Tiny House Photo is an LGBTQ+ Photographer documenting Weddings, Elopements and Engagements in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
So you decided to Elope….AWESOME! But now what?
Here are 8 Tips for Planning your Ultimate Elopement Adventure!
ONE. PICK YOUR DREAM LOCATION!
Elope in a place that is meaningful to you as a couple. Love hiking? Go to your favorite mountains and elope there! Love a tropical vibe? Head to Hawaii or Costa Rica or Bali! Want to stay local? Have a weekend staycation after you tie the knot at your local courthouse. The possibilities are endless. Whatever your dream elopement looks like, do that.
I’ve been fortunate to document elopements in Miami, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and heading to Colorado in a few weeks for another amazing elopement!
TWO. HIRE VENDORS THAT ALIGN WITH YOUR VISION!
Choose a photographer whose work resonates with your heart. Find an officiant that speaks to your souls. If you’re eloping alone as a couple, finding the right vendors to surround you and support you on your day is SO IMPORTANT.
A few wedding vendors you might need: Destination Elopement Planner, Traveling Photographer (such as myself! wink wink!), Officiant, Florist, Bakery, Musicians, etc. If you’re sticking to a strict budget, try to find vendors local to where you are eloping.
Definitely use google in addition to sites like Zola, The Knot or Wedding Wire… and make sure you’re not just looking at websites, but also Google Reviews! Once you pick your date and have all of your travel arrangements in place, start contacting your dream vendors.
THREE. RESEARCH MARRIAGE LAWS!
Does your elopement location require you have witnesses? The United States has it’s own set of requirements (link here) so make sure you know what you’re getting yourselves into. Getting married in another state is one thing but going abroad is a whole other plethora of red tape. Talk to other couples you know who eloped where you’re looking to elope. Just make sure you do your homework so any hiccups can be solved beforehand.
FOUR. TO HAVE GUESTS OR NOT.
Are you bringing your closest friends or family along for your elopement adventure? There is no right or wrong answer to having guests at your elopement, it’s YOUR day. Most elopements have less than 12 guests in attendance. It’s the most intimate of weddings.
You definitely shouldn’t feel obligated to invite anyone. Eloping is sacred and meant to be intimate.
Definitely have the conversations beforehand with your closest friends and family so they aren’t blindsided by your marriage.
If you are hurting a lot of feelings by eloping, consider throwing a party of sorts when you get home. Have an album created of your elopement day to share with all of your friends and family. Consider having a video taken of your elopement ceremony or the entire day so you can share with your people. Just remember that whatever you decide is the right choice.
FIVE. PLAN YOUR DAY.
Even elopements require a timeline. Be organized to ensure you’re doing all the things you want to accomplish on elopement day.
If you’re hiring a glam squad for hair and makeup, make sure you have a timeline drawn up to keep you on time.
You’ll definitely need nourishment at some point in the day, so make sure you’re scheduling in lunch or dinner plans. If hiking or any physical activities are planned, make sure you pack a picnic or at the very least some snacks. Are you driving yourselves? Is there public transportation? (I mean… that could be AWESOME for photos!) Make sure you know your itinerary for the day AND how you’re getting from point A to B to C.
SIX. DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS.
Flowers, rings, something borrowed, something blue. Are you having traditional wedding elements a part of your elopement? Are you performing a ritual during your ceremony? Anything goes on this intimate day of yours, so make it unique and meaningful.
Since your family and friends are probably not joining you on your elopement adventure, perhaps incorporate them by wearing something that belongs to them. Or letting them gift you with something special for the day.
SEVEN. YOUR BUDGET.
Elopements are definitely less expensive than a 300 guest wedding, but they can still be pricey. Travel expenses and lodging, photography, officiants, your clothing and details… it all adds up. Elopements don’t have to break the bank, but just make sure you do your research beforehand so you have a general idea of how much you will be spending.
EIGHT. YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT.
Eloping definitely can ruffle feathers amongst family and friends. But you’ve already considered this because you’re planning an elopement. Weddings can be super stressful having so many people involved but having no one involved in your elopement can cause just as much drama. Just keep in mind that this day is about YOU TWO. Create the magical elopement day of your dreams and let your friends and family know how excited you are about it. Any bad feelings about it is their problem, not yours.
Definitely make the first Facetime call to your family, not social media! Make the important ones in your lives feel important.
Don’t forget why you’re marrying your person. Eloping is all about you and your relationship and moving forward together in life. Don’t let anyone sway you from your decisions on how you choose to celebrate your love.
Want to talk more about eloping? Schedule a consultation with Stephanie of Tiny House Photo for your elopement photography needs!