I don’t think secrecy is mandatory these days in order for it to be considered an elopement!
I can tell you how our day was special!
On our wedding day, we started the day off with a lovely buffet breakfast at our lodge and then went for a long hike. We are very active outdoor people so even though we hike a lot in general, having a wedding day hike was really “us” in so many ways. We made up a wedding day hike song and sang it along the trail. Yes we’re big goobers. But the excitement was building, knowing that soon we were going to be getting ready for our wedding!
When we returned to our lodge around 2:00pm, we figured some last minute details. We booked an elopement package which came with a wedding planner, so we had to meet about when to get the flowers, what time the canoe dock closed, etc. Then we got ready together starting around 2:30pm. Since we did not have a proper lunch, the consierge sent us a complimentary snack tray to our room (cheese, crackers, fruit). So we enjoyed that while taking in the lovely balcony to our room.
The photographer came at 4:00pm to get some getting ready and details shots. The ceremony was at 5:00pm but we wanted to get in a first look prior so the photographer arranged that as well. Our ceremony included walking in together arm in arm, which is a Swedish custom for brides and grooms, and my H is very Scandinavian. I also had written in an Irish blessing to represent my heritage. I really wanted peonies for my bouquet to represent my home state of Indiana, but even so we each had something to represent our backgrounds for the ceremony.
After the ceremony, we went right to the canoe dock to get some photos of us in a canoe. This is also very “us” as one of our first big trips as a couple was a multi-day canoe trip through the Utah desert. We wandered around the lake in our wedding attire and got photos in various locations until about 7:00pm.
Around 7:00pm, we headed to the dining lodge for our three course dinner and had a bottle of champagne to start us off. We had our own personal attendant for our meal. He was very knowledgeable about the food. We ended the meal with our own personal wedding cake, plus some gormet sorbet. (We did an elopement package that came with all these things.)
Afterwards we went back to our lodge room and lit a fire in the fireplace and opened the porch door which had a private balcony and overlooked the lake. Annnd you know the rest…
It was quite a full day and represented us very much so! I think choosing a venue/lodge that knew how to treat the couple, add the details, take care of things – really helped make the whole day feel special and us feel special. It was really nice to be taken care of versus us just going to a restaurant without them knowing about our big day.