner. It’s hard to argue with two people who’ve got stars in their eyes!