Elopements have completely changed since our parents were getting married. It no longer means running away to Vegas and getting hitched by someone dressed as Elvis without telling a soul. Now, it simply means that you want to say “I do” with only a handful of guests or none at all.
Some people elope so they can say their vows at an epic destination, but you can also elope right in your backyard. Others elope because they can’t have a wedding with more than 5-10 people (i.e. COVID). And some elope because they want the intimacy of completely focusing on getting married and no other details. Whatever the reason, elopements are very popular these days and, in my opinion, are incredibly special and unique.
I’ve decided to answer a few questions about elopements in the hopes of helping people understand the decision even more!
Do I have to have witnesses to elope?
This completely depends on the state in which you’re getting married. Some allow marriage ceremonies with only an officiant and others require at least 2 witnesses to be present. You can find details about your state of choice on your state’s website!
Can anyone officiate my elopement?
Actually, yes. If you’re getting married in the states, anyone can become ordained to officiate your wedding as long as they’re over the age of 18. Some couples want to get married with no one present but their photographer. In that case, your photographer can actually be the one to get ordained and marry you while they’re photographing. If you don’t have anyone to officiate, ask your photographer or planner and they can find someone in the area to do it.
How do we tell our family we are eloping?
I’ve seen this question asked a lot, probably because people are worried their families will be angry that they weren’t involved in the wedding. My best advice is to be honest and simply explain that you want to be alone on your wedding day in order to focus on each other. It can help to suggest celebrating with them after the wedding. Your family loves you and wants the best for you, so be patient because that initial shock by the idea of an elopement will hopefully wear off. This day is about you and your happiness! It also may help to remind yourself that your wedding day is about you and no one else.
How do we choose a location for our elopement?
I’m currently writing a blog all about this issue, but I will say that first, you need to narrow down your options. The possibilities are ENDLESS, so it’s best to focus on three things while looking for a location: Meaning, Landscape and Experience. Is there a location that has deep meaning for you as a couple? Is there a specific landscape that you LOVE, like the beach, mountains, or desert? Is there a certain experience you want to have on your elopement? Do you want to go somewhere international, stateside, visit somewhere you’ve never been, go hiking, rock climbing, sit on a beach, etc.? What do you want your wedding day to feel like and how can the location help achieve that goal?
Is eloping just as special as a big wedding day?
This is a very personal question and I can’t answer it for everyone. However, I’ve never met anyone who regretted their elopement. In so many ways, eloping is actually more special and intimate than a big wedding ever could be. There are endless opportunities when eloping and you aren’t tied to any tradition or idea based on the number of guests. I truly believe that marrying the love of your life will always be special if you’re truly focused on that rather than the event itself.
If you’re excited after reading this blog, then eloping is probably for you! Everyone is different and you have the freedom to choose what makes your day special. That’s what I’m passionate about when it comes to your wedding day. It’s all about YOU and you’re allowed to celebrate however you choose. If eloping sets your heart on fire, then ditch tradition, and let’s go on an adventure! But, if it doesn’t and you’ve always dreamt of the big white wedding, then DO IT. There isn’t a cookie-cutter wedding that everyone need to fit because we’re all different and each couple is unique. So, celebrate in your unique way that makes your heart shine!