10+ commonly asked questions about eloping

10+ commonly asked questions about eloping

Are you and your partner thinking of planning an elopement instead of a ‘regular’ wedding? Or are you just curious about a couple of things when it comes to eloping? Either way, this is the right place!

In this blog, we’re going to answer the most commonly asked questions about eloping. Everything you need to know about legal requirements to choose the perfect location. You will find it here!

Grab a drink, get some popcorn and read on about everything you need to know about elopements. Trust us, it’s going to be an epic experience if you choose to take the plunge!

What are the legal requirements for eloping?

To start off, this is not a one-way answer. In every state and every country, the requirements will vary. In most countries and states you will need to sort out the nitty-gritty about:

  • How to obtain your marriage license
  • How to find an officiant
  • Who is going to be your witness?

It is also important to know in what time frame everything has to be done. In some countries, there will be a waiting period between getting a marriage license and the ceremony itself. We advise you to contact a wedding planner, your photographer (if they are used to photographing elopements, they’ll probably know), your embassy or the municipality of the town you’re wanting to elope.

How do we plan an elopement ceremony?

Aaaah, the most fun part! To start, know which date you are wanting to marry. Then choose a location where you want to go. Keep the following questions in mind:

  • Do you want an adventurous elopement? Or more a relaxed one with your feet in the sand?
  • Do you want to get married in warm weather or in the snow?
  • Do you want to go to a new place, or is there a location which is important for both of you?
  • Are you taking any guests with you?
  • Do you want to have a symbolic ceremony, a religious ceremony, a humanist ceremony or a civil ceremony?

If you chose your location, it is now time to get to the nitty-gritty of obtaining the necessary legal documents. Or, choose to have a symbolic ceremony. At this point, it is also important to hire an officiant and determine whether you want to take loved ones with you on your elopement and if yes, who you are going to invite and how many people that will be.

Think of what you would find important to add to the ceremony. Most elopement ceremonies will have the vow reading as a big part of the ceremony. Couples often write those vows with a personal touch. This is the moment to make that even more personal because you can share them in private, for just the two of you! Add in personal touches to make the elopement more meaningful: what are your hobbies? Is it hiking? Then consider having your ceremony in the middle of a hiking route. Love singing, or playing the guitar? Do a song for your spouse! Music is a great way to personalise your ceremony. Reading poems can also be a great idea!

That you decided to elope does not mean that you can’t wear a wedding dress or suit, nor does it mean that you can’t incorporate family or cultural traditions. Find the way you want to create your ceremony and make it unique! This is your moment, enjoy it!

Can we still have a reception or celebration after eloping?

Yes, you can! If you still want to share the festivities with all your loved ones but want to enjoy the ceremony with just the two of you, this is a perfect arrangement. After you come back from your elopement, plan a date and throw a party! You can make this even more special to surprise people that you’ve eloped.

How do we tell our family and friends about our decision to elope?

We wrote a whole blog about this (that you can find here). It might not be easy to tell people you’ve decided to do so. Be honest upfront and tell people before you leave on your elopement. Tell them why you chose to elope and answer any questions they have. Let them be angry, listen to why they’re angry, but don’t change your plans. You’ve made these plans to fit what you want, not what they want. It might help to know what you’re going to do to incorporate your loved ones in the elopement day itself so that you can explain to them what your plans are. Be prepared for different reactions. As we wrote above, some may not be positive. Give people time to process the news if they are feeling left out. Choose the right time and the right place when you are going to tell your family and friends. Pick what feels comfortable for you, whether that is via phone, video call, in person or by letter. If it suits the two of you, throw a party when you get back from your elopement. That way you can celebrate this moment with everyone!

Can we have an elopement with just the two of us or do we need witnesses?

In most countries and states you do need 1 or 2 witnesses, so think about it: who would you want to join you on the adventure? If you don’t want to take anyone with you, we are also there to sign the papers as your witness! For a symbolic ceremony, you don’t need witnesses.

Do we need vendors for our elopement?

No, you don’t if you don’t want to. However, we do recommend hiring at least a photographer to capture the day.

If you do want to make use of vendors, you can think of the following vendors:

Make-up and hair artist

If doing your own make-up and hair is not really your thing, hiring a MUAH is a highly recommended thing! Most artists don’t mind getting up early to make you even prettier for your elopement, and sometimes they even hike with you to do some touch-ups during the elopement.


In some states and countries, it is possible to marry yourself. But if that is not possible, an officiant is someone you want to hire for your elopement! If you don’t want a ‘stranger’ to perform your marriage, you can ask a friend or family member to lead the ceremony. Or, if you want to have the ceremony for just the two of you, you can get legally married before or after the elopement.

Photographer and videographer

We may be biased, but hiring a photographer and a videographer are vendors we think you should hire without a doubt. Having all those moments captured and accessible years later is the most important thing. You would probably want to revisit that day again and again, even after 30-ish years!


On a regular wedding day, flowers are indispensable. On elopements, this is less popular, even though we recommend having a flower crown or a bouquet, and a boutonniere. It finishes the look and adds colour and contrast to your wedding photos!


You don’t need to cater to a dozen people, but you need to feed yourself! You can choose to book a table at a restaurant, drop by a restaurant or hire a private chef on your wedding day. It also depends on what your budget is for the day and what you want.


