Following on from our previous Blog “Should You Consider an Elopement Wedding”, we wanted to share our top Dos and Don’ts for elopement weddings because, let’s face it, there are going to be those within our inner circle of family and friends that would prefer you to marry at home; however, there are also going to be those that’ll be so excited to join you on your destination wedding, if you’ve decided to invite along a limited number of those you love to share your day with you.
1. Do have a Reveal Plan
Whether it’s before or after your BIG day, telling your family and your closest friends personally will go a long way to saving hurt feelings and getting them on board. Make sure you’ve planned what you’re going to say and ensure you’re both in agreement. You don’t have to explain yourselves, but consider their feelings when they realise that they may be missing out on seeing you on such an important day.
2. Hire a Local Wedding Planner
Photo credit: Duke Photography
This is a no-brainer – even if it’s just the two of you, or a select group for friends and family, having a wedding planner at your destination is key to the smooth-running of your BIG day and to your peace of mind. And with access to their local knowledge and expertise, you’ll save yourself a whole heap of time, money and stress.
3. Get the Legal Stuff Sorted
Make sure you’ve covered all the legal aspects of getting your destination marriage legally recognised in your home country, and that you have all required documentation (and medical checks if required) that you need to take with you. Not all overseas marriages are automatically recognised in our home countries, so ensure that you check the options and legalities well in advance.
4. Inviting a Select Few
Photo credit: Green Shoes Wedding
Consider inviting your parents and/or besties to come with you on your destination wedding – nowadays an elopement wedding often includes taking a small, selected group of your loved ones with you; why not share your holiday of a lifetime with those that mean the most to you!
5. Hire a Photographer
As you’re going to be saving money by having an elopement wedding, do ensure that your budget includes a professional photographer (and/or videographer), so that not only you, but all your loved ones, get to see the true wonder of your BIG day.
1. Don’t Feel Guilty
Photo credit: Erica Camille
There can be a lot of guilt associated with deciding to elope as your nearest and dearest will be disappointed that they won’t be sharing your BIG day with you. Accept that not everyone is going to be happy with your decision, but try not to take it to heart. Once they’ve got used to the idea, do keep them updated on your progress and plans so that they feel involved. Why not find out if it’s possible to arrange a live feed for your ceremony? Even if it’s just someone with a phone or notebook, or better still a professional videographer, trust me, it’ll mean the world to your loved ones back at home.
2. Social Media No-No
If you really are doing the full-on elopement wedding or you’ve just told a select few, don’t just announce it on social media. Even if you’ve already told your family, there will still be others such as your closest friends who may be really, really hurt that you didn’t tell them personally beforehand. So let your besties know in advance and save the Facebook announcement for your acquaintances.
3. Don’t Forgot the After Party
Just because you’ve decided to keep your wedding day small, doesn’t mean you don’t want to celebrate! Send out a marriage announcement with the details of your wedding day and the invites if you’re having a dinner/party/full-blown reception when you get home, so that everyone has something to look forward to.
4. It’s Still Your BIG Day
Photo credit: Coco Tran
Don’t feeling that you should downplay your wedding, just because you’ve decided on an elopement. Get excited! With just a few guests (or none at all), you’ll have room in your budget to really splash out to give yourselves a truly memorable day, whether it’s a stunning villa with full-on house staff to wait on you hand and foot, a private yacht to take sail you away, or round-the-world flight tickets! Spoil yourselves; after all, it’s your special day!
5. Don’t Leave Meeting Your Key Vendors Until Your Wedding Day
Meeting your hair/make-up stylist, wedding planner, photographer and celebrant prior to your wedding day is a good way to calm your nerves, to build your excitement and to make sure they get a sense of you and what you want from them on the day. So allow yourselves time to arrive and settle into your destination wedding location, and ensure you get your hair trials, meetings etc booked in before you arrive.
Photo credit: Golden Hour Studios
No matter what type of wedding you decide on, you’d be very fortunate if you managed to please absolutely everyone. As long as you and your significant other are fully on board with having an elopement wedding at your dream destination, the rest will soon fall into line!
To elope or not to elope? That is the question! There are so many options for weddings nowadays, from the full traditional shebang to the local Registrar or City Hall to getting hitched in your favourite field with a celebrant. However for some of us, we’ve realised that we’re hankering for something else, which, after much discussion, unfolds into an elopement wedding.
This option no longer means disappearing off to marry in secret, without a word to anyone. There are pros and cons to any wedding, whether you’re at home surrounded by family and friends, or it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision; but in reality most ‘elopement’ weddings aren’t spur of the moment at all.
Photo credit: Lauren Fair Photography
Whether you’ve planned it well in advance, or you've spontaneously decided that now is the time to pop the question, then what better way to surprise your other half than with a romantic proposal on a tropical island! Koh Tao, in the Gulf of Thailand, is the perfect place to provide you with that once-in-a-lifetime and jaw-droppingly beautiful backdrop to your proposal.
Here we’ve put together a list of ideas for proposing on Koh Tao, or on any tiny island – wherever that may be!
Feeling adventurous and don’t mind a bit of a hike? Koh Tao enjoys some of the most stunning views in the world, so why not take advantage of them and make your proposal and the obligatory proposal selfies as breathtaking as the vista.
There was a pretty ring, a couple in love and a tropical beach... read Matt and Linka's proposal story from the beautiful island of Koh Tao
Matt, 28 years old and Linka, 29 years old.
The Proposal Venue
Whitening Bar & Restaurant, Mae Haad, Koh Tao.
Utterly romantic with a beachside view.
‘First Look’ photography is the new kid in town and it’s growing in popularity. If you’re not sure what it is or if you’ve have never heard of it, it’s that magical moment when your spouse-to-be first sets eyes on you, the beloved bride, and both your emotions come rushing out. For me, it is one of the most powerful photos taken at a wedding where I make sure I have the tissues ready! A growing trend is to have this intimate moment privately BEFORE your ceremony, with just your wedding photographer, to capture that special, candid first look between you both.
Photo credit: The Youngrens
This is something that will split most people into one camp or the other – you’ll either be blown away by the idea and be calling your wedding planner right now to make sure you include this in your wedding, or you’ll be wondering why on Earth you’d want to lose that moment when you first lock eyes coming down the aisle.
This decision is down to the both of you because that first look will take your breath away; your heart will want to explode with the overwhelming wave of love that you’re both feeling for each other in that single moment of time; you may forget to breathe, or burst into tears or simply be grinning from ear to ear. However you both react, this is one of the most intimate moments of your life together, so deciding if this moment will be before the ceremony, or as you walk down the aisle, has to be the right call for both of you.
Here’s our lowdown on the pros and cons of having a First Look photo shoot: