The idea of a holiday elopement either sounds like a magical adventure or a recipe for a headache. Both outcomes are entirely possible if you go into everything blind!
If your dream is to get eloped during the holidays, we’re here to offer some quick and friendly advice to make sure that dream doesn’t turn into a mess.
With the holidays comes the warmth of friends, family, hot cocoa, and snuggling up by the fireplace, the beauty of winter with snow and decorations, and the promise of good times and long-lasting memories, so it makes sense that having your elopement at this time of the year would be romantic and fun.
The problem starts when you look at the logistics. It’s hard enough planning a Christmas party or navigating crowded streets and malls during the holiday rush, then you have to factor in Federal holidays and people’s tough schedules. How in the world do you plan any kind of wedding or elopement in all this?
It’s not as difficult as you might think, but a little planning goes a long way.
Pick a Day That Works Best For Everyone
If you’re having a lot of guests at your elopement, don’t expect everyone to be warm to your idea of having your ceremony on Christmas day. There may be some pushback, even if you announce this months in advance.
The idea of having your elopement on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or New Years Eve sounds like something from a fantasy come to life, but in reality it will end up being closer to a romantic comedy if you’re not careful.
You can capture the magic of Christmas and not actually have your elopement on Christmas Day. The weekend in between Christmas and New Years might better suit your needs if you are inviting a lot of guests. If there is travel involved, you may want to aim for the week before Christmas, or even two weeks before.
If travel is minimal or if you are only inviting a few close friends and family, a Christmas Day elopement might be in the cards however. This is something you want to plan way ahead of time and do all the necessary work toward well in advance, including anything to do with your marriage license. Which brings me to the next point.
Plan Around Federal and Religious Holidays
You don’t want to be in a situation where you arrive at your destination and find yourself unable to get your marriage license because local government offices are closed for the holidays.
Due to the nature of the holidays in general, you want to make sure you give yourself plenty of wiggle room when it comes to getting your marriage license. This means that you should expect traffic, long lines, and other random acts of holiday happenstance, to encroach on your schedule.
Remember also that just because there isn’t an actual Federal Holiday on certain days, doesn’t mean the local area you are in isn’t celebrating a holiday of some sort. December is a time of celebration for a wide variety of different religious faiths and cultures around the country.
You also have to factor in local holiday parades, as well as traffic congestion during times when towns have Santa drive through with fire trucks, and similar events. Do your due diligence, and planning around the holidays will be a breeze. Don’t expect everything to line up for you if you don’t research and plan accordingly however.
Embrace the Magic but be Practical
You may already have an idea in your head of what the perfect holiday elopement would look and feel like, and that’s okay. But you do want to remain grounded and plan things accordingly.
For example, if you are planning any kind of outdoor activities, including a romantic photo shoot, or the actual ceremony, you have to take into account that inclement weather is a very real possibility.
It may simply be too cold outside for you or your guests to feel comfortable. And though the idea of a snowy outdoor photo shoot sounds magnificent, it won’t be a fun time if you go in without being prepared to deal with the elements.
Dress for the occasion when holding any parts of the elopement ceremony outside, and that includes boots and appropriate accessories if it’s really cold. There’s nothing romantic about frostbite.
You also want to take into account the simple logistics of the holiday season. What venues will be open, what roads will be closed, what places will be packed with people.
Learn about the area you are planning for your elopement. What are the roads like around the venue you chose? What’s opened and closed? Make sure you book your hotel well in advance, because people travel during the holidays and make a ton of last minute reservations. Also remember flight delays and travel times.
You can certainly plan for a “Christmassy” elopement, but make sure you’re doing the work in the background to make sure it goes off without a problem. This is one reason why elopement planners are so important, they can handle a lot of these kinds of headaches for you!
The Reason for the Season
There are dozens of ways to incorporate loved holiday traditions and customs into your ceremony. Maybe your after-party will feature ugly Christmas sweaters, maybe your ceremony will have some coincidentally placed mistletoe hanging overhead. Perhaps your beverage of choice will be eggnog.
Whatever the case is, if you’re going to have a holiday elopement, play it up!
If you’re purposefully going someplace snowy for your ceremony, ice skating and skiing are two exciting and potentially romantic activities you can fill your week with. Consider holding your ceremony in a cabin or lodge, replete with cozy fireplace and holiday decorations.
