By Caitlin Taylor
Covid- 19 has altered thousands of couples wedding plans and because of that couples are now considering eloping. Even if you have postponed your 2020 wedding but still want to get married, eloping is a great way to still tie the knot in 2020. You can always have your full weddings at a later date! Once the quarantine is over and it’s legal to have a small ceremony here are a few tips to help you plan your elopement! This article is focused on local to you elopements because we don’t know when travel will be safe again.
Choosing a Location
What is your favorite place to go with your fiancé? A place you all have spent time together and somewhere that is meaningful to you? At this time we don’t recommend having a destination elopement, but look at that as an opportunity to get creative. Is there a park where you spent your first date? What kind of feel do you want your elopement- big city or cozy and full of nature? Do you want to elope at your town hall? Once you decide on the vibe you can choose a location based off of that. Another factor to include is if you’re eloping in nature- decide whether you’d like to hike or drive. There are so many online resources for every park with maps so you can decide what you’d like.
Your elopement celebration doesn’t have to just be the ceremony
Consider having your photographer start the day documenting you two getting ready and having breakfast together. Your elopement doesn’t have to just be the ceremony. The whole day can be made special. Go to a special place to get ready like renting an airbnb close to where you are tying the knot, get ready together and make the day slow and intentional. Grab lunch together and drinks after to celebrate. Do an activity you both enjoy doing that would be meaningful. And stay at the airbnb you rented for the night. That makes it feel like you had a destination elopement.
Decide who should attend
This can get tricky when you have a lot of family and friends you’d like to invite. I generally suggest that my couples have the ceremony with less than five people and meet up with everyone else for lunch or dinner after the ceremony. Of course there is no limit to who can come but I’ve found it’s more intimate and meaningful with less people. Also it can be difficult “not inviting guests” so the dinner and small celebration after can be a way to keep everyone happy and included.
Vendors to Hire
When eloping you can cut back on vendors needed to make your day happen but I still suggest having a photographer, flowers and a wedding planner. Hiring a wedding planner can really help organize your elopement if you find yourself needing an extra hand. Some couples hire hair and makeup vendors as well. One option for an officiant is to just have an ordained friend officiate the wedding. It all depends on your budget and how many vendors you want to work with. Price out your budget and decide what your top must have vendors and reach out to them from there. Even if you don’t have a set date now is the time to start emailing vendors – they have extra free time and are excited to plan for elopements in the future.
Trust your gut
In many ways an elopement gives a couple much more freedom than a traditional wedding. So I want to encourage you to be creative, and trust your gut.
Get Your Marriage License and Send out Announcements
This all depends on where you live. So look up your state’s rules. Even if you’re having an elopement your family and friends can be in the loop! Send out just married announcements so they can celebrate with you!
Overall be creative, and use this extra time to reach out to vendors and get to planning! With all this extra quarantine time on your hands you can get to planning.
Caitlin is a wedding photographer living in Maryland with her rescue animals (2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, and horse to be exact). When she’s not shooting weddings, she consumes tons of vegan food, listens to records and watching b&w movies. She also loves diving into any historical fiction book she can get her hands on. She has been vegan for the past four years and hopes to run a farm sanctuary in the near future to save even more animals. Read Caitlin articles