Keep it Simple: The Only Elopement Checklist You Need
Many couples before you have made the mistake of thinking elopement planning isn't as important since it’s a low-key affair. While there are more relaxed aspects to a small wedding versus a big wedding, there are still some details that you'll need to tick off to make 'this thing' official.
Keep it simple: The Only Elopement Checklist You Need
The most surefire way to have a stress-free wedding day is to get the wedding planning underway. Don't worry, we've crafted an elopement checklist with everything you need to consider.
So, gather your close friends to brainstorm over some cocktails and snacks until your list is complete and there's nothing to do but look forward to your perfect elopement plan.
The ultimate elopement checklist in 6 steps
The countdown to elopement day has already begun, and there are many details to consider. While the endless questions can help you determine your vision, they won’t necessarily help to create the play-by-play for your big day.
The purpose of an elopement ceremony is to simplify things.
Let’s keep in mind that, unlike traditional weddings, there are no rules. Take a deep breath and try to quiet your mind while reviewing the most pressing priorities below:
1. Choose the elopement location
Did you hope for a destination elopement or want to get married at a family member's farm with just close friends? The traditional definition of elopement has shifted from just the couple running away together in a secret ceremony, so do whatever feels right for you. Here are there three significant points to consider while deciding:
- What time of year do you want to get married?
- Have you looked into the marriage laws for your favorite destination wedding venues?
- What's your guest list look like?
Let’s say you choose a destination wedding for June in Australia without realizing that their seasons are inverse to North America. You could have a chillier wedding ceremony than you bargained for.
Understanding how many guests you plan to have can also impact the elopement packages available, which can help with travel arrangements and pricing for you and your guests.
Learn about the marriage laws ahead of time to save you unexpected headaches later.
If you're still game for an elopement abroad, make your travel arrangements as soon as possible, and be sure to factor in a few days off from work post-elopement to recover from the excitement.
2. Apply for your marriage license
This could be potentially the most critical item on the elopement checklist because you won't be technically married without a marriage license. If you're not too fussy about the fine print, you can save yourself some of the research and hassle if you get married locally at your city hall before you elope.
Ask around to friends at home who have gone through the process for their insight and tips but always double check. This route can be less stressful than trying to make arrangements remotely for a foreign destination.
By tying the knot locally, it would also mean that when you have your elopement, a close friend or family member (or fun local you met on the beach) can act as your stand-in officiant since it's already a done-deal legally. Now, that's a super custom wedding day!
3. Choose your wedding dress or style
You can go in many different directions with attire, especially for a non-traditional ceremony. Whether you want to go dressy or casual or are still undecided, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I want to wear a traditional wedding dress?
- What bridal styles have I admired in the past?
- What outfit will I feel my best in?
- How can I dress to suit the weather and location?
- Do I want to splurge on hair and makeup or go the DIY route?
- Do I have a favorite pair of shoes or an accessory that I want to build my outfit around?
The benefit to an elopement is that you can go as big or low-key as you want. There really are no rules for what you wear; just be sure that you pick something that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
4. Livestream your special day and let your loved ones know
It can be pretty pricey to hire an elopement photographer or videographer, but that's what makes Lovecast the perfect bridge.
Any couple who wants to keep their elopement super intimate and limit in-person guests can still give loved ones a front-row seat to their wedding day.
A wedding livestream is even more interactive and memorable than sending them post-elopement wedding photos. For Lovecast users, no one will miss a beat between the virtual guest book, the virtual rice toss — there’s even a gift registry!
Instant access to the replay means you can happily rewatch and relive your elopement in the days and years to follow.
5. Write your wedding vows
It can be a process when you write your own vows, but thinking about it early means that you'll be ready when inspiration strikes.
It can help to think about songs or poems that remind you of the stages of your relationship, listen to the music and try free writing association lists of your memories.
Your wedding vows may not come out perfect the first time, but with time, they will come together. A lovely keepsake from your elopement can be these artisanal vow books that are easy to find on Etsy.
6. Pick out (and remember to bring) your wedding rings
Wedding rings are a vital part of the ceremony and are another opportunity for you to get creative.
If you want a solid piece of jewelry to commemorate the moment, then make sure you pick a goldsmith who can meet your ceremony deadline. Custom-designed wedding bands are gorgeous but can take a bit longer to produce, and you'll also want to buffer time in for any sizing adjustments needed.
If this already sounds too stressful, or you don't want to worry while on an adventure elopement, get symbolic silicone wedding bands or matching wedding ring tattoos and save the deeper investment for later.
The elopement checklist is the one of many
No matter the size of your wedding, getting married requires planning and organization to ensure it runs smoothly and lowers your day-of stress levels.
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