5 LESSONS LEARNED FROM ELOPING!
Hands up if you have ever considered eloping? Perhaps you have always pictured yourself getting married on a private beach just the two of you, maybe you have found the stress of planning a large wedding just too much? Whatever your reasons may be, there are plenty of couples that decide to elope every year, but would you really know how to go about it? I know that I wouldn’t even know where to start, so today we have invited wedding planner & fellow Blogcadette, Kirsten Halstead to share her experiences with you. Trust me when I say she is a bride who knows a thing or two about eloping, as she she and her husband Ash, did just that very thing year when they eloped to America last year!
We chose to elope for many reasons, the main one being that we wanted to get married in one of our favourite places in the world, Nashville, Tennessee. We wanted it to be just the two of us, a big American country adventure, so here are a few lessons we learned from eloping!
1. Don’t just ‘run away’!
Make sure before you choose your location somewhere in this big wide world, you choose wisely. Let it be somewhere you have both been together that means a lot to you or somewhere you have both always dreamed of visiting. Don’t just run off to Vegas or Gretna Green – make sure these places are really meaningful to you? We chose Nashville because country music and America have a special place in our hearts. You don’t want to look back on this special moment and think you ran away to the first place you thought of, give it some consideration and time. The world is your oyster. Think of the time of year, climate and currency; also consider your honeymoon destination.
2. Remember that marriage laws are different all over the world.
This is a really important part of the elopement planning process and one you must research well. Remember the law is the law and the last thing you want is to travel to the other side of the world without the correct documentation or a clue where to go to get your marriage licence. The best thing to do if you are feeling overwhelmed is to hire an elopement planner which I will cover in the point below. In Nashville it took us all of 10 minutes to get our licence, we didn’t need witnesses and we could be married wherever we wanted to be. Indoors, outdoors you name it. There are huge advantages to elopements as you really can find your dream location to be married and still be within the law.
Remember take note of the cultural laws of the country you travel to as well. For instance, we were married on a Sunday in Tennessee…I didn’t buy our champagne in advance and all the liquor stores by law must be closed on a Sunday. On the plus side we could buy beer from the gas station but I really didn’t think I would be drinking a bottle of Budweiser on my wedding day.
3. Hire an elopement planner.
If we could do this all again I would certainly hire an elopement planner, even though I am a planner myself I didn’t really want to be planning my own wedding and it would have saved me a lots of time and they could have helped us choose and vet suppliers.
Remember elopement/destination wedding planners travel the world all year and have lots of experience. They know the in’s and outs of destination weddings and elopements and can save you a considerable amount of time and money. They can help you with your travel arrangements, choosing the right location and suppliers; they know all of the different laws and what documentation you will need to have a legal ceremony. You could also look to hire a wedding planner who is located where you wish to be married.
4. Consider telling your closest family.
I know this point is kind of contradictory to eloping, but in this modern day and age if you can’t tell your closest friends and family that you are planning to elope alone and they don’t understand, then it is kind of a shame. At first they may be confused or upset that you don’t want to share your special day with them, but remember they love you and they will come to terms with it. We told my father one week before we eloped and he was happy and understood our reasons; this made me a lot happier on our wedding day knowing that we had his blessing. It also meant we weren’t worried to come home and tell the remainder of our family, as we had our closest friends and families support and love. They all sent us video messages on the day to send their love and congratulations. It brought tears to our eyes and made us laugh as they hadn’t considered the time difference and we had only just woken up on our wedding day.
5. Hire a photographer & videographer.
We spent the majority of our wedding budget on the best photographer we could find. We wanted our adventure captured so we could treasure the day forever and share the moments with everyone back home. Ask if your photographer can provide a newlywed shoot instead of an engagement shoot too. We had a newlywed shoot 2 days after our wedding it was really fun to go to the nearest beauty spots of Nashville and get some more photographs of our travels.
I know engagement shoots are great to get to know your photographer and get used to feeling comfortable with them and in front of their camera, but we arranged to meet our suppliers as soon as we landed in Nashville. We spent an evening with them and instantly felt comfortable, so the pre-wedding shoot wasn’t needed.
We didn’t hire a videographer as we wanted our elopement to be between just the two of us. This was an epic fail as we now wish we had some footage of our ceremony that we could share with everyone. If we could do it all over again we would definitely hire a videographer.
Elopements can be as simple or extravagant as you want them to be. You could go to the registry office in your casuals or you could throw the wedding of your dreams with all of the trimmings just for the two of you. Remember you can have a blessing and throw a party for your friends and family when you return home so they can still feel included.
So whats the verdict? Will you be eloping? We want to hear your stories? xxx
Super Suppliers – Photographer: Stephanie Reeder//