Is it time to Plan your Elopement?!

Celebrant with a Man and Woman at their outdoor Wedding Ceremony by the side of a Bavarian lake.
Melissa and Shane and Yvonne at their Elopement Ceremony location at Lake Eibsee, Bavaria. Photo by Peach Perfect Weddings/In Love with a Wolf

We are all looking forward to the time when life returns to a semblance of normality and we can get back into the driving seat and get on with all of our plans and dreams. 

When it comes to planning your Wedding, I know that for some couples, it just seems totally overwhelming, consuming time and money, and creates unwanted anxiety and stress.  It really is a huge task to create a one day event, and the time, money, and attention to all the small details, can really suck the excitement out of what is supposed to be a really lovely time – your Engagement!

You might love the planning and all the detail driven activities, and that’s great if you do – but if it does seem to begin to become a huge chore, and is causing loss of sleep, worry about costs and taking a toll on relationships, then perhaps it is time to have another look at what it is you really want for this special day.

So when a wedding plan begins to tip over into something bigger than the both of you can handle, perhaps it’s time to just take a step back, and think about whether or not there is something “out there” that really fits your style, personality and sense of what you really want your Wedding to be about.  So perhaps this  is a moment to think about whether to plan your Elopement, or Micro Wedding, and change the stress and anxiety up for something more manageable, accessible, meaningful, romantic and exciting!

A couple and a Celebrant at a lakeside wedding ceremony
M and S eloped to the mountains and lakes of Bavaria for their special Ceremony. Photo credit In Love with a Wolf

CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION

This is of course where you will begin, once you have decided that a celebration of the two of you is the way you want to go.  There are so many beautiful wild and fantastic places, particularly outdoors, where you can relax, be yourselves, and really have something that is magical and fabulous!  From the chapels in Vegas to the Icelandic mountains, from woodland to desert, your canvas is ready to be drawn on.  So choose to be in a space that inspires you, or comforts you, that speaks to you both and that gives you that sense that it would be the perfect place for you to just be, hold each other, look into each other’s eyes and make that lasting commitment.

Couples who are planning to elope will often use their Elopement Destination for a pre and post honeymoon, and this can also work out best for the budget too.  Travelling far might also not be necessary, depending on when you plan to hold ceremony.  This year, and with the current situation and venues closing or being restricted, perhaps a natural outdoor Elopement for just the two of you and your Celebrant and photographer might work best for you.  And local beauty spots are just as fantastic as travelling further afield – and perhaps might even hold more meaning for you too if these are the places where your love blossomed, and grew.

Celebrant on a raft in a lake with a Wedding Couple
A and R held their intimate wedding on a Raft on a glacial lake in the mountains. Photo by https://inlovewithawolf.com/

PICK YOUR WEDDING HELPERS!

A big wedding will often need a lot of helpers and supporters, both from your Tribe and from other professionals.  An Elopement is by its very nature, smaller, more practical and personal, but you may still wish to book some professional support you wherever you choose to hold your ceremony.  Your hair, flowers, make up and wedding breakfast could all be handled by local professionals, and using an in-country Wedding Planner / On the Day Co-ordinator might also be a good option (unless you know the area well, and are happy to organise these details or do them yourself).  Photographers and Videographers who know the local area often have amazing knowledge and ideas as to where to go for your Ceremony, to take those uniquely beautiful and imaginative shots.  I have worked with some wonderful European Wedding Planners who specialise in Elopements to Europe, should you need any recommendations!

LETTING PEOPLE KNOW

An Elopement is not about escaping or running away from those you love but about giving yourself the chance to share some beautiful intimate moments in a location that you know represents your wishes and dreams. People will understand that you want to create those beautiful memories together as a couple. Taking time to focus on your partner and your feelings is healthy and builds strong shared bonds. Let people know your plans and how you’ll share your happiness with them later – perhaps through organising a wonderful party, or by sharing your elopement video afterwards. It’s also possible to elope and take your closest family with you on this adventure. Many couples choose to have parents and siblings present at their Elopement.

wedding couple in a chapel with a celebrant
R and M eloped to Castle Berlepsch, from Florida, for a beautiful romantic winter wedding. Photo Credit: https://inlovewithawolf.com/

M and R (photo above)  held their ceremony at Castle Berlepsch in Germany. It was absolutely wonderful emotional day as our lovely thoughtful Groom had secretly arranged for the bride’s brother to get permission from his military commander, to take time off to fly to Germany and walk his sister down the aisle. The look of wonder and surprise on her face when she turned to see her brother was just so touching!