Does the city you’re getting eloped in have a notoriously walkable downtown area full of restaurants and stores? This might be an opportunity to have a chilly night on the town, do some window shopping, purchase a couple early Christmas gifts for each other, and have a romantic dinner by candlelight to cap the night.
Another option for making the most of your holiday elopement is enjoying the Christmas holiday itself away from home. Do all the necessary planning and celebrate Christmas morning with your significant other in your own little world, or perhaps with some close friends and family along as well. What better way to spend your elopement “honeymoon” exchanging gifts and lounging around eating chocolate and drinking eggnog? Sounds like something out of a movie!
Because they are so much easier to plan than typical Weddings, you could say that an elopement is already a great “wedding hack,” but even the most effortless elopements come with their fair share of planning and little hurdles.
It doesn’t matter what stage of the planning you’re on, we think you’ll benefit from a few tips that will make your magical day even more enjoyable.
With just a few small adjustments, you can save a ton of work and really make your elopement an incredible flawless experience.
Focus on the Moment
Don’t worry about what other people are thinking when it comes to your elopement. Actually, don’t think about anything else at all.
Your elopement should be about you and your significant other. Not fancy stories on Instagram, not living it up every minute, not showing off, nothing like that.
To truly get the most out of your elopement, be mindful of the time you share with your partner, and any family and friends who are with you. These are moments you’re going to want to remember for a lifetime.
You’ll also appreciate the small things more if you aren’t mentally caught up in everyone’s perception of your elopement or what life will be like after you get home. None of that matters, it will work itself out.
The moment is all that matters.
Don’t Try and be Your Own Photographer
You’re not as savvy with a camera as you think you are!
It’s so important to hire a decent photographer and / or videographer for the elopement ceremony and any other events or parts of the elopement you want to capture.
There’s nothing wrong with taking plenty of pictures yourself with your phone, but when it comes time to really capture the moments that matter, you’re going to want to leave it to a professional.
When it comes to eloping, the lion’s share of the money you want to spend services on should be in the photography. This is not something you want to leave to chance.
Plus, having a good photographer means you don’t really have to think too much about the photography at all. They will be there to capture all the right moments, leaving you to focus on the actual elopement.
Save yourself a headache and don’t skimp in this department. Find a solid photographer in the area you are getting eloped at, and let them handle that aspect of the elopement.
Get the Legal Stuff Over With ASAP
Can’t stress this enough. Don’t leave the legalities of your elopement till the zero hour.
Actually, once you decide on a location and begin the initial steps to planning your elopement, this is when you want to contact the local municipal authorities or look up online exactly what you need to do in order to get married legally in that state or city, and then do everything in your power to take care of it then and there.
This way, when you arrive for your elopement, there won’t be any surprises. Nothing can put a damper on a fantastic elopement quite like legal snafus.
Pick a Theme and Stick to It
Early on in your elopement planning you should pick the location you want to get married in, and also choose an overarching theme.
This will make planning the smaller aspects of the ceremony easier. This includes what to wear and the location of the actual ceremony, as well as possible events before and after the ceremony.
For instance, if you have a general idea that you want to get eloped on a beach, you will want to craft your ceremony around this theme. This means that it’s probably a good idea to account for the weather and environment by not wearing an excessively large gown or anything that would make the ceremony uncomfortable.
Is your ceremony going to feel like a party or be more casual? Will it be intimate and romantic or exciting and fun?
Picking a theme will automatically reduce the amount of choices you have when thinking up color schemes, clothing options, or anything else you want to incorporate into the elopement, making the entire process of planning everything far easier.
A Little Goes a Long Way
One important thing to remember about your elopement is that you don’t want to try and cram too much in or be too elaborate.
The whole point of an elopement is to reduce the stress and clutter that sometimes comes with your average wedding. In fact, because of how easy it is to plan an elopement in comparison, some couples tend to want to tack on a bunch of events or ideas at the last minute.
This is something you want to avoid. A little goes a long way with elopements. The less you have to pack, the less engagements you have to attend, the less you feel like you’re being shuffled from one event or sightseeing spot to another, the better.
