Elopement FAQs – How To Elope – So you’re getting married…Congratulations! But you aren’t sure whether to have a traditional wedding or choose to do something a bit different like eloping! It’s really important that you explore all of your options and do what’s best for you as a couple.
The reason why we say this is because it is your wedding day and no family member or friend can make the decision for you. You’ll be so much happier knowing you made the right decision if you follow your heart.
So we are here to help you and answer all those Frequently Asked Questions about elopements.
Have a read below and enjoy learning about how awesome elopements are 😉
Elopement FAQs – How To Elope
- What is an Elopement Wedding?
- Why do people elope?
- Is an Elopement a secret wedding?
- What is an elopement ceremony like?
- How do we elope?
- Is eloping legal?
- Are you allowed guests at an elopement ceremony?
- Is it sad if you don’t have any guests there?
- Is eloping selfish?
- Are elopements as special as traditional weddings?
- Where can I elope to?
- What is an Adventure Elopement?
- What is a Destination Elopement?
- How do we plan our elopement?
- Can you do anything you want on your elopement day?
What is an Elopement Wedding?
Eloping is a special journey you and your partner take to a destination of your choice with the intention to commit and marry each other. The day is centred around your love and is a meaningful, intimate experience that focuses on your relationship as a couple.
An elopement can often mean your choosing to spend the day just the two of you. However, anything goes when you are eloping and the whole point is that you have the freedom to plan a day that best suits you as a couple. If you would like some of your friends and family members there then you can invite them to celebrate the day with you.
Why do people elope?
There are many reasons why couples elope:
– Many couples wish to embrace the freedom an elopement wedding brings. The freedom to break traditions and do something unique and memorable.
– Some prefer the simplicity of an elopement wedding as they could do without the stress of the momentous task of planning a conventional wedding.
– Others dread the thought of being the centre of attention and like the idea of spending the day with their loved one making memories together.
Ultimately couples feel an elopement experience is more authentically them.
Is an Elopement a secret wedding?
In the past, eloping was the term used for couples who ran off and got married in secret. Nowadays, eloping is a popular alternative to the conventional wedding because of the intimate and meaningful experience it offers.
The beauty of eloping is that anything goes, so if you want to keep yours a secret then go ahead but we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to shout it from the rooftops!
It is important to remember that choosing to elope is nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of couples like the idea of getting married secretly then surprising their loved ones with the news a day or two later.
What is an elopement ceremony like?
A lot of the same things that happen at a traditional wedding, happen during an elopement ceremony. For instance, you will still say your vows and have a first kiss as a married couple but you’ll also have the freedom to personalised it.
A lovely thing to do is to write your own vows and say what comes from the heart when committing yourself to your partner. Imagine being able to really express how much you love one another in your own words during the ceremony (OK we’re crying!).
The rest of the ceremony can be made up of romantic moments like serenading your loved one with a song or dancing together to your favourite music.
The important thing is for you to plan a ceremony that’s personal and unique to you as a couple.
How do we elope?
You can elope anyway you like but to make things a bit easier for you to decide we have categorised them into 3 simple options.
1. The two of you elope and take a photographer with you to capture it.
2. An officiant joins you to perform your marriage ceremony with two witnesses present (this is a legal requirement in some countries in order to make the marriage legal).
3. You invite guests along to attend part or all of your elopement day (normally up to a maximum of 20 -30 guests).
Is eloping legal?
Yes it is. As long as you abide by the legal requirements of the country you live in and the legal requirements of the country you elope to (if you choose to elope in another country, that is).
Most countries require an officiant to perform your marriage ceremony in order for it to be legal. Some also require two witnesses to be present but if you have a photographer there – who normally has a second shooter – BAM! Two witnesses!! DONE!!
Are you allowed guests at an elopement ceremony?
Yes if you wish to have some close family or friends present then you can certainly do that. Eloping does not mean you have to get married alone or without any of your nearest and dearest there.
It is just another word for a small, intimate wedding. As a guide small, intimate weddings are normally 30 guests or less and you can decide who you have there.
Is it sad if you don’t have any guests there?
No not at all! An elopement is an amazing experience. The chance to spend a day making memories with your significant other is so freeing.
