destination wedding

Should you elope or not?


This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime…

There are plenty of articles and posts out there telling you all the “shoulds” and “musts” while planning your wedding: buy this, don’t do this, you have got to do this…! Maybe eloping has come up in conversation, which leads to a whole new bundle of questions. If you’re on the fence about choosing to elope, consider the following positives and negatives. After learning more pros and cons to eloping, you’ll be able to make a confident decision on what type of wedding truly reflects the two of you best.

You don't like to be the center of attention

Pros to Elopements

You’re easily overwhelmed

I hear this all the time from my brides: “I get overwhelmed really easily, and the idea of planning a wedding with a lot of guests stresses me out.” Planning a wedding is no quick & easy feat; even with an amazing wedding planner, you still have tons of decisions to make along the way. Choosing an elopement eliminates a handful of bigger decisions, and is great for low-key, relaxed couples.

You don’t like to be the center of attention

You’re walking down the aisle, all eyes on you, you stand with your best friend in front of everybody you know… wait. That sounds terrible! Everyone will be staring at you the entire time? If that’s not quite your cup of tea, take solace in knowing that you have another option: elope instead, and bring your parents or a few close friends; or better yet, keep it simple with just you two!

Your ceremony is private

You prefer to invest in different priorities

Let’s not forget: weddings can cost a pretty penny when all the expenses are tabulated. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of making that beach house a reality soon. Or maybe it’s that three-bedroom craftsman-style fixer-upper in town. Or perhaps you focus all your extra savings towards a yearly adventure vacation! You have dreams, and spending extra on a lavish wedding just isn’t one of them. Honestly, if you’re married, by the end of the day that’s all that really matters.

Your ceremony is a sacred part of your wedding

Making promises that will last a lifetime to your other half is a big deal. Marriage is a brave and beautiful endeavor, and you want to keep your promises between just the two of you. You may still choose to celebrate with everybody at a reception later, but the ceremony is best kept for you two alone.You wanted a destination wedding

 You wanted a destination wedding anyway

You’ve envisioned marrying in a faraway land since forever, and it might not be feasible to expect all of your friends and family to make the trip with you. Instead of stressing over who can make it, who can afford it, who will travel, who will feel left out (you get the idea…), nix the guest list and head out on your honeymoon early ;-).

You like to explore and find beautiful places

Exploring is second-nature; if there’s a new trail, you’re on it. If it hasn’t been done before, you’re all over it. Why not incorporate your love for the wilderness with the most beautiful day of all – your wedding? Hike to your favorite spot, or find a new overlook with expansive views and exchange vows together there!

You already had the big wedding

You’ve already had the big wedding

You’ve had a wedding before, and everyone (plus your dad’s boss’s nephew!) was there. This time, you’re focused on each other. Life throws you enough curveballs already and you have so many other things happening, so a quiet ceremony and lovely dinner is all you’re after this time around.

Cons to Elopements

You can’t invite everyone when you elope

Weddings are about bringing two families together, and eloping eliminates this aspect of your day completely. You have such a great support system that has helped you two make it to this point, and you can’t imagine leaving them out of your big moment.

You love to be the center orf attention

You love to be the center of attention

You’re walking down the aisle, all eyes on you, you stand with your best friend in front of everybody you know… Yes! That sounds amazing! Everyone will be staring at you the entire time? That’s totally your cup of tea!

Wedding planning is fun!

This is arguably the biggest day of your life: there are so many things to think about, so many people to talk to, so many vendors to book, so much cake to try… Turns out, planning a big party is super fun! In fact, maybe you could do this for a living…

You've been planning your whole life!

You (or your parents?) have been saving since you were a little girl

Your dream wedding: you’ve been planning it since you were five years old. You pretended that your white bath towel was your wedding dress and the hair towel was your veil (or was that just me…?). And you’ve got resources in the form of savings, set aside specifically for this moment of your life. So why keep it small when you can bring your dream to life?

Elopements are hasty

You want to get married to your best, life-long friend, and there’s also no real rush. You don’t want to “run off” and get married without going through a bit of preparation beforehand.

You appreciate tradition

You appreciate traditions

Women in your family have always gotten married in the same church. Or your best family portraits happen at family weddings. Or large group dances are just part of every single party! Whatever traditions run through your families throughout generations, continuing them in your own wedding is not only important, but you’re excited to be a part of something bigger!

You can hardly wait for the big party

The best part of a big wedding? The big party after the ceremony! Here’s your chance to let loose and really celebrate the last few months of planning and preparation and just. have. fun!

How to decide whether to elope

How to Decide

 Ignore all the noise

Everyone you talk to about planning a wedding has an opinion, whether it’s what they wish they would’ve done, what they’re happy they did or what they think is best for you. Listen to those who offer their advice, and take it all with a grain of salt. When it comes to making big decisions – like whether you want to elope or hold a more traditional wedding – find a quiet space to clear your mind. Take some time to dive into your own visions, and build the day around what you two find most important for yourselves.

Follow your heart

You do you, boo! Seriously. Make sure your wedding is created for you, by you. The more you pour your hearts into your day and let your personalities shine through, the more honest and genuine your wedding (or elopement!) will feel. If you’re confident in your decisions from the beginning, your day will feel just right from start to finish.

