The decision to elope was a natural one. Over the course of John and I’s relationship we have always prioritized traveling & we’re both kind of known for going against the grain + tradition — so getting married abroad wasn’t a huge shock to our friends + family! Here’s a little bit of tips + tricks and advice for those wanting to forgo a wedding and plan an epic elopement:
⁃ Pick a place that expresses who you are as a couple!! John has been to Paris twice and I’ve been once, but we’ve never been together. We both adore Paris for its classic/elegant style and with it being the “City Of Love” my cheesy self wanted to marry him under the Eiffel Tower!!! Europe has so many cool spots (Iceland + Italy are really popular lately!!), the Caribbean is breathtaking, Asian culture is uniquely colorful…the list goes on and on!! Know that you don’t have to go overseas to elope, a rooftop in OKC could be insane!!!
2. Know the Laws.
⁃ Getting married in another country is either really complicated or super chill. You’ll need to read up on the countries specific laws + regulations before going. You have to live in France for 40 days to legally get married there, so John and I had a “symbolic” ceremony in Paris. Beforehand, we legally got married in the state of Oklahoma!
3. Telling your Friends + Family
⁃ I feel like I kinda have an advantage in this category because I’d been telling everyone before we got engaged that I wanted to elope! Once we did start planning it, a ton of freaking feelings were hurt + everyone had their own opinions of what we should do but we knew we could not please everyone, and newsflash — it’s our day!!! Sit down, great aunt Sally. We did, however, still have traditions like my bachelorette party and wedding showers! We also had an intimate and casual “send off” party the weekend before we left to say farewell which made our loved ones feel included and we felt overwhelmed with support.
4. Finding Vendors.
⁃ Try to follow/read some elopement blogs of the specific city you want to get married in. I followed @elopeinparis, @elopementlove, and @intimateweddings all on Instagram and found my MUA, photographer, and videographer. All of them had contracts, deposits, and excellent client reviews, so I felt comfortable wiring money half way around the world to secure their services. Be picky — it’s your wedding day and you need reliable, kind people to surround yourselves with. All of our vendors exceeded our expectations and I am so glad we hired them!
5. Stick to Your Decision!
⁃ You bought the ticket, booked the vendors, and told all your friends and family..so stick with your decision!! Family & friend pressure/guilt is a real friggin’ thing that I had to deal with, but in the end John and I knew this day was supposed to be about celebrating our love and honoring our Lord. Anything that got in the way of that we shot down immediately and our wedding day + start to our marriage is better because of it.
Hope this could help guide you in planning an elopement or think to yourself “no way, I still want a wedding”! Whatever you decide to do, stay true to who you are as a couple and enjoy the most important day of your life!!