1/30 Your Fun and Fabulous Elopement and How to Make It Happen

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Your Fun and Fabulous Elopement and How to Make It Happen

Yes. Have the Wedding You Want.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $28,000, whereas grabbing your Sig-O (does anyone use that term anymore?) and driving to the courthouse, or if you’d rather, hiring an officiant to marry you on the hilltop of your choice? Even if you tack a fancy dinner onto that, it’s still only a few hundred bucks.

So, you can’t really talk about Broke-Ass Bride brilliance without talking about Eloping. I’m a wedding officiant, too, and last year was big on elopements for me. Historic monuments, beaches, parks, the balcony at the AMC theater  (no lie). Short, fast and very, very sweet.

But before you head out the door with a pair of shiny rings and visions of the Honeymoon night dancing in your head, there are four important questions you need answers to:


“Because we want to” is a perfectly acceptable answer! “Because we can’t afford a big wedding,” or “I don’t want to have to deal with a lot of people” or “Because she needs health insurance NOW,” or “Because he’s moving out of the country next month,” or “Because we were going to be on vacation anyway,” I have heard them all.  The important thing is that what goes at the end of that “Because” sentence is “ … and we were going to get married anyway,” AKA, “The Love.” People are going to ask, repeatedly, so you might as well have an answer. Also good for you to know why you’re doing this, too. Side note: If their follow up question is, “Are you pregnant??” I give you permission to laugh in their face and not answer. They’ll figure it out in a few months, either way, right?


Location, location, location? Logistics, logistics, logistics. Even Elopements have to be mapped out. Going to the courthouse requires money, and your IDs, and knowing when and if that particular courthouse is performing ceremonies. Oh, and if you need a third person to be a witness. “Destination” weddings require tickets and hotel reservations. Beach and park ceremonies might require a permit or at least a heads up. You can try and “guerilla” it, but do yourself a favor and find out what the rules are. You rebel, you.

One more thing on that: A public location is a public location. Keep in mind that other people at that location will stare, hover, and, you know, exist. But at the end, they will also clap and cheer, which is pretty cool.


Is it just going to be the two of you and your officiant, or are you inviting a few friends and family to come along? Is anyone going to need a chair or a table? Do you want a bouquet, a wedding dress or a tux/suit? Jeans for everyone? RedBull toast after your kiss ? A photographer or a videography to record it for Facebook and posterity? You can do whatever you want, of course … but figure out what you want to do!


Today, tomorrow? In a couple of months so your Mom can fly down? The second day you’re in Vegas? Think about it. But not too long, or else someone is going to wedge a dinner party for 50 or a three-tier wedding cake in there. Seriously.

I know you’ve thought about it, and if you haven’t thought about it, that’s because you’re doing it! So, why did you decide to elope, or why did you decide not to? Let me know in the comments below, along with any questions on how to pull it off. And if you would like more information about me and my little part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

Have fun and I’ll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.