Is music a special thing in your relationship? Do you have a special song that represents you? Hire a musician to play that song. Much easier than fiddling a JBL box and trying to find wifi or cellular to play that song on Spotify, just as it is a lot more personal to do it this way.

Wedding planner

Do you both have full-time jobs? Planning a wedding can become a part-time job next to your full-time job. For elopements, you often have to figure out what paperwork you need to get done to legally marry. A wedding planner can make your life easier and take away the slightest piece of stress about the planning. If you are hiring us as your elopement photographers, we are also there as some sort of wedding planners 🙂

How can we make our elopement special and memorable?

There are a lot of ways how you can make your elopement special and memorable! First of all, the decision to elope is special in itself. You are doing what feels right for you, and not what is good for others. Here’s a list of a couple of things you can do to make it special and memorable:

  • Incorporate a ritual or tradition that fits the country you’re in. In Scotland for instance, you can do a hand-fasting ritual where both of your wrists are bound together.
  • Write your own vows
  • Incorporate a family ritual
  • Play music that is special for you
  • Choose a location that is special for you

What are the pros and cons of eloping versus having a traditional wedding?


  • Your loved ones are most of the time not present at the ceremony
  • Loved ones can be disappointed
  • Getting the nitty-gritty of paperwork done can be complex and difficult


  • This is a unique experience!
  • It is possible to personalise everything
  • Elopements are an intimate and special experience tailor-made for you and your lover
  • With this, you can choose what YOU want to do, instead of doing what everyone else does
  • If you want to save some money, elopements are a little less expensive to plan
  • You can travel the world after you got married as a part of your elopement
  • Memorable moments are made, you’ll never forget this!

Want to read more about elopements and weddings being compared? Read our blog: eloping vs weddings

Wedding couple margam castle in wales

What is a virtual elopement?

In the past years, virtual elopements became more popular. That was because of Covid-19. With a virtual elopement, you arrange that people can follow the ceremony via video. You either do a live stream or video call people during the ceremony. This is specifically useful for people who can’t attend your elopement, whether it would be like that because you want to elope with the two of you, because of medical or financial reasons or because the elopement is hard to reach.

How much does it typically cost to elope?

There is no one way to pin down the cost of an elopement; it is highly personal. Some people spend €30, some €3000, and some spend €30.000. In this blog, we have written a brief summary of the costs of an elopement: (blog)

In short, you have to think of the following parts that add to the cost of your elopements with an estimated amount:

  • Marriage license: €50 – €150
  • Wedding permits, if needed: €35 – €250
  • Travel, accommodation and transportation: €500 – €4000
  • Photographer & videographer: €2500 – €10.000
  • Flowers: €150 – €500
  • Catering: €150 – €2000+
  • Wedding attire: €500+
  • Rings: +-€1200
  • Wedding planner: €1000 – €5000

Now, keep in mind these are averages. What is listed above, does not mean that you definitely need to take care of these vendors or attributes. Most elopement photographers do take on the role of a wedding planner, so hiring an official wedding planner is optional. If you’re more a person for a tattoo instead of a wedding ring, that is also a different price. As we said, it is highly personal.

Is eloping right for us, or should we consider a small wedding instead?

We can’t judge whether an elopement or a small wedding is right for you two without having spoken to you. If you are in doubt, you can fill in a form and express that doubt. We would love to talk to you and help you with brainstorming your vision. You can also make a list: what are your personal pros and cons? Why would you want a small wedding, and why an elopement? What is holding you back? In addition, you can read the following blog about eloping. You’d probably recognise yourselves in it if eloping is the right way to go!

Can we still have a wedding dress or suit if we elope?

We can understand that this question is one that wanders your mind! But yes, you can still buy wedding dresses or suits and wear them. Most of the time it wouldn’t be really easy to wear a ballgown when you’re having an adventurous elopement, with a 3-hour hike (we won’t stop you though!). It might be useful to keep in mind the way you are wanting to experience your elopement and choose a lightweight dress or an easy-fitting suit. With hiking boots perhaps. Or flip-flops. We won’t judge 😉

How do we get a marriage license when eloping?

That depends on where you want to marry, every country and state has a different approach to this. Most countries will offer you the paperwork you need to arrange online. If you’re starting your quest to find all the things you need for the elopement, start it at the site of the government you are going to marry or at the site of your own embassy. It might help to take on a wedding planner; they can help you if you’re stuck!

Can we add traditions or customs to our elopement ceremony, as we would do in a regular ceremony?

Yes, you can! Just like a regular wedding ceremony, you can personalise it however you want. Do you want to sleep separately the night before the wedding? You can! Do your parents come with you to the elopement and do you want your father to give you away? That is also possible! Think out-of-the-box, everything is possible!

Can we still have a honeymoon if we elope?

Why not! If you eloped to a different country, it might even be easier to plan your honeymoon because you’re already travelling. Make your elopement part of your honeymoon and plan activities around the ceremony. The activities reflect what you as a couple love to do together and what you would want to do on your honeymoon.

Do we need to have a photographer for our elopement?

Hi! We’re the elopement photographers you’re talking about! Because yes, you NEED a photographer for this. You probably want some decent pictures to look back on when you celebrate your 30th anniversary and it’s our job as photographers to take care of that. It’s such a special day and a memorable way to enjoy getting married, that you’d want to have it captured. At regular weddings, there are always people capturing moments with their cell phones. If you are on your own during your elopement, that aspect is not there. So for elopements, getting a photographer may even be more important!

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