How to Elope: A Step-By-Step, Mindful Guide for Intimate Celebrations

Eloping is a journey that celebrates love in its most genuine and intimate way. It’s a testament to the understanding that love, in essence, is about the two of you. As you venture into this intimate chapter, let’s dive deeper into ensuring it’s as heartfelt, heart-aligned, and joy-filled as possible.

1. Decide the Vibe
When you imagine your elopement day, your first step is to envision the ambiance and essence of your union. The backdrop of your ceremony plays a pivotal role in capturing this mood. Is there a specific place intertwined with your shared memories, or are you drawn to a location purely for its beauty?

You can consider these questions when choosing the most perfect location. Do you have a special place in mind that holds significance, or are you looking for a spot that’s simply scenic? Decide whether you prefer an indoor or outdoor setting, the time of day, and even the day of the week. Think about potential decorations and if you want guests. If you’re considering a public place, like a park, remember there might be bystanders. If you’re thinking of a waterside location, determine if you prefer a still setting, like a lake, or something more dynamic like a river or ocean. Also, consider the accessibility of the location – is it easy to reach or more remote?

Reflect on the feelings you want the day to evoke, beyond just love. This can guide many of your decisions, including the size of your guest list.

2. Determine a Budget
Setting a budget might not be the most exciting part of planning, but it’s important. You can consider it as primer for future financial discussions you’ll have together. Begin by discussing a comfortable overall amount you’re willing to allocate for the wedding with your partner.

We recommend first determining an upper limit you’re comfortable with. Then, research typical elopement costs like photographer + videographer, officiant, attire, hair and makeup, rings, marriage license, food, drinks, and possibly travel and accommodation if you’re considering a destination elopement. You can also research All Inclusive Elopement Packages. (We at Mindful Weddings and Elopements offer All Inclusive Elopement Packages in Colorado, Sedona, and Florida. Packages start at $7500.)

From there, create a list of anticipated expenses in order of importance and match it against your set budget. This will help you identify areas where you might need to make adjustments or compromises. Conversely, if there’s wiggle room, you can decide where you’d like to allocate a little extra. Crafting and adhering to a budget will undoubtedly be beneficial in terms of time, finances, and peace of mind.

3. Decide Where You Need Vendors
While the vendor list might be shorter, it’s still essential. Think about what elements matter most. A photographer for candid captures? A local private chef for a post-ceremony meal? Or maybe a florist to create a bouquet that encapsulates the day’s essence? Prioritize based on what resonates with your shared vision.

4. Choose Vendors with Intention

Your elopement deserves vendors who understand and respect your vision. Engage and Connect: Whether it’s through an in-person discussion or a virtual chat, taking the time to personally engage with potential vendors is invaluable. These interactions provide a window into their work ethos, adaptability, and most importantly, their ability to connect with you and your vision.

5. Think About Attire
Reflect Your Essence: The beauty of eloping is that traditional expectations take a back seat. Whether it’s a flowing gown, a chic jumpsuit, a casual ensemble, or cultural attire that speaks volumes, choose outfits that mirror your personalities and the vibe of your chosen locale. Think practicality too—heels might not be the best choice on a sandy beach, and a suit might feel out of place in a forest.

6. Make It Official
The Heart of Commitment: This isn’t just about the ceremony but making your union legally binding. Every location has its specifics—waiting periods, witness requirements, or documentation. Familiarize yourself with these intricacies well in advance. Perhaps even consider hiring a local guide or coordinator to help navigate local customs and requirements.

7. Share The Happy News with Family and Friends
Celebrate Your Way: While the ceremony is intimately yours, the joy can be universal. Consider unique ways to include your loved ones—live streaming, personalized announcement cards, or a small get-together post-elopement. Whatever route you choose, let it be an extension of your shared joy.

In conclusion, eloping is about embracing love’s essence, sans the layers of convention. Approach each step with mindfulness, intention, and shared excitement. It’s the beginning of a narrative that’s uniquely yours, waiting to be filled with love, laughter, and countless memories. Here’s to the beautiful journey ahead!

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