Wedding Planning

What Is an Elopement?

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    Just curious if you've ever heard of a couple eloping or secretly getting married in a courtroom. Though traditionally couples have weddings to officially join their lives together, eloping is quickly gaining popularity as an alternative. There are some couples that go out of their way to elope in beautiful or romantic settings. This could be a good way to spice up the celebration without breaking the bank. Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here.

    Although "eloping" literally means "running away," the term has a more subtle meaning in the context of weddings. Sometimes, the term "elope" is used to indicate that the couple is skipping the traditional wedding in favour of a more intimate, less public event. Eloping today is not synonymous with absconding. It is common practise for eloping couples to notify their loved ones before the big day.

    What Is an Elopement Wedding?

    Traditional conceptions of an elopement wedding have evolved from a secretive ceremony attended by only the couple and no one else to a more celebratory occasion. An elopement wedding, on the other hand, consists of a couple being married with no or few guests and enjoying a low-key, informal ceremony and reception.

    The term "elopement wedding" likely reads as an oxymoron to you. The planning of a wedding is similar to that of any other huge party, down to the details of the seating chart and the cake taste. Elopements are smaller, more spontaneous celebrations with only a select few invited. However, that's not always the case. Elopements are romantic because they give you the freedom to customise every detail of your big day, including those that would seem out of place in a more traditional wedding.

    Elopements don't often require as much preparation as a full wedding, but they do sometimes require some. What location would be best for the ceremony? Which guests are appropriate? Can you tell me what special touches you should add to your big day? The abundance of wedding-related choices is welcome relief from the stresses of preparation.

    Exactly what is a "elopement" wedding? As opposed to popular belief, eloping does not typically involve impromptu ceremonies in front of a judge, so how does this fit in with more traditional wedding rituals? The four most important parts of an elopement ceremony are described here.

    Is Eloping a Good Idea?

    Wedding Planning

    You're probably debating whether or not an elopement is a good option right now. You and your partner would benefit from asking yourselves what you both think to be absolutely necessary for your wedding day. If the both of you want a bridal party or a large number of guests, a formal wedding is the way to go. If you want fun and get to know one another without having to worry about entertaining your friends and family, then an elopement can be the best option. If you accept that the arguments put forwards in this essay are valid, then you should consider planning an elopement.

    Why Couples Elope

    Do you just not see the point in throwing a big wedding party? Maybe you and your significant other are the types who are always up for an unplanned and exciting new experience. Perhaps you and your partner have recently begun saving for a life together and are beach a wedding and honeymoon could share the same trip. Many modern-day couples, for these and other reasons, forego the traditional wedding ceremony in favour of eloping.

    Reasons for Eloping

    A lot of different things can prompt a couple to make the decision to elope. The disapproval of their family is a major reason why people break up marriages. A wedding is an event where relatives from far and wide gather to celebrate the happy couple. A couple may opt out of having a wedding and instead choose to elope if they do not obtain their parents' full and unqualified blessing.

    That they don't have enough money for a big wedding is another possibility. Planning a wedding is a major undertaking that can be both time-consuming and financially draining. A couple may decide to elope if they are unable to afford a traditional wedding ceremony. Some couples may opt to forego an extravagant ceremony in favour of putting the funds into their future.

    Finally, the bride's pregnancy is another potential cause for the couple to go away together. It's possible that the couple would rather get married before the kid is born than wait to schedule a wedding ceremony after the birth.

    Elopement Weddings Don't Need a Proper Venue.

    The best part about eloping is that you can get married anywhere you want. That's why elopements can take place anywhere: in the great outdoors, in a public space like a park or a building, in a private home, or even on a piece of family land. How about saying your "I do's" on a sandy Hawaiian beach? Did you want a mountain setting for your wedding ceremony? With an elopement, you don't have to put down a large deposit on a wedding site, so you can have your ceremony wherever you like. The possibilities for ceremony sites are limitless as they typically require minimal setup.

    There's No Need to Have an Extensive Guest List

    Intimate family and friends may be present at certain elopement ceremonies. However, the team, the priest, and the bride or groom make up the bulk of the elopement party in most situations photographer, who frequently plays the role of a witness. However, just because a baby shower is less formal than a wedding doesn't means you can invite everyone in the neighbourhood. Making a seating chart is unnecessary.

