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The Downlow on The Elopement Checklist
This is the only elopement wedding checklist you will ever need in guiding you to planning your Elopement. I get it, you totally did not want to plan a big deal wedding with all the bells and whistles because you wanted to stay low key yet classy. You want to have something small yet something meaningful. But how do you even get started on doing this? You might be in a time crunch and you don’t even know where to start, well I have put together a helpful guide to help you get started on knowing everything there is in planning your elopement. Check it out below.
- Date. Well it won’t happen until you have this nailed down. You will need to make sure the date is nailed down before you can start booking your hotel, flights, vendors and inviting your guests.
- Location. This is where it starts to get real. The location will start to mold how you see your elopement happening. What season are you planning to have your wedding? All seasons are so different in different parts of the world. This part matter depending on the feel that you are wanting to have for your elopement.
- Budget. How much money to want to spend or can you spend on your elopement. Are you planning to have a sit down meal and feed other guests? How much is the hotel or airBnB you will be staying at? How much do you want to spend on photography? (important note)
- Guests. Are you expecting any guests? If so do you want them to fly into you? Are they already living in the area? This all matters if you plan to invite anyone.
- Vendors. Now I really think this part matters because it really can’t happen if you don’t have at least an officiant. I also believe that having a photographer makes it real. The images that prove it happened besides the marriage certificate.
Now let’s be real about this. You really want a good location that showcases the feels of your elopement and you want it to be meaningful. I live less than a mile from the beach and to many non Floridians, the beach is like gold to them. I mean some of them have never even seen a beach before coming to Florida. Some couples might want something totally different than the beach. Personally if I get married I would prefer a spot on top of a mountain overlooking some amazing scenery. Planning this part takes some tact and time. You may want to look around the area for some discounts on hotels, venues, or maybe you don’t even need a venue. If a courthouse wedding is in the plans then do some research on the local courthouses in the area. In popular areas some courthouses may be booked in advance, while some courthouse you will need to make two visits to get your certificate and to get married. In Daytona Beach the courthouse only allows wedding to take place on 2 days of the week and you will need to do your certificate prior. Make sure you know this information.
I get it, you wanted to have an elopement to save some money. A large wedding can cost thousands of dollars and upwards. Even without a budget just understanding the cost of planning a wedding can be stressful. You want to make sure you are paying the best money for the best services. If you don’t have a budget, still do your research on everything you are spending your money on. Just because the price is high does not always mean you are getting the best services. Some costs that you might want to consider are:
- marriage licence (what are the requirements?)
- room and board (stay someplace close to things to do)
- dining in (consider a fancy dinner)
- uber or car rental (why drive?)
- wedding details (flowers, arch, rings)
- officiant (or courthouse)
- planner or coordinator (this will make things easier if its an option)
- photographer (um yes. must have)
This is the part where I come in. I like to make things easier for you (hence making this list for you). So you have no idea where to start? No problem. You might need an officiant. Consider calling around to a local church in the area and see if you can get married by a minister. If you are getting married at a resort where they offer wedding planning services and they offer a coordinator, please take this offer. It will make your life so much easier. Sometimes the hotel you stay at will have a list of vendors that can help you. I try to get noticed by a lot of small hotels that offer wedding services. Finding a photographer can also be done as easy as a google search. Make sure you are clear about what you are needing from your photographer. I am very knowledgeable in knowing what my couples need for their elopement depending on where they want to get married. You also might be wanting to hire someone to do hair and makeup. Your planner can also help with finding this if you can not find one.
In closing this list covers the basics in what goes into planning an elopement. You might have some unique details that go into planning yours because it is YOUR special day, so make it count. After your wedding, throw a party if you wanted more people to attend but they couldn’t make it. Send out cards to your family and friends of the photographs you had taken at your wedding. If you want any other info that I did not cover in this, feel free to leave me a comment. Happy planning!