Your wedding day should reflect the things you and your partner love and cherish. In this blog post, we give you 7 elopement ideas to make your small wedding special. Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can use these ideas as a starting point or incorporate all of them.

couple elopement portrait on beach at catalina island
Catalina Island is perfect for a destination elopement.

1. Dress Well

  • Bridal Gown: Wear a special dress. It doesn’t have to be a traditional white gown.
  • This is your opportunity to wear what you love and feel special in.
  • Treat yourself to a new dress. This will help make your elopement feel special.
  • The best part about choosing the perfect bridal gown is you can spend as much or as little as you desire.
  • Groom Attire: It’s also your partner’s special day.
  • A tuxedo might not be your thing, but wearing a nice suit or new outfit to fit the occasion will put a smile on your bride’s face.
  • Look dapper on your big day.
old orange county wedding
Portraits taken in the historic Old Orange County Courthouse.

2. Hair And Makeup

Hair and makeup: Be sure to pamper yourself. Look your best for your big day, no matter how small your guest list is.

  • Hire a professional stylist and MUA.
  • Schedule ahead of time.
  • Arrange for the stylist to come to you.
  • Allow plenty of time so you can relax and enjoy the experience.

3. Hire a Photographer

Photographer: The best way to preserve every moment is to hire a professional photographer.

  • Beautiful portraits can be used to share with family and friends who won’t be there.
  • Hire a professional photographer to document the ceremony.
  • Include some time for a romantic portrait session. Choose a location after the ceremony for these photos.
  • Photos can be used for announcing your marriage, save the date for a reception.
  • Don’t forget to preserve your memories forever. Get prints made to put up in your home.
laguna-hills-civic-center-wedding
This moment was captured just after their civil ceremony at the Laguna Hills Civic Center.

4. Guest List

Wedding Guests: The beautiful thing about eloping is that extended family and friends won’t expect to be invited to your elopement.

  • Invite only close family or friends to attend your union.
  • Most couples invite 5-15 guests. But all you really need is the officiant and one witness.
  • When deciding on the guestlist invite parents, siblings, and one or two close friends.
  • There is plenty of time to celebrate with all the important people in your life with a reception at a later date.
  • Your elopement is about you and your partner. Keep in mind, some people might get offended but the ones who truly care about you will support your decision to elope.
couple registering before their civil ceremony at the old orange county courthouse
So happy for B & S on their elopement. A beautiful civil ceremony at the Old Orange County Courthouse. This place is so cool. Love the history here.

5. Celebratory Meal

Celebrate with a meal: After your ceremony, invite guests to lunch or dinner to continue the celebration.

  • Pre-arrange reservations at your favorite local restaurant.
  • Connect with family & friends over a special meal.
  • This is a great opportunity to incorporate some traditional wedding customs.
  • A champagne toast, speeches, and enjoying some cake.

6. Surprise

Plan a few surprises: Surprise your partner before, during, or after the ceremony.

  • Treat your guests to a surprise that makes your wedding a memorable experience.
  • Without all the moving parts of a large wedding, there will be plenty of time to do something really special for your partner.
malibu-rocky-oaks-photographer
The bride was so happy when her groom surprised her with a visit from their fur babe before the ceremony.

7. Spend The Night Away

Hotel or Airbnb: Spend your wedding night at a special hotel or Airbnb.

  • This is a perfect way to relax and reflect on the day.
  • Wake up and treat yourselves to a brunch or room service.
  • Get a massage. Make it a couples spa day.
  • A staycation is perfect for your elopement.
sunset photo over pacific ocean at terranea resort
Treat yourselves to a luxury stay at Terranea Resort

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