    Vendors Are a Vital Part of the Elopement Experience

    The actual ceremony may only last a few minutes, yet those minutes may turn out to be some of the most significant of your life. That's why a lot of people think hiring a photographer to capture the special moments is so important. Even if you're having an elopement, you can still choose to have a "First Look," as this is a popular addition to many wedding ceremonies. It is possible to have the first time you see each other captured on camera, and many photographers will accommodate your schedule.

    The Price Tag Is Unbeatable

    The wedding budget is often the most stressful aspect of planning a wedding. A larger number of guests at a traditional wedding means more money spent on invites, decorations, a venue, food, and staff. If you and your partner are trying to save money, or would rather put that money towards your honeymoon, consider looking into elopement packages.

    How to Elope

    Check the Law

    Must one have a permit or licence? When can we expect this to be completed? Do you think you could get an appointment at city hall? Is the presence of witnesses required? If so, what sort of proof would be acceptable? If you want your elopement to go off without a hitch, you need to ask yourself these questions. You should look into whether or not you need a witness and whether or not there is a waiting period to get your marriage licence before you start planning your big day.

    Book Your Travel and Find Your Vendors

    If you want to save money and avoid stress, you should do this as early as feasible. Your elopement location need not be some far-flung exotic area, but it is something to consider. If you're planning an elopement, it's important to pick a location that has meaning for the two of you.

    Throw a Post-Elopement Party

    That could include an intimate party for the two of you, a large gathering for your extended family and friends, or a hybrid of the two. You can either have a little party right after the ceremony by renting out a private room at a restaurant, or you can wait until later to have a bigger party. If you want to have a reception-style celebration without all the stress of planning a wedding, consider throwing a first anniversary party.

    Enjoying a romantic supper for two away from your usual social circle is a wonderful way to celebrate a trip to an unfamiliar place. Many of the best restaurants have an unique "chef's table" where you may sit down and have a multi-course meal given to you by the chef himself, complete with wine pairings.

    Send Those Announcements

    After you've tied the knot:

    • Tell everyone the exciting news.
    • After your elopement, submit a marriage announcement to the local paper and print out congratulations cards to give to family and friends.
    • Plan a dinner party and invite all of your friends and family to celebrate your recent elopement, and send out announcements to them (along with photos from the big day). If you have kids, think about how you can involve them in a meaningful way.

    Ceremony and Reception

    Wedding Planning

    When couples choose to elope instead of have a large, formal wedding, that doesn't mean they have to forego any sort of ceremony or reception in honour of their union. Some couples choose to elope so that they can have a small, private ceremony with just the people they're closest to.

    Things remain the same whether the wedding is attended by a dozen people or just two. Even if they're having a casual wedding, the couple may wish to keep some wedding traditions alive. There are some couples who also want to take pictures to remember the special day. Traditional wedding aesthetics can be evoked with just flowers.

    You're too hectic to devote much time to wedding preparations. Instead of doing it yourself, hire a professional and peruse our Wedding Planners in Melbourne for the purpose of relieving tension.

    To commemorate their union, some couples choose to elope to a romantic location, then invite only close friends and family to a small ceremony back at home. Even if the couple has already tied the knot in a private ceremony, they may choose to repeat their vows in front of their guests.

    Personal Decision 

    The decision to elope, and the reasons for doing so, vary from couple to couple. Not everyone wants to get married on a remote tropical island; some would rather have a quick legal ceremony. There is no right or wrong answer, so there's no need to look down on someone for eloping. The pair should do whatever it is that makes them happy and fulfils their desires. For many, the idea of a traditional wedding doesn't work for them, and they'd rather do things their own way.

    Making Plans

    For an elopement to go off without a hitch and within the law, even the couple making the decision to get married privately must take certain steps in advance. The team should get in touch with the appropriate municipal authorities to learn about marriage licence regulations in their area. In some jurisdictions, getting married or obtaining a marriage licence will necessitate scheduling an appointment, waiting the allotted amount of time, and bringing along specific witnesses. If the couple is contemplating an elopement to a foreign country, they should research the legal requirements of that country to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation with them.

    Wedding Etiquette

    Couples who choose to elope typically do not set up a gift registry. The group can still sign up for help even if they're having a private elopement party. It is considered good manners to send a blessing or a card expressing your good wishes when you learn of an elopement, especially if the couple is close to you. You may not be able to make it to the wedding, but this is still a wonderful custom that will allow you to send your best wishes to the happy couple.

