As you begin to dream up your perfect elopement, you have the opportunity to get just as beautiful, creative and personal with your design as you would with a traditional wedding. With the luxury of doing whatever the heck you actually want to do on your wedding day, you can do things as spontaneously as you like, or you can put a plan in place to have the most stress-free and enjoyable day you can imagine.
Because you won’t have to worry about feeding, entertaining and having a space large enough for a long guest list, you’re able to free up so much of your budget and timeline. Instead of feeling like everything about an elopement has to be small and simple, you can elevate each moment and detail you care about! Any aspect of a traditional wedding can be included in your elopement, with your own unique twist, including each type of wedding vendor. To help get those wheels turning, we’re gonna break down some fun ways that different vendors can enhance your elopement experience.
It’s okay to have more vendors than guests!
No matter how you choose to elope, there’s one guarantee – you’ll be wearing something. With more wiggle room in the budget, you have an opportunity to go all out with your style, not just for the photos, so why not look and feel like a million bucks?! We love when grooms go bold and stylish, when a bride looks like a goddess in the wild. This is a great chance to splurge on that extra piece of jewelry, those slick shoes, and finally get that perfectly tailored suit.
Your elopement is a day built around you and your love, truly focusing on your relationship, so you want everything to run smoothly. Maybe you want help with design and setup; only want consultations beforehand; need someone to pick up items and coordinate with the vendors; or you’re looking for recommendations on where to elope and who to hire. From the planning process through the day-of, an elopement planner can be there to help design your day, recommend vendors, and answer all your burning questions.
Bakers and Desserts
Whether it’s just you two or you have a few in attendance, an elopement is a perfect excuse to enjoy the sweet things in life. Cake lovers can get a gorgeous, creative cutting cake in your favorite flavors, and those who prefer other desserts have the freedom to choose less traditional options. Your wedding day should include all your favorite things!
You know you’re going to eat at some point on your wedding day, so planning for your favorite meals is the way to go, whether that’s reservations at a nice restaurant, a picnic after a hike, or on-site catering. Bringing in a personal chef or catering team is a great way to entertain, remove stress, and enjoy a meal designed for your tastes and elopement style.
Bringing in a bartender to make incredible specialty drinks is a great way to entertain in any intimate group setting, and an elopement is no different. You might choose a theme for your elopement and drinks, or the bartender could have the chance to build drinks based on your relationship! If you opt for a traveling bar, you also end up with a cool (and often customizable) photo backdrop.
We all know it’s not an elopement without an ordained officiant – all you really need is a couple, the officiant, and two witnesses! With the focus on the ceremony and vows, you can hire the most perfect-for-you officiant, whether you want a quick ceremony in the officiant’s back yard, the telling of their love story in a picturesque setting, or a religious ceremony that captures your souls.
Brides and grooms have the opportunity to get creative with their personal flowers – can you say hello to show-stopping bouquets and boutonnieres? With fewer tables to decorate, you might choose to splurge on your ceremony backdrop and accent pieces for decor.
Hair and Makeup
Everyone wants to look incredible on their wedding day, and elopements give brides and grooms the opportunity to go all out with their look! You might choose to go to a barber/salon or have on-site hair and makeup, and you can book your dream stylists. Elopements don’t guarantee that only the couple is styled, either – you can still get ready with your sisters and besties. You’ll love having everyone looking glammed up and flawless for photos!
Calligraphy & Stationery
If you want to go all out with the experience and aesthetic, the perfect paper details can do just that. Place settings with personal notes in gorgeous calligraphy are wonderful keepsakes for a small guest list. Invitations to the intimate few, and elopement announcements for those who missed it, are also beautiful ways to make your loved ones feel included. And if you’ve had your eye on an incredible custom stationery designer, you’ve got a perfect chance to design not just paper products but true keepsakes for you and your guests.
Photographers & Videographers
Every love story is unique and deserves to be beautifully captured, and each unique human behind a camera lens has the ability to connect with different people. Finding the right photographer can have such an impact on your day, whether you want a photographer to climb a mountain or head down to the courthouse with you; someone who feels more like a friend or who stands in the background; a romantic getting ready session or spicy night-of couples boudoir. Imagine having a video of your elopement with your vows and celebration recorded, not only for yourselves but as a way to make folks feel like they were there – they’ll really see your joy and love, and that’s all that matters anyway.
While many resources share elopements that take place in nature, we know that so many couples want to elope in venues as well! Weekday and off-season pricing can give you the chance to get married in the venue of your dreams, whether it’s a large or intimate space. Not everyone wants to be outside for their wedding, particularly with the unpredictable NC weather, so renting a beautiful wedding venue or non-traditional space like your favorite bar can be a perfect setting for your special day.
If you and your beau love a good night at the club, you can turn your elopement into your own dance party! When you hire a DJ to entertain you and your closest friends, you get all the hype and excitement you love, minus the wedding crashers. Or picture having a trivia or karaoke battle with your best friends! Do what you love, whatever that means.
Hiring an entertainment vendor is another great way to celebrate in an intimate group setting. From magicians and comedians to dance groups and poets, you have more freedom to splurge on the things that have always been a special part of your relationship.
Bands and Live Music
Live music is a special part of so many relationships, so you have a really cool opportunity to work with bands and musicians for your elopement. Picture being serenaded by a three-piece strings ensemble for the most romantic date night of your lives. Or gathering your best friends to celebrate your love and enjoy an awesome performance by your fav local band.
Rentals & Decor
With fewer areas to decorate, you may choose to go all out on rentals and decor! After all, your wedding should feel like YOU, just all glammed up. Gorgeous ceremony backdrops and tablescapes can be an easy splurge, but the options are endless – lounges, installations, and structural items can all come into play for elopements.
With fewer folks to accommodate, elopements have more freedom to move around! Imagine renting a limo to bring you and your guests from the ceremony site to your favorite restaurant, or hopping on a trolley to take a tour of the city where you fell in love. And whether you’re a local or come to NC as a destination elopement, you might choose to rent your dream car or a chauffeur for the weekend.
Gifts & Favors
From invitation gifts and place setting favors to welcome and thank you gift baskets, natural gift-givers have so many opportunities to love on your intimate guest list. Elopements are all about the special, personal details, and this can even extend to adding favors to elopement announcement cards after the big day!