Okay so maybe we're pretending "Eloper's" is a real word! But for the purposes of this blog post, if you're planning your elopement, thinking about eloping or wondering what the heck even is an elopement, then you're in the right place! Below are my top tips to help you decide if eloping is right for you and if so, how to absolutely nail planning it!
What is an elopement?
Let's hit a dictionary!
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to elope is to run away secretly especially to get married without parental consent!
Over time, I'd like to think that definition has varied slightly! To me, an elopement is to forego formal wedding traditions and marry your partner in an intimate, sentimental place with or without your family + friends knowledge and presence. Basically I think elopement is a fancy way to say you're having your day, your way!
Reasons an elopement might be right for you:
An elopement may be the right choice for you if:
- You want to focus on yourselves! If the idea of spending quality time alone with your partner (and maybe some close friends + family) on your wedding day is more favourable than a big party or sharing your day with a large group of people you love, an elopement might be right for you! & YES, it's okay to want this for yourselves!
- You want to explore somewhere new with your partner! Heck ya, you can go ANYWHERE!
- You have family in various places across the world and cannot accommodate everyone that you'd like to. Accommodating everyone can be tough and sometimes result in unwanted stress or hurt feelings. A great way to overcome this is to elope and don't invite anyone! Ps, you could always share your day through your amazing photos and video!
- Finances! Weddings can be expensive, so if you want to marry your partner but would prefer to not spend too much, an elopement is a great way to cut costs while still doing what's most important to you!
- Drama! Not every family dynamic is the same, and weddings are a place to gather and celebrate. If celebrating won't be at the top of your family's priority list, it might be beneficial to eliminate the drama by eloping!
There are a million other reasons that you may choose to elope, but ultimately doing what you want and creating your dream day is the goal! If you are ready to start planning your love day, keep on scrolling to find some amazing elopement planning tips!
Still unsure if eloping is right for you? Shoot me a message and I can help you out!
Tip # 1
Budget! To kickstart your planning let's create a budget together. The way I like to budget is to set a total budget, then divide that budget between my vendors.
What do you need to budget? To set an appropriate budget you really only need to do three things; set a quick ideal budget, determine what your ideal elopement would look like and from there do a little google search of the average cost for the travel and services you're wanting to book.
If your research indicates that your day will exceed your budget, you can go back to step one and adjust your budget, or go back to step two and adjust your location/services!
Voila! Now you have a budget you can work within!
Tip # 2
Create a vendor priority list! This is such an important step to ensure your day is everything you've ever dreamed of. Your priority list should include your top priorities written from highest to lowest priority in numerical order. Once your list is made, you'll book/secure these things in the order you've written them. This will ensure that nothing major is forgotten during your planning process and that you nail booking the vendors most important to you!
For this example, I made a list of my top 5 priorities, starting with my main priority. This means that before securing any other vendors, I would find my ideal season, location and venue first. Once my venue was secured, I would move onto checking my favourite photographer's availability for my booked date and location, etc, etc. until my list was complete!
Your list can look any way you like! So if your main priority was to have one specific photographer that you love, you might have photography at the top of your list and book your photographer first! Then you could find a venue/location that has availability on the date your photographer is booked for.
Square away your payments! Most vendors will require a contract, deposit or both to secure your date!
Since you've worked so hard to find the perfect vendors for your day, let's secure them asap! While everything is fresh, this is the perfect time to make sure your deposits have been sent, contracts have been signed, and to set reminders for upcoming payments so you don't miss anything!
Bonus tip: If you're able, set yourself reminders so that everything is paid prior to your day! Then you won't have to take time away from your Elopement to send final payments.
Get your marriage license! I live in Alberta, so for Alberta weddings/elopements your marriage license is only valid for 3 months from the date it was issued. If you're ahead of the game, no problem! Set a reminder in your phone for 3 months out!
You can purchase your marriage license at any registry office in person, with your spouse present. All you'll need to bring with you is a piece of photo identification each and a method of payment!
Note: You are required to write down your parents full legal names and place of birth so you may need to give them a call if you don't know that information!
Ps. If you're hiring an officiant, they may do this for you! If you're having a friend marry you, this responsibility is on you! BUT, you can get a license and be married on the same day, so don't worry too much about timing here!
Tell the fam! Decide ahead of time whether or not you'd like to tell your friends and family before or after your "I do's".
If you're wanting some family and friends to join you, now is a great time to send the invite!
If you're going it alone, decide if you'll notify everyone with a "We're Eloping" or "We've Eloped" announcement and plan the timing accordingly!
That's a wrap!
After following these tips, the bulk of your elopement planning should be complete! So kickback, and celebrate with your fiancé while you wait for your love day!
Best wishes, lover's!