Social Media Zero Stress - Download now!

Elopement wedding: a simple guide of how to plan it right

Elopement wedding might be a great idea for the ones who have a small budget to get married, for the couples who love to travel or even for the ones with tricky family set-ups.

According to the Mexican wedding planner Joyce Mnguni, the elopement is less stressful for the couple. “They don’t have to worry about where their guests will be staying, etc. It’s always just them. Some of them choose to have the ceremony only and other choose to have ceremony followed by an intimate dinner for two. Brides usually are quicker to make their decision when it comes to selecting their flowers, location and the music. With elopement weddings, we see quite often that the couples make the ceremony about their personalities”, says Joyce.

For the Portuguese wedding planner Rui Mota Pinto, the complicity of the couples is huge on elopement weddings. “There are always very romantic and intimate moments that we live on that day. The fact that they are weddings for two people or with very few guests, without large structures or technical needs, allows sometimes choosing simply amazing places that would be impossible to use if the wedding had many guests”, says Rui.

Challenges of an elopement wedding

Photo: Thrall Photography

For Joyce, it is exceedingly difficult to find a location that allows elopement. “Especially because it doesn’t bring a big revenue to the locations. Most hotels do not cater for this type of wedding. In my area, I highly recommend going to private locations. Another tip is to make sure you choose a weekday date, since it’s much cheaper and chances that the location is available are quite high”, alerts Joyce.

According to Rui, the distance, the culture of the couple and sometimes the language might be challenging for destination weddings. “Normally, elopement weddings bring couples from distant countries and with extremely specific cultures and traditions and, sometimes, with languages we do not know. On these occasions, there is the need for interpreter and the wedding planners also must know about the culture, traditions, and details of what the wedding should be. I work with some Japanese couples and Japan has a rich culture and so many amazing traditions, but they are really different from the Europeans. So, I had to learn those traditions.  Since elopement weddings bring us couples from all over the world this is a big but exciting challenge – to learn all those specific cultures and traditions. But it is amazing because at the same time we learn a lot and we grow as professionals and as a person”, says Rui.

There also some other challenges for an elopement wedding:

  • To keep secret about everything and avoid questions about it when your family and friend suspect something.
  • You must change the way you see a wedding as a party to a real ritual.
  • Celebration could be not so funny, because there are only two people celebrating.

Is it possible to have a reception?

Photo: Naal Photography

Joyce explains that some couples choose to have the ceremony only and other choose to have ceremony followed by an intimate dinner for two. However, after the wedding, some of them choose to invite friends and family for a private party later on. “Two of the couples who did an elopement, didn’t let anyone know until professional pictures were ready. What they did was to invite their closest friends and family to the home for a BBQ, as guests walked into the dinner area they noticed some of their wedding pictures on a little display.  Then, they broke the news, and everyone celebrated”, says Joyce.

Rui tells that normally there is no reception.  “There is champagne and cake after the ceremony and sometimes the couples ask as to find a nice place for a traditional dinner. But never a reception like in a traditional wedding. This is also a reason for couples to choose a elopement wedding. They are in fact looking to celebrate in privacy, by living an unforgettable moment together but without all that is usual in a normal and traditional wedding. They are really looking for an experience. A love experience in a far and idyllic location by hey own”, he explains.

Creative ideas for eloping

Photo: Nuno Palha

Some creative ideas for couples who want to elope:

  • Choose a nice scenery for an elopement wedding – it can be a forest outside the city, a desert, a waterfall, on a boat, etc.
  • Choose a theme for your elopement, like The Great Gatsby, for example.

Tips for planning an elopement wedding

Photo: Pedro Bento

See few tips from our wedding planners for the couples who want to elope:

  • Be prepared to explain why you decided to have an elopement wedding. Some people might be disappointed not to be invited to one of the most important days in your life. It is always good to tell them before you elope. It is also nice to show them that your decision to elope does not make them less important for you. A good option is to invite them to an intimate party with them after the wedding, for example.
  • Believe in the feeling of just been the two of you.
  • You do not need to plan it too far ahead of time.
  • Choosing the most amazing spot, venue or location is also a “must do”. If possible, try to find a venue that represents a special place for the couple.
  • Hire good professionals: even if you decided to do a small ceremony, it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to have good memories of this day. So, it is important to hire a good wedding planner, a photographer, and a videographer. Explain to the vendors the main idea of the wedding. Some of them even offer special prices for elopement weddings. Just like a destination wedding, it is essential to get to know their work very well.
  • Don’t forget it is your big day! So, make it special – get a nice dress, a bouquet and your hair and make-up done.
  • Pay attention to the documents: if you’re planning an elopement wedding on another country, don’t forget to check the required documents.
  • Once you have your professional pics after your elopement, consider having a BBQ dinner to share pics with your closest family who would have loved to be at your wedding.
  • Make it as intimate and romantic as possible. This is a so specific kind of weddings because it is lived only by the couple.
  • Try to harmonize your culture and traditions with the culture and traditions of the country they are choosing for the wedding is also a suggestion. This way you will live a day full of emotions and will have incredible stories to tell and to remember.
  • Mainly look for the wedding as an experience more than simply a wedding ceremony.
  • Once you are convinced of have an elopement wedding try to create a magic moment and enjoy it.



Belief Wedding Creators is a content platform and education for wedding planners, designers and coordinators. Led by Giovana Duailibe, the community has members in 5 continents and the goal is to get solid results by connecting and educating people worldwide.


Not sure the best way to get started?
Follow these steps to clarify your journey.


Step #0 - Social Media Zero Stress

Are you struggling with social media?
Save time & money with 365 days calendar of content.


Step #1 - Start here

Belief Blog | About Us | Media Room | Belief Awards | B. Notes | Merch


Step #2 - Be part of the Movement 

Join the Community


Step #3 - It’s all about people 

Belief Platform
Dashboard | Members Area

Facebook Groups and Communities
BELIEF Members Only | Wedding Creators | COVID Weddings 


Step #4 - Connect with us

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Pinterest | Twitter


Step #5 - Let’s make waves

Belief Retreat | Two+Us Weddings | Meet-Ups | Online Mentorship





50% Complete

Stay Tuned!

Receive news about Belief Wedding Creators, the wedding industry, business content, and much more.