Eloping can often be the best option for many couples. You don’t have to worry about all the hassle that comes with a traditional wedding. You can invite people or not, get a venue or do it in a park, wear fancy clothes or dress like it’s Friday night, etc. It’s all up to you. This is your opportunity to express your undying love for your partner and start your married life together without all the expectations of traditional marriages.

However, that ambiguity also makes it a little more complicated to plan. If there are no rules, you don’t have any guidelines to go off of.

To help out, here are some basic steps of the elopement planning guide you need to take to make your elopement unforgettable.

1: Set a Budget

An elopement is a lot cheaper than a traditional wedding, but you still need to figure out your finances and set a budget. If you just wing it, you’ll likely end up spending far more than you can really afford to.

Luckily, because you’re skipping all the more extravagant and costly parts of a wedding such as having 100+ guests all eating on your dime, you get more out of each penny you spend.

2: Get a Planner

Elopements are simpler than weddings, and if you don’t want to do anything fancy and just go to the courthouse, you might get away without a planner. However, even if you just want a simple wedding at a park with a couple of guests, a planner can provide a lot of value.

A planner can help make all those annoying calls you’ll need to make, point you toward services within your budget instead of making you research everything, and help you maximize your elopement’s potential without stressing you out.

3: Decide Who’s Coming

Some elopements don’t have guests other than the required witnesses and the minister performing the ceremony, and that’s perfectly fine. If you need a more private experience, you can skip most of this step and simply find the people you want to handle those core tasks for you.

However, if you’d still like to have your loved ones around, you need to start figuring out who you want to show up. They need time to free up their schedules and afford any travel or clothing costs involved, too.

Our comprehensive elopement planning guide.

4: Set a Date

This is something you’ll likely have to adjust throughout the first half of the process. It’s good to have a desired date and time of year before you start any of these steps. You’ll need it to book a venue, hire services, and invite guests. However, because the availability of venues is uncertain, it’s best to have a general time of year with a window of a couple of months at first.

Once you find a venue that you like and can take on your elopement ceremony in that time period, you should get a more specific date to work with.

5: Hire a Professional Photographer

Just because you’re not having a giant wedding doesn’t mean you shouldn’t preserve what will become one of your most cherished memories.

A professional photographer is a must-have addition to your elopement team and will make sure no memory slips between the cracks.

For elopements and weddings in Arkansas, check out Emerald Moon Weddings. With fair rates, professional quality, and a knack for getting the perfect shot, we’ll make your elopement unforgettable. Contact us if you want to capture every precious moment! 


April 3, 2024

Elopement Planning Guide: How to Create an Unforgettable Experience

Elopement planning guide.