    Do: Prepare Yourself for Family and Close Friends' Reactions

    The biggest problem with eloping is worrying that loved ones would feel left out because they weren't invited to the ceremony. Recognize that there will be others who disagree with your choice and make plans accordingly. If you want to spare your parents any unnecessary pain or shock after the fact, it's best to break the news to them before you run off together. And do everything you can to get your loved ones involved, too, whether it's through a pre-wedding photo reveal or a party after the ceremony. However, surprising your nearest and dearest with a social media statement is a major no-no: Tell them face to face, and if anyone is hurt or feels left out, a note written by hand can going a long way in making them feel better.

    Don't: Forget to Take Care of All the Legal Details.

    To get married, have you considered a trip to Europe? Get in touch with the city hall first. Do all that needs to be done legally. To be legally married, you still need an officiant and a witness. Don't forget to get your marriage licence at home before you jet off to your new destination country; residence requirements to get legally married there vary by country. If you're considering a cross-country elopement, you should definitely research the marriage laws of each state separately. If, on the other hand, you're planning an international elopement, there is a manual that covers all of the necessary details.

    Do: Hire a Local Planner, Photographer, and Videographer

    The mere possession of an intimate wedding does not imply complete isolation. It's true that many elopements are made on the spur of the moment, but we still recommend that you put some thought into your wedding day. Employing a local wedding planner is able to alleviate a lot of pressure from the group. In addition, a planner can recommend off-the-beaten-path destinations that you otherwise might not have thought to look into. It's important to secure the services of both a photograph and a videographer to document your day. This is crucial for elopements since it lets you include loved ones who couldn't make it in on the celebration.

    Don't: Be Afraid to Ask Vendors for Special Pricing.

    Most service providers may provide discounts or a la carte menu options for elopements because of the lower scale and shorter time commitments. Do not be afraid to haggle, especially if your wedding is scheduled for an off-day (such a Tuesday at 11 a.m.). In many cases, you can save money without even having to say that you are a bride or groom-to-be. Many businesses believe they can charge more if you mention the term "wedding" in connection with their product or service. Asking for a "special occasion" hairstyle rather than a "wedding" one will help you save money.

    Do: Choose Guests or Witnesses

    Participants at a secret wedding? For sure! Whether your state requires witnesses or you want a few close friends or family members present to be part of the occasion, you can still bring some people along and call it an elopement. The rule of thumb is to keep the count under a dozen. You cannot just drop by the courts on a whim if you intend to invite friends; instead, you must make advance preparations.

    Don't: Shirk Budgeting Responsibly.

    Even if you are able to negotiate lower rates with your chosen vendors, the added costs of travel and lodging will likely make your elopement more expensive than a traditional wedding would have been. Make time to sit down and talk about money worries with your partner. Assuming you've involved your parents from the start, they may be ready to offer some monetary help. If you're not set on having just the two of you there for your elopement, inviting your parents would be a nice way to include them and help soothe any hurt feelings.

    Do: Send a Marriage Announcement

    After your elopement, it is proper etiquette to notify the public that you are now husband and wife. They may be wondering if they will be receiving a save-the-date card or what happened to your engagement. If you've recently tied the knot, consider making your friends and family aware of the happy news with a marriage announcement that also serves as an occasion to share some of the most beautiful and personal photographs from your wedding. There's always the possibility that your recipients will respond with gifts of their own.

    Don't: Downplay Your Elopement.

    Elopement doesn't diminish the specialness of your wedding day; it's still your big day, and you should enjoy it as much as possible. Enjoy the bridal parts of the day. Invest in a special outfit, a beautiful bouquet, and maybe even a candlelit meal for two replete with champagne and a table centrepiece of your dreams.

    I'm In, I Want to Elope! How Do I Plan My Elopement?

    Since you're still reading, we can safely assume that you're very set on having an elopement. What now? For your convenience, we have outlined a simple process for organising an elopement.

    Think of Your Ideal Elopement Location.

    We've highlighted elopements from all across the globe. All sorts of elopement locales are familiar to us, from the desert to the mountains to the ocean. Don't know where to start your search? Find out where we recommend you tying the knot.

    Get Inspired and Stay Connected. 

    To encourage and facilitate eloping, that is our mission. Here on our site, you'll find lots of advice and real-life accounts from couples who, including you and your spouse, opted out of the wedding ceremony and reception. Visit our top-notch compilation of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to aid in the smooth planning of your wedding so that you can enjoy it rather than fret over it.

    Team up With Our Vendors. 

    You can find a wide variety of skilled experts in elopements among the professionals recommended by Wandering Weddings. Discover local elopement vendors using our search. There's no doubt they'll share your enthusiasm for eloping.


