While we don’t see the traditional wedding day going away anytime soon, it is clear that elopements and small, intimate ceremonies are becoming an increasingly popular trend these days. And we can totally understand why. Just think about it: you and the one you love, hand in hand in a beautiful, private place, declaring your love for each other in front of maybe one or two of your closest friends. It leaves very little room for the normal wedding stresses like wedding costs or guest lists. It’s super romantic and – let’s face it – practical. Eloping obviously isn’t right for everyone, but for those of you who think it might be the best idea for your wedding, let’s talk about how to plan the perfect elopement.

1. PICK THE PERFECT LOCATION

When you’re eloping you really open up the list of possible ceremony locations. You can go off the beaten path without worrying if guests can get to your ceremony or not. You can elope in the same places that you would have booked if you had a bigger wedding ceremony, or you could elope in the woods at the top of a tree if that’s your thing. The sky is the limit. We recommend picking a spot that means something to the both of you. Maybe where you had your first date, or a place where you shared a significant moment in your relationship. Another great idea is to travel to a place you’ve never been and elope on your vacation. That way you can even have your wedding and honeymoon in the same spot and make it an epic getaway.

Last summer we photographed Colleen and Kaz, a couple from British Columbia who flew to St. John’s on a romantic elopement getaway. They had never been to the Rock and thought the landscape would make an unforgettable backdrop for their intimate ceremony. They chose to get married on a cliff in Cuckhold’s Cove, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was gorgeous, and they certainly didn’t need to get a florist or decorator involved. The day after their elopement they took the ferry to Fogo Island for a honeymoon at Fogo Island Inn. How very romantic!

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2. DO AN ACTIVITY YOU LOVE

If you and your partner love hiking together, go for a hike on your wedding day. Maybe even get married on that hiking trail, as we already recommended to you in #1! Love bowling together? Go bowling after your ceremony! You don’t have to worry about being on anyone else’s schedule or meeting anyone else’s expectations of what a wedding day should be. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy each other’s company. Think about the activities you love doing together and work them into your wedding day.

Colleen and Kaz’s idea of the perfect day involved a picnic basket, blanket, and some champagne so they could share a lovely cliff-side toast with their closest friends right after they said I Do. It was so perfect and relaxed. After their champagne toast they joined us for a sunset hike around Cuckhold’s Cove, Quidi Vidi, and Signal Hill.

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3. YOU DO YOU!

An elopement is a perfect opportunity to be as creative as you want to be. There’s no better time to do something different than an intimate elopement. You can be creative not only with your location or your wedding activities but also with your decorations and food ideas. The theme that runs throughout every one of our suggestions for the perfect elopement is to make the day about YOU. We obviously feel like this is important for any wedding, but we know that it can be hard to make things personal and unique when you’re having a bigger ceremony or reception. With an elopement, you can take everything you’ve ever learned about planning a wedding and throw it out the window. Get married where you want to get married. Invite the close friends or family you want to invite and keep that list small if that’s what you want. Fill the day with activities you want to do on your wedding day. Wear what you want to wear. Make your wedding look exactly how you want it to look.

Colleen and Kaz are perfect examples of how special your day can be when you make your wedding day personal and unique. One thing we absolutely loved about the day was that Colleen didn’t have a bouquet for the ceremony, so she wandered around the cliffside in Cuckhold’s Cove and did some foraging. She came back with a breathtaking bouquet of blueberry bushes and twigