Elopement Wedding Ideas

Julia Eskin
Julia Eskin
February 22, 2024
Elopement Wedding Ideas

Eloping and Having a Small Wedding Ceremony: Creative Ideas for an Intimate Celebration

More and more couples are choosing to elope or have an intimate wedding ceremony with just close family and friends. Eloping refers to running away to get married, usually with little to no guests present. Some reasons couples decide to elope include: wanting to avoid the stress and expenses of a large wedding, desiring an adventurous or unique elopement location, and wishing to celebrate their love in a more private, meaningful way. 

If you and your partner are planning to elope, there are many creative ideas to make your special day unique and memorable. Here are some elopement wedding ideas to consider:

Outdoor Adventures

For nature-loving couples, an outdoor elopement ceremony can be idyllic. National parks, beaches, mountains, lakes, and forests all make stunning backdrops. Research elopement packages offered at your favorite outdoor destinations. Many parks and resorts offer elopement ceremony packages that take care of the legal paperwork and provide an officiant. All you need to do is show up and exchange vows in a beautiful, natural setting.

Live Streaming the ceremony

Even if you're eloping, you'll likely still want close friends and family to share in your joy on your wedding day. Live streaming your ceremony with a service like EventLive is an easy way to include loved ones from afar. Set up a tripod with your phone or camera, open EventLive app, send out the viewing link, and stream your ceremony for anyone unable to attend in person. This allows you to elope with privacy while still including special people in your celebration.

Pop-Up Weddings

For a semi-private but still intimate option, pop-up weddings are on the rise. Pop-up weddings are mini ceremonies, usually held at restaurants, wineries, breweries, or other venues. The space is rented out for a short time solely for your wedding and guests, keeping the attendance smaller. Pop-ups allow you to elope with just who you want present but still treat your nearest and dearest to a beautiful ceremony and reception. 

Restaurant Buyouts

Speaking of restaurants, for foodie couples a restaurant buyout can make for a fun, delicious elopement event. Choose your favorite upscale restaurant and inquire about reserving the entire space just for your wedding day. You'll get to say your vows surrounded by mouthwatering menu items and loving family and friends. Order some signature dishes and champagne to celebrate!

Adventure Elopements 

If you and your partner have an adventurous streak, consider taking your elopement to new heights - literally! Options for thrill-seeking couples include: skydiving and exchanging vows mid-air with the officiant and videographer jumping with you, saying "I do" while rappelling down a canyon wall, or boarding a helicopter to a mountain peak to tie the knot with a view. Just be sure to check weather and safety before leaping into an extreme elopement.

City Hall Ceremonies

The most classic elopement is a quick civil ceremony at city hall. This no-frills option gets straight to the heart of what matters most: you two declaring your commitment. City hall elopements are generally affordable, quick, and private. Many courthouses also have picturesque outdoor garden spaces for small ceremonies, so check with your local city hall on locations and options.

Hot Air Balloon Elopements

For a truly elevated elopement, book a private hot air balloon ride with your officiant and photographer/videographer. Exchange vows while floating peacefully above the landscape for an unforgettable ceremony. Most hot air balloon companies offer elopement packages which include in-flight officiants to perform the legal ceremony. You'll score epic aerial photos and lifelong memories.  

Sunrise Beach Ceremonies

A sunrise seaside elopement bathed in the glowing morning light is positively dreamy. Escape to a tropical destination like Hawaii, Jamaica, or Mexico for a beachside elopement at dawn. Exchanging vows as the sun crests over the horizon, with waves lapping gently in the background, is an idyllic island elopement experience.

Boat Weddings

Set sail into married life by eloping on a boat! Find a secluded cove or slowly drift along the open water while professing your love. From a simple canoe to a multi-level yacht, boats make for intimate, romantic venues. Plus, you'll get stellar waterfront photos. Charter a boat in your nearest port city for a few hours or opt for a full-day coastal elopement cruise package.

Snowy Mountain Retreat Elopements

For winter lovers, a remote snow-capped mountain setting is the perfect place for an intimate elopement. Picture exchanging vows nestled in a cozy cabin surrounded by snowy pines, or saying "I do" in an outdoor ceremony with frost-dusted trees and mountains as your backdrop. Popular elopement destinations like Breckenridge and Aspen, Colorado offer gorgeous high-altitude options for winter weddings.

Brunch Wedding Receptions  

After a private ceremony for just the two of you or a tiny group, treat your nearest and dearest to a celebratory post-elopement brunch. Rent out your favorite breakfast restaurant or cafe to host a laid-back reception over waffles, mimosas, and Bloody Marys. Send digital invites for brunch to follow your secret elopement. This allows you to gather with loved ones without the fuss of a big reception.

Live Music Performances

Add soulful ambiance to your occasion by booking live music for your elopement ceremony and/or reception. Hire a classic soloist like a guitarist, violinist, pianist or saxophonist to play while you recite vows and dine. Seeking something unique? How about exchanging vows while a steel drum band jams on the beach? Make it meaningful by having a close friend or family member with musical talents provide the live music.

Hire a Photographer 

Don't forget to carefully document your big day! While you don't need a huge photography team for an elopement, do splurge on hiring a talented local pro photographer. This ensures you'll have high quality, artistic wedding photos to cherish even if you skip the full video package. Plus, a knowledgeable local photographer can suggest the best scenic elopement locations in your area.

Custom Vows 

Take your elopement ceremony up a notch by writing your own custom vows. While traditional vows are lovely, writing your promises in your own words adds extra meaning and personalization. Share what you love most about your partner and your hopes for your marriage. Reciting heartfelt customized vows makes your day much more momentous.   

No matter how you decide to celebrate, eloping allows you to cherry-pick meaningful elements to design a day that's perfectly tailored to you as a couple. Focus on each other and your love by opting for a private getaway ceremony or micro-wedding with your favorite details. Eloping provides flexibility to craft an intimate, nontraditional celebration focused on what matters most: coming together in love and joy.

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Julia Eskin
Julia Eskin

Wedding Photographer and Customer Happiness Specialist. Empowering individuals and businesses to live stream with ease.

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