Not everyone is into a big wedding. So why not make it small and personal to you whether that means eloping at a local venue such as our beautiful Vanderburgh County Courthouse or traveling to a destination wedding with just you as the bride and groom… or including a minimal entourage of family and/or close friends in tow. Whether you like the spontaneity of it, or you plan it out as long as you would a large wedding, there are some cost benefits to not putting all of your funds into an elaborate, large local wedding. You need to weigh the pros and cons to make sure the decision is right for you, your family, and anyone who is helping pay for the wedding before making any decisions, though!
Is all of the wedding planning stressing you out, and cutting back the guest list and getting away the answer? Then a destination wedding or elopement may be right for you. A lot of what you need can still be purchased locally from dress to shoes and jewelry, and tuxes can oftentimes be rented at the destination location. Cake/desserts, flowers, photographer, and videographer could then be arranged onsite through the facility. If you are working with a travel agent, he or she can also help iron out the details or point you in the right direction! If you choose to include other family members or friends, your local travel agent can help you make block arrangements to get everyone together at the best prices. Want to stay local? Consider your area courthouse or have a private ceremony at a home or at an outside location.
Esther Bloom Photography
Start by making sure that you have all of the legal details covered. Go to your city hall and have a conversation with their experts. The location of your wedding, and whether or not it is international will determine what all paperwork you will need and requirements for witnesses. And DO NOT FORGET to take all documents with you when if you travel!
Make a plan for how you plan to tell friends and family. Are you eloping in secret? Is the cat already out of the bag that most friends and family already know you are heading off to get married? If it’s a well kept secret, prepare yourself that some friends and family may be disappointed that they were not included in your big day. Consider letting your nearest and dearest know before you head off so that they can be a part of at least part of the wedding planning (maybe help go look for the dress), or consider a post elopement/destination wedding local reception. Having a small local reception after the elopement/destination wedding gives you the chance to show off those beautiful wedding pics and/or video, and it also is an opportunity to possibly receive wedding gifts that may make a difference as you build your new home together.
Shillawna Ruffner Photography
In this age of technology, there are mixed opinions of how an elopement should be announced. Some believe that it is not appropriate to formally announce it on social media and that mailed announcements are the way to go. However, there is no wrong answer, and either way lets you showcase your beautiful photos and be proud of your amazing day! Preparing some of your closest family members by word of mouth first is probably best to avoid hurt feelings; however, using a mass tool like social media to spread the word in the long run does help share the good news fast with lots of pretty pictures!
Whatever your plan is, have fun with it, and just make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row before diving in. This is you starting your new life together, and it should be one of the happiest days ever! Actualize whatever your vision is for it by taking care of the little details ahead of time!
-Nikki Davis, Managing Editor, Engaged River Valley