You want to capture a feeling of freedom in your elopement. You want to leave space for you and your significant other to relax, and allow the magnitude of the marriage to sink in.
Don’t feel pressured to turn every minute of the entire elopement stay into an Instagram photoshoot or wild thrill. You’ll appreciate everything a whole lot more if you have downtime between the events you have planned.
This goes for the day of the ceremony as well. Don’t try and turn the elopement ceremony into a 10-step extravaganza. Simple and small is almost always better.
Want more elopement hacks? Check out our tips on getting eloped on a Budget!
Considering marrying in New Orleans? Check out some stunning locations!
Even though there are some obvious similarities, there are some huge differences between traditional weddings and an elopement.
You might be wondering which option is the best for you and your significant other, so we’re here to help you make the decision.
Both typical wedding ceremonies and elopement ceremonies are perfectly wonderful choices if you’re thinking of tying the knot, but there are important differences you’re going to want to consider.
You also might find that you’ve had misconceptions about elopement and that it is a better option than a traditional wedding for you.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about the differences between getting married and eloping!
Elopements Typically Involve Travel
Part of the fun of getting eloped is that it’s almost like a traditional wedding and a honeymoon rolled into one.
Unlike a traditional wedding ceremony that might be held at a local church or some other upscale venue close to the couple’s home or family, elopements tend to take place further away, such as at resort locations and vacation destinations.
This is because elopements tend to involve far fewer people than the average wedding, so it’s easy to fly several states away to a magical destination rather than having to wait until the honeymoon.
An elopement is sort of like a getaway or retreat combined with a wedding. In this way it’s perfect for couples who want to focus on the ceremony and save some money at the same time.
Elopements Involve Much Less Planning
While there is still plenty of things to consider with an elopement, they tend to be somewhat more spontaneous.
There are just far fewer issues to contend with in an elopement. You don’t have to worry about catering to a hundred people and fully decking out a wedding hall, not to mention arranging all the different services.
Elopements cut out a lot of the pageantry of modern weddings and go for a more minimalist, couple-focused way of doing things. There’s less money and time being spent on floral arrangements and expensive catering and more time for the couple to do what they want over the course of several days.
Taking the time to plan out an elopement has its benefits, but it’s not something that takes half a year or more of never-ending fretting and micromanaging like so many weddings tend to. Elopements are carefree and are much less stressful overall.
Elopements Cost Less
You’re not going to be breaking the bank with your average elopement. Because you’re not catering to so many people and there’s a lot fewer service and other matters to attend to, they simply cost less even with travel fare included in the conversation.
It’s for this reason that elopements are becoming increasingly popular.
Even for couples who go “all out” with their elopements, they still wind up costing less than a typical wedding. When you’re not shelling out $500 for a 3-tiered wedding cake and several thousand for décor, you’d be surprised how cheap getting married can actually be!
More Private Time For The Couple
One thing that’s always been true about traditional weddings, is that they rarely leave much time for the actual couple. In fact, it’s tradition that the couples don’t see each other until the bride walks down the aisle!
Elopements are somewhat different. There’s no hiding and tip-toeing around.
One of the most popular elopement activities involves a pre-elopement "first look" photoshoot held privately just for the bride and groom. Sometimes there aren’t even other people involved with the marriage itself – just the couple, an officiant, and the witness.
In this way, the couples get to decide what they do and when they do it.
Want to go out to eat at a beautiful restaurant right after the ceremony? Sure. Want to go snorkeling instead? Why not?
Elopements are much more free-flowing and allow for more personal time for the couples involved. It’s more like a romantic getaway than a wedding, which is why elopements are skyrocketing in popularity.
Many couples often feel drained by the time their wedding ceremony is over and they can’t wait for the honeymoon to begin. When you get eloped, the wedding is the honeymoon!
Elopements Have More Variety
Sure, there are barnyard weddings and even outdoor forest weddings, but these are few and far between and are somewhat difficult to plan.
Elopements, on the other hand, are meant to include sight-seeing and adventure.
When you’re planning your after-ceremony activities, you can include plays, cruises, bar-hopping, you name it. It is also easy to incorporate this variety into the ceremony itself.
