Want To Get Away? 6 Things To Do When You Want To Elope!
So the day has come… you and your partner have made the decision to live life together and you’re both over the moon! You know you want to be married, yet you’re not sure what the “big day” is going to look like. You may want to start wedding planning soon after the proposal, or you may just want to not think about it at all and enjoy the moments soon after your proposal, but the moment you do start the planning process, it comes down to these two questions, do we want to have a wedding or do we want to elope?
If you and your partner decide to elope, that is ok and it’s great that you two were able to make your first huge decision on how you start your life together as a united front and with bravery! It is usually easier to consider other people and how they feel, but when do we give ourselves permission to consider how we feel and act on it? Now is definitely the time if this is what you want and it aligns with the idea you have for the life you want to create with your spouse. At the end of the day, your wedding day is truly about the two of you coming together to create a new life for your family, which means that you now have the chance to start over and live the life you’ve always dreamt of. So how do you start planning your elopement you ask? Here are 6 tips to consider and keep in mind!
Tell your support system!
Now, when you have an amazing support system and want to share your special day with all of your special people, it is going to be hard to make that decision because you don’t want to let anyone down. Not to mention, when we were younger and would think about (and even hear about) weddings, the idea of eloping wasn’t always a highly favored one. In fact, as a young girl, I don’t think I ever considered the idea of eloping because it was frowned upon and rarely mentioned, yet my big day was an elopement!! This is one of the hardest things to do because of the fear of reactions, however this is your support system!! Yes, they will have their own feelings about not be able to participate in a traditional wedding because again, that is how a lot of us envision wedding days, but ultimately, they will be so happy for you two! Remember, this is your day! It is truly all about you and your partner.
Pick a date!
Similar to planning a wedding ceremony and reception, choose your date based on the style of dress you want to wear! If the dress you want would be best for spring and summer, you will want to look at the calendar for dates between the months of March and August. If your style of dress is better for fall or winter, take a look at the months September through February for a fall or winter elopement. Or maybe choose your anniversary date, because you can never go wrong with that and your date can be more flexible due to the fact that there are less people involved and you don’t have to book a venue!
Location, Location, Location!
One of the best parts about planning an elopement is that you can get married almost anywhere!! When my husband and I eloped, we went to Ravens Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway and that was easily one of the best decisions we made! When you and your partner look for locations, consider places that are near and dear to the two of you. Think of some of your favorite places to visit together like a specific beach, park or an overlook in the mountain and then contact the city or county to ask if elopements are allowed there.
Find an officiant
There are several ways to go about this, one of which would be to hire someone who is an ordained minister. Another option is to contact the sheriffs department (in Albemarle county) and they will perform courthouse weddings and elopements for you either at the Charlottesville, VA courthouse or if you mention that you have a location in mind, at your desired location. In other states, you may have a friend or family member in mind that you would like to perform the ceremony, put together a nice gift basket and ask if they would be the officiant at your ceremony!
Hire your photographer and videographer!
Now, just think about how intimate this entire process is and apply that mindset to your search for the best photographer and videographer to document your elopement. I highly suggest looking into a videographer to be able to capture your real emotions and have the video to play back in real time. It is like you’re there again and you don’t have to rely on your memory 50 years down the line to live in that moment again. Yes, your photographs are great memory joggers and will take you back to that place, however there is just something about having a video to replay over and over again, to hear your vows and how happy you were on your big day! And to me, one of the best things about eloping, is being able to cut the cost of your entire day on expenses like decorations and food for 100+ people to invest in yourself and the lasting memories you create!
Your photographer is going to freeze all of those moments for you and follow you and your partner telling the story of your love and the day you said yes to your life together. Photographs that cannot be recreated and that will be cherished for a lifetime!
Lastly, Invite your support system to be with you on your special day
I don’t know who came up with the idea that family and friends can’t be with you when you decide to elope, but that is FALSE. Unless you decide to have this moment sacred for you and your spouse, then that is fine and totally up to you, however don’t think that you can’t invite your parents or best friends! You can truly do whatever your heart desires! Invite your grandma, grandpa, aunt and uncle, best friend, all of the people you called immediately after getting engaged, and invite them to your elopement ceremony if that is what you want to do. And if you decide to keep it between you and your partner, maybe you invite a handful of people to dinner after or the following weekend and celebrate! Another idea is to plan a small get together as a reception where all of your loved ones can gather in the same location and celebrate your union. It’s your day and your new life- live it how you want to, not by how other people want you to. <3