(Closed) This might be a stupid question

posted 5 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
Member
641 posts
Busy bee

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britnee814 :  I’m eloping to Maui. I was shocked at the prices of these packages. Do you want me to tell you what I paid to select vendors myself versus the packages?

Post # 3
Member
3045 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

I have no idea about elopement packages or why they look so expensive. My first marriage was $300. Included champagne, limo, driver/officiant/pic snapper, ceremony was at a beautiful SF park, headed to the beach for more pics then took about 13 friends and family out to dinner to celebrate that evening. Whole day was awesomely stress free. I think you can manage what you want without paying thousands but I’m wondering how comfortable you’ll be hiking in your beautiful dress. 😁

Post # 5
Member
693 posts
Busy bee

I did the most simple ceremony and then dinner for our immediate family and I spent $2,500.

Getting the license and officiant alone was $700!

Post # 6
Member
641 posts
Busy bee

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britnee814 :  the cheapest elopement package I found for my venue was 3500. It came with things we didn’t need like marriage license assistance, flower leis, and an onsite coordinator plus chairs at the ceremony site. Restaurant recommendations etc. not needed for us. 

Things we did need were the ceremony site reservation, an officiant, and photographer which the package offered. The officiant was non denominational and I wanted to pick my own religious one. The photographer in their package was mediocre rated and would give us 1.5 hours. I wanted to splurge on the top rated photographer foe 2 hours. The site reservation we needed but could book directly with the venue. Our wedding including the venue, officiant, and photographer was 2500. This is about 1k less than the package plus we get to pick our own officiant and have a top photographer in Maui with an additional 30 minutes of shooting time. 

Packages at the hotels are even worse. They begin at $2500 for just the site reservation. For us we needed a site reservation bc at a public beach people would be in our shots. 

I think it also depends on how much work you are willing to do also. Took me a very long time to find a site with a reasonable site reservation fee. I also had to compare photographers and look at portfolios and then ask around about an officiant. To me i didn’t care I would rather have the 1k

Post # 7
Member
1838 posts
Buzzing bee

Look at bed & breakfast and inn elopement and wedding packages. Also check out “elopement services” or “wedding services”. 

Where are you trying to get married?

Post # 8
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2027

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britnee814 :  elopement packages are crazy expensive in my opinion. I mean, if I was going to pay that much for the wedding, I would just have a wedding here with family and firends. 

What I am doing is using Thumbtack to find an officiant. We have a photographer already, but you can find them on there too. And we are DIYing our own flowers and such. It will be much less. 

Post # 9
Member
6331 posts
Bee Keeper

In those packages, you are paying for someone to arrange all these different services for you. What you’re describing sounds simple and intimate. I bet you could coordinate it all yourself. Some very popular places have a fee for you to use their land, but many places that aren’t so popular with weddings and events I bet you could use for free. 

Post # 11
Member
1305 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I would book everything separately. I suggest you listen to PP and do more research and get quotes to see how much an officiant would cost, ceremony location, and then find a nice restaurant that would be able to accomodate your group. As long as you don’t require a DJ/cake/private room you may be able to get a good deal.

Post # 12
Member
6266 posts
Bee Keeper

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britnee814 :  Consider doing a quick courthouse wedding with no emotion involved, just legal matters.  Then go do your hike with your family where you do a more personal ceremony, perhaps with a relative ‘officiating’.  That’s essentially what we did, except we held a ‘real’ ceremony rather than eloping.  Having Father-In-Law officiate was so much more meaningful and we found a guy to take care of the legal stuff for 40 bucks – who then gave 20 back after we forced him to take it.  You do not have to shell out thousands to say what you want to say on top of a cliff or wherever.

Post # 15
Member
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

Okay – I’m doing exactly what you’re talking about doing. (Only the hiking won’t be for everybody – the ceremony will be near the entrance to the park… but we’ll be hiking for pictures.)

We aren’t using any kind of package. I didn’t know that was a thing. Just got an officiant and are sending the papers back to city hall. We were able to get a one day designation in my state for one of our friends to do it for $20 and the licnese was $40. That’s the whole cost of getting married. If you need find an officiant who isn’t a friend or your state has different rules than mine it might cost a couple hundred to find an officiant.

Rent a room at a restaurant and you’re done. But that room and food might well be $1k+. If it’s just a small group you might consider some casual catering at your house and stringing up some twinkle lights and white paper lanterns and calling it a day that was after the ceremony.

 

ETA: To be permitted to do it in the state park like we are would have been about $100 for the fee plus the mandatory insurance. But the guy in charge said since it was so small and we didn’t need chairs or anything then he didn’t care and we didn’t need permits. You could probably get away with the same in a state park near you. 

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