While elopement used to mean that couples sneaking off to marry secretly without permission or approval, today the meaning shifted to a different side. An elopement is an intimate, special and powerful thing. It eases a ton of pressure and planning woes and allows two people to enjoy the sensibility of their ceremony without affections or distraction. And not only does it ease responsibilities, but it can also cost a lot less. As to say “I do” in a private way makes sense for more and more couples due to different reasons, we decided to talk about some important things you should consider before eloping as some rules still apply there.
Here’s how to plan an elopement that’s just right for you—without feeling guilty or hurting loved ones’ feelings.

elopement etiquette, elopement details
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

1. Some planning still needs to be done

Unless it’s a truly spontaneous decision, you should do at least some planning for your elopement. You still have to figure out a date and a place, how to get a license. Then you need to find an officiant and a witness if needed, figure out travel arrangements, hire a photograph, buy outfits for the two of you, order a bouquet and boutonniere and a cake for two.

2. Research legal aspects

Marriage is a legal ordeal and you have to make sure you go it the right way to avoid chaos. Call ahead to inquire about any special paperwork or if you need to have physical tests done, like blood work. Confirm the office hours and know whether or not you need an appointment.
Have all of your documentation on hand too: photo ID, certified birth certificate and proof of divorce or death if either of you has been married before. Some places may require a waiting period between acquiring your license and getting married, so always check first.
For a wedding abroad, contact the country’s embassy to ascertain what is needed for nonresidents to be married there.

Elopement etiquette
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

3. Call your parents after

Call your moms and dads after the ceremony, but call and not text! Be very kind to them and acknowledge that they may be sad for not witnessing the ceremony. Plan some celebrations with them afterwards and say it right away so that they have something to wait for. And send them pictures. You did some, right?

4. Take a photo on courthouse doorsteps or wherever you are eloping

Take one official photo of your eloping on the courthouse stairs or some other place. Showing this memory to your parents and closest friends will make them more part of your special life event.

Take picture on a steps of a court house when eloped.
Photo by Timothy L Brock on Unsplash

5. Involve closest ones to the planning

This is honestly one of our favourite tips on how to elope without offending family. Families are usually very excited to be a part of the wedding planning process as they are fully invested in your day. Getting them involved in helping you plan everything is a great way to show they still have important roles in your life. Take them to choose an ideal dress for you or ask to arrange some other small details.
Allowing your family to be a part of the elopement planning process lets them know that you have no intention of leaving them out. 

6. Do marriage announcement

You can fill in your friends that you are planning to elope but can omit details at first. Those who are closest to you should find out about your elopement directly from you as soon as you feel ready to share. If you’re having a hard time drawing solid lines here, think about who you would want to hear news of this level from. 

Choose a photo or two from your big day that you really love, and fill them in on all of the details, like your wedding date and your ceremony location can help them tune into the details of your day. Once you’ve told all of the most important people in your life, you might want to share the announcements on social media.

7. Have post-elopement celebration ( if you want to)

Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash

Some people choose to elope because they want to have a more intimate ceremony, and others make the decision to avoid the pricey party that follows. If you have the budget and desire to have a party, go for it. You are hitting a huge milestone as a couple and that is something to celebrate for sure.
Eloping etiquette says to think outside the box while also being considerate of friends and loved ones if you choose so. Having a party can be a great way to involve the people you care about without inviting them to the ceremony. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. It simply is a way of thanking your closest ones for supporting your decision to elope and is a chance to soak in a little bit of newlywed bliss. Your reception is also a great chance to share the story of your day with everyone and to show off any photos or videos that were taken during your elopement.

Click below to order a gorgeous dress for your elopement:

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