One of the biggest reasons couples choose to ditch the traditional wedding and elope instead is that big weddings often feel rushed, and like you can’t be truly present with your partner. You spend all that time planning, just to worry about everyone else, and hardly get to enjoy the day! Eloping is about being intentional and deciding to spend your elopement day focusing on what really matters – you and your partner, and getting married. But sometimes planning even a small ceremony can feel stressful, and it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing this. Here are some tips to stay present, live in the moment, and how to make your elopement special.
Don’t Plan Too Much
While you should have a timeline for your elopement day, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the same as a typical wedding day timeline! You should leave some extra time so that you aren’t feeling rushed, and allow yourself to be spontaneous. If you don’t stick to the plan once the elopement day comes around, that’s okay! It’s all about enjoying yourself – not sticking to a strict schedule.
The timeline should serve as an outline of the day rather than mapping out every minute of your day. You can learn more about elopement timelines in this post!
Take it Slow
You don’t want to be running around and stressing out because there isn’t enough time or you’re behind schedule. So make sure your timeline has some wiggle room in between events, and make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the moments as they happen.
This can start on the morning of your elopement day. Wake up and make coffee together, have some pancakes, and enjoy each other’s presence as you get ready. Throughout the day, make sure you’re taking some time to just enjoy the moment, without worrying about what’s next.
Get Some Time Alone
If you have guests attending your elopement, make sure to take some time to yourselves! While your guests are a huge part of the day, and they’re likely the people you couldn’t imagine your wedding day without, it’s still important to get away for a bit.
I always recommend that couples do a first look. This is when you get ready separately, and then your photographer sets one of you (traditionally the groom) up facing away. The other will come up behind them, tap them on the shoulder, and they turn around so you see each other for the first time! Doing this gives you a private moment before the ceremony, away from any audience. So many couples say they felt more relaxed after seeing each other for the first time!
If you are eloping with guests, you can also do a two day elopement. Spend one day with them, and get one day to yourselves! You get the best of both worlds, and an opportunity to celebrate alone, and with everyone you love. Even if you only do one day, you can spend the first part of the day with your guests, then take off after the ceremony for a hike or an adventure by yourselves.
Take Some Photos
Of course, you’ll have your photographer with you throughout your day – but taking some selfies or videos throughout the day can be a great way to have some personal memories and some photos to look at right after the elopement. Be careful with this one, as of course if you’re spending the entire time on your phone and only looking at the landscapes through your camera, you aren’t really living in the moment at all! But, remembering to snap a few photos throughout the day can add to the experience and give you something to hold you over until you get the professional ones back!
Bring Food and Water
Couples always forget to eat and stay hydrated! But, this is super important for living in the moment. Especially if you’re doing a hard hike or moving around a lot, running on fumes takes a lot out of you! Drink lots of water the day before your elopement, eat a big breakfast the day of, and bring plenty of snacks and extra water to carry around with you throughout the day.
Go With the Flow
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and that’s okay! Especially with an elopement, where you’re likely outdoors, there are things that might not happen exactly the way you envisioned. But, if you’re flexible and ready to roll with the punches, you can make the best of any situation. Hiring a good elopement photographer will help with this too, as they’ll be ready with backup locations if needed, and they’ll have the outdoor experience needed to turn any situation around!
Print Your Photos
This one might not be happening on your actual elopement day, but it can do a lot to make your elopement feel special! I know a lot of us have photos on our phones, computers, and other devices, but rarely look at them. There’s something more special and personal about being able to hold an album or to hang a photo on your wall, and printing your photos will ensure you can remember your day well after it’s over!
Make sure you print from a reputable place – not Walgreens or Walmart! The quality will be much better at a professional printing lab, so ask your photographer for their recommendations or read my post here on where you should print.
You’ll need someone to take those gorgeous elopement photos you’ll be printing, so if you’re ready to plan a wedding day where you can truly enjoy yourselves and live in the moment, contact me!