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Hi, I'm Michaela, the heart behind Lovely & Planned. This blog is all about elopements and destination weddings, but you'll also find general tips and advice on wedding planning. I'm so happy to have you here! Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

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How to Save Money Planning a Stunning Elopement

Blog Post Cover Image // How to Save Money Planning a Stunning Elopement // Lovely & Planned #elopementplanning

Elopements have come a long way from spur of the moment town hall marriages to thoughtfully planned mini weddings. Couples choose an elopement for different reasons. Some are looking for a stress-free, relaxed wedding; others want to combine their destination elopement with a honeymoon while for still others, saving money is their primary reason for planning an elopement.

Generally speaking, elopements are cheaper than normal-sized weddings. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to save money and still plan a stunning elopement that you can treasure forever!

[Related: Just the Two of Us – The Myths about Elopements]

Budget Plan

The first thing I recommend is to determine a budget for your elopement. Then create a budget spreadsheet with three columns for items/services, estimated costs, and actual costs. This way, you stay on track and know exactly how much money you already spent and how much you have left. Elopements are usually cheaper than weddings, but they are not for free, and expenses can add up quickly.

Here some expenses you might want to calculate for:

  • legal documents (e.g., marriage license)
  • stationery (e.g., elopement announcements)
  • vendors (e.g., officiant, photographer, hair and makeup artist, wedding planner)
  • wedding attire
  • wedding bands
  • small wedding cake and cake cutting fee
  • bridal bouquet
  • rentals such as a wedding arch incl. floral decoration
  • bubbly to toast on your marriage
  • brunch, lunch or dinner after the ceremony
  • small, informal party after your elopement for your friends and family

In case of a destination elopement, you might need to calculate for airfare, hotel, transportation at the destination, vaccinations, passport renewal, and visa.

Have a look at the spreadsheet and determine what’s most important for both of you! Would you love to get married in a designer wedding dress, have dinner at a four-star restaurant or spend your money on elaborate floral decoration? Knowing how much budget you have and what you want to spend most of it on is already the first step in saving a fortune while still having a stunning elopement!


One of the advantages of eloping is that you don’t have to think about any guests. Among other things, finding a date is, therefore, usually a lot easier. If possible, I recommend getting married during the week because venues and vendors tend to have much lower prices for their services from Monday through Thursday.

[Related: Top 5 of the Most Common Elopement Questions Answered]

Flowers & Food

You can save a lot of money when planning your elopement if you only follow this one tip: go local! Hire local vendors, eat local dishes, use local and seasonal flowers for the decoration, and your wedding bouquet! As elopements often take place in beautiful surroundings (e.g., beach, woods, on top of mountains), there is no need to spend a lot of money on decorating, which can truly save you a small fortune! ⠀⠀

Photographer and Co.

Even if you want to save money, I encourage you to hire professional help! Especially a photographer and a wedding planner. The first because I firmly believe that your wedding images are something that you’ll treasure for the rest of your lives.

And wedding planners can help you save even more money. Due to their extensive vendor connections, they can negotiate incredibly good prices for you.

One of the most persistent elopement myths is that planning is super simple. But remember, even for a micro wedding, you need to take care of the paperwork and hire an officiant. You might want a small wedding cake, a photographer, a wedding bouquet, some lovely decoration, or even a particular theme or color scheme.

A wedding planner thinks of all those little details, and makes sure your stress-free and (most importantly) budget-friendly dream elopement does come true!

[Related: Warning: 5 Things You Should Never DIY for Your Wedding]

Elopement Packages

Elopement Packages make your wedding planning even more effortless. Depending on who offers the package like a venue or a planner, they usually include services like planning fees, photography coverage, a wedding officiant, a wedding bouquet, and a small cake. The biggest advantage with an elopement package is that you know exactly how much your wedding is going to cost, without any hidden surprises.

That said, make sure you know what services and items are included. I also recommend asking who will be your photographer so you can be certain you like their photography style!

In summary, an elopement can save you a ton of money and still be stunning! You don’t have to compromise on any of the big wedding must-haves. The difference, however, between an elopement and a full-blown wedding is that you can spend your money on what is most important to YOU!

Did you know that I’m a destination wedding planner for Amsterdam and Dubai? If you are interested in how I can help you plan your elopement, get in touch with me to set up a complimentary consultation call!

Love, Michaela


Header image by Jasmijn Brusse

Even though eloping tends to be cheaper than having a normal-sized wedding, costs can quickly add up. In this blog post, I put together 5 tips on how you can easily save money and still have an incredible elopement. #lovelyandplanned #elopementweddingplanner #destinationwedding #eloping

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