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Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Elope 05-04

                                                                        Please also read "How to Read Body Language" 

How to Elope

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The word “elopement” once conjured up images of a young man helping his intended sneak down a ladder from her bedroom window for a secret visit to the justice of the peace. With the skyrocketing costs of formal weddings, couples are looking at elopements in a new light. Whether your parents are offering you cash to elope instead of using the family savings for a big wedding, or you're a “seasoned couple” with past marriages and you want a more subdued, private event this time around, elopements can take any shape. Use these steps to plan an elopement in a lot less time than an elaborate wedding ceremony.


Thinking It Through
  1. Be sure that eloping is what you want to do. If you feel pressured by your spouse-to-be or any other person, then the decision you make may not be the one you want.Have a serious discussion about what both of you want. If budgetary concerns are causing problems, it is important to sit down and revise what is affordable for a wedding rather than simply running away from it. However, there are many good reasons for eloping, such as not wanting a big fuss, not wanting to handle difficult family get-togethers or simply not much liking the whole idea of weddings. What really matters is that you are both honest with yourselves and each other and that you agree that this is what both of you truly wants.
    • In some cases, certain family members may claim to be insulted by your decision to elope rather than include them in what they feel is an important family bonding occasion (you'll probably know which ones are likely to this way but you may also be surprised). Don't let their preferences decide yours––it's you who is getting married, not that family member.
  2. Set the date. Keep it quiet from family and friends where necessary. Alternatively, clue them in to the news if it isn’t meant as a secret and you know they're fine about missing the "big event".
Meeting Legal Requirements
  1. Gather legal documents required by your state, province or country for obtaining your marriage license. Depending on your location, this will include birth certificates, blood test results (if applicable) and previous divorce decree papers.
  2. Obtain the marriage license far enough in advance of the elopement date to account for any required waiting period. In some cases, this part won't be necessary if you're eloping to a place already well set up for giving quick marriages, such as Las Vegas (see How to elope in Las Vegas).
  1. Set your budget. Assess your available funds for items like flowers, special clothing, plane tickets and a photographer.
  2. Decide on the location of the elopement ceremony. If can be local or a distant honeymoon destination.
    • Gather two witnesses (or as many as required) and a justice of the peace or minister for a brief ceremony in the office of a judge or justice of the peace , at city hall, the courthouse or a small chapel. You can be back at work the next day if having a ceremony that is quiet and unobtrusive to your lives best fits your lifestyle.
    • Choose a location that holds sentimental meaning to both of you, such as the playground where you both played as kids, the produce section of the neighborhood grocery where you met, or on the courtyard of your college campus where you walked to class. Inexpensive, easy-in-easy-out locations provide for a quick but special elopement.
    • The iconic Las Vegas offers many wedding chapels and just about any costume and vehicle to rent for your special day or night.
    • Elope in a grand way, whisking your family and friends away to a secret destination where you allow a planner to handle the details. While official weddings are also done this way, the spontaneity of it all classifies it more as an elopement where you involve many witnesses for an impromptu celebration.
Celebrating Afterwards While not essential, especially if you're keeping the marriage under wraps, a celebration can be a nice way to involve everyone in your joyous act.
  1. Celebrate afterwards with family and friends. Still with low-key or no fuss and small budget expenditure in mind, find a suitable way to draw in the people who really matter for a small celebration after the fact. Some examples of what you might do include:
    • Host a backyard barbeque to celebrate the nuptials with those in your lives, surprising them with the announcement on napkins, signs or during a special toast.
    • Plan an intimate dinner party or cocktail gathering to announce your marriage.
    • Have a trusted friend plan a housewarming or money tree “come-and-go” that family and friends can attend to celebrate your new marriage.
    • Go for a game of golf or bowls with your family and friends, and have a picnic or easy lunch included.
  2. Delay the celebration if it suits your situation. If you are inviting people who felt very let down by your elopement, there is a benefit in waiting before celebrating. A few possibilities include:
    • Consider waiting until it's time for baby. You can celebrate both your baby's arrival and your wedding, by which time a lot of hurt will have mellowed and people will be more receptive (they can always make the excuse they're there for the baby).
    • If you don't plan on having children, waiting for an anniversary might be another option––time does heal, especially when the two of you are still clearly very much together.


  • Elopement means that there won't be family memories or photos to share. This may impact your decision if you're concerned about not having these memories to share with loved ones down the track. On the other hand, don't overplay this reason––sentimentality isn't a reason for going through with a wedding you'd hate, let alone considering how many divorcees would find any enjoyment in replaying their wedding with family members––few!
  • If eloping is a way around "normal" commitment, be very careful. This initial running away might extend to a whole range of avoidance of things you really want, such as companionship (your spouse or you being mentally or physically present), having children and staying together long term. Be sure to have talked things through and trust your instincts, not your fantasies.
  • Sometimes it can help to tell people who don't approve of your decision that the size of the wedding does not determine the size of a couple's happiness. Remind them gently that not having to begin your marriage with money worries will set both of you in good stead for a long, happily married life.
  • Create a website where you can post pictures, offer an online guest book and other details about your big event.


  • Expect some family members to be very upset. People have a lot of subjective ideas about weddings and the worth of being a part of them and you'll need to stick to the facts of why a normal style wedding simply wasn't meant for you (but avoid justifying––there is no need). You will also be best off if you accept that their response is their decision, just as eloping is yours.
  • Consider the possibility of feeling guilty about anyone who seemed hurt about your decision. Again, this is not a reason to stop your decision but you will need to deal with the feelings constructively and not berate yourself.
  • Eloping can seem very exciting. Make sure that the excitement isn't covering up any serious incompatibility between the two of you, as it will unravel when the excitement wears off, sometimes within days.
  • Depending on the ages, leaving the kids out of the elopement planning and just surprising them with a new mommy or new daddy could lead to resentment later. Involve them in the planning and the secret will be fun for them and help foster good feelings about the blended family.

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Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Elope. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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