?A DIY Guide to Planning a Destination Elopement for Alternative Brides?
So part 2 in my series on how to plan a destination elopement couldn’t have come at a better time, as Issue 8 of Rock N Roll Bride’s print magazine has just hit stores across the UK (also available to order online for those worldwide) AND our elopement is featured in it!
A copy arrived in the mail today, and we’ve been seriously kirking out over it. Very surreal to see in print and quite an honour to be featured, given how much Rock N Roll Bride’s blog and magazine inspired and helped us with planning our own day.
So – get yee to WH SMITH‘s or Sainsbury‘s for a copy if you’re in the UK or order online 😀
Now onto Part 2 of How to Plan a Destination Elopement!
Finding Inspiration, Research, and Spec’ing Out Your Trip Options
By now, you can probably guess where we turned to for a lot of our wedding inspiration, and that was indeed Rock N Roll Bride. Kat’s blog is an absolute go to for alternative weddings. A wealth of information, inspiration, guidance, and just a plain old fun in general can be found within it. Kat’s an original, and has been at the forefront of offering up a different viewpoint than that usually found in the conventional wedding industry. A champion for unique weddings, reflective of a couples individuality, if you’re looking for somewhere to start from I highly recommend Rock N Roll Bride.
Finding inspiration, was my favourite part of planning.
A great way to dip your toes in, is to see what other people have done, and there’s a vast array of wedding blogs out there that help you do just that.
A few of my favourites are listed below:
Now, don’t get too bogged under with this though! It’s NOT a competition. This day is about *you* and *your partner*. Comparison can kill, draw inspiration and get ideas but leave it at that. A positive of eloping should be avoiding the stress of trying to live up to other peoples wedding expectations. So don’t turn around and stress yourself out with trying to one up someone elses wedding or shooting for absolute perfection.
With this in mind, get digging into some wedding blogs to see what other non traditional weddings have entailed to help brainstorm possible options. You might surprise yourself in being attracted to a few traditional options as well. And for as much inspiration as you’ll find in other weddings, you’ll also probably dislike a number of thing as well. And that’s fine! Knowing what you don’t like is as useful as knowing what you do. This’ll help you begin to get a clear idea of what you and your partner want and what really resonates with you.
Gather & save things to (yes I’m going to say it, but it’s true and does help) a Pinterest board. After a bit you should start to see a theme beginning to emerge with what you’ve been drawn to pin.
And inspiration doesn’t stop at wedding blogs either – look to your favourite music, films, art, personal interests – hell anything and everything can help inspire you in crafting a day all your own.
You’ve begun to gather inspiration and are now starting to get a better idea of what you want your day to look like. You’ll want to put this to the side for a little bit now and start doing some logistical research on the options available in your top 3 destinations (see part 1 on this).
Doing this will help you now in two regards.
1. You’ll discover what’s available to you in each location for your day.
2. From this, you can begin to narrow down where you want to elope.
My suggestion first and foremost is to look at the available Wedding Photographers in each location and start to make a short list of the ones whose work you like.
Talented Wedding Photographers are in demand and can be booked up well in advance. Reach out to the photographers you’ve short listed with your wedding date (be sure to advise if your date is flexible or fixed), and also enquire as to pricing at this time.
And as with researching photographers in your top 3 locations, also take a look as to what’s available for Hair & Make Up Artists, Florists, Transport, Venues and anything else specific to the day you’re wanting to plan at this time.
Search for wedding blogs specific to your location options. We found this *incredibly* useful in helping to decide where to elope and with the actual planning. The Little Vegas Wedding blog was so helpful in spec’ing out all the different options available in and around Las Vegas for our day from officiants to venues to hotels to other super useful information from someone on the ground.
So apparently 54 days before your trip is the best time to book your flight.
That doesn’t stop you from checking out what the current prices for your dates and locations are though.
Do a comparison of your three and take note of the prices. Also start to scout out potential hotels.
Have a play around with your dates a bit and you may find prices drop drastically give or take a day. Also when booking optimal days of the week are supposedly Tuesday, and also over the weekend as there are less business travellers looking then so prices can be lower. We booked the main part of our trip through Expedia and because we bundled our hotel and flights together the price was discounted.
Airbnb is a great alternative as well for accommodation. Often it can be a lot less expensive than a hotel, and you can find some truly unique and intimate places to stay.
Now’s also the time to make sure both your passports are up to date and won’t be expiring within 6 months of your trip. The last thing you want is to have to be rushing a passport renewal so get it sorted now.
As well, depending on where you’re from and where you’re going, you may need a Visa to enter a different country. Factor this in and make sure you allow ample time to apply and for the visa to process if this is the circumstance you find yourselves in.
Additionally, everywhere is different, so you might also need to be physically present somewhere for so many days before the actual wedding to be allowed to get married there. Find this out in advance and plan accordingly!
Don’t forget about vaccinations if you’re going somewhere which requires additional shots than you might already have. You definitely don’t want to be sick on your wedding day.
QUICK RECAP & TO DO’S:
- Get inspired – check out wedding blogs, discuss with your partner what your ideal day looks like for both of you, what you both envision wearing, what themes appeal to you, and start saving visuals/collecting things which resonate with you.
- Research – find photographers whose work you adore in your destination options. Go through their portfolios and read up on them to see if they’d likely gel with your style and what you’re envisioning for your day. Start to reach out to them to enquire about availability and pricing. Do this as well with anything else needed for your elopement in your location options.
- Cost out your travel – take a look at your dates and how much it’ll cost roughly to get you to your destination options. Look at what you need to get there (passports, shots, visas etc). If the prices are astronomical for one location that might knock it out of the running depending on your priorities and flexibility of your budget.
TIPS & TRICKS
Again – stay organized and keep track of everything with Google Docs & Google Sheets.
Get yourself a Pinterest account, start exploring and pin away!
Try making a mix of songs which remind you of each other. I love using 8tracks. Listening to this might help further inspire you as to themes for your day. It’s also pretty sweet and romantic to put together.
UP NEXT IN THE SERIES: Elopement Style.