10 Things to Consider Just Before You Elope

Rocker in Love

10 Things to Consider Just Before You Elope
Start here

So now you’ve decided you want to elope? 

Good of you for wanting to celebrate your wedding your way!

You are probably one of those brides who seek an alternative to the rush-rush vibe that comes with traditional weddings and would rather choose to enjoy their big day with less rush and more celebration.

Now that you’ve decided you want to elope, it is important to know that certain things need to be in place just before you elope.

We know you’re so excited about eloping but before you do, make sure you have put certain things in place.

In this article, we’ll be sharing with you all you need to know just before you elope.

Before you jet off, make sure to read this to the end! It’ll save you a lot of stress!

10 Things to Consider Just Before You Elope
What Does It Mean to Elope?
Nowadays, Eloping goes beyond running away to get hitched in Vegas or a trip to a faraway Island. Eloping can also mean focusing on enjoying your wedding day without all the pressures that come with planning and executing a traditional wedding ceremony.
Most times, couples who elope conduct a ceremony without hosting a reception but that doesn’t mean they are  .

These days, an elopement doesn’t necessarily mean taking a trip somewhere very distant.

It could just be that you and your man want to spend your big day with the most important persons in your life. You might not even be able to afford a conventional wedding now. Hence, having an elopement seems like the best option.

When you read further, I’ll show you 10 important things to consider before eloping with you plus basic elopement etiquette you need to know

Why Do Couples Elope?

The major reason why so many couples are choosing to refrain from the big, traditional wedding and go for an intimate elopement instead is how less stressful an elopement is.

Eloping is the best way to enjoy your big day having fun without stressing about centerpieces, decor, and the likes. As exciting as this sounds, there are lots of things to get done before having an elopement, and just like any wedding, it requires some planning.

We’re here for you. Being a photographer who specializes in elopements and intimate weddings invariably means we’ve got all the information you need to plan your incredible, perfect day!

So, relax!

Planning an elopement a few weeks to the elopement is not an impossible task, however, you may want to consider starting early to plan your elopement- let’s say 6 months or earlier to your big day,

this can give you ample time to get all the necessary permits, and to enjoy the planning process without feeling too rushed.

After you’ve agreed to elope, these 10 things are what you should consider just before you take the plunge.

1. What Do I Need to Know About Marriage Laws for Elopement?

There are many questions you need to find answers to if you want your elopement to go on smoothly. First, find out if you need a license and how long it will take.

Are witnesses expected? What essential credentials do they need? 

I’ll also recommend possibly booking an officiant unless you have a friend who is ordained and can marry you.

Make sure to do your research well. Because simply saying “I Do” doesn’t make your marriage legal. 

Moreover, The legal requirements for marriage vary depending on the city, state, and country.

They could range from a simple marriage license to a premarital blood test, witnesses, and a waiting period before you can tie the knot officially.
In some states, you can even be allowed to self-solemnize your marriage, that is you don’t need an officiant to make it official.

If you are considering an international elopement, contact the country’s embassy first or search their tourism website to see the marriage requirements for non-residents. 

Most times, an elopement is a decision made at the spur of the moment, but you’ll still need to do your research well to make sure your knot is legally tied!

2. Where are We Eloping to?

This is one of the most important if not the most important things you need to consider before you elope. 

This is because if you successfully knock this off your checklist, everything else will fall in place.

Most times, when planning an elopement, you might have a problem choosing from several locations, and it might seem like a hard nut to crack.

To help you decide on a location for your elopement, one strategy you can use is to find time to sit with your partner and talk things through,

While talking, imagine the things you would do to have your best day ever. 

Imagine how exactly you want your day to go and put yourself in those different locations.

Whatever comes to mind, Whether you imagine yourself on the mountains, Or the beach, having a peaceful picnic. Just let it out. Don’t forget that no idea is too crazy for your big day.

After describing to yourselves the kind of picture you have in your mind, then start discussing where you can go to make it happen.

By the time you are done with this process, you should have had a clear view of what you want your day to look like and a narrowed-down list to select from.

3. The Logistics for the Big Day

Ideally, many brides start 3 months before their elopement to start planning the logistics for their big day.

Whether it is booking a flight or arranging for a road trip, the logistics for the day needs to be taken care of.

When you get your logistics for the big day sorted out early enough, it makes the whole process of elopement easier.

half dome
4. How Many People Should I Invite?

The wedding is for you two. 

So you need to agree on the number of guests if any you would want to experience your big day with you. 

As funny as it sounds, the best thing about an elopement is that there are no rules. 

There is no set amount of guests you should invite so feel free to do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

There are no laid down rules on how many people should be there. Or how long the day must be.