    The term "elopement" refers to a couple's decision to forgo a formal wedding in favour of a more private, unstructured ceremony and reception. Elopements are intimate gatherings of close friends and family members that take place without any advance planning. They are endearing since they allow you to make your wedding day unique. An elopement is a great way to have a good time and get to know each other before you tie the knot without stressing out about what to do for your friends and family. Weddings are expensive and time-consuming events that require careful planning.

    Escape-the-Church Weddings You won't need a proper setting. Due of the lack of commitment involved in an elopement, you might save money on the venue deposit. Due to the low maintenance required, the options for ceremony locations are practically endless. Elopements can happen anywhere: in a private residence, in a public park or building, or out in the open air. It's crucial to choose a meaningful location for your elopement.

    Before making any final decisions about the ceremony, you should find out if a witness is required and if there is a waiting period for obtaining a marriage licence. A small, intimate ceremony with only the closest family and friends present is appealing to some couples, so they opt to "elope." There's no point in looking down on someone for eloping because there's no definitive answer. Seek the assistance of a trained expert by browsing our Melbourne Wedding Planners. Most eloping couples forego the tradition of creating a wedding registry.

    When one learns of an elopement, it is polite to send some sort of blessing or card. Before you leave for your honeymoon, make sure you have your marriage licence in hand. Despite the fact that many elopements happen on the fly, we advise you to give some serious consideration to your big day. Hiring a wedding planner in the area can take a huge load off the shoulders of the guests. Haggling with sellers for better prices is encouraged.

    It is considered good form to let people know you got married after an elopement. Your wedding day is still your big day, no matter if you have a traditional ceremony or elope.

    Content Summary

    • Some engaged couples actively seek out picturesque or romantic locations in which to elope.
    • You and your future spouse should discuss what items are crucial on your wedding day.
    • A formal wedding is the way to go if the two of you desire a huge bridal party or a lot of guests.
    • All things considered, if you find this article convincing, it could be time to start making elopement preparations.
    • Because of these and other factors, many contemporary couples choose to bypass the customary wedding ceremony in favour of eloping.
    • It's possible that a couple won't go through with a traditional wedding because they don't have enough money.
    • With an elopement, the bride and groom are free to choose their own wedding venue.
    • Because of the lack of commitment involved in an elopement, the happy couple is free to hold the ceremony anywhere they like.
    • That's why lots of folks insist on hiring a professional photographer to record all the fun.
    • Before making any final decisions on the ceremony, you should find out if witnesses are required and if there is a waiting time for your marriage licence.
    • Make sure to tell people you eloped by submitting a marriage announcement to the paper and printing up some congrats cards to deliver to relatives and family.
    • Send out invitations and plan a banquet to celebrate your elopement with all of your friends and family (along with photos from the big day).
    • Couples who opt to elope rather than host a traditional wedding ceremony need not avoid celebrating their nuptials with any sort of ceremony or celebration.
    • Most eloping couples forego the tradition of creating a wedding registry.
    • When you find out about an elopement, especially if the couple is close to you, it is polite to send a blessing or a note expressing your well wishes.
    • Also, whether it's a pre-wedding photo reveal or a reception, include your loved ones as much as possible in the celebration.
    • Hiring a wedding planner in the area can take a huge load off of the hosts' shoulders.
    • You can still invite a few people and have an "elopement," even if your state requires witnesses or you just want them to be a part of the special day.
    • We've laid out a basic plan for planning an elopement for your benefit.

    FAQs About Elopement

    Eloping is a marriage conducted without the knowledge of the couple's family and friends, particularly their parents. Typically, those who elope only have a ceremony and do not host a reception or celebration.

    An elopement is a simple ceremony that is short and sweet, usually around 5 minutes long. The ceremony script has been pre-written by your officiant and you have the option to add your own vows and/or a reading. The entire focus is on the couple and creating a little bit of magic just around them.

    YES, eloping is legal. But, it's also not always that easy. An elopement is totally recognized as legal as long as you're abiding by the rules and regulations of the state or country you're choosing to get married in.

    Guests. This is one of the biggest contrasts between a traditional wedding and an elopement ceremony. Most traditional weddings have a guest list with 50 to 200+ guests, while an elopement is 20 guests or less. A microwedding is 20-50 guests.

    Elopements are significantly cheaper and allow people to focus on their honeymoon. Also, these ceremonies are more intimate and personal than the traditional 300-person wedding.

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