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Friday Faves: Alternative Elopements (that are Budget Friendly)

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These alternative elopements will help you keep the courtroom drama on Netflix

Elopements are steeped in a history of secrecy, passion, and subversion. Most who chose to elope did so out of necessity – their marriage would be illegal, so they had to run off to marry somewhere where they wouldn’t get arrested (or worse!). Sometimes lovers ran off because their parents wouldn’t consent to their marriage (because yeah, parents had to give permission); but from 1300-1800 the term “elope” was actually used to describe a woman leaving her husband for another lover (which sounds pretty awful until you remember that most marriages at that time were arranged, and that husbands were often twice or more the age of their wives), and in nearly all historical uses the term meant never coming back.  Even up until a few decades ago, eloping usually meant you’d run off to a courthouse in secret, get married, then probably fly off to somewhere remote or exotic and send a postcard so your mom knew you were still alive.

Today’s elopements look nothing like the elopements of the past.  Back in the day it was pretty scandalous and rarely involved family, but now eloping is a reasonable alternative to overspending and stressing on a wedding. Now elopements look more like quickly planned, small, inexpensive, and intimate weddings (sometimes still involving family and close friends), and they’re awesome and almost always unique! If you and your partner aren’t enamored by large weddings and can’t imagine spending 12-18 months planning yours, an elopement just might be for you!

If you and your partner aren't enamored by large weddings, an elopement might be for you! Click To Tweet

But can you have something with minimal fuss and max style? Absolutely! One option is to find a planning company with an elopement package (Event Plan-It has one! contact me to find out more). Or if creative, DIY weddings sound like planning heaven for you, wait ’til you see what I’ve got up my sleeve for you in the new year! Until then, here’s my round-up of budget-friendly, alternative elopements.

1. A Pop Up Wedding – Pop up weddings are the wedding equivalent of dance flash mobs – what’s not to love? One minute, everyone is just going about their business and the next? WEDDING! Just like the scene from 500 Days of Summer where everyone knows all the dance steps and suddenly the entire universe is magically in sync – even if it really is a well-rehearsed and choreographed scene. 😉 Pop up weddings are like ultra-mini packages of wedding planning. They involve officiants and decoration details and photographers in one easy package. Keep your guest list small and intimate and have your wedding your way. That’s it! Done and done. You’re on your way to “I do!”

Photography by: Maggie Gaudaen of Pop! Wed Co. 

2. A Local Brewery ElopementMarket Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio was the perfect spot for this Cleveland couple to host their special day. The venue was trendy and intimate, not to mention incredibly creative. Family and friends as well as regular brewery-goers were able to witness and join in this couple’s special event, almost as if it were a well-orchestrated show. With open doors and live music, it’s one relaxed and low-key way to celebrate.

Photography by: Maggie Gaudaen of Pop! Wed Co. 

3. A Dry Lake Bed – How incredible is this couple’s wedding photography?! And all they needed were three (okay, photographer makes four) people. They were able to host a small reception party for the friends and family to celebrate after. But nothing says quiet and solitude quite like a dry lake bed. (We don’t have any of those around Ohio to my knowledge, but you can find amazing natural scenery in various Metroparks and in Hocking Hills!) Throw in the beautiful bride’s hair color and the vibrancy of the officiant, not to mention the revamped trailer-made-altar and you’ve got something magical – beyond just the magic of a happy couple.

A great floral arrangement company for outdoor, elopement and pop-up weddings: Flora Pop
Photography by: Ashley Marie Myers Photography

4. Picnic Weddings – Okay, although I’m admittedly a freeze baby I just LOVE this inspiration image because how brave do you have to be to have to decide to get married in the snow?! Picnic elopements are a delicious and intimate idea that allow you to use a natural setting for a really special day – and yours doesn’t even have to be in winter. Imagine packing a basket lunch (or dinner) for two, complete with table setting arrangements and all your favorite twosome snacks. Mangia, mangia!
Photography by: Mitch & Destany Colagrossi of The Colagrossis 

5. DIY Decorations – Regardless of where exactly you tie the knot (barring venue restrictions), you can have your band of merry wedding groupies set up – or just hold – impromptu decorations (be respectful of your venue, yo! Don’t attach decorations to anything without permission). Creating your own decorations for a mini-photoshoot is a great way to get your friends involved in your wedding day shenanigans. They become a part of your special day forevermore and your memories have a distinctly DIY flavor. Not to mention, it’s easy on the wallet and you can grab a bite to eat all together post-ceremony.

Now it’s your turn! Share your elopement ideas with me! What creative ways are you planning to tie the knot?



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Lisa Paladin

I’m Lisa, the head dreamer & schemer of Event Plan-It. Let’s get coffee and chat about your ideas for an EPIC event!

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