Sometimes a big wedding isn't everyone's dream, and some couples want to just run off into the sunset and have an elopement wedding. If a run-away wedding is something you've been considering, we've got you covered with everything you need to know about elopement weddings.
What is eloping for your wedding?
The dictionary defines eloping as running away secretly to get married. Still, it's rarely the case in the modern world that elopements are carried out in secret. Elopements are typically a great way to either have a sporadic wedding away from home without going overboard on planning or a way to use your wedding day as a refreshing escape from the norm that you'd have getting married in the city you live.
Reasons why people elope for their wedding:
- Some couples do want a secretive wedding, just for themselves.
- To escape the norm & the mundane of where you live to do something sporadic and spontaneous.
- To get married faster/A.S.A.P
- To reduce the stress of planning out a big wedding, some couples will opt to elope instead.
- Eloping feels more 'us' for the couple and suits their personalities more than a grand wedding with many guests; for some couples, they genuinely prefer eloping over any other style of wedding.
- Some brides or grooms don't want to be the center of attention but would still love to marry their soulmate, which is where an elopement comes in handy. Especially for my fellow introverts out there!
- At times, some couples will opt for an elopement because there are added financial pressures to a big wedding that they cannot afford. According to MoneySmart, the average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,000. An elopement is done for far less.
- Some couples choose an elopement wedding to circumvent complicated family dramas between the bride or groom's family or both. Likewise, couples opt for elopements to work around religious or cultural reasons that may cause a great deal of stress on their wedding day.
- And, finally, some couples want something intimate, private, and personal on their most special day!
Everything you need to know BEFORE you elope:
First, the most critical step is to check the rules and laws wherever you plan on eloping. That way, there are no unforeseen circumstances that could prevent you from getting married.
There are a few pre-requisites under Australian law that you must follow or adhere to. I'll run you through some of what you'll need to know in advance based on local Queensland rules/law:
- You must be 18 or older. (One Partner can be 16 or 17, but the other has to be 18+ and anyone 16-18 will need the permission of a parent or guardian and a Magistrates Court order). You will also need proof of identity documents.
- To be considered legally married in Queensland, you'll need to have a wedding at the Brisbane registry, a Queensland Magistrates Court, or a location of your choosing with a registered marriage celebrant. You are required by law to have a registered celebrant carry out your wedding/marriage.
- Legally, you must lodge a notice of intended marriage application form with your registered celebrant at least one month before getting married. This is an essential step of the process to keep in mind. (You also must sign the notice of intended marriage application form with two qualified witnesses)
- There must be two witnesses over the age of 18 at your wedding ceremony for it to be considered an official, legally binding marriage.
- You cannot get married if you're already married to someone else.
Euphorie Wedding Tip: be sure to make a list and tick off anything you need to cover one by one.
Don't forget your marriage certificate/license.
Whether you have a traditional ceremony or an elopement wedding, you'll still need a marriage license to make it official in the government's eyes. This is a critical step in any wedding and can sometimes be ignored when it comes to elopements.
You can find more on obtaining a marriage certificate via the Queensland Government here.
"For some brides, an elopement just feels right. It feels like the most natural way to intimately profess their love via marriage with their special human!" - Jane Henorax.
(Pictured: Euphorie real bride Elizabeth + husband Kenji @ Betty's Burgers in Brisbane, photographed by Evernew Studios)
How to have an Elopement wedding:
Plan out the ceremony
Being specific and planning out your elopement ceremony is essential. Elopements can feel fast & wild, but you'll want to have as much planned out as possible to ensure a smooth day for you and your love.
First up, choosing the venue is the most integral part of your elopement. Your partner, and yourself, will need to take some time to think about where it is precisely that you want to elope to and use as the backdrop for one of the most loving and memorable moments as a couple.
Another part of eloping will be choosing guests if you'll be having some. An elopement doesn't have to mean any guests at all; you can still have some close friends or family, but choosing the right ones so that your day is as perfect as possible is important. Remember, as we discussed earlier in this blog, you'll need two witnesses for your elopement at a minimum (along with a celebrant), so you'll want to give them as much notice as possible when you ask if they'll join you on your wedding day.
Factor in buying your gown. Spend some time researching before you shop around for elopement gowns if the wedding is ASAP - some brands or stores may have extended waiting times for dresses to be made and sent from overseas countries.
After the elopement
One tip we suggest for brides considering an elopement is to let people know afterward that you have indeed gotten married. It can be an awkward experience if you've got to tell someone close to you, "we got married two years ago," when they ask about wedding planning!
You don't have to tell anyone anything, though. This is just a tip to make things less awkward for those you're close to and will often be seeing!