If you're considering eloping, chances are the draw of low-stress and low(er)-costs are two of the biggest attractions for you. Trim the guest list way down (or just hire witnesses), and redirect extra funds towards a big, beautiful honeymoon? Yes please.
Here are our best tips for planning a hitch-free elopement.
Read up on the legalities
Whether you're headed to Mexico, the Maldives, Italy, Bali, or your own city hall, you'll need to know the ins and outs of getting legally married. Usually, this will look like obtaining a marriage license in your province or state to be filed with your country's vital statistics agency. You might also sign papers with your officiant, but again, depending on the specifics of where you get married, you might not need to.
An extra tip: have a cheque ready to pay your officiant at the beginning of your ceremony, so there's no money changing hands when you'd rather be celebrating.
Have a reveal planned
Just because you want to get married alone doesn't mean you don't want to celebrate with your favourite people. Book a big dinner or party after you get back home to re-introduce yourself as a married couple. This is essentially the reception without the hassle of doing the whole wedding day.
Featuring our Solene Gown.
Make sure you've thought through the alternatives
Why do you want to elope? Is it the pressures of your family, or your friends? Is it budgetary concerns? Ask yourself these questions and be honest. Make sure this is what you really want.
Eloping is an excellent way to keep your celebrations intimate and personal, to save money, and to manage stress. But if your heart is telling you that you want to have a full wedding, don't ignore that feeling!
Book a photographer
Don't miss the importance of this big day—book a photographer to record everything for you. While eloping, there's often an impulse to strip away anything not strictly necessary from the whole wedding ceremony thing. But don't forego bigger expenses just for the sake of generally scaling back. You will always regret not having beautiful photos to help you remember that day.
Featuring our beloved but discontinued Sakura Sash, in the cutest photo ever.
Prepare to manage any complex feelings that pop up
There can sometimes be a lot of feelings that go along with elopement. Guilt for making the affair very private, excitement for your big day, or nerves can really get you feeling frantic. Take a moment to think through why these feelings are bubbling up and work through them with your partner. The last thing you'd want to do is spend your elopement feeling stressed out or upset.
Choose the right officiant and be in contact with them ahead of the day
Like weddings, be sure to screen your vendors carefully and be in contact with them before you show up to say "I do." Your officiant should get your vision, understand your needs, and know for certain they can make your day as magical as you'd hoped it would be. The only way for this to happen is for you to do your research, hop on a phone call or meet for coffee, and be sure that you will be happy to work together (ditto food vendors and photographers—make sure you can collaborate and work well together). In Vancouver, we recommend Young, Hip & Married to connect you with a wonderful officiant.
Any more tips? Let us know below!