Eloping has often been portrayed as spur-of-the-moment, courthouse affairs, so how does that marry (pun intended) with the traditions of a conventional wedding? Below are four key elements of an elopement ceremony.
An elopement is typically thought of as running away without telling friends or family, but that definition has changed over time. Now, an elopement means that you are tying the knot and celebrating with just yourselves or a small gathering in a minimal, more casual fashion. Much like a Pop-up Wedding!
The phrase “elopement wedding” to most probably sounds like a perfect contradiction. Weddings are large celebrations, filled with seating charts, cake tastings, and everything in between. Elopements are more intimate affairs with a handful of guests and no real planning, right? Well, not necessarily. The beauty of an elopement is blending both traditional and non-traditional elements, making your day exactly what you’ve envisioned.
The beauty of an elopement is that there are endless options as to where to hold your ceremony. As a result, elopements can happen in nature, in public parks or buildings, at someone’s residence, or even a family member’s property. Did you want to recite your vows on a beach? Were you hoping to have the mountains as your backdrop as you say your I-do’s? With an elopement, the destination is essentially wherever you’d like it to be, without worrying about a hefty deposit on a wedding venue. As they usually require minimal setup (if any at all), the opportunities for ceremony locations are open as far as you can imagine.
Some elopement ceremonies feature the couples’ intimate family or closest friends. But in many cases, an elopement party consists of the couple, the officiant, the photographer, a videographer, who often act as the witnesses, and your wedding planner/stylist—who usually sets up and packs down for you too. This doesn’t mean you can’t invite everyone and their mothers, but generally speaking, the guest list is far more casual than what’s expected for a wedding. No seating chart required here!
The ceremony itself can last only a handful of minutes, but those few minutes can be the most important of your life! That’s why many feel that a photographer is key to capturing the essence of the ceremony. It’s also common now to have a “First Look" and a videographer! Just because you’re having an elopement doesn’t mean you’re excluded from these options. Many photographers and videographers will work with your schedule to ensure that the moment where you first see each other is documented; and since these minutes will go by in a flash, you'll be happy knowing you have some video footage of your elopement to cherish!
The most daunting part of any wedding is usually the price tag. Traditional weddings with a larger guest list can get pricy when you add up invitations, decor, venue, food, and time. Elopements are an affordable alternative to the couple on a budget—or for the couple who wants to put their funds toward the honeymoon.
Elopements offer couples full command of their day. With less people in attendance, you don’t have to make concessions to please everyone. Attire can vary; ceremonies can be religious or secular; you can choose to have a reception or to skip it. They can be spur-of-the-moment, or you can plan them out a year in advance. This day is about your commitment to each other, so, why not take the financial and social pressures off the table? That way you can focus on what’s most important—each other.