It’s certainly easier to have an elopement on a beach or in a park than having a full-fledged wedding in the same locations. Fewer people and less “extras” mean a much easier experience for everyone, especially the couple!
Elopements Are Just More Fun
Traditional weddings can certainly be daunting, even nerve-wracking. There are many positives to traditional wedding ceremonies of course, but between the average cost and all the stress involved, we’re seeing a movement toward elopements all across the country.
Maybe the biggest reason for this is that elopements are just more fun!
There’s nothing like being free to plan your ceremony exactly where and how you want it instead of being tied down to location, tradition, and the expectations of other people. It’s not only liberating, it saves time, money, and a ton of unnecessary hassle.
This leaves the couple open to actually have fun with their ceremony rather than being hogtied by responsibilities and obligations to other people on what’s supposed to be their special day.
Instead of all the headaches that go into planning a monumental event like a traditional wedding, you can plan a romantic getaway in a beautiful location of your choosing, and elope on your terms.
These are just some of the major ways in which elopements are different than your usual wedding. From our experience, elopements just offer the couple more options and freedom to plan the event their way, which creates a myriad of possibilities for fun, excitement, romance, and memories you’ll never forget.
If you’ve been considering an elopement over a traditional wedding, you’re probably looking for something more than the usual. That’s great! Please feel free to look around our site at all of the elopement resources we have, including packages for couples looking to get eloped in specific hot locations, such as New Orleans.
Elopements truly offer a world of possibilities. Don’t be afraid to buck tradition and have one all your own!
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
The ultimate personal elopement experience, just you and your significant other on a beach resort or mountain retreat, ready to celebrate your union and your honeymoon-like getaway without any other obligations or family to cater to.
If getting eloped without any guests in some fantastical location sounds like something you might be interested in, we’ve got just what you’re looking for!
Evolving Elopement Trends
Because they are so versatile, elopement trends and traditions are changing all the time. Indeed, no two elopements are ever alike, and with all the things you can customize or leave out completely, it’s no wonder why they are skyrocketing in popularity.
For some, an elopement can be just like a traditional wedding, just held in some faraway or exotic location.
In these cases, couples basically arrange for a bunch of friends and family to fly out with them to a honeymoon-like destination and celebrate with them.
This of course can be a wonderful experience, but it is somewhat far removed from the classic idea of an elopement, where a couple madly in love picks a spot to get married in and just takes off with little planning and just romance to carry them in their travels.
It’s certainly great having a small entourage of family and friends with you on an elopement, but what about if you really just want an intimate experience? What if you just want to share the moment with the love of your life and not have to worry about entertaining or catering to other people?
That’s where the trend of Just Us elopements come in.
A Wedding Made For Two
There are so many obligations during a traditional wedding that it can be daunting for many couples.
Sometimes the stress can impact the day of the wedding itself. These stressors include having to cater to the dozens or even hundreds of people that are attending.
Imagine having to take time out of what is supposed to be the most romantic days of your life up until this point, to worry about your distant aunt’s food allergies the day before the wedding?
Doesn’t sound like a fantasy, more like a sitcom episode!
Bucking the trend of weddings being large family affairs, the “just us” wedding is exactly what it sounds like. A getaway package just for the couple getting married.
They are usually relatively cheap even compared to most elopement packages, and simply include accommodations and the necessary officiant for conducting the ceremony.
Examples of Just Us Packages
Because of the amount of freedom you have if you aren’t catering to a large group of people, just us wedding packages can vary wildly.
Here’s a few examples of great packages that help define the kind of experience you would expect.
Just the Two of Us Beach Elopement
This is the perfect example of a simple, affordable ceremony that cuts out all the fluff and just gets to the heart of the matter.
What if you and your significant other simply want to get married on a beach?
If you want to add on to the package, you can do that as well. This format of putting your own ceremony together saves money and frustration for the bride and groom.
At the end of the day, what could be better than just saying “I do” beside the ocean?
Florida Just the Two of Us Package
For couples looking for a little more structure and less decision-making, yet still want to get married on the cheap and by the shore, this package is perfect.
Instead of the add-ons, this package comes included with some photography, decorated table setup, and bouquet.
Still a very simplistic option but somewhat beefier. If you want a simple, magical beach experience with no frills, this is a great option.
