Unique Eloping Ideas for your Special Day

April 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment


One of the things we love most about elopements is how they intentionally and beautifully break wedding tradition in the name of authenticity. They are more intimate, relaxing and stress free vs. your conventional eight to twelve hour wedding. Elopements at their core are rebellious weddings; bold statements of couples choosing to make their wedding day completely unique and distinct to them and their story, in privacy.

During the process of planning your own unique elopement, you might be wondering what exactly your elopement day should include? What goes into an elopement ceremony? Do we choose unique one of a kind vows or sayings? Should we add a special touch, such as add a unity plant? Sands? What unique eloping ideas can you incorporate into your day? 

As two veteran photographers who specialize in documenting intimate elopements, We’ve witnessed an array of unique eloping ideas. We are always so amazed when we see our bride and groom incorporate their own unique ideas into their day, whether it’s during their elopement ceremony or any other aspect of their elopement adventure. So we’ve decided to share some of these unique eloping ideas to help inspire your own unique twist for your own elopement celebration.

Many of these eloping ideas listed are ideas we have taken from personally witnessing at our own elopements we have photographed, along with some other ideas we have seen online or have seen in photographs from other locals and what they choose to incorporate into their own elopement. It is a beautiful, personal and distinct touch to your elopement ceremony, as well as your elopement adventure together.


1. Have a Self-Uniting Ceremony

Yes! This is a real thing! There are only a select few states that allow self-solemnization, this is where you don’t need an officiant to get married. Colorado is one of the states that is popular for this type of ceremony. It is one of the most private ceremonies you could have as a couple. In fact, you don't even need a witness or officiant present during any Colorado elopement ceremonies. We think this is the most ultimate type of ceremony for those couples who would like to have solitude and that wish for a private affair. Here is a list of states which allow Self-Uniting Marriages: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, District of Columbia, California, Maine, Nevada and Kansas.


2. Have a Silent First Dance (Let NATURE sing your song)

Traditional weddings, we always see the first dance with either the Bride and Groom or parent. We got this idea, by using prompts with our couples to allow them to act naturally during their pictures. As the Lead Photographer, I came up with my own prompt. Slow dance with your love as if no one is watching, and of course, there is no music playing, this is where imagination comes into play. In this aspect, you both share a slow dance silently, taking in the sounds of nature instead as “your song.” It also allows the couple to have a quiet intimate moment together, breathing in everything around them, including each other.

And I’m not going to lie, this is one of my favorite parts of the elopement day. I get to see my couples sink into this deeper level of connection with each other as they immerse themselves in the silence around them. It’s quite literally the opposite of what you experience with a traditional wedding, where the noise feels like it’s impossible to escape. This one is hands-down one of my favorite eloping ideas on this list because of the intimacy it affords my couples.

3. Vessel or High Elevation Champagne Toast

Who said champagne toasts are only for wedding receptions? If you want to celebrate your nuptials with an expensive bottle of champagne at the top of a hill or mountain, we say do it! It is a lot more fun popping champagne at an elevation than in an indoor venue! of even off the side of a boat or yacht, as we have seen done here in the beautiful state of South Carolina. Shake that bottle and let the elevation/or wind from the ocean do the rest for you! 

4. Take a Dip in the Water together

This one’s certainly one of the most fun elopement ideas on the list. Many of our elopement clients love to end the day in a SPLASH. After their nuptials, they like to get in the water together, whether it is full body or just their feet and legs, it is certainly a unique and refreshing way to end your day, and makes for amazing images! 

5. Have a Picnic
Contrary to popular belief, elopements are not just an hour of time spent in a courthouse. This is your wedding day, not your wedding hour. Because of that, many of my couples have chosen to incorporate a picnic or cooking a meal together into their elopement timeline. Rather than opting for a catered meal like you’d have at a traditional wedding, having a little homemade picnic or spending time in a mountain cabin cooking up breakfast is a fun alternative and by far one of my favorite unique eloping ideas.


6.Swap out Cake for Seafood
Instead of the traditional cake. Swap it out for the food you both love. Whether it be Seafood, or Pizza. Your elopement should speak out about the couple, why not include what food you both love and is dear to your heart.

7. Whisper your Vows
We love when our couples request to whisper their vows to each other, where either of us can hear them. We think it's an amazing way to share your vows more intimately, just between each other. 

9. Write a Love Letter to each other/Long distance texts or letters

Write a love letter and read it to each other the day of your elopement. If you have had a long distance relationship, you will more than likely have an array of letters or text messages that would be appropriate to reflect on that shows the love you have shared between each other over the years.


10. Pledge to Create NEW ADVENTURES together

This is also one of my favorites! Give a unique pledge to always create new adventures together and perhaps recall some old adventures you may have shared. Pledging to always spend time together is and or make time for each other is a start to a solid foundation of not loosing yourselves down the road when you allow everyday life to take over. It also releases stress. Everyone needs alone time, and no better day to start it, than the day of your elopement. 




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