What You Need to Know About Planning a Modern Elopement Wedding

A few years ago, if you would have told your parents you were going to elope someday, they probably would have lost their mind. No family, no dress (or tux) shopping, no tradition… just some stranger declaring you married and that’s it? Here’s the thing… mom and dad probably have an outdated outlook on eloping. These days, lots of people are doing it and the modern elopement wedding looks nothing like a cheesy Vegas “Chapel of Love” situation.  

Big blowout weddings aren’t for everyone. Just because it’s what pretty much everyone thinks of when they hear the word “wedding” it does not mean you have to do it that way. If you’re someone that doesn’t want to have a big to-do, you’re probably already starting to think about what an elopement might look like for you and your partner. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing several elopements and I’m going to give you some tips when it comes to planning a modern version you’re going to remember for the rest of your lives!

My Top Five Modern Elopement Wedding Tips

1. It Doesn’t Have to Mean Hopping a Plane to Vegas or Mexico

Yes, these are the quintessential destinations for people to elope, but you can go anywhere you want, or just stay close to home! Think about destinations that are driveable from where you live that you either love to visit or have always wanted to visit. This is the perfect solution since you don’t have to go far, but you’ll still feel like you’re leaving home and having an experience.

2. You CAN Invite People… Just Probably Not As Many

In a modern elopement wedding, couples often still have a photographer, officiant, a florist, and guests! Yep, guests. There are some couples that elope and don’t tell anyone beforehand, but for the most part, elopements have a small, very carefully selected guest list. Most of the time, the list is less than 20-30 people, but even having the people closest to you there to witness your marriage can make it feel extra special. Even if you’re planning to have a bigger party later on, you may still want to have the people closest to you by your side during your vows.

3. Do Something Special With the Extra Money

If you decide to elope, chances are you’re going to be saving a lot of money versus having a more traditional wedding. There’s a lot fewer people to feed, and it’s probably going to be a lot more laid back, with less bells and whistles and fewer vendors. Do something fun with the money you save! This is still an important occasion and something to celebrate. Maybe you spend a few extra days on your honeymoon or a super luxurious bottle of champagne for your post “I do” toast. If not now, when?

4.  Don’t Let Anyone Talk You Out Of It

There are going to be people in your life that are going to try to talk you out of eloping. They might say they’re worried you’ll regret it later, but these are really their feelings, not yours. Be gracious and thank them for their concern, but if this is what you really want, push forward and don’t apologize for anything. If someone has a problem with it, well, they’ll get over it. At the end of the day, the ONLY people that matter are you and your partner. End of story.

5. Photography Really Matters

Okay, I know. It’s a little on the nose that one of the tips I’m sharing is going to be about photography, but hear me out. Not everyone you love and care about is going to be able to be there in person. Having great photos to show off is going to be more important than ever. You might want to send a little postcard to everyone announcing your marriage with photos so they can feel like they’re included. Even if you just end up posting some of your favorite photos on social media, it’s still important that you choose someone whose work you really love.

I am so excited that you’re planning your modern elopement wedding! If you need any more tips or want to see more of my photography, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I wish you all the best throughout the wedding planning process.

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