simple Iceland elopement
Photo: Photos by Miss Ann

1. Stick to your vision of your wedding day.

Not all elopement ceremonies are equal. Maybe your version of eloping involves the two of you on a beach with your dogs. Or perhaps it is your immediate family watching you get married at the local courthouse. Whatever it is, that's great! Just like a traditional wedding, it's important that your ceremony feel like the two of you and represent your life together.

2. Don't let legal requirements solely determine your elopement.

The first step to eloping is to call your county clerk and find out about marriage requirements in your area. They can connect you with information that will help you plan, from what's required of an officiant to any necessary forms that need to be submitted. Don't let this interfere with a specific ceremony idea you love, however. You can always have a symbolic elopement (for example, on a cliff in Iceland) and then follow it up later with a quickie trip to city hall.

3. If you want, you can still splurge. An elopement can involve traditional details.

Often, people think of elopements as budget-friendly, no-frills affairs. And they certainly can be. But you can also still wear a gorgeous wedding dress, carry a grand bouquet or have a wedding cake. Today, elopements are simply smaller events, with or without traditional details, and normally planned quickly.

4. Talk to your friends and family. Inform others after the ceremony with an announcement.

Some families totally understand your need for your wedding to be just the two of you (or just your immediate family), while others may find it difficult to let go of the idea of a big traditional wedding. If you have already eloped, and you are telling your family after the fact, explain that you wanted this to be an intimate event in your lives. Once you have told your nearest and dearest, you can send out announcements to your larger circle of friends. As a side note, wedding announcements are different than invitations. Although people can certainly give you a gift if they would like, there is no social expectation to send one.

5. Make sure that both of you are equally in support of your plans.

Because this is such a non-traditional way to get married, it's even more important to make sure you and your partner are on the same page. If one of you is expressing hesitation or fear of regretting this decision, maybe it's time to slow down and re-evaluate. Weddings should be about what both of you want. If you need to, compromise on things like details or the guest list so that it works for the two of you.