Just the two of us: tips on how to elope stress-free

Celeste and Peter’s Maui elopment, on a secret beach. APPLEHEAD STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY

Something borrowed, something blue, I secretly eloped and so should you.

By Celeste Amyoony

So you just got engaged. Are visions of epic battles over seating plans and napkin colours leaving you wanting to pull your own version of Runaway Bride, partner in tow? Are you thinking of bucking tradition (and your mother-in-law’s dream wedding)? If so, I’ve got a few tips that’ll have you planning your elopement in less time than you can say “I do.”

Get your shit together
If you’re eloping abroad, you are combination bride and wedding planner. This means all details big and small are on you. I envisioned our first dance on the beach, cue stars and sparklers. The catch? Sparklers weren’t available in our destination. We lit up the night by ordering ours online instead. Handling it all ahead of time was crucial to relaxing en route, wedding dress safely stowed in the overhead bin.


Declare your love somewhere you love
Don’t discount the stress of being somewhere new and trying to navigate both your wedding and travel expectations. We kept calm and married on by doing the deed on our favourite island instead. Infusing our memories with more great moments in this special spot was priceless.

Traditionalists be damned
No two elopements look alike; decide what’s important to you and focus your time and budget on it. For us, photography was the SINGLE MOST important element. I had been Insta-stalking my favourite photographers for years, and delightedly discovered they were game to follow us around Maui. In other news, my bouquet was purchased at a random grocery store.

Keep it local
Crucial to keeping your union under wraps is guarding against accidentally exposing your master plan. Create a plausible cover story. This red herring allows you to refer to your time away without drawing suspicion and disarms awkward airport run-ins. We each had one confidant to allow the pre-wedding excitement to build up without bubbling over. Not only did our peeps keep mum, but they also used their CIA-level skills to plan some pretty sweet surprises for us!


Embrace the imperfection
We buy into the idea that this day has to be absolutely perfect. It won’t be. The sooner you accept this, the more you’ll enjoy it. I woke up sick on my wedding day, but a year later I barely remember that my coughing was the soundtrack to our first week as man and wife.

Own the decision, let it be bittersweet
You may be surprised that you feel conflicted about some details. Despite knowing that I didn’t want a big do, I missed out on my dad walking me down the aisle, and dressing with my mom. It was a trade-off, and to this day I trust in the judgment that made our elopement simple perfection.

Spread the good word
Decide how you want to share the news before you leave for foreign shores.
Immediate family first, don’t make your mama wonder how she raised you! Our mantra was “near and dear before social media” and we sealed the deal by mailing out old-school wedding announcements once our photos arrived. Though not everyone will understand your decision to take the plunge in private, once the dust settles no one will care how you made it official, they’ll just be happy for you. So go ahead and have your wedding cake barefoot on the beach, and you can damn well it eat too!

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