Do you plan to elope? That’s perfect, you have come to the right place! Because I share a step-by-step guide on how to plan an elopement, from setting a budget to sending those elopement announcements! So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
The first step when you plan to elope is to set a budget. Although elopements are usually cheaper than weddings, they are not for free, and expenses quickly add up, especially if you are planning a destination wedding.
Then it’s time to decide where you would like to elope to. Here are some questions that might help you to find your perfect spot:
Once you have answered all these questions, you should have a good understanding of your elopement vision! With that in mind, get creative or ask a travel agent or wedding planner for some input!
The next step when you plan to elope is to set a date for your wedding. If you have a destination elopement, get as much information as possible about the climate beforehand. For example, getting married in the Arabian Desert is truly magical with the endless dunes and the starlit sky, but if you don’t time it right, you may end up with an unbearable heat way over 40°C (104°F).
Once you know your budget, destination, and date, decide if you want to invite your closest friends and family. If so, send out invitations as soon as possible to give your guests enough time to prepare, especially if you chose a location that’s further away and may require your guests to make travel arrangements.
And remember, before you post anything on social media, talk to your parents and your closest family and friends first!
Once you have sorted out the basics, it’s time to figure out the travel arrangements and necessary paperwork.
Although this isn’t the most fun part, sorting out the paperwork is a crucial step when you plan to elope. If you are having a destination wedding, research the legal requirements of the respective country. If it’s not possible to get legally married at your destination, decide if you want to get married in your home country before or after eloping.
Then, sort out any (travel) paperwork like obtaining a marriage license, passport renewals, and visa. Book your flights and hotel. Confirm that all necessary vaccinations are up to date. Arrange travel insurance. And finally, make honeymoon arrangements.
At about the same time, decide on your style/theme and color palette for your elopement. If you need some help, here is a blog post about finding your wedding theme, and here is one on how to set a color scheme.
Then it’s time to reach out to wedding venues that are within your budget and work well with your style/theme and/or color scheme.
Also, start booking all other wedding vendors and any elopement day activities.
Expert Tip: First, reach out to wedding photographers, as often they are fully booked months in advance, especially if you get married during the wedding season. If you don’t hire a wedding planner, a wedding photographer might also be able to give you tips on venues and other wedding suppliers such as florists, hair and makeup artist, and cake designers.
If you don’t already have your wedding attire and wedding bands, now is a good time to purchase those.
You are almost done with planning your elopement! There are only a few things left for you to do before your big day:
Enjoy your honeymoon, send out elopement announcements, and have a small reception to celebrate with your loved ones!
If you had a destination elopement, sort out any necessary final paperwork that is required to legalize your marriage in your home country.
Expert Tip: Hire a wedding planner, especially if you are planning a destination elopement. Because in addition to standard wedding planning services like finding the perfect vendors for your vision and budget, destination wedding planners know the country’s regulations and can help you with questions like Is it possible to get legally married in this country? What documents do we need? Are there any other requirements we need to be aware of? And they help you save money due to their extensive vendor connections. They know where you are safe to cut costs and where you really shouldn’t.
Did you know that I’m a wedding planner for Amsterdam and Dubai? If you plan to elope and would like to find out how I can help you, get in touch with me today to set up a complimentary consultation!