"Can't we just elope?" I'm sure this thought has crossed the mind of every person who is in the process of planning a wedding. For some, the idea gets shrugged away under the weight of responsibility they feel for holding a big wedding with their family and friends. For others, though, the idea of eloping gets implanted in their minds and starts to slowly grow and become more and more attractive until they wonder.... "is that really something we can do?"
In recent years, eloping has become a huge trend among couples who want to do something different than a traditional wedding. Their reasons can be as varied as they are; they want to travel to a special location to marry, they want an intimate experience, they want to save the money they would spend on a big wedding, or weddings just aren't for them. Whatever the reason, elopements are taking place now more than they ever have before. Eloping gives a couple the freedom to get married on their own terms, without judgment or oversight from others. It allows couples to keep or do away with as much tradition as they would like in creating an experience that is specially and uniquely theirs. It allows couples to reflect on their true selves and what they love instead of following tradition and the path of others.
Planning your elopement can start with a dream: If you could go anywhere in the world to get married, where would it be? Who would be there with you? What would your perfect vow exchange feel like? What kind of scenery do you want around you?
Open a bottle of wine and snuggle up with your fiance. Let the wild ideas come flying first, write them down, and then you can start whittling away at realistic options. If you want to get married on top of a mountain but Switzerland is beyond your budget, find an epic peak closer to home. Focus on the feeling behind the experience you want to have, and transport it to the place you choose to elope.
For example, Colorado has some of the coolest laws when it comes to getting married. It is one of the few states that lets a couple get married without a formal ceremony. You don't need witnesses, you only need yourselves. You can be your own officiants, and you don't have to be from Colorado to be married here. All you need is $30 for the county clerk to issue your marriage license.
Colorado also has some of the most spectacular backdrops for elopements. Whether you are into mountains and snow, or desert and cactus, Colorado has every possible option for you. Whether you want a luxury-filled getaway at a resort like Gateway Canyons Resort, or a night of glamping under the stars at Under Canvas Moab, you can easily find a secluded spot just for the two of you to say "I do" under the sky or stars.
The thing I love most about elopements is that they can be completely personal to you. Whether you want to write each other romantic vows to exchange, or to simply exchange looks without words, anything goes. The couple in the pictures above played "rock, paper, scissors" to decide who would say their vows first, and then high-fived after the ceremony to seal the deal. They rented a motorcycle to take off in after the elopement. So if you want to elope at a five star resort, or hike five miles to the top of a mountain peak with backpacks on, it is totally up to you. It is one event in your life that can be truly yours.
If you think eloping sound awesome, you're in very good company! And you can recruit help to create your perfect experience. Many wedding planners and photographers like myself are happy to help make your day as carefree and amazing as you imagine. They can help you arrange any little details that you want to include, from flowers to cake to a romantic s'mores roast in the woods. Elopement specialists are all about focusing on you and your vision of eloping.
If you are all in on eloping, I have a detailed elopement guide that will walk you through the steps for dreaming up your elopement and making your vision come to life. It's filled with helpful tips for couples who want to elope. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy of my elopement guide. And happy eloping!!