If you’ve chosen to elope, there’s a good chance the customizable, personal, and more private nature of these types of weddings played a role in your choice. Let’s be honest, elopements are incredibly different than traditional weddings, and crafting a day that feels distinctly and uniquely yours is a big part of the process. As someone who documents elopements, I frequently get asked by the couples I work how they can make their elopement unique to them,. And if you’re at that point and find yourself asking that too, I have a few general tips I recommend considering. So let’s jump right into it: how to make an elopement special.
What you consider “special” ultimately depends on your specific, unique relationship. As you read this article, keep that in mind: you get to define what’s special to you. Whether it’s choosing a specific elopement location or incorporating certain activities into your day, what’s special is different for every couple.
Consider what, if any, traditional wedding activities or ideas sound interesting to you. Don’t be afraid to throw out the wedding rule book, if it doesn’t resonate with you. Whether it’s in the form of non-traditional attire or eloping without an officiant, you’re allowed to think outside the box.
Your elopement day is so much more than a ceremony and some couples photos. It’s a full experience, and a day where you can spend your time together fully immersing yourselves in the moment. So think about what activities you and your partner love doing together and consider how you can incorporate that into your timeline.
At their core, elopement are extremely personal and vulnerable weddings. How you choose to make an elopement special should reflect this personal nature. Take the concept of templates and expectations and put them aside for now. They’ll become relevant when you’re in the timeline planning stage of this process, but when you’re simply contemplating ways to make your elopement day feel special to you, you can put it on pause for a moment.
What fun traditions do you and your partner already have together? Do you do weekly wine nights? Do you like spending your weekends setting up a picnic in your local park? Do you enjoy stargazing in the middle of nowhere together?
Every single one of these ideas can be incorporated into your elopement day to make it feel special to you.
If you come from a culture that has certain wedding activities or traditions, consider whether that’s an important element for you to bring into your elopement day.
This can range from cultural wedding attire, distinct ceremony activities, what food you choose to eat, and so much more.
Let me be clear here: not having family or friends at your elopement doesn’t make it any less special. For some couples, having no one present at their elopement makes it even more uniquely them than having friends and family there.
For example, I work with a lot of couples out here in Colorado who want as much privacy as possible, which translates to not even having an officiant marry them (Colorado allows you to sign your own license without one!).
On the other hand, if having a few important people present on your wedding day is something you value, it’s a great way to make your elopement feel special. They can share stories about you on your elopement day, be a part of your ceremony, and share in the celebration of the day.
Not every elopement location is super private, which can translate to other people being within earshot when you share your vows. For some people, that’s totally fine. But if that makes you nervous or makes you feel like you can’t be fully vulnerable, finding a more private elopement location will add to the special feel of the day.
I want you to think about it like this: do you see yourself being hindered in how you express yourself on your elopement day, if more people are around? If so, I’d recommend looking into locations that aren’t as busy. Keep an eye out for lightly trafficked hiking trails or opt to elope around sunrise instead of in the evening. All of these options will give you that privacy.
Speaking of locations, think about whether there are certain spots that have a meaning to you and your partner. A great way to make your elopement special is eloping at a place that you value, like the first hiking trail you two ever walked together.
Maybe there’s a lake that you two like to visit every year for vacation. Consider whether sharing your vows on the shoreline is something you want to do. Beautiful elopement locations are great, but it’s even more exciting when that beautiful location is a place you value.
This is one I see quite often with the couples I work with. They’ll come out to Colorado for their elopement, but stay a week or two after and turn their trip out here into a honeymoon as well.
If you’re going to a place with a diversity of epic landscapes, like Colorado, this is an awesome option to consider. You’re already so excited after eloping, and honeymooning in the same state is a fun way to continue that adventure in a place that’s become so special to the both of you.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to what you wear to your elopement. As I love to say, elopements are rebellious in nature, and that applies to what you wear, too. You don’t have to wear a white dress, for example. Choose an outfit with color or something with a fun pattern, if that’s your style. Ditch the suit for something more casual, if that feels more in line with who you are. Pair a leather or denim jacket with you outfit, for an edgy look. There are so many options, and this is just a start, but your outfit is a really great place to start when you’re trying to find a way to make your elopement special.
As someone who also eloped, I know firsthand what you’re going through in the elopement process. I too, wanted to find all the ways to make my elopement special and distinctly mine.
And that’s one of the things I pride myself on helping my couples do, too. I’m here with you, throughout the elopement process, because I don’t believe you should have to go it alone. If you’ve been dreaming up all these elopement ideas but aren’t quite sure how to bring it to life, I’m here for you and would love to hear more about your day.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Elopement, Your Way
Colorado Elopement Photographers + Adventure Wedding Photographers