You can also let people know by sending out a beautifully worded Elopement Announcement, which will allow you to tell those you love  and care about, that you have “Tied the Knot” and also invite them to come celebrate with you at your “after party” or “Homecoming” party!

It really is possible to have that privacy and intimacy of your own which is all about you, and then share and celebrate with others – so go ahead and plan your Elopement your way, so that you can give yourselves everything you wished for,  with the place, pace, content and timing that you have both chosen.

YOUR ELOPEMENT CEREMONY

WEDDING COUPLE ON A BOAT ON THE RIVER
Lisa and JP came from South Africa, and planned a Wedding Ceremony with just their Celebrant, on board a Uniworld Cruise on the Maria Theresa, when she docked in Passau, Germany.

This is the part that you really decided on together – do you want to write your own ceremony, or ask a Celebrant to write it for you?  Do you want to just say your Vows to each other, or do you want your Celebrant to help you structure and hold the space for you so that when the moment is right, you can both share those words and emotions, and allowing yourselves to be totally present in the moment, and not thinking about the “next part” of the plan 🙂

Your Celebrant will create a personal and beautiful ceremony that celebrates you, your individuality, your strengths, and reflect your values, beliefs and your partnership, your goals and what inspires you.  I have had the pleasure of writing several Elopement Ceremonies for couples and standing before them in that “love bubble” is truly wonderful and I am proud to be asked to create such magical moments.

Adding some symbolism or a personal ceremony to your day is another way you can make new memories, or invite close family to take part in the Elopement Ceremony itself.  With R and M’s chapel Ceremony in Berlepsch, the bride’s mother lit their candle tapers for their Unity Candle Ceremony.  For Lisa and JP, on board the SS Maria Theresa,  it had to be a Sand Blending Ceremony, pouring the grains of coloured sand into a vessel, creating beautiful layers which symbolised their bond and their unity as a couple, and also giving them a lovely keepsake to take home with them after their adventures!

Sand Blending ceremony where layers of coloured sand are poured into a small vessel and create a layered effect symbolising unity
Lisa and JP chose to hold a Sand Blending ceremony as a symbol of their enduring unity and bond.
photo of two bottles of beer and a handfasting cord at an outdoor wedding for a symbolic ceremony
Shane and Melissa decided to have a celtic handfasting ceremony during their Elopement, with a final “Beer Blending” ceremony and Toast – representing their heritage, and their love of Germany’s Beer Festival!

SO WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR ELOPEMENT CEREMONY?

If you have chosen to elope to a destination you love, then of course this will be the start of your honeymoon too!  You may want to spend a day or two before the Ceremony day to familiarise yourselves with local attractions, spas, trails, cultural or other pursuits!

After the Ceremony itself though is a time to pop some corks, and to really indulge your romantic side, or your wanderlust – go for a hike in the woods, preferably with your photographer so that all your escapades are beautifully captured – or arrange for a small but intimate Wedding Breakfast, whether that’s a 16-piece Tasting Menu at a posh hotel, or a picnic by a lake.  Just make some memories, enjoy the time you are spending together, and if you are with just close family then enjoy their presence in your lives at this milestone moment.

Madison and Scott travelled from Australia for their Winter Wonderland Elopement ! Photo Credit: http://www.wildconnectionsphotography.com

For more ideas on how to plan your Elopement,  just get in touch, either by phone +447800543426, email ivvey@hotmail.com or through my contact page on my website here. 

I am here to help, guide, advise and encourage you to have your ceremony, your way!  Whatever your plans and ideas may be, plan your Wedding with the goal of making it truly and authentically about YOU!  Happy Planning!

My thanks to  my wonderful adventurous couples who have trusted me with their feeling, emotions and their love story (you all know who you are! ) and also to some awesome professionals in the wedding industry who make this role a real joy!  My shout out goes to Peach Perfect Weddings and to Wild Connections Photography for their support, skills, enthusiam and just being all round awesome when it comes to helping couples have the BEST.DAY.EVER!!!

Warmest Wishes

Yvonne

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