The Best Essential Elopement Checklist

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The Essential Elopement Checklist

Big weddings aren’t for everyone. If you and your partner are thinking about eloping, however, you won’t necessarily want to take off in the middle of the night. Instead, you’ll want to take a look at this elopement checklist so that you can avoid stress when eloping with the love of your life.

Start By Setting A Budget

Eloping is likely to be much more affordable than a big wedding, but you’ll still need to determine what you’re willing to spend. Do you have friends or family members that will be willing to pitch in for your elopement, or will you be funding the entire affair out of your own pocket?

A wedding couple is holding each other and they are standing in front of mountains and a sunset.

Antonio Jose Rodríguez López – Instagram


A wedding couple is sitting in the back of a Jeep and is driving hot beverages.

Paige Weber –


Your options will be determined by your budget, which is why you’ll want to know what you’re spending and where those funds will be coming from before you start seriously looking at your options. Whether you plan a small, low-key affair or a lavish destination wedding, having a budget on your elopement checklist will help you narrow down your options and put together a wedding that’s right for you.


Look At Potential Venues And Destinations

While elopements are known for being spontaneous, it’s best to do a little planning before you and your partner take off. Think about how far you’re comfortable traveling for your wedding. If you aren’t able to take much time off work, you may want to pick a closer home destination.

A wedding couple is walking through a dry meadow.

Ross Dance –


A wedding couple is holding each other and standing on top of the mountain.

Catherine Ekkelboom-White –


In addition to looking at wedding destinations as an elopement checklist point, you’ll want to look at venues that could work for your wedding. You’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to plan your wedding at the last minute. Find a venue that you won’t have to book months or years in advance. For more inspiration, make sure to check out these 101 most epic and best places to elope in 2022.


Check Laws Before You Make Plans

A wedding isn’t just about committing to the person you love most. There are also legal aspects that need to be considered, so put that point down onto your elopement checklist. You’ll need to complete and submit marriage license forms ahead of time to get married in many areas.

A wedding couple is standing on top of a mountain and is holding each other.

Caitlin Beaty –


If you are feeling adventurous like this wedding couple above, make sure to check out our mountain elopement guide for 2022/23.

A wedding couple is kissing each other.

Aneisa Shepherd Calder – THE CALDERS

Alternatively, you could have a wedding at your desired location and get legally married once you’re back home. You can think about pictures and memories when you choose your wedding venue, and you can complete paperwork at the courthouse later on.


Set Your Wedding Date

After you’ve decided where you’ll be getting married, what you’ll be spending, and have consulted the local laws, you’ll be able to start planning your wedding in earnest. This means that you’ll be able to choose a date for your elopement. Even if you know that you want to get married to your partner as soon as possible, you’ll need to settle on a specific date so that you can make travel plans.

A wedding couple is dancing in front of a glazed wall.

Eftal Ezgin –  Ladybirds Photography


A wedding couple is holding each other and their dog and standing on a mountain top.


There are a few other factors you’ll want to look at when you’re picking a date. Check the weather forecast to see what the weather will be like on your desired date. If you’re planning to elope during peak wedding season, you should be aware that costs will be higher. You may want to hold off on eloping for a few weeks – or even a few months – so that you can stretch your budget further.


Make Travel Plans

After you’ve confirmed a date and secured your venue, you’ll be able to start making travel plans. If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll want to confirm that you have everything you need for your flight. It may be necessary to obtain or renew your passport if you’re traveling out of the country. Obtaining a passport can take time, which is why you’ll want to consider this before deciding on a venue for your wedding.

A wedding couple is holding each other and is standing in front of a brick wall.

Antonio Jose Rodríguez López – Instagram


A wedding couple is holding hands and looking at each other whilst standing in the forest.

Ross Dance –


If you’re going to be driving to your destination, you’ll need to decide if you’d prefer to take your own vehicle or if you’d rather rent a car. Traveling with your partner can be part of the fun of eloping. You may want to rent a special vehicle so that you can make the most of this trip.

Plan Your Wedding

While eloping can be a wonderful way to avoid some of the stress associated with wedding planning, there are still some things that you’ll need to decide before you say, “I do.” If you want to minimize the amount of planning you need to do, you may want to seek a venue that offers wedding packages. Check out these amazing elopement packages in New York or California by clicking on a wedding venue link.

A wedding couple is holding each other and standing in front of a lake.

Catherine Ekkelboom-White –


A wedding couple is standing in front of a mountain hut.

Catherine Ekkelboom-White –


If you’re going to be staying at your destination for at least one night, you’ll need to book accommodations. You’ll also want to think about what you’re going to wear for your wedding. While some people opt to wear more casual clothing when they elope, you could choose to wear a more traditional tux and gown. You’ll also want to think about things like flowers, hair and makeup, and a guest list. It’s best if you have a witness at a wedding, which is why you may want to invite a few people to celebrate with you. For example, some couples choose to bring their parents along when they elope. If you want to learn more about small weddings, check out these things you need to know when planning a micro wedding.

Last Point On Your Elopement Checklist: Find The Right Way To Announce Your Elopement

After the wedding is over, you’ll need to find the right way to share the good news with your family members and friends. If you want to avoid shocking people, you may want to send out announcements informing people of your plans before the wedding. This can be an excellent way to avoid hurt feelings when eloping.

A wedding couple is holding each other and standing at the beach.

Henry Tieu –


A wedding couple is touching foreheads and. standing at the mountain.

Lisa and Alex –


If you decide to let people know that you’ve eloped after the fact, you may want to make a personal announcement. Be aware that some people may be disappointed with your decision and may take this news poorly. To soften the blow, consider sharing plenty of photos of your elopement. Let your friends and family know how much you care about them and that you want to tell them more about this significant event in your life. Don’t wait too long to make the announcement. The longer you avoid telling people, the more likely it is that you’ll feel hurt.

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Elopement Checklist by Matthias Jaworski