Wedding and Event Planner Kirstin Halstead shares the photographs from her elopement and talks to us about the practicalities of eloping.
Ash and I had been together only a matter of months when he proposed to me and suggested eloping to Nashville, Tennessee. We both have a shared passion for America so I just knew this was going to be a seriously fun wedding adventure. We decided to elope because there is something about it that is really romantic and exciting and we don’t regret one second. It was the best day of our lives!
If you have been thinking about eloping but aren’t quite sure whether to bite the bullet and go for it, I hope the following tips will help you decide if it is the right choice.
Family & Friends
Consider what is very important to you, if you can’t live with the fact that eloping may upset some of your family and friends then don’t elope. Even though elopement are traditionally supposed to be secret, we told our loved ones that we would be eloping in advance to minimise upset and help them feel more involved. We also took the time to explain to family and friends why we had chosen to elope and that it wasn’t that we loved them any less.
If you do feel like eloping is something that you both really want to do, then go for it and don’t look back, we didn’t!
Marriage Laws & Legalities
Make sure you understand the marriage laws and legalities in the location you want to get married. The last thing you want to do is fly to the destination of your dreams and not be able to get legally married. The legalities and requirements are different in each city, state and country. Contact the local embassy and ensure you make any appointments necessary in advance and get a marriage license.
When choosing the destination for your elopement, there are so many beautiful locations around the world. Think about somewhere close to your hearts, somewhere you love or have always wanted to visit. Consider the time of year, weather, logistics of travels and exchange rate.
Wedding Planner & Suppliers
Plan ahead like you would any other wedding; suppliers get booked up in advance abroad too. I would recommend booking a wedding planner to help with the planning of your elopement. They can also help with sourcing top local suppliers and help you check over those marriage laws and legalities. Book a photographer and videographer so you can cherish your wedding day memories forever and share with family and friends.
Even though elopements generally aren’t too costly, it doesn’t mean you can’t have THE dress, a 5 tier cake, sleek wedding transport and a rocking band. You can still book everything you would have done back home, just on a smaller scale. Remember this is your dream wedding day!
A Post-Wedding Party
You might decide to throw a post-wedding party when you return from your honeymoon. This can be as laid back or lavish as you want it to be. We chose to go out for dinner with loved ones to mark the occasion as soon as we returned. We shared the polaroids we had our photographer take and just took a moment to tell everyone how much they meant to us for supporting our marriage and decision to elope.
Remember eloping isn’t for everyone, you need to think your decision through together and weigh up the pros and cons. Are you doing it for the right reason? Eloping was right for us and we wouldn’t change a thing about it. I thought I would feel guilty on the day but I didn’t, my face ached from all of the laughter and smiles I was sharing with my new husband. It totally rocked!
Photography – Stephanie Reeder Photography
Editorial – Kirstin Halsteadadvice, destination weddings, Elopement, Expert, Kirstin Halstead, wedding planner