Just the Two of Us Celtic Castle Package
How about a more exotic experience? For couples with a slightly bigger budget and looking for more memories to make, what could be better than getting married in an actual Celtic castle?
You’re still saving thousands and thousands of dollars compared to a traditional wedding (or even most traditional honeymoons), and you’re getting a bed and breakfast suite, champagne, a bouquet, the full ceremony, and more.
It even includes planning!
Imagine what kind of magical elopement experience you could have if you purchased a package like this and added on with your own sight-seeing and adventures after the day of the ceremony?
This is one of the reasons why the idea of elopements are taking off. Getting married in a castle in a faraway country sure beats the typical wedding imagery!
Romantic New Orleans Just The Two of Us Package
What could be better than a “just us” wedding in downtown New Orleans? The history, the art, the majesty, and the sights. To say nothing of the food!
New Orleans is known for being an elopement destination, because of its naturally congenial climate, litany of world class hotels and fine dining, sightseeing opportunities, entertainment, and charming chapels.
It also makes a fine destination for a “just us” ceremony.
This package is similarly priced as the previous and includes seasonal flowers, professional photography, makeup artists and vendors arranged by the elopement planner, and your choice of several beautiful ceremony sites in the heart of New Orleans.
The photography session in this package is worth the price alone, let alone everything else.
New Orleans stands out as one of the finest locations to have any kind of elopement, but it shines for intimate and just us elopements. You can take full advantage of the city and all its amenities.
Regardless of what your choice is, there are many upsides to having a “just us” ceremony. If you are trying to get married on a budget but still want an exotic destination elopement in a place like New Orleans, this might be the option for you.
The romance and allure of having an intimate ceremony, coupled with the affordability, means you have the freedom to do what you want without having to plan or worry too much about anything else.
And after all, that’s what your special day should be about: enjoying it!
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
The beautiful part of getting eloped is the freedom you have to customize the ceremony in any way you want. One of the biggest draws of getting eloped is that feeling of not being tied to tradition and expectation.
Your ceremony is truly yours.
This means that many couples who elope tend to draw traditions and parts of all kinds of wedding and unity ceremonies in order to create what to them is the perfect or ideal marriage ceremony.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a unity ceremony is a non-traditional extension of a wedding, that typically symbolizes the coming together not just of a couple, but of their families and communities as well.
Some common unity ceremony traditions include burning a unity candle, or some kind of handfasting, where the couple has their hands symbolically tied together.
So what does planting a tree have to do with getting married?
Planting a Tree as an Act of Unity
These days, with so much talk of climate change and the rapidly escalating perils of an increasingly unstable environment, people everywhere are encouraging us to perform conservation activities, including plantings trees.
No matter what your reason is, planting a tree is indeed an important act. There are no drawbacks and numerous benefits from our neighborhoods having more green in them.
But what does planting a tree mean for a couple tying the knot?
Well, trees and wood have a long history of being used in weddings and marriage ceremonies.
Trees specifically are beautiful, long lasting, and symbolize growth and strength.
A couple can watch the tree grow as their marriage grows. What starts as a sapling will end up as a healthy, stable, and tall adult tree in 30 years.
Planting a tree together is a healthy, visceral activity, something that says “I’m in this for the long haul.”
Anyone can exchange an object, but when you symbolize your marriage with a “new life,” one that you know will grow with you as your marriage gets older, this holds powerful and potent symbolism.
Not only that, it’s a ceremony that is designed to bring whole families together. Over time the tree will come to be a recognizable symbol of your marriage. Your family members will remember the tree, they will be able to visit it, read under its shade, perhaps even enjoy fruit from it.
It’s a palpable, physical expression of your union.
This is why tree planting unity ceremonies are on the rise. They can be powerful, beautiful representations of a couple’s love and the coming together of two families.
So what better than to incorporate such a ceremony into your elopement?
How to Add a Tree Planting Ceremony to Your Elopement
Just because elopements tend to be more simplistic and light on the rituals, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate something special and significant like a short unity ceremony into it.
Even if you are planning a more intimate ceremony with only a few friends and family, you can still plant a tree together during your elopement that symbolizes your union as well as your families coming together.
