Elopements are an intimate and romantic path couples can follow if they wish to have a private marriage. Some couples choose to elope because of timing, some because of finances, some because of family matters, but more increasingly some are choosing to elope because of the restrictions placed on social gathering by governments who are combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. So what is needed to pull off the perfect elopement?
The core basics needed to elope are two partners who are legally allowed to wed in their state of marriage, an officiant who can legally perform the ceremony in that same state, the required number of witnesses needed to lock it all in, and a marriage license issued by the state where the wedding is taking place. In our home state of New York those essentials include the couple, a certified officiant, two witnesses, and a marriage license issued by any NYS town or city clerk more than 24 hours and less than 60 days from when it was issued. For more on New York State marriage law click here.
Want to beef up your elopement to make it a little more extra? Consider bringing in a photographer, a videographer, a florist for bouquets and boutonnieres, and a professional hair and makeup team to tend to the couples’ beauty needs. You can also plan a celebratory dinner at a local hot spot to end the day with a toast to your new union (after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, of course). After all, this day is all about you!
Specific ways to make an elopement special are up each couples’ imagination. Some of our couples have shared live video so guests afar can participate in the celebration. Others have honored loved ones in very special memorial ceremonies. Still others have planned a large party at a later date and then screened video footage of their “real” wedding to surprise everyone with footage of their actual wedding ceremony. How you tie your guests in to share in your own happiness is up to you.
We absolutely love planning elopements, and one of our favorites was a super romantic elopement we planned this past fall. This bride and groom wanted a perfectly private wedding but didn’t know where to start in putting it all together. We came in to secure all of their vendors and tie up logistics details so they could relax and enjoy the most magical day of their lives. It was so special for us that I thank them every day for finding us!
Wedding planning is stressful. Wedding planning during a pandemic can feel downright crazy. Keep checking back to this blog for more updates and tips. Best of luck to you all. <3
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Photo above by Tracey Buyce Photography