Your wedding day is about your love and should be all about you as a couple.
Often when you have guests you start to worry about them and if they are enjoying themselves and the day starts to get lost in pleasing other people.
If you choose to elope and plan a day doing what you love together, how can that be sad? You’ll most likely be happier leaving behind the pressure and expectations of other people.
Is eloping selfish?
No and anyone who tells you it is (normally someone who’s disappointed they can’t attend your wedding) They are in fact the selfish ones!
Don’t ever feel guilty about choosing to elope as people will and should be happy that you are doing what’s right for you. If your family and friends love you, they will support your choice to elope.
Are elopements as special as traditional weddings?
Yes absolutely! We would go as far as saying you can’t get any more special than experiencing a day full of intimacy and intention. Giving your love the respect it deserves and dedicating a whole day to it, how special is that.
Where can I elope to?
That’s the fun part! Your elopement destination can be local or in another country…it’s completely up to you.
Think about places that you and your partner wish to visit or somewhere that means something to you both. Going on a journey together and discovering a new place is part of the excitement of eloping.
Why not consider eloping in a location that could also serve as your honeymoon destination? You can enjoy your wedding day and then kick back and relax for a couple of days on a sandy beach somewhere.
What is an Adventure Elopement?
For starters, it is an incredible way to spend your wedding day! Imagine standing on a hilltop holding your partner’s hand surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Not only do you get to enjoy the view together but you also get to say your vows and become a married couple there too.
Your day can be centred around making memories together as you explore somewhere new and discover the beauty of the world around you. As you go, your elopement photographer will capture each moment so you can look back and reminisce in years to come.
It is important to note that an Adventure Elopement does not necessarily mean doing something strenuous like hiking. You could go on a road trip and drive to an epic viewpoint and have your ceremony there without walking a step (OK maybe a few but you get the picture!)
Adventure means excitement so anything that you are passionate about can be an adventure
Do we have to be adventurous or hikers?
No you get to decide what your elopement day is like. You can relax and enjoy each other’s company, drink champagne, beer or even spend the day at a spa. The important thing is to design a day you’ll both enjoy…the options are endless!
What is a Destination Elopement?
Normally this means you are eloping abroad. So if you are having a destination elopement, you will be travelling to a different country to get married. It works the same as saying ‘destination wedding’ which refers to having a wedding abroad.
How do we plan our elopement?
Great question! First you should think of where you want to elope. To help you decide, make sure to browse our blog on the best places to elope – we have dedicated posts for each country and state.
Secondly, you should pick a photographer you like – again we have lots of talented photographers from all across the world listed on our site so have a look at photographers based where you’ll be eloping to.
If you can’t find a style of photographer you like in that area then don’t worry because practically every photographer welcomes travel and will jump at the chance to travel and capture your elopement.
Elopement FAQs – How To Elope
Take full advantage of our powerful search engine on our homepage where you can filter down your preferences to find your ideal photographer. It’s so quick and easy to use!
Next, we advise you to pick your other vendors like hair and makeup artists, videographer and/or florists. By this point you’ll be well on your way to having your elopement planned – so simple eh!
What if we want to elope somewhere remote or unusual?
If you really want to elope abroad in an unusual, remote place then keep in mind you may have to marry in your home country first in order to make it legal.
This may sound a bit contradictory but it really isn’t, your wedding day will always be a day of your choosing. Just because the paperwork might have to be done on a different day does not mean your wedding day changes.
Can you do really anything you want on your elopement day?
Yes! Don’t let anyone tell you different. If you are struggling to imagine what you could do then a good idea is to list 10 things you and your partner love doing together. It really helps and it’s a pretty fun activity too.
Can you give us any ideas of what to do on our elopement day?
1. Hike to a viewpoint where your ceremony will take place and explore the surrounding area afterwards.
2. Travel to a city you’ve always wanted to visit and elope during your stay.
3. Book an Airbnb and get married on its grounds.
4. Go on a road trip and elope somewhere along the way.
5. Fly to your ideal holiday/ honeymoon destination and get married on a beach.
6. Elope on a cliff edge.
7. If you like the winter, elope to a luxury ski chalet or alpine farmhouse where you’ll be surrounded by snowy mountains peaks.