But here’s a quandary: it’s common for couples to hold their elopements in faraway cities or resorts. First of all, it’s unlikely that you would want to plant a tree in some park 1000 miles away from where you live, and one wonders what the requirements for something like that would be anyway.
You’re not going to be getting eloped in Hawaii and planting a coconut tree in the backyard of your hotel.
So when exactly do you plant a tree during your elopement if you want to hold a unity ceremony?
You have two main options: before or after the actual elopement.
For instance, you could plan your actual elopement and get married the way you want, and then after you get back home, plant the tree during an after party or after-ceremony with your family and friends involved.
You could also decide to plant the tree before you even go anywhere. Almost as if the unity ceremony symbolizes a journey that you are about to embark on. This also could serve to appease the family and friends who feel left out that you are flying to the other side of the country to get married and they won’t be invited.
Ultimately, your unity ceremony should feel like a natural extension of your elopement. If you are getting eloped to “get away from it all” and not involve too many family members or deal with too many obligations, you always can opt for a simple, pressure-free unity ceremony.
Your intentions are what counts in this instance. Maybe a full-fledged unity ceremony is not something you think fits your elopement, but you still want to do something that celebrates the unity of you and your significant other more than just the exchanging of vows and rings, or you want to celebrate your families coming together.
In this way, you could even hold a tree planting without any witnesses, or perhaps record it with the help of a close friend. It can be as intimate as you want it to be. After all, it’s your elopement.
Before leaving for your destination of choice, you could set aside a day to plant a tree in your backyard together. It could be an afternoon project just the two of you share.
The results would last a lifetime and the tree would grow to symbolize how your marriage grows and blooms into a mighty and beautiful thing indeed.
I can’t think of a more romantic ritual to kick off a marriage, can you?
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Isn’t an elopement already an affordable alternative to a traditional wedding? That may be true, but what if you want to get eloped on a strict budget?
We’ve put together the ultimate clear cut guide to eloping with a preset small budget, so you don’t have to crunch the numbers (that much!).
While many want an elopement or wedding ceremony to be this big, flashy event that spares no expense, that’s just not a realistic goal for a lot of people.
Many couples these days would prefer to invest that large sum of money into a down payment on a house, or at least their first nice apartment. Or perhaps for going back to school and expanding their career.
Either way, there’s a lot of ways to spend several thousands of dollars, and more practical couples are reluctant to blow it all on one day, even if it’s for their marriage.
After all, it’s not about the money. If you know what you’re doing and how to budget, you can have an unforgettable ceremony for only around $1000.
Sound too good to be true?
It depends on where you want to go and what you want to include, but we’ll help you trim down your expenses and focus only on the core elements of what makes an elopement magical. You can honestly make $1000 or so go a long way if you know what you’re looking for.
Elopement Packages VS Winging It
The first and perhaps the most essential element of this is that you don’t want to wing it and piece everything together yourself.
There are many great elopement specialists out there who have already cut deals with the best photographers, florists, and hotels in town, and have put together super affordable packages that roll everything into one. Better yet, they even take care of all the arrangements, essentially taking all of the boring guesswork out of actually planning a ceremony.
While it is true many elopement packages with all the bells and whistles can cost in excess of $5000, if you look around, you can find them for a fraction of that price tag and often around the $1000 mark.
It also depends on how big a ceremony you want from the outset. It’s unlikely that you will be able to have a truly “budget” elopement if you are planning to cater to 30 people, unless they don’t mind cheese and crackers.
The catering is part of what inflates average wedding costs. If you’re looking for a more simplistic, romantic, and cost-effective ceremony, only invite a small group of your closest friends and family. Some of the most magical elopements are the ones where you can just about count everyone involved on two hands.
This makes catering and “people managing” a whole lot easier and cheaper, and is one of the biggest reasons couples love elopements. Zero hassle when you don’t have to worry about relatives you haven’t seen in a decade and catering to 100 different people’s food tastes and expectations.
Simple and Affordable Elopement
Looking for a dirt cheap getaway to gorgeous Colorado? This elopement package only costs $900 for an officiant and expert advice on getting your wedding license, where to hold your ceremony, and more, as well as an hour of professional wedding photography.
Sometimes the best elopements are the ones that are all about the romance and the simplicity of a union in a whimsical, beautiful location. If you’re looking for something simple, you should investigate this package or ones like it. If you look around, you can find similar packages in many other popular elopement locations around the country!
