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Eloping 101

It goes without saying that every wedding is unique. Whether you're planning a small elopement now, with a big ceremony later or if your plan was to elope all along, you'll want to find a way to make it all your own! Today I'm sharing the most important things you need to consider while planning your elopement, minimony, or microwedding!

  • Make a guest list: First things first, who will be standing beside you? Elopements by nature typically involve the bride and groom tying the knot in secret, but many couples are opting to have small, intimate ceremonies with immediate family and close friends. Deciding on your guest list will help you have an idea of the location, vibe, and vendors you'll need to coordinate.

  • Select your location: Now that you know how many guests will be present, you can determine a location. There are so many ways to make the event unique to you. You could host your guests at a family home, head to a local beach, find a beautiful park/garden, or select a local restaurant or venue space. Just be sure you confirm gathering bans or location restrictions before the big day!

  • Choose your vibe: After choosing your location, it's time to find your vibe! Are you looking for a small, informal affair? Backyard boho? Beach casual? Identify how you want your wedding to feel, and use this vibe as you plan out the ceremony and attire.

  • Let's party! Make a plan for what comes after the ceremony? Are you going to host guest for a reception to dance the night away, meet up for brunch, or all go your separate ways? Make sure you create a plan and communicate to your guests!

  • Make sure it's legal: I was surprised to learn many states have a waiting period between when you obtain your marriage license to the day of your actual wedding. Spend some time researching your state guidelines as early as you can. Guidelines to consider include waiting periods, fees, witness requirements, and credentials for your officiant. We were married by a local mayor, which is recognized by the state of Michigan, but many states and cities have more strict guidelines for officiants. If you're looking to have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony, a great option is to have them become ordained online. You'll just want to be sure that their ordainment is recognized in your state and they are eligible to make your marriage official!

  • Prioritize your vendors: Elopement ceremonies typically don't involve a lot of vendors, but these days, anything goes! Write down your priorities for vendors and consider catering, photography, videography, flowers, or music. You may even want to consider a planner to make sure your ceremony runs smoothly. If you're choosing to elope now and have a big party later, consider using the same vendors if you can. The wedding industry is hurting too, so any additional business you can send to the vendors you love, the better!

Are you planning to elope? Share your elopement style in the comments!


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