Spontaneity: The Art of Eloping

Photo Credit: Flickr, WSilver

Planning a wedding is something that many brides find exciting and incredibly fulfilling. However, not all brides are meant to have an extravagant or backyard wedding with all of their friends and family. Some brides prefer to enter the next chapter of their lives with their soon-to-be-husbands by exchanging vows in a small, intimate setting with just the two of them.

Today, more and more, couples are choosing to elope to not only save money for their future, but to also allow them to explore a new place. Before you choose to elope, make sure to follow these 4 steps:

Steps before eloping:

1. It is important to note that before eloping, you and your fiancé should make sure that it is the right option for you both. Make sure to consider your families in this decision and come to an agreement.

2. Once you do, pick a tentative date and have a loose plan (like where, when, and if you want anyone specific to attend).

3. Pay a visit to your local courthouse to complete and submit any paperwork that’s needed to make it official.

4. Agree and set a budget to ensure you stay within your parameters.

Once you and your fiancé have made the decision to elope, you may need some destination inspiration. Here are 4 options other than the traditionally planned wedding locations to elope:

1. Travel to Another State: Staying within the country can save couples money, stress, and maximize the amount of time for relaxation. By choosing a destination that is within the United States, you get to skip ordering a passport, customs, and steep traveling fees. Many couples enjoy eloping in states like California, Florida, and New York since they all have options for those who are looking to unwind and relax as well as having activities for those who are more adventurous and looking to sightsee.

Hotspots within the US include:
a. Calistoga Ranch, CA
b. Reno, NV
c. Park City, UT
d. Florida Keys, FL
e. Niagara Falls, NY
f. Maui, HIg Napa Valley, CA

Photo Credit: Damian Bariexca

2. Out Of the County*: If you have the flexibility to travel to a different country to exchange your vows, why not? Visiting a new country is popular for couples that plan to elope because it maintains the excitement, unknown, and lack of structure that they are searching for.
Here are the most popular international destinations to elope:
a. British Virgin Islands
b. Italy
c. Paris
d. Scotland
e. Costa Rica
f. Bermuda

*It should be noted that, if you choose to participate in a legally binding ceremony internationally, you may run into unexpected marriage laws. If you plan to do this, make sure to do your research.

3. City Hall: Take a trip down to your local city hall and exchange vows there. This is the most cost effective way to say, “I do” (literally will only cost you the gas to get there and back) and will allow you to allocate the money you saved toward your dream house, vacation, or planning for your future.

Photo Credit: Jet Suite

4. Skip the Plan: For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, try taking a private jet to an unplanned destination and eloping at the location. We know, this sounds like a ridiculous suggestion when considering ways to save money, however, private jet company, JetSuite, offers “SuiteDeals” which are their last minute daily deals that fly out the next day. They post their empty legs, which change daily, on their Facebook page, Twitter page, and on their website which give you the chance to fly privately starting at only $536 each way (for the whole jet!) The only catch is that you have to not only be flexible, but also be able to book a ticket to get back home.

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