How to Elope: Choosing a Location

Elopements offer the opportunity to really design a day that is about you as a couple. The simplicity is beautiful but it doesn’t eliminate the need to still make a lot of decisions. Before you can look into flowers, hair and makeup or even choose a wedding dress, you really need to decide on a location. Since elopements are so much more likely to take place away from home, the options can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry! Take a breath and we can get it all sorted out. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are looking for a location to elope:

Are we eloping just the two of us or will we be inviting close friends and family to join?

This is really the first question you need to answer because it will absolutely affect your options. For example, if you and your partner love to hike but are inviting close family and friends, the location and level of hike will have to be considered. It’s a decision that can be difficult for some couples because, of course, having friends and family around is usually expected. More and more couples, though, are opting to do a ‘just us’ kind of day for their wedding experience OR splitting up the day, even having a multi-day elopement, so that there is opportunity for that alone time as well as time to be with family.

We are planning on inviting a few guests, what type of location will we need to make that happen? 

When deciding where to elope with guests, be sure to take their needs into account. Elopements tend to be much more focused on the couple than a big, traditional wedding. Having guests attending your day means that maybe some guests can’t walk very far so a vehicle accessible site is needed. Maybe there are other health factors that need to be considered? At love + travel, we only photograph elopements and intimate weddings with 20 or less guests and keeping that number as low as possible will help you avoid having a long list of accommodations to make.

What about the weather?

Weather is a hugely important factor to think carefully about before deciding so here are a couple big ones. Keep in mind that if you are planning international travel for your elopement and heading to the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of ours here in the U.S. Many Caribbean destinations can be affected by hurricanes during certain parts of the year. Be sure to research local holidays and festivals in your dream locations (Carnival in Brazil, I’m looking at you!!!) because many have traditions for different seasons.

What kind of a wedding experience would you like to have?

Do you and your partner love the outdoors and really want to hike for your elopement? Is a picnic on the beach or a Caribbean resort more your speed? Do you love boating in the summer and want to get married near a favorite lake? Perhaps international travel makes your heart happy and you want to visit the place that you met while on a business trip, took your first vacation as a couple or a place you have both always really wanted to see. Have you always wanted to go to Italy or Paris? Did you grow up vacationing in Mexico with your family and would love to start that tradition in your marriage?

I know the ideas can seem endless and if you don’t know where to begin, I would suggest starting by sitting down together (this is a great date night activity) and write a list of any and every location that comes to mind. The list may get long but don’t worry. After a few days or a week, once you’ve had time for those ideas to swim around in your head, start honing the list. Which places have you not been able to stop thinking about since you make the list? Cross off any that haven’t gotten you as excited. Now, see which options you and your partner are BOTH still buzzing about and circle them. Do this as many times as you need to until you have a few options and you’re on your way.

 I get so excited to help my love + travel couples through this process! By sending questionnaires and getting to know you both, I can help guide you to some great options and then we will dig in and really get specific with location ideas for specific parts of your day. As we design a wedding experience for you two, I’ll help you find a ceremony location or an amazing spot to read your vows if you opt not to have a full ceremony. If you’ll have guests, there are so many cool options for a celebratory dinner that range from cute, intimate restaurants to having a private chef cater at your Airbnb.

I know there are lots of decisions to be made and location can be a tough one but you’ll get through it. And if you’re looking for a photographer that will not only capture your day and create lasting memories for you to look back on, but will also help you to create the day you’ve been dreaming of, please reach out and let’s talk!!!

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