Do not feel pressured to invite people you don’t want to be present on your big day or feel the need to allow guests to bring in a plus one. 

It’s your day, do whatever makes you happy and comfortable.

You could just go on our website to check our packages out. And select whichever suits your budget. We are particular about giving our customers the best.
There are no restrictions as to the number of guests you might want to bring along.

The number of guests you bring only reflects how important they are to you. 

And it’s absolutely fine if you want them to be part of your day. It’s just one day and a very important one at that. 

So, do it the way it makes you happy.

5. How Do I Find Elopement  Vendors?

Having to elope for your big day does not exclude you from having to hire vendors. It’s one of the very few similarities that elopement has with a traditional wedding.

Remember you’ll need a cake, flowers, photography, videography, etc. So where exactly can you find elopement vendors?

If you’re eloping, are there any specific people you’ll need to hire?

Do elopements and traditional weddings require separate vendors? 

How do you locate these vendors? Do you have to schedule them as far in advance as traditional wedding vendors?

It’s a lot to handle, we know! That’s why we’ve decided to simplify them in this guide.

When looking for vendors for your big day, it is important that your vendors have experience with the outdoors.

Most elopements are done in the open and in a remote location so it is important that you hire vendors who have outdoor experience.

Especially for photography, your photographers should have a high level of expertise with shooting outdoors

You can find a collection of some of our outdoor photography here .

Another thing to note when hiring vendors is that you shouldn’t always go for the vendors that offer the cheapest services. Quality of service delivery should be your watchword!

So whether it’s photography, rings, cakes, flowers etc. Go for gold!

6. What's the Plan for the Ceremony?

What do you want to wear? 

Will you exchange rings? 

How about the exchange of vows? 

Do you want a bouquet or a boutonniere? 

Will you hire vendors like an officiant, photographer, or videographer? Even if you won’t be walking down the aisle. You could still plan that elopement moment especially.

Moments like this might avail you of the opportunity to steer away from The first thing is the location. Do you both have to decide whether you want the local courthouse or some exotic location? If your destination is a bit far, It’ll be great if you get those early-bird hotel deals. Take care of your travel arrangements early! If you want to have a cake you need to plan it too. 

Don’t forget you might want to have post-elopement reception?

To add a personal touch to your ceremony, you both could decide to write your vows yourself It might look old-fashioned but it’s romantic! 

Just sit down and put down everything you want to promise your partner on your big day.

7. How Do I Apply for Elopement Permits?

The next thing is to apply for your wedding permit! 

A good number of parks and outdoor spaces would expect that you have a permit for your elopement ceremony.

 There would be different requirements for each location, so make sure that you do your research! 

Check online too. Usually, getting permits requires an application plus an application fee, which usually ranges from $25 to $400. 

This is the money used to fund our public lands, and is just another reason why elopements are much more eco-friendly than traditional weddings!

 8. Who should I hire as our elopement photographer? 

The choice of a photographer can determine how beautiful your day will be.

From capturing your photos to guiding you through the whole planning process; a good elopement photographer will definitely come in handy so go for the best, because you’re worth it.

At Rocker in Love, we have over 15 years of experience with multi-day weddings and elopement photography.

We will help bring your dream wedding to life so you can rock your wedding – your way

9. Where are we going to Stay?

Most elopements happen out of state and in a remote location so it is very important and necessary that plans are made for where you would be staying throughout the period of your elopement. 

If you are going to be traveling out of state or out of the country, make research about possible Hotels, Airbnbs, and other accommodation options in the area you are eloping to.

You are set and good to go.

While making reservations, if you intend to invite a couple of guests along with you, you will need to notify them on time that they would also need to make reservations ahead of the date.

10. Post Elopement Celebrations Anyone?

You may have said your “I Dos” in private but we highly recommend you do a post-elopement celebration or announcement! 

Let us remind you that, while your elopement may not have had the same pomp and ceremony as a big wedding, it’s still a big thing! 

It’s time to rejoice. 

This may be a brief trip to the wine bar, an intimate dinner with your closest relatives and friends, or perhaps a romantic tropical getaway for just the two of you, thanks to all that money you saved.

You can also consider sending out elopement announcements to friends and family.

To avoid hurting feelings, tell your closest friends and family first, either in person or over the phone, and then send out fun elopement announcements to announce your new relationship status!

Elopement Etiquettes to Take Note of
1. Prepare Yourself for the Reactions From Your Family and Close Friends

One of the most difficult thoughts that come with eloping is the fear of disappointing your friends and family by not making them part of your big day.

But keep in mind that not everyone will support your decision. So get yourself prepared for their reactions.