Don’t forget to work travel expenses into your budget. If you’re going for a simple, budget-friendly ceremony, you might want to think about looking for airfare deals or even taking a road trip to your destination! Don’t be afraid to make an adventure out of it, rather than blowing money on luxuries.
Incredible New Orleans Elopement Packages
If you want to go all out but still want to keep a strict budget in mind, there’s packages for that as well!
There are great elopement packages put together by professionals all around the country that go to great lengths to meet the various needs of couples looking for budget-friendly ceremonies.
Here are some of our recommended New Orleans elopement packages. If you’re not aware, New Orleans is an elopement Mecca, sporting some of the finest hotels, restaurants, parks, and weather in the country, making it an ideal spot for couples wanting to tie the knot in style!
These packages start at $1495 and include everything from seasonal bouquets, personal wedding cakes, champagne, and even balcony ceremonies and luxury hotel suites.
All for less than the price of a traditional wedding’s catering bill!
Even More Budget Elopement Packages
Still looking for awesome elopement deals? We’ve got a list of our favorite budget-friendly elopement options right here.
When it comes to deciding which elopement package is right for you, just narrow down what you think you need, and what you can afford on top of the package, such as hotel expenses if they are not covered.
The best part of package deals is that typically, the overall price of everything offered is lower than if you went out and found these services individually. And even that is a service in and of itself, since you’re not always going to find the best officiant or florist if you aren’t from the area or have no knowledge of event planning.
In terms of working on a budget, elopement packages are typically the way to go, but we do have some advice in case you want to strike off on your own!
Manually Planning Your Elopement
We don’t personally recommend going without an elopement package because elopement professionals have been planning and putting together weddings and elopements for years, often for decades, and are extremely knowledgeable about which local services are best and the most affordable.
However, if you insist on going it alone, here is some general advice to get you started!
The rest should be a piece of cake. You can definitely put together an unforgettable elopement on a small budget, it just takes a bit of planning and ingenuity.
Click HERE to learn the 5 secrets to a successful (and stress-free) elopement and BONUS checklist!
Think about it, what could be more romantic than getting eloped on a beautiful beach?
Even if this is your dream come true, putting it all into action is another story. You might be wondering, how do you even begin to put something like that together?
You’re not alone. Thousands of couples every year opt to get married on the beach, whether through an elopement or more traditional means, and there is some planning that has to go into it if you want to get everything right!
Choose a Beach Destination That’s Right For You
Not all beaches are the same! The first step in planning any successful beach elopement is deciding where you want to have it.
There’s the obvious choices of tropical hotspots like the Florida Keys and Hawaii.
However you may want to go for the simple charms and rugged shorelines of Maine or Washington. You may also be interested in the sightseeing and quaintness of New Jersey’s white sand beaches or surfing at California.
Maybe there’s a beach that has sentimental value for you as a couple.
Regardless of your choice, this is a major part of making sure your elopement is just the way you want it.
We personally recommend beach elopements in Florida simply because of the gorgeous shorelines and attractions available all within a short distance of each other.
Dress For the Occasion
With any exotic wedding or elopement comes additional challenges.
You might want to hold off on wearing that long trailing gown or anything too elaborate if you have your heart set on an amazing beach elopement.
Shorelines tend to be naturally breezy, and even under nice weather conditions can be downright windy. Add trudging through the sand, and you have the perfect recipe for an elopement blooper reel!
Take the time to pick out a simpler dress that fits the occasion and your style, which isn’t too billowy, long, or delicate. Boho style gowns and tropical style party dresses work remarkably well for beach elopements.
Don’t feel pressured into sticking with the traditional white wedding dress. Part of the benefit of having a beach elopement in the first place is comfort and the ability to do what you want to do, without tradition weighing you down.
In other words, yes you can get married in that simple flowery tropical dress you love!
Don’t Worry About a Chapel
You could have your ceremony at a nearby chapel and then migrate over to the beach of your choice, but why bother? Hold the whole thing at the beach!
One of the benefits of a beach elopement is the freedom to make it as whimsical as you want. Do away with tradition and let your imagination call some of the shots.
