If you’ve been doing any amount of wedding planning lately, you’ve likely seen the word “elopement” crop up. But when you start looking at photos of elopements on social media, it doesn’t take much to convince you that eloping is for avid hikers only. It can almost feel ablest, which stands in contrast to my inclusive mindset.
Honestly, it makes me sad that social media portrays elopements in this light because the truth is, eloping can look any way you want it to.
You absolutely do not have to be a survivalist to have your dream elopement or even your adventurous elopement. The term “adventurous” is pretty subjective in the elopement world. What someone else may not view as adventurous could absolutely be adventurous for you. No matter what your definition of “adventurous” is, you should feel supported in everything that you want to do with your partner on your elopement day.
You can absolutely have your own adventurous elopement where you custom design your adventure. Maybe your flavor of adventure is browsing the wares of an antique shop with your partner at the end of the day. Or maybe you’d rather check out that potential fishing spot that your co-worker mentioned. Adventure can literally be anything you want it to be.
So while you may not inherently describe yourself as “adventurous” in the traditional sense, you could potentially describe yourself as “adventure(ish)”.
Adventurous, but make it light.
There are lots of reasons that someone may call themselves “adventure(ish)” and regardless of the reason, know that you’re supported when you’re with me.
If you have both decided that an elopement is how you’d like to celebrate your wedding day, that’s freaking amazing! Talk with your partner. Make sure to listen to one another to see what ideas you both come up with for how you’d like your day to unfold. Know that there’s no right or wrong way to elope!
Make sure it’s what you both want—eloping doesn’t make your marriage any more or less valid. Whether you elope or have a big wedding, the important thing is that you have married the love of your life. Here are the Top 8 To Ditch Tradition and Elope Instead. If you align with any or all of them, eloping may be perfect for you.
Make sure whatever activity (or activities) you decide on incorporating into your day are things that you are comfortable doing. Don’t forget to consider the physical capabilities of your guests (if you plan on having any) as well. Also make sure to research the location you’re interested in eloping in. You will want to learn the weather patterns based on time of year for your elopement, lodging, parking, associated fees, and crowds.
Eloping doesn’t mean that you forego all the wedding details (unless you want to!). Don’t skip the wedding details that are important to you. If you want an arbor and flowers, bring them! If you want a handful of close family + friends, bring them! (This may also influence what activities you do throughout your day.) Your elopement can be as simple or as extravagant as you’d like. There are literally ZERO rules when it comes to eloping!
Research, research, research.
Elopements are typically less planning versus traditional weddings, but that doesn’t mean they’re planning-free. You want to research (just to name a few):
+ your vendors (including your photographer!)
+ your chosen location
+ any required permits for your ceremony location (as well as what rules they may have in place)
+ marriage license process for the state/country you’re in
+ the typical weather for that time of year
+ time and distances to/from locations you want to visit
Avoid rushing to book anything for your elopement! While it can be exciting to check things off a to-do list, you want to make sure that you’re planning things you both will enjoy, and vendors who will support you and align with your personal views or beliefs.
Elopements and weddings can have a major impact on the ecosystem so we want to make sure that we do what we can to ensure the beautiful spaces we love remain wild and beautiful. If you’re not sure what the principles of Leave No Trace are, you can check them out here.
Also, make sure to take the time to enjoy being engaged! In the grand scheme of things, your engagement will be the shortest period of your lives together. Don’t feel like you have to start planning anything right after the question has been asked.
If you make sure to follow these few things, you’re bound to create an authentic adventurous elopement for you and your partner to enjoy.