How to Personalize Your Elopement
Okay, so you want to elope, and now you want to make it your own! Keep reading for my top five tips on how to personalize your elopement. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 11+ years I’ve been in business, it’s that every. couple. is. different. That’s one of the things that makes my job so awesome! The truth is, your elopement is really all about you. So be yourselves! The first step is not to do anything you don’t want to – seriously! If you wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress, don’t wear one. If you don’t want to include a first look, a hike, or a fancy hairstyle, you don’t have to. Go ahead and take a deep breath, and shed all those made-up must-do’s that don’t feel like you.
Ahhh.. Now, that’s better already!
Now that you’ve cut what you don’t want, focus on what you do want! It’s ok to pull ideas from anywhere. Pinterest is always fun to browse. Pull ideas of traditions from your heritage that sound fun to you. Or borrow ideas from weddings you’ve attended! When I planned my own small wedding I had the advantage of having been to hundreds of events already, so I knew I wanted a first look. We had ours in the Denver Butterfly Pavilion, because that’s where we had our first date. We hadn’t been back since – so that made it extra special for the big reveal moment!
1. How to Personalize Your Elopement Style
You can wear whatever you want. You don’t have to wear a suit – or white. There are really NO rules! So wear something fancy or comfortable. Wear hiking boots, even with your dress or your suit. I’ve shot brides who wore purple, blue, grey, turquoise, navy, sequins, blush, and even green. And I’ve shot grooms in plaid, suspenders, neutrals, purple, prints, textures, vests, tweed, and this incredible spouse in a custom print corset. A birdcage veil is a fun way to accessorize if you’re not into sails attached to your head. Or my personal favorite, the cape veil, or really long sleeves! In the winter, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to wear a killer cloak. You can even use embroidery to customize anything!
3. Making your Elopement Ceremony your own
I’ve got way too many ideas for what to include in your elopement ceremony! Write your own vows – more on that later. You can do a handfasting to include ribbons from family that isn’t able to be there. You can break a glass, plant a tree, play a song on your phones, share headphones or sing together with a ukelele. If guests are present, have them each read poetry or quotes from your favorite TV shows that you fell in love watching. There are tons of other symbolic unity rituals too! Create a unity sand by pouring two colors of sand into a vessel together. The unique blend is something you can display later and signifies that the two colors can never be separated. A variation of this can be done with glass beads that you can then turn into blown glass masterpieces.
3. Food and Decor
So many ways to do it your way here! Of all the questions I get asked when guiding folks to the elopement of their dreams, a lot of them are about food. Because nobody should go hangry on elopement day. For every location I recommend, I’ll also provide some tips on where to eat. Since you don’t have to feed many people, restaurants can usually accommodate you. Alternatively, you can pack a picnic that has all of your favorites and enjoy it together anywhere. Finally, bringing a personal chef to your cabin or airbnb is a great way to have the most memorable meal of your life. You can personalize your decor too – paper flowers and feathers are great options if a bouquet of flowers doesn’t feel like you. Custom mugs or thermoses will give you a keepsake that will always transport you back to your elopement day.
4. Personalize your Elopement Rings
Believe it or not, rings are customizable too! This couple MADE their wedding rings by lightly laminating a tiny strip of their wedding vows. You can have custom matching or non matching rings made that suit you. You can even go to a forge to create one of a kind rings. This can be as expensive or as time consuming as you want it to be! Some of my favorite places for custom rings include Staghead designs for beautiful inlays. You could even go to a tattoo shop and get your rings done right on your skin! The possibilities are endless.
5. How to Personalize Your Elopement Vows
This is a must. This is the most important part! The heart and soul of your marriage is what you say to each other on your wedding day. What promises will you make? What will you say to make your person laugh and their eyes sparkle? How will you show each other your deep seated commitment and the joy you share? Well, start with that! Make them laugh. Tell them that at first, you thought their hair looked kinda dumb (but now you love it.) Tell them how out-of-your-league they are to you. Don’t be afraid to be mushy!
Don’t skip out on the chance to say, “I love you.” To your person. I love weddings – but sometimes I feel that the lack of personal vows cuts out the best part! If your officiant is the one to say, “Do you take so and so to be your spouse, and honor and love them until you die” -and you respond with a simple “Yep” – that’s like not eating dessert when it’s right in front of you!
My husband and I thought pretty hard about what marriage meant to us before we started writing things down. For ourselves, we wrote about loyalty and having each other’s back. We promised to apologize to each other, and to speak kindly about each other to everyone we know. We also vowed to give each other room to be and change who we are. Your vows can be anything that you want to promise one another. And it’s ok to start with a script before making it your own.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to personalize your elopement! Check out these related guides for more elopement ideas and tips!
I’ve seen some amazing personalized elopements and I can’t wait to see yours!
Co written by Rae Redford-Beyer