When you think of elopements you might think of couples running off to Gretna Green to get married to escape disapproving parents. This was probably true in the past but in 2020 elopements are so much more. You might not know anyone who has eloped before, and it does take some planning so we are excited to share our guides on how to plan your perfect elopement.
WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT?
WHY WE THINK ELOPING IS THE BEST WAY TO GET MARRIED
We love elopements and think they are absolutely the best way to get married because they allow you to celebrate your marriage in the most authentic way possible. We've been to a lot of weddings which are generally all based around following the same timeline and are more about the guest experience than the couples experience.
We eloped on Oahu, Hawaii, and it was the best decision. It was stress-free, beautiful, unique and we were in a place that meant so much to us. There is no way we could have had a comparable experience by having a traditional UK wedding.
Elopements put the focus on you as a couple and are a wonderful way to start married life.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR ELOPEMENT?
There are so many options for what to do on your elopement day. It depends on what you enjoy doing together.
Get up early and hike to the top of a mountain to say your vows at sunrise
Explore the beach, eat ice-cream, and watch the sunset as you get married
Visit a city you've always dreamed of, picnic in a park, take a river cruise, eat good food
Go kayaking or paddle boarding, or scuba diving, before say your 'I do's'
Hire a jeep and explore some epic landscape, stopping to get married on the way
Watch eagles soaring in Scotland, go whale watching in Iceland, visit a puffin colony in Wales
Keep it relaxed with a ceremony in your garden with your dogs, and hire a private chef to make you a feast
The exciting thing about eloping is that it is all about the two of you, so you can choose anything.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO ELOPE?
There are so many options on where to elope- literally the entire world! To narrow it down there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
What kind of weather do you like? Hot, cold or something in between?
What type of scenery do you love most? Mountains, desert, forest, beach, city?
Are you city lovers or countryside lovers?
Do you want to fly to another country or keep it more local?
Answering these questions will help you to narrow down your options, and your elopement photographer will be able to give you options tailored to your answers.
EXAMPLE ELOPEMENT TIMELINES
To get you started with some elopement timeline ideas, we've created four different timelines that can be fully customised into your perfect elopement.
Beach Lovers Elopement Timeline
11:00 am- Go for a morning walk with your lover
12:00 pm- Head to a cafe for some lunch
1:00 pm- Go back to your accommodation and exchange wedding gifts/letters
1:30 pm- Start getting ready separately and then head outside for your first look
2.30 pm- Get in the car and spend a few hours visiting beautiful spots to take photos and have a quick explore.
5:00 pm- Arrive at the beach and meet a few close friends and family.
5:30 pm- Say your vows to each other
6:00 pm- Walk along the beach and enjoy your first moments as a married couple
6:30 pm- Eat a picnic dinner on the beach with live acoustic music
8:00 pm- Have your first dance by the sea
8:15 pm- Take sunset photos and paddle in the sea
9:00 pm- Head back to your accommodation
9:30 pm- Relax outside with a few drinks and some cake
Sunset Ceremony for Hiking Timeline
12:00 pm- Enjoy your favourite lunch together at your accommodation
1:00 pm- Start getting ready separately and then head outside for your first look
2.00 pm- Drive to the start of your hike
2:30 pm- Set off hiking up into the mountains taking photos on the way up
5:30 pm- Arrive at the top of the mountain, choose the best ceremony spot and take a quick rest break
6:00 pm- Say your vows to each other
6:30 pm- Explore the area and enjoy your first moments as a married couple
7:00 pm- Eat a picnic dinner by a mountain lake
7:45pm- Have your first dance by the lake
8:00 pm- Change out of your wedding clothes to head back down the mountain
9:30 pm- Get back to the car and drive back to your accommodation
10:00 pm- Relax around the firepit back at your cottage and do some star gazing
City Elopement Timeline
12:00 pm- Get your favourite takeaway delivered to your accommodation and enjoy it together
1:00 pm- Start getting ready separately and have your first look
2.30 pm- Travel to your ceremony venue
3:00 pm- Say your vows to each other and officially get married!
4:00 pm- Go to a park, throw down a picnic blanket and have some snacks and drinks together
5:00 pm-Stroll through your favourite area of the city/take a river cruise/have photos by your favourite museum
6:30 pm- Meet up with your closest friends and family for dinner at a great restaurant
8:00 pm- Head out together to watch the sun go down and take sunset photos
9:00 pm- Go to a bar to celebrate with your closest friends and family
Sunrise Ceremony for Hikers Timeline
2.15 am- Set off hiking up into the mountains using torchlight
4:00 am- Arrive at the top of the mountain in time for sunrise
4:30 am- Change into your wedding clothes and have your ‘first look’ at sunrise
5:30 am- Say your vows to each other
6:15 am- Explore the area and enjoy your first moments as a married couple
7:00 am- Eat a picnic breakfast by a mountain lake (champagne optional!)
7:45am- Have your first dance by the lake
8:00 am- Start slowly heading back down the hill with more photos on the way
11:30 am- Get back to the car and drive back to your accommodation
12:00 pm- Have lunch by yourselves or with a few close friends/family members
1:15 pm- Take some photos with your friends/family and of course your fur babies (if you have any)
2:00 pm- Relax for the rest of the day and definitely nap!
Can we elope just the two of us?
Yes! If you are having your official ceremony as part of your elopement you may have to have two witnesses, depending which country you are but we can be your witnesses. If you are having a humanist or non-official ceremony then no witnesses are required!
Can we bring our friends and family to our elopement?
Yes! The beauty of an elopement is that it is entirely up to you if you do it alone or if you want to involve your closest loved ones. To keep the experience truly about you as a couple we don't advise having more than 20 people.