When you hear the word elopement, you might straight away jump to the conclusion that you have to runaway and not tell anyone about your wedding day. But elopements are now not at all what they used to be. You can now have a handful of guests join you, or make the celebration entirely for just the two of you. You can even tell your whole family, and find fun ways to include them. Your elopement doesn’t even have to take place at a courthouse or a registry office. And you don’t have to follow any traditions if you don’t want too!
Having an elopement is truly about doing anything you want to do on your wedding day. You have so much choice when it comes to your elopement day, and with choice comes decisions! So in this blog post we’re going to walk you through the 5 most important things to consider before eloping. So that when it comes to planning your dream elopement experience, you’ll know exactly what you want and actually plan a day that looks and feels like you! Because after all, that’s the wholesomeness of eloping!
Plan with intention
In todays day and age, it’s really easy to just look to Instagram or Pinterest, and see what everyone else is doing or has done. And then plan something very similar for yourself. But instead of starting with that, we urge you to consider trying to create a day that actually will represent your relationship and what you two love.
A piece of advice we love to give to all of our couples is to start your planning process over a date night. This is where you sit down together, over a meal, a drink, or out at your favourite place – grab a pen and paper and truly let your imaginations run wild. Don’t limit your dreams, don’t think of anything as too “out of the box”, just have fun with it and see what you two can come up with together.
Ask yourself these questions
- Who would you feel comfortable having around on such an intimate and personal day?
- Close your eyes and envision: Where you would dream to see yourselves get married? Is there some place that has significance to the two of you? What is the landscape like? How busy or how secluded is it? What is the weather like? The temperature in the air?
- If you could spend the best day of your lives doing anything, what would you do?
- How do you love to spend your time together?”
Once you’ve answered the questions together, go over your answers, and see what you both have in common. Pull out what feels authentic to both of you and begin forming a vision from there. Don’t just limit yourselves to what you think you should do, or whats expected of you. Truly plan from your hearts and allow your true hearts desires to lead the way.
When choosing who to invite to your elopement, you might also be wondering “how many people is an elopement?”. While pretty much every person and every wedding vendor may tell you a slightly different answer these days. Perhaps they think that an elopement is a specific number of guests or perhaps no guests at all.
While we don’t limit the number of guests you can have when you book your elopement with us, as long as you keep it to an intimate number around or under the 30 person mark, we consider it an “intimate wedding”. And therefore we treat elopements and intimate weddings the exact same when it comes to our elopement packages. So be sure to check with your vendors on what they consider to be acceptable with their pricing and service before booking, as most vendors slightly differ from one to another on pricing and the services they offer for elopements.
Once you’ve decided on how many people you think you want to invite. It’s important to consider who to invite. While also considering the reasons for why you feel you like you want to invite them. Are you inviting them because you are afraid to upset them? Or are you inviting them because you generally feel your day will be so much better surrounded by them.
You will want to be intentional with who you choose to be your guests as you are intentionally choosing to have a small wedding, these people will be right by your side through every moment in intimate quarters. So it’s also equally important that you are surrounding yourself with uplifting, supportive people who generally make you feel like your best self.
You deserve to look and feel your best throughout the entire day. So if you think eloping just the two of you will be the best plan for you, don’t feel guilty, this day is entirely about the two of you. Or if you feel like your day will be SO much better surrounded by your 5-10 closest loved ones, then you should do that too! Again eloping, truly allows you to do anything you want to do, so plan with intention, and be intentional with your guest list too!
Which vendors you will need
Vendor choices are so different for every couple. Some couples love to plan everything themselves, and some love to keep it super simple and DIY the decor. While other may want nothing to do with the planning side of things and have a full service planner lead the way. It’s entirely up to each couple.
If you are looking to have a simple laid back day somewhere out in nature with no guests and minimal styling/florals/decor, then you will probably be fine with just a photographer (we suggest choosing one that can help you with planning logistics like us) and a celebrant to tackle to the legal side of things for you!
Whereas if you are having 5-20 guests and you want a styled ceremony, beautiful florals, and sit down dinner at a private accommodation. Then perhaps investing in a stylist, florist, and even a catering company or private chef, alongside your celebrant and media team, could be beneficial for you!
The most common vendors that eloping couples often include in their day are celebrant, photographer, videographer, florist, hair and makeup artist, stylists, catering, accommodation/venue. Once you’ve truly had a chance to think about what your dream elopement experience will look like, it should be pretty easy to figure out who you will need to help you get there.
The general rule of thumb to legally marry in Australia, is to hire a celebrant to assist you with the legalities and paperwork. This can be done at a registry office prior the day (we recommend this if you are eloping overseas), or if you are eloping locally, your local celebrant will assist you with the paperwork beforehand and then come with you to your chosen location to conduct the ceremony on the day. To elope in Australia, you must sign and complete your Notice of Intended Marriage Form at a minimum of 4 weeks before you plan on eloping. Your celebrant will walk you through all of this and submit your paperwork on your behalf.
You also are required to have 2 legal witness’ to be present and to sign your marriage certificate on the day. Don’t worry if you aren’t having guests, your vendors can always step in and sign for you (if they agree), we do this all the time for our couples! (and we can help you too!)
Often times when you think about eloping, you may think that an elopement is just a must more cost effective way to getting married. And while, yes it certainly can be.
But only because you are choosing to have less guests, aka choosing to spend less on other people. When planning an elopement you instead are spending your money on your own personal experiences you’d like to create, rather than your guest list.
So whether you choose to go all out and invest in a luxury getaway overseas with a helicopter tour to a mountain top. Or you would rather a simple cabin stay in the forest 2 hours from home. Your experience is entirely yours, and it’s your choice on where your budget goes.
In saying that, your vendors prices will not differ at all from a traditional wedding to an elopement, as their quality, skill level, expertise and time are still worth the same amount of value they provide. Each vendor will put in the work to ensure this is the best experience of your lives and support you every step of the way. So it is well worth investing in them on your elopement day.
Ultimately the more people you include, and the more elaborate of an experience you create, the more your elopement will cost. While on the contrary, the less people you include and the simpler the experience you create, the less your elopement will cost.
Be sure to not let the price tag dictate your experience too much, make sure you are still taking into consideration what you would truly love to do and spend it in a way that lights you up. The average cost of a wedding in Australia is $38,000, whereas the average cost of an elopement is $12,000. So let that speak for itself and know that having less guests in general will allow you to invest in creating the best experience possible for you!
There you have it folks! Our top 5 things to consider before eloping! We promise if you take this advice, and take all of these 5 things into consideration, your elopement planning will be a breeze! And your dream elopement experience will come together seamlessly.
If you are after an even more seamless planning experience, be sure to check out our services. As we not only photograph adventurous elopement experiences, we also help you plan your dream day too!