Planning a wedding for a couple of hundred people is a very stressful, time-consuming, patience-testing, drama-filled endeavor. Oh, did we mention extremely expensive as well?! So if you want to save yourself and your S.O. months of arguing over wedding favors and flower boutonnieres, you might as well take the shortcut to your happily ever after and elope (or have a pop-up wedding).
Of course, we don't mean heading to Vegas in a convertible without telling anyone and getting hitched in the first chapel you see. You can still have a romantic ceremony, albeit a very intimate one, with your closest and dearest friends and family. The great thing about planning an elopement is that there is actually not that much planning involved which will save you money and time.
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Now, keep scrolling to read what it takes the pull off the perfect elopement according to the wedding experts at Carats & Cake.
1. Pick A Location with Meaning
“Create a space that is uniquely yours. For a truly intimate and unique celebration, choose to elope in a space that may have had a special and significant impact on your relationship such as the location of your first date like this couple who hiked in the woods. Just be sure to check and see if permits are needed.” — Alise Davis, owner and principal designer, Olive Willow Designs
2. Splurge on the Good Stuff
“Make sure to splurge on the items that are most important to you and your fiancé! With such a tight-knit group you’re more financially able to get everything you ever dreamed of as well treat everyone in attendance to thoughtful gifts and upgrades which will make them feel special as well.” — Kristin Alexander, owner and principal planner, Esoteric Events
3. Be Creative with Seating
“Make the ceremony intimate by getting creative with the seating. A circle gives everyone a close and unique view of the ceremony. With a small group, no one's view is blocked by the person in front. Couches and lounge furniture for a few guests is much more feasible than for a large group, so pick pieces that you love and include that as guest seating at the ceremony.” — Lindsey Nickel, owner and planner, Lovely Day Events
4. Get Ready at Home
“Nothing is as intimate as getting ready together at the home that you share.” — Michelle Edgemont, creative director, Michelle Edgemont
5. Focus on the Food
“Don't skimp on dinner. Since it is a smaller number of guests, make the food fabulous. When it is only a handful of the most important people in your life, treat them to a dinner that is an amazing representation of you as a couple for your first meal together.” — Matthew Morgan, senior sales consultant, Blue Plate Catering
6. Look for a Venue That Does It All
"Many couples who consider eloping are attracted to the notion of having fewer details to coordinate so they can focus on their love, not the logistics. If that sounds like you, find a venue or resort that offers an all-inclusive elopement package that incorporates all-inclusive hand-selected vendor services, such as officiant, photography, flowers and cake. This way, you'll have less to research and organize when planning your union.” — Hunter Lowder, CEO, Holman Ranch
7. Capture the Moment
“Commemorate the moment by hiring a professional photographer, even if it’s only for a short time on the wedding day. You’ll have spectacular pictures to share with your network of friends and family that didn’t attend.” — Liz Banfield, owner and lead photographer, Liz Banfield
8. Pay Attention to Details
“Look at your reception as a formal (or informal depending on your vibe) dinner party — a smaller guest count means more attention can be paid to the smaller details like place settings and florals to create a really intimate experience.” — Jacin Fitzgerald, owner, Jacin Fitzgerald Events
9. Keep It Close
“If you chose to have guests at your elopement, limit your number to those absolutely nearest and dearest to you. Think about those that have played a very important role in your life and relationship and those that will be there with you through the end of life.” — Virginia Edelson, owner, Bluebird Productions
10. Do It Yourself
“Do everything you would do for a big wedding, just do it for yourselves. Wear a wedding dress, have fun getting dressed separately and then seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, have a wonderful dinner followed by dancing–just you two!” - Gilda McDaniel, director of weddings and special events, Fearrington Village