Despite being known for simplicity and intimacy, planning an elopement can unexpectedly become a source of stress. That’s why I’m here to guide you through ‘How to Plan Your Stress-Free Elopement.’
I completely understand the challenges. In the midst of an already bustling life, adding the intricacies and to-do lists of wedding planning can feel like juggling one too many plates. The dream of an intimate ceremony may even bring forth unexpected complexities, from navigating family dynamics to managing a compact (or nonexistent) guest list and the reactions that may follow.
As you begin your elopement journey, I want to recognize the potential stressors that can accompany planning such a significant life event. So, let’s navigate through these challenges together and pave the way for a stress-free elopement day that truly reflects the essence of your love story and your vision for the perfect day.
Since there are myriad aspects to consider when planning your elopement, starting slow is key to maintaining a sense of control and joy throughout the process. It’s great to begin by identifying what holds the utmost importance for your special day. Here’s a 4-step exercise I like to recommend to couples as they plan their stress-free elopement:
By setting these priorities early on, you establish a solid foundation for the rest of your planning journey.
Now that you’ve identified the core elements that hold the most significance for your elopement day, it’s time to adopt a stress-free approach by focusing on those things that truly matter. As Marie Kondo wisely puts it, if it doesn’t “spark joy,” ditch it. Not every Pinterest trend or tradition is a must for your celebration, so prioritize the elements that genuinely resonate with you and your partner.
In the whirlwind of wedding planning, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to not sweat the small stuff. Elopement planning stress often stems from the multitude of small tasks that can pile up. Allow yourself the freedom to let go of the non-essentials. And while Pinterest can be a treasure trove of inspiration, remember that your elopement day should reflect you and your partner, not just the latest trends.
By focusing your attention on the priorities outlined on your list—those that bring you joy and align with your vision—you’ll not only alleviate stress but also create a more comfortable, meaningful, and memorable elopement experience.
When diving into the elopement planning journey, a key thing to consider is hiring your elopement coordinator (if you decide to have one) or photographer first. This is a strategic decision that can significantly lighten your load.
By securing a coordinator or experienced elopement photographer from the start, you tap into a very valuable resource. Our planning experience and community connections can position us as guides for your journey. Whether it’s local vendor recommendations, epic elopement ideas, or practical advice, we can easily streamline your planning process.
Elopement photographers, with their keen eye for unique and breathtaking locations, bring a distinctive perspective to the table by helping you choose the perfect location that fits the atmosphere you envision. We can act as your guide, providing expertise and collaboration that contribute to a seamless and stress-free experience. Establishing these partnerships early lays the smooth groundwork for a celebration that reflects your vision and unfolds with ease.
To take a peek at some of my favorite Colorado elopement locations, check out my other blog!
Thinking along the same lines, it’s essential to recognize the vast world of vendors ready to jump in with planning and making those tough decisions. These folks deal with weddings day in and day out, bringing a wealth of experience to the table. However, it’s crucial to make sure you’re hiring a reliable and professional vendor team.
While the right vendor team can be a tremendous asset, issues with vendors can quickly become a significant source of stress—the very thing we aim to avoid. So, when you’re putting together your team, look for the ones with a solid track record of reliability and professionalism. That way, you not only gain their expertise but also set the stage for a smooth and stress-free elopement experience.
Explore rockstar vendors in my other blog post for some great examples!
Now that we’ve talked about the crucial role of your vendor team, let’s shift focus to those small but mighty tasks. I get it; asking for help can be challenging, but see if you can delegate some of these tasks to a family member, friend, or even your coordinator.
Alternatively, don’t forget about your rockstar vendors—they’re not just there for the big stuff. Most of us in the industry have seen couples tackle and triumph over a variety of issues and stressors. If, by some rare chance, we haven’t faced a situation exactly like yours, chances are there is someone in our network of vendor friends we can call on for advice or assistance. With the backing of your support network, those potential stressors become mere blips on the radar of your elopement journey.
Now that we’ve covered delegating tasks and building a reliable support network, I think it’s time to dive into the art of letting go. Loosen your grip on the things beyond your control—like the whims of unpredictable weather (and perhaps your in-laws, but let’s keep it lighthearted… shall we?). Weather does its own thing; prepare to possibly dance in the rain or snow, and always be armed with a backup plan. While I can’t force you to embrace the rain, I can easily and happily assist you in creating a backup weather plan. And you know I always keep clear umbrellas on hand for those romantic rainy-day portraits.
Similarly, predicting how others will react to your decision to elope is like forecasting the weather—you can’t control it. What you can control is recognizing it’s the right choice for you and respectfully enforcing healthy boundaries with others. So, embrace the beauty of releasing control over the uncontrollable for a more liberating and joyful elopement experience.
I know it might sound like a given, but it’s one of those things that often gets pushed aside—just enjoy the journey. While the tasks may sometimes feel like a bit much (and let’s face it, not all of them are as delightful as cake tastings), try to savor each one for what it brings. Whether it’s capturing your engagement photos, selecting the perfect elopement location, or getting creative with florals and personal details, each step adds a unique and authentic touch to your elopement planning adventure.
This season won’t last forever, and as you look back, it’ll be a significant part of your love story. So, make sure these moments are filled with fond memories and the joy of creating fun experiences together.
And, last but not least, I highly recommend carving out dedicated time to step away from the planning frenzy altogether. Remember, you had interests and hobbies before wedding planning, and they shouldn’t take a back seat now. Now, more than ever, you deserve a break from the chaos and a moment to relish in the journey. Don’t let the process consume your life, leaving no room for the things that bring you joy beyond your wedding preparations.
As you begin your journey of planning your stress-free elopement, keep in mind that every step adds a unique touch to your love story. Prioritizing, letting go, and building a reliable team can lay the groundwork for a celebration that genuinely reflects your vision, sans stress. Despite inevitable challenges, the support network you cultivate, spanning from vendors to friends, transforms potential stressors into fleeting moments in your elopement adventure.
Infuse this season with cherished memories, the joy of crafting experiences together, and the satisfaction of shaping a celebration true to your hearts. And amidst the whirlwind of planning, make sure to take a breather.
Consider your elopement planning adventure as an unforgettable chapter in your love story. Relish in the journey, savor each moment, and eagerly anticipate a day that fully encapsulates the essence of your unique love. Here’s to planning a stress-free elopement that seamlessly integrates into the narrative of your beautiful story.
If you’re ready to start planning your stress-free elopement day, you can use the button below to start the conversation!