Are you ready to commit your life to your partner whom you love, but feel trapped in the boundaries of the traditional wedding? Maybe you’re not interested in entertaining crowds of people on a day which is supposed to be enjoyed and cherished primarily and most importantly by you and your partner. I believe everyone should be able to enjoy a day perfectly curated by you and your partner. If this sounds like a better option, an elopement may be the route for you. This does not necessarily mean a courthouse wedding or Vegas-style elopement, although it could mean that. Most importantly, it means crafting the perfect unique experience and day for you and your partner. Not sure what this looks like? Here are some options for unique elopement wedding ideas.
Elopement Activities for the Couple
Think honestly about the things you and your partner love doing together. What are some of your favorite hobbies or activities as a couple? What do you love to do with each other? When is your relationship the most fun? Consider incorporating this activity or hobby into the adventure of your wedding day:
- Enjoy a board game or Healthier Together with your morning coffee.
- Ride your bicycles on a path you’ve spent hours on.
- Take a morning hike to catch the sunrise.
- Sit next to a fire watching the stars.
- Watch the sunset over the water.
- End the night with a dip in a cold river after a hot sauna.
Make it a true-to-you experience, whatever it may be.
Are you and your partner the spontaneous adventure type? Plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before. Eat at new places, find beautiful properties to rent out and enjoy. Visit the dream destination you’ve always wanted to visit, and plan a beautiful itinerary celebrating the story of your relationship. Spend the week adventuring in New Zealand, or rent a home in Bali to enjoy. If travel fuels your soul and adds some spice to your relationship, consider incorporating it on your wedding day and you will surely never forget it.
Returning to a special or significant place in your relationship is another option to consider. There are sacred places in all relationships. Imagine visiting a place which holds a cherished memory on your wedding day, or returning to a place that feels like home in your relationship. Take a walk along the beach where you first said you loved each other, have a picnic in the park where the proposal took place. Capturing the vivid emotions present when visiting a significant place in your love story helps me to tell the story of your relationship through the art of photography and film.
Think about where you want to be and what you want to be doing when you want to exchange your vows—On the beach at sunrise, on a mountain at sunset, sitting next to a fire at night under the stars. Whatever it may be, make sure your experience is personal and meaningful to you and your partner. Use these unique elopement wedding ideas to create a special day. Make it a fun, personal, private celebration for the two of you and the next stage of your life together as a married couple. You deserve it.
Elopement Activities with Guests
If a more traditional wedding day style is what you desire, don’t worry! You don’t have to sacrifice the traditional elements of a wedding day that you wish to incorporate. Instead, hosting a small, intimate wedding ceremony and reception with your loved ones may be the route for you. Here are some small wedding ideas and tips to consider when planning for an intimate ceremony.
Take care of your guests
The luxury of having a small wedding is that you get to be picky, and selfish with your time spent. You are able to spend time on the things that matter to you, and focus less on the things that don’t. Because you will have fewer guests at an intimate wedding, you will be able to accommodate and care for each of them in a personal, special way that you would otherwise not be able to at a wedding with a huge guest list. Because of this, consider taking some time to handcraft, personalize, and infuse meaning everywhere you possibly can.
Consider taking the time to handwrite your invitations or announcements, making them special and personalized to each individual. Consider putting together guest favors that are meaningful to you and your partner and your relationships with each of your guests. Personalizing guest spots and name tags can be a beautiful, elegant touch.
Get creative in utilizing space
Another perk of deciding on a small wedding is that you have the freedom to be way more flexible in where you host the event. Because you won’t have to worry about having enough seating, or a big enough dance floor, you will be able to put your energy into creating a special place to cherish your wedding day on. Spend time being intentional with decorating the space exactly the way you like it. Create your own sacred, organic and authentic atmosphere to say your vows. If your gathering is small enough, consider a long, elegantly decorated table that will fit all of your guests in one spot, like a large banquet hall.
If you have access to it, consider a U-shaped set up with all of your guests able to interact and look at each other and really feel included in the day. Consider hosting it in your own home, or the home or property of a close friend or family member. Because you won’t have to worry as much about size, an AirBnB or rental property might be a good option for you. An intimate gathering in a national or state park is always a good option as well.
Be intentional with your schedule
Planning a small wedding will also give you the freedom to be intentional with your activities for the day. With a smaller crowd, orienting group activities becomes much easier. Schedule a time to play a game, or consider preparing an elaborate meal. Hosting the event at one of your favorite restaurants can be a unique and interesting option, or taking a walk to a nearby park or beach after the ceremony could make for a fun wedding day group dynamic. Because you will have fewer people there to account for and entertain, planning a day that is not typical of the traditional wedding will become much easier. You will be able to structure your day however you would like, and the more unique and personalized it is to you and your partner, the better.
Now let’s discuss logistics when putting together a timeline for your wedding. Check out some helpful tips I’ve gathered for you here.
I’m Karen, a California adventure elopement photographer who empowers couples to create memories that will last a lifetime. I am dedicated to providing the tools you need to push the boundaries of tradition and create an unforgettable experience.
I help all couples worldwide by providing personalized location lists, planning resources, vendor recommendations, permits, timeline-curation, and much more to curate elopement days that will be cherished forever.
Here's to co-creating an unforgettable elopement experience.