Here’s your chance to share: what did you decide? Did you elope? Did you have a small wedding? Did you go all out and invite the entire town? Share your story and why you decided to follow your path!

Emily Schmutz

Bio: Emily Schmutz is the owner and main photographer at Summit Mountain Weddings, a Colorado mountain based elopement package company for couples looking for help with the essentials. Emily has been photographing in Summit County, Colorado for eight years, and loves collaborating with couples who are inspired by connection, truth and the simple joys in life


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Planning your dream wedding

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime….

Before the planning of your dream wedding begins, take some time to celebrate with your new fiancé. This may be the only time the two of you get to share this special, once in a lifetime, moment before the world knows. Be sure and commemorate this special moment with pictures. Just don’t upload them to social media until you read our advice below.

10 Tips For Planning Your Dream Wedding

Here are ten things to do to make planning your dream wedding a reality:

Share your good news

1Share Your Good News

This is the time to let your family and close friends in on your secret and share the joy you feel with them. Even if you have not spoken to some in a while, reaching out in person or with a phone call will make everyone feel they are an important part of your lives. Now is not the time to send an email or do a social media post. People want to hear the news from you, personally. After you have told your family and close friends, then you can announce your engagement via social media.

2. Listen to Each Other

What type of wedding do you both envision? If you are polar opposites when it comes to your dream wedding, it’s important to talk it out and find some common ground. What are the things you both want and what can you both live without? Listening to and being very clear on what you both want and don’t want will make future planning much less challenging!

Collect wedding ideas

3. Start Collecting Ideas

Today, there are lots of resources for wedding and reception ideas and inspiration:  magazines, images, books, blogs, websites, Pinterest, Instagram, television, and online media wedding programs.

4.  Set Up Your Website

Having a wedding website will help you present information in an organized fashion to everyone who “needs to know” and give people the opportunity to check up on wedding news and information as it happens. Be sure to include links to your bridal registry and any pre-parties leading up to your wedding. You can set up your website using free services; Wedding Wire, TheKnot, and are just a few sites you can use.

Send Save-the-Date cards

5.  Set a Date

If you haven’t yet set a date, set an approximate or tentative date.  Do you want to get married in the spring, in the summer? Is fall the time of year that makes your heart sing? Did you always envision a winter wedding? Whatever time of year you choose, start planning and reserve all those things you need as early on in the planning process as possible. Some venues require that you book their space a year or more in advance.  In-season flowers are often less expensive than out-of-season flowers… details, details, details. Having a set date will help you as you fine tune the details. Once the actual date has been set, send out “Save the Date” notes; people need time to plan, and this allows your guests time to plan to attend your wedding.

6.  Now That You Know WHEN, it’s Time to Choose WHERE

Do you want to get married in town or in a rural setting? In your hometown?  if not, then where you currently live? Have you always dreamt of a destination wedding? A wedding on the beach can be so romantic and memorable for everyone who attends. Whatever your choice, it’s a good idea to start thinking about where very early on in the planning process. Ask your planner to help with ideas for venues. The best venues are often booked a year or more in advance, and you don’t want to have to settle for your second or third choice.

Insure your engagement ring

7.  Insure Your Engagement Ring

It would be a shame if something happened to one of the most important pieces of jewelry you will own in your lifetime. Nothing can replace the original, but insurance can help lessen the blow if it is lost or damaged and will help you get a suitable replacement.

8.  Set Your Budget

You should have an idea of what you want to do for your wedding and what you can feasibly spend. You also need to know who’s paying for what. It’s easy to get carried away but it may not be practical. Whether or not you have not saved for your BIG DAY, or your parents don’t have an endless stream of money to help you pay for your wedding, a budget will keep you on track so your costs don’t get out of control. Ask your planner for a budget tool.

Registering for gifts

9.  Sign up on Registries

It is important to register early. While many people are last-minute gift shoppers, others like to know what you need as soon as they find out you’re engaged, so that they have access to the largest group of gifts to choose from. Choose registry gifts with your spouse-to-be; it’s fun to see what your partner wants and vice versa. Be sure to check the store return policies to help you better plan your registry. List the places you are registered on your newly created website. And, be sure to check out Honeyfund, a perfect one-stop wedding registry site where you will find thousands of five-star reviews, and sign-up is FREE.

10.  Enlist the Help of a Wedding Planner

There are so many details that a wedding planner can help with that will save you time, alleviate needless stress and even save you money, especially when it comes to destination weddings. A wedding planner, from the area where you are being married, is familiar the venues, vendors and local traditions and can save you hours of work and cut your destination education in half or more!

Wedding plans come through

As you go through the wedding planning process, never lose sight of why you are getting married in the first place. Be sure to find time to focus on each other. And remember to enjoy the planning. Your big day will go by more quickly than you expect, the memories you make leading up to your big day will last a lifetime. Make sure they are positive, fun and filled with love and anticipation.

Bio: A Beautiful Florida Wedding is a full-service destination wedding team of wedding professionals whose desire is to help you plan, coordinate and officiate the wedding dream that lives in your heart.

With over 20 years of wedding planning experience, we are dedicated to helping you plan, coordinate, and officiate your wedding in a timely manner that respects your budget and your timetable. We have served over 1,500 couple and their 50,000 guests enjoy a stress-free, beautiful destination wedding.

From venue site to officiating to flowers, photography, music and more we are your personal wedding team. Visit our website today.




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