7 Things to Consider when Planning the Perfect Elopement


Black and white photo of Bob and Christine's elopement wedding on Koh Tao, planned by Forever Lovestruck weddings

Lisa Lark Photography


Elopements are the current trend in the wedding world. Due a little bit to the current pandemic times, but not entirely – it’s becoming way more acceptable for couples to plan their wedding their way, adding in the aspects or traditions they want, and leaving out those that don’t cut the mustard. 

There may be other reasons for choosing an elopement, such as saving money to buy a house, wanting a totally private ‘just us’ experience, or there may even be family issues.  You might just want to keep your wedding as low-key as possible and celebrate with friends and family at a later date.


So how do you plan the perfect elopement?

At Forever Lovestruck, we’re in the know on how to plan the perfect elopement, as you can see here with Nikki & Jeff’s wedding on Koh Tao. They were seeking an intimate beach wedding, off the beaten track, and I think you’ll agree that the photos show how truly magical that was.  This adventurous couple added a few extra elements too!  They woke up quite literally at the crack of dawn to hike to the beautiful Hin Wong Bay for a private pre-wedding shoot at sunrise.  After a magical ceremony, they hopped onto a traditional longtail boat to whisk them away to their romantic dinner for two – quite the perfect day!


Elopment wedding of Nikki and Jeff during sunset at Koh Tao

Aidan Dockery Photography


What do you want? 

As an elopement wedding is about the two of you, you can design it any way you want without having to be concerned about others.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will your family be understandably sad, but fully supportive of your decision to elope?
  • Do you want to elope overseas?
  • If so, do you want to get legally married overseas as well?  If so, what is involved?
  • Where’s your dream location?
  • What type of venue do you have in mind?
  • What parts of the elopement are going to be important to you?  The décor, the ceremony, the photography, the romantic private dinner?
  • Where would you like to honeymoon?
  • Are you considering holding a party at home upon your return? (Don’t forget to budget for that!)

Drone photo looking down into an open boat with Jessica and Alicia lying down side by side on their wedding day at Koh Tao, Thailand.

Huw Penson Photography


Set your budget! 

Whether it’s a large wedding, a tiny elopement, or something in between, you need to set a realistic budget but also allow some flexibility with a contingency pot for any extras you may wish to add later.

Prioritise what is most important to you both.  Make a ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ list and budget accordingly.

If photographs are a top priority, ensure that you invest in a photographer that you absolutely love, but be clever with your timeline so that you get all the essential photos from your day.  If an abundance of flowers is your top priority, then maybe cut back on a couple of your ‘nice to haves’.


Hire a local planner 

We strongly advise this, no matter what!

If you are having a destination elopement, then hiring a planner local to that specific area will help you tremendously.  They will know everything there is to know about that location, they’ll manage all the local vendors on your behalf and will ensure that your wedding day is a beautiful, magical and stress-free experience.   

If you’re getting married locally, it’s a great idea to hire a planner who offers elopement packages.  They know what needs to be done, will ensure that your day will run smoothly, and will help you to plan your perfect elopement with access to the best vendors in your local area.


Nikki and Jeff holding hands under a palm tree, looking out to a sunset on Koh Tao on their elopement wedding day planned by Forever Lovestruck weddings.

Aidan Dockery Photography



Many destination wedding planners, including Forever Lovestruck, have packages that include everything. That way you don’t need to be concerned about your décor, catering, flowers, or any other element of your day – you simply arrive at your dream location and everything you’ve planned unfolds before you. 

However, if your destination planner does not include these items, you will need to think about which suppliers or services you will require. 

Questions you need to ask yourself here are:

  • Will you need to look for a rental company to decorate your venue?
  • Are you looking for an elaborate lighting set up? If so, you will need to find an events lighting specialist.
  • Are you having a small wedding reception with guests? If this is the case you will need to think about drinks, food, and quite possibly, entertainment.

Hiring all these things separately tends to add up, particularly in your initial outlay as you are paying multiple deposits to secure each vendor.  Hiring a planner who offers a ‘one stop shop’ not only reduces the amount of vendors you are managing, it will save your sanity!   


In terms of legalities, weddings and elopements are no different.

Elopements still require the same legal paperwork such as proof of marital status, your passport/birth certificate and depending on the country you’re getting married in, other documentation.

Make sure you find out what is needed well in advance of your wedding date and have these documents ready.  For destination elopements, your planner will be able to help you with this. 


Eri and Wonseok toasting their wedding day on the beach at Koh Tao at the elopement wedding planned by Forever Lovestruck.

Anne Sophie Maestracci Photography



Announcing your elopement is bound to make you feel slightly nervous!

Talking about your elopement to your parents and closest friends may make you feel anxious or stressed. You don’t want to hurt your family or friends by leaving them out of a celebration they probably feel entitled to be a part of, however you also don’t want to be pressured into getting married in a way that doesn’t feel like you, just to please them.

You and your partner may wish to talk to your immediate families and let them know about your elopement and the reasons for doing so, well before you decide to announce you got married to the rest of the world!  Choose your words carefully.  Let them see how excited you are about planning a special day that allows you to focus on you, and your relationship. You could even let them in on all the little details to make them feel a part of the magic.

Another fabulous idea is to let your family plan an engagement party for you – this way they get to celebrate with you and also feel involved in planning a part of your special day. This is a great way to announce to your wider circle as well. Social media can also be used to an advantage here by announcing your elopement, before or after, to the rest of your friends.

If you’re planning on holding a party after your elopement, send out announcement cards to those you’d like to attend. It doesn’t need to be a huge affair – it can be as simple as planning a barbecue at your home.

So, take some time to think about how and who you’d like to announce your elopement to, and come up with a grand plan to let your family see how amazing an elopement will be for you!


Koh Tao Wedding

Lisa Lark Photography


The C Word

COVID…  before booking or paying deposits for any part of your wedding day, it’s so important to check postponement or cancellation policies due to Covid.

Take the time to check carefully with each vendor as well as your airline and accommodation, if you’re planning a destination wedding.  Some vendors may charge a ‘rebooking fee’ and some may not refund anything at all.

At Forever Lovestruck, we believe that if you are forced to postpone your wedding due to global circumstances, you shouldn’t be penalised for this in any way.  We are more than happy to set a new date at no additional charge.

In short:

  • DO: Reach out to suppliers, your airline and hotel
  • DON’T: Book without checking the terms
  • DO: Remember the bigger picture – ultimately, it’s about the two of you and your wedding day, doing it exactly the way you want it!


A drone photo looking down on Maaike and Nahum in the water in their wedding finery on their elopement wedding day on Koh Tao.

Huw Penson Photography



Are you thinking of eloping with your significant other?  Head on over here to some of our other elopement blogs – Should You Consider an Elopement Wedding? or here to  The Do’s and Don’ts of an Elopement Wedding to help guide your further. 

We hope you found these tips useful, and if you’d like to find out more about how a destination elopement works, you can read all about our complete elopement package here.