If you are thinking of a way to minimize hurt feelings afterward, you could tell your parents beforehand.

You could also find a way to involve your closest friends somehow. Either by sharing photos with the first or maybe planning to host a post-marriage reception.

If anyone feels hurt, a handwritten note would do. 

Sending a text doesn’t come out as personal enough.

2. Announce Properly

If you do not announce properly you could be subject to a lifetime of parental guilt trips.

Though most times eloping is a very intimate experience for the couple, it could feel like a slap in the face to family and friends who had hoped to be included.

But there are several ways you could soften the blow even if you can’t avoid hurt feelings entirely.

One of them is to inform your closest family and friends about your elopement almost immediately after the ceremony.

If you feel comfortable telling them beforehand too, go ahead and do it!

You could put a call through to them if you can’t tell them in person too.

Remember to be honest about the reasons why you and your partner chose to elope, and maybe consider celebrating with them shortly afterward.

Many couples also send out formal announcements to everyone they would have normally invited if they had a traditional wedding.

A marriage announcement lets people know that you’ve already gotten hooked and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the gorgeous intimate photos you captured on your special day.

You might never know, there’s always the chance you recipients will send back a reply in the form of wedding presents.

3. Don't Forget to Take Care of All the Legal Details

Are you thinking of running away to a faraway country to elope? 

Ensure you stop by your local city hall first. Check off everything on your legal to-do list. 

Don’t forget that you still need an officiant and a witness to be legally married in the U.S. Therefore, make sure you get your marriage certificate at home before you jet off. 

Marriage laws differ from state to state, so you have to familiarize yourself with each state’s legal requirements, especially if you’re planning a cross-country elopement.

On the other hand, if you’re eloping abroad, there’s a guide for that stipulations as well.

4. Choose Guests or Witnesses

Have guests or witnesses at your elopement? 

Then you need to plan it!! 


Depending on your state requirements or even if It’s just a few close friends or family members that you want to be part of the moment, you can still bring them along and call it an elopement.

Most times, the rule of thumb is to keep the count under a dozen. Of course, if you’re inviting guests have a more formal plan

5. Don't Downplay Your Elopement

An elopement is still a wedding, It’s just an intimate one! Just because it’s an elopement doesn’t mean that the day isn’t special.

It’s your wedding and you have every reason to be excited and celebrate. 

Indulge in the bridal aspects of your day, you could get a special dress and a bouquet and perhaps even set up a table, complete with your dream centerpiece, a bottle of wine, and dinner for two.

6. Splurge Strategically:

With an intimate wedding, there will be more money to splurge so you may want to consider giving yourself a treat!

In as much as eloping is a FANTASTIC way to save money, that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on everything. Plan out at least one strategic splurge to make this day truly memorable.

Depending on your choice, it could be a honeymoon in a dream city, exchanging beautiful rings, an expensive bottle of champagne, or a fabulous dress that you may or may not wear again.

Yes, it’s an “elopement” but it’s as special as a big, formal wedding. Treat it that way!

Vendors usually have special elopement pricing packages, so you could ask them.

Or consider getting married on an off-day for a discounted rate. Save a little, splurge a little!

Finally, One of the major reasons why so many more couples choose to forgo the big, traditional wedding and opt for an intimate elopement rather is how much less stress an elopement brings.

Also, eloping is the best way to make sure that you spend the best day of your life having fun and enjoying yourselves, instead of stressing about centerpieces, decor, and the likes.

But, before you tie the knot, there are still a lot of things that need to get done! 

Lucky for you, We’re a photographer who specializes in elopements and intimate weddings – which means we’ve got all the tools and resources you need to plan an incredible, perfect day!

Yeah, we’ve helped plan elopements as little as a few weeks out, but we can say from experience that it’s easiest to start planning and dreaming up your day six months to a year in advance. 

This would afford you enough time to get all the necessary permits, and to enjoy the planning process without feeling too rushed.

It is important to note that perfection doesn’t exist anywhere.

We only tried our best to make this article as detailed as possible to help you plan your dream elopement

This is because you would agree that the beauty of an elopement is that things do not have to be perfect. 

And when it comes to planning such a big day, it’s best to let go of any trait of perfectionism.

Need help planning your elopement? Contact Us Today!

Grasi & Dani - Rocker in Love

10 Things to Consider Just Before You Elope / All photos by Rocker in Love

Let's Start Your
Adventure Elope?

We’re here for you. Being a photographer who specializes in elopements and intimate weddings invariably means we’ve got all the information you need to plan your incredible, perfect day!

Share with your friends and family

Keep in Touch

Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in no time.

exclusive client area

It's Great to see you again

Everything is where you left it