I eloped almost five months ago And DH and I agree it was the best decision ever. Welcome to the elopement club! Lol. Lemme tell you about being a part of the elopement club. well…that would almost be like thread hacking. Okokok, enthusiasm aside here goes:
1. Yep, the photographer is a total must. We got charged around 850 and we couldn’t be happier with the pictures! Don’t skimp on your pictures bc it really will be what you share on your announcements, with family and friends, etc.
2. Don’t skimp on hair and makeup or your dress either! Because it IS an elopement feel free to wear whatever you want and do whatever you want (enter together, separately, music, no music…) but make sure you feel “bride-y” and like (duh) you’re getting married.
3. Sit down with your FI and ask him what elements of a traditional/conventional wedding are important to the two of you. For example, for me it was the dress, rings, cake, a nondenominational Christian ceremony and I wanted a unity ceremony of some kind. We ended up doing a unity sand ritual that I absolutely loved. then include those elements into your ceremony in some way.
4. I hired an elopement planner (yep they exist) so if you want one just google Forks, WA elopement packages or something like that. The planner was responsible for finding a venue that suited our preferences (they give you a questionnaire like “what are you looking for? Check all that apply. Wooded areas/ water views / etc), making sure we had a permit for that venue in that day (in some places even public beaches or places need permits…), that no arts and crafts fair or whatever would also be at that place on that day, providing the officiant, providing a hair and makeup artist, a bouquet and boutonnière, and if you wanted a photographer then a photographer too. We choose a different photographer cuz the pics on the elopement planner’s website weren’t really “professional-looking”.
5. I’d also echo PacificMrs (dunno how to add her to the thread sorry) and make sure you make elopement announcements. In my experience there will be lots of people who won’t understand why you eloped, others who will think that you got married but didn’t invite them, feel slighted, would’ve wanted to share your day…etc. Hence, elopement announcements. You go to whatever site you like (I did mine on wedding paper divas something something), choose the ones you like and then make sure it says we ELOPED or you go into the wedding announcement ones and modify them so it says something like bride’s name and groom’s name got married in a PRIVATE ceremony…so everyone understands that a) you’re not asking for a gift, b) it’s not that you didn’t invite THAT particular person, c) it’s a shock to everyone!
6. Tell the people you’re renting the cabin from that you’re eloping there! Honeymoon bonuses are always nice. 😉
feel free to PM me or keep posting on here so we can support you!