8. Have your ceremony by a lake and maybe go on a boat trip or have a picnic.
9. If there is something you enjoy doing together like skiing, scuba diving, mountain climbing then why not incorporate it into your day.
10. Do an extreme sport like sky diving, take helicopter ride or go zip lining – the world is your oyster!
How long is an elopement?
It’s your wedding day! So we recommend dedicating a whole day to mark this amazing milestone. The ceremony lasts the same amount of time as a traditional wedding ceremony (about 20-30 minutes).
If you are hiring a photographer then they can offer full day or half day coverage. A full day will normally provide about 7-8 hours coverage and about 3-4 hours for a half day.
Can we still honour wedding traditions?
Yes of course!
Here’s a list of some traditions you might want to incorporate into your day –
1. Cut The Cake (and eat it!)
2. Make A Toast
3. Have A First Dance
4. Throw Confetti
5. Have Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue!
6. Toss The Bouquet
Is eloping less expensive than a traditional wedding?
It can be. If you are eloping without guests or a select few then you won’t be paying a fortune to feed everyone.
You’ll probably not be hiring a fleet of cars either or have the need for stationery, centrepieces, favours etc. If you choose to have an outdoor wedding then you won’t have to hire a venue or have to pay for the decor.
The great thing is that all of stress and baggage that comes with a traditional wedding disappears when you choose to elope and what you are left with is an amazing day full of happiness.
So would you say an Elopement Wedding is a cheap version of a wedding?
Heck no! Far from it. An elopement is a beautiful day that concentrates on the love of the couple. Spending lots of money on stationery, centrepieces, favours, wedding cars, decor and lots of other unnecessary things…does not give your day more value.
In fact, what you do get when you elope is a day rich in love and emotion. The satisfaction you feel from doing it your way and following your heart is so fulfilling. There is no feeling like it!
Do we need a wedding officiant for our elopement?
In many countries you do. For instance, in the United Kingdom it is a legal requirement to have your wedding ceremony conducted by an officiant. In America, it is the same apart from a few states that allow you to self-solemnise (See below list) –
Colorado Pennsylvania Wisconsin Washington D.C.
Keep in mind that many elopement photographers are qualified and you only require an officiant if you are choosing your elopement day to make it legal.
Do we need two witnesses for our elopement?
No you don’t, but some countries require you to have two witnesses in order to make it legal. So if you wish your elopement to be the same day you make it legal then yes you may need two witnesses.
If you’d rather not ask family or friends to be your witnesses then don’t worry because it literally is a piece of cake. As we said above, your photographer can be one and a passer by or the second shooter can be another.
Can I have a Bridal Party?
Yes! It is your day and you decide who gets to be there. So if you want your bride tribe with you then go for it. Remember eloping doesn’t mean you have to marry alone, you can have guests present.
Can I still wear a wedding dress at my elopement?
Yes! Every bride deserves to wear that one special dress on her wedding day. It is no different for an elopement.
If you’ll be hiking part of the day then depending on the type of dress you choose, (length etc), you might be best to pack it carefully in a back pack during transit.
Then you can change into your dress before the ceremony begins.
I’m not prepared to get my wedding dress dirty, what should I do?
No problem! We understand how precious your wedding dress is and there’s lots of things you can do to prevent your dress getting damaged. Laying down a white sheet for you to stand on works a charm!
Can we have still have a wedding cake at our elopement?
Yes. Who doesn’t love cake! If you are hiking anywhere then you’ll probably need to package the cake carefully to ensure it stays intact but that’s super easy to do.
What about a first dance?
Go for it. Dance like there’s nobody watching. it’s a beautiful way to commemorate your marriage. Most couples have a first dance on their elopement evening.
What about dinner?
Well you gotta eat. You could have a romantic meal at a restaurant you like nearby or you could have a picnic out in the open air and pop the champagne to celebrate.
Elopement FAQs – How To Elope
Is an Elopement Wedding for you?
If you feel eloping is for you then let’s get planning! Search through our directory of talented and reputable vendors to create your dream elopement. If you have any questions or need any advice then please get in touch by contacting us below –
How To Elope – Elopement FAQs
Have a look at our destination elopement guides for inspiration –