An elopement is more than two people running off to get married… it may involve more planning (and more people!) than you think!… Read my top 5 tips for how to elope in Northern Michigan and beyond!
1) Choose what’s important to you
This is the number 1 thing you should do first! Often times weddings can lose focus even with elopement planning. You’re not spending money on a large guest list, so figure out what’s important to you and focus on those things! You could choose a fabulous location, a designer dress, or a high-end photographer. Think about what you really love… what’s important and fun for your wedding… and plan according to those things! One of my elopement couples booked me for two days, and I photographed all kinds of adventures!
2) Determine Your Budget
Although an elopement is typically less money than a larger wedding, it’s a good idea to plan with a budget in mind. Having an idea of what you want to spend and where you want to splurge (see tip #1) will help you stay on track and avoid surprise expenses. Price out the cost of your venue and location, your key vendors, and what you will wear. Without a large guest list, elopement couples have the choice to splurge on whatever they want! You’ll want your wedding day (and planning) to be as stress-free as possible, so make a list of what you will need, and make your decisions based on your preferences… and your budget!
3) Make Sure It’s Legal!
I can’t stress this enough!!! Every location has its own legal requirements. Check into them, especially if you want a certain location on your marriage license… of if you are getting married in a foreign country! (Some couples get married in their hometown and then choose to have a symbolic ceremony elsewhere.) Figure out which documents you need… where you need to get them… and how much time (and money) you need to do that. For example, if you are having a Mackinac Island Wedding most couples choose to go to the county courthouse for Mackinac Island (which happens to be in St. Ignace, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula).
4) Decide How You Will Share Your Happy News!
Who needs to know before you tie the knot? Or before you announce it on social media? (Mom+Dad probably shouldn’t find out the same way your best friend’s sister does through the IG. 😬)
Be prepared for everyone to have a different reaction… it can be surprising how often elopements trigger opinions (unfortunate but true). Having a plan in advance for how you will let the different people in your life know you got married helps everyone understand and celebrate with you!
Some couples take a wedding photo with a cute sign or banner with their big announcement. Others plan a big announcement party after they return or they personally tell their family and friends. I’ve seen people gather their different groups and tell each “group” separately. Others include their close family and friends in the elopement – yes, it can be more than just the two of you! – and then let others know after the big day!
5) Be True to You!
You’ve decided to get married your way… so run with it! Think of a cool cocktail dress instead of a white wedding gown… quirky or high-end details… or hiring a photographer to capture all of your elopement adventures beyond the ceremony and day of! Some couples choose their elopement venue based on where they want to honeymoon. Others plan a day of fun activities to celebrate. Regardless of what you decide… make the most of this special event! Remember there are no rules to how to elope!
The Final Word on Elopements…
I’m guessing one of the reasons you decided to elope in the first place was to keep it simple and about the two of you… Am I right? Using these tips for how to elope will make sure you keep it the way that you want on your wedding day. Whether that includes a few family or friends… or just the two of you… is entirely your call! A little planning goes a long way to making your wedding as beautiful, meaningful and uniquely you as you imagined.
I’d love to be a part of your wedding day! Click here for my elopement packages. Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to check out some of my favorite elopement photos and learn more tips about how to elope!