With cost of an average wedding today topping $29,000, more and more people are choosing to save their money and elope. However, eloping doesn’t have to be about getting married in the middle of nowhere in unimpressive attire, without your family and friends. There are several ways to make elopement a special experience.

Plan Your Elopement

Getting married isn’t something that you should do on a whim. If you do decide to elope, pick a date and place and make your air ticket and hotel reservations in good time. Most people prefer to elope to Las Vegas because there are lots of wedding chapels and churches. It also doubles up as a fun honeymoon destination.

Apply for a Marriage License Two Weeks in Advance

While eloping on a whim may seem romantic, doing so will probably mean that you won’t have a marriage license during the ceremony. However, if you apply for the license two weeks before your elopement, you’ll be free to marry in your chosen state for at least 30 days.

Consider Bringing a Few Friends or Relatives With You

Unless all your friends and relatives are completely against the two of you getting married, there is no reason why you can’t ask a few people to come with you. This way, you will have someone else to discuss your wedding with other than your significant other. However before informing them of your plans, make sure they can keep their mouths shut.

Arrange for a Wedding Officiant/Minister

The one person that can really ruin your elopement is an officiant or minister who doesn’t respect your unique desires. If possible, get someone who specializes in elopement ceremonies; they will most probably know what to do. Also, plan the wedding ceremony with them.

Special Attire

Eloping isn’t really a good reason for you to look shabby on your wedding day. You want to look good in the photos so that later on when you show your wedding photos to your kids, you won’t have to explain why you looked shabby on your wedding day. For the bride, a simple white cocktail dress will do and for the groom, a casual linen suit. It’s best to avoid wedding gown with cathedral trains as these can be a bother depending of course on your location.

Find a Good Photographer

When people elope, they often forget that they need pictures of their special day. This causes them to end up with dull, unimaginative photos taken by whatever photographer they could find at the chapel. To avoid this, find a photographer in advance and make sure they understand the intimate nature of your elopement.

Post-Elopement Party

Given that your parents, siblings and friends won’t be too happy that you excluded them from your special day, you may need to throw a post-elopement party. Remember, this party isn’t a must but it can act as a peace offering between you and your family and friends.

An elopement just like a traditional wedding can be special too. You only need to plan whatever resonates with you whether it’s a ceremony in the woods or on the beach.

Thinking of eloping to Las Vegas? Don’t let your wedding guest and post-elopement party guests walk away without one of these gorgeous Las Vegas favors by Ashley Nelson, the author of this article.