If you’re looking for a bit of cover from the sun and a kind of centerpiece to the ceremony, you could always hold everything on a gazebo at the beach. What could be more perfect than getting married under the shade of a white gazebo only feet from the rolling waves of your favorite shoreline?
Evening Works Best
Unless you’re a stickler for crystal clear blue skies for your ceremony backdrop, we recommend evening hours as the best time to get married on the beach for multiple reasons.
One, it’s simply a more romantic mood and atmosphere. You’re already imagining what it would be like to get married on the beach with the setting sun in the background, aren’t you?
There’s obviously other perks as well, such as better lighting for photography, cooler temperatures, less risk of sunburn or dealing with a harsh bright sun in general, and the ability to immediately follow your ceremony up with a nighttime party on the beach!
Party on the Beach?
Speaking of which, if you’re going out of your way to get married on the beach of your choosing, why not take advantage of it?
Depending on what city or location you choose to get married, there are certainly no shortage of activities you could do after you tie the knot, but if you invited several guests, you might want to think about having a classic party on the beach.
If you take the time to plan your ceremony with a party event in mind, you could have catered food, raffles, and other activities right on the beach, without having to disrupt the magic and go to another location.
Alternatively, if you haven’t invited many guests and wanted your elopement to be more personal, a romantic dinner for two on the beach following your ceremony might be the perfect end to an unforgettable day.
The key to having the ultimate beach elopement is not letting yourself get confined to typical wedding traditions and don’t be afraid to take some risks and have fun. After all, it’s your special day!
Just remember to plan everything ahead of time. Even the most whimsical weddings need a bit of foresight to go off without a hitch!
There’s a lot that goes into an elopement to make it so magical, but the photographer might be at the top of the list.
The photographer is arguably the lynchpin of the entire ceremony, who is often tasked with capturing every moment and helping to make the vision of the couple come to life.
It’s important that you have someone reliable behind the camera, almost like a conductor, ensuring that your special moments are preserved forever.
So you’ve made up your mind, you know where you’re going, when you’ll go, the color and cut of your dress, and even what kind of cake to have.
But you haven’t picked a photographer yet?
No worries, we’ve put together this guide to help you know what you’re looking for and what to expect at every step of the way.
Plan Ahead and Do Your Research
First things first, if you’re in the market for an elopement photographer, you have to be prepared to do a bit of research.
Elopement photographers live and die by their online reputations. This isn’t an industry where you can mess up too many times and get away with it. So you know right off the bat that the crème rises to the top, and good reviews and praise are a great indication that you’re dealing with someone who knows how to capture the magic.
Once you narrow down your search, begin to compare packages and prices. This is not an area where you want to skimp, however. In the photography world, cheap usually equals bad.
Photography is an art, and it’s a lot harder than just snapping pictures. Just the editing process can take hours of labor, to say nothing of having the skill and intuition to know when to capture the perfect moments and bring out the best in the bride and groom.
Elopements are typically cheaper than weddings and elopement photographers understand this, so don’t expect to be paying wedding prices for a simple elopement package. Typical elopement photography packages range anywhere from about $700 to $1200 depending on the quality and location.
Your primary goal here is to simply make sure the photographer is in your budget and does quality work. See their reviews and social media comments. Do they get glowing praise or are their socials pretty empty? Do they have 3 reviews at 4.1 stars or 50+ reviews at 4.8 stars?
If you do the research, the results will meet your expectations.
Make Sure Your Elopement Visions Match
This is crucial. Just because the price is right and the work seems quality, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found the perfect photographer. There’s different styles to think about.
You want a photographer that will match up well with the vision you have for your elopement and can help you bring it to life. You want to be sure that the person you’re entrusting with this responsibility knows exactly what you want and how to bring it about.
Photographers all have different styles, different areas of expertise, comfort zones, and other factors that all make them unique. There is also personalities to think about.
This is why it’s important to get in touch with potential prospects you may consider for the job and get to know them a little. Do your due diligence, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A great elopement photographer will also do the same. They will take the time to ask questions and take interest in your plans, so that they can help bring your vision to life. Even if it’s as simple as a basic chapel elopement, you’re going to want those memories preserved the right way, and that means finding the right person for the job.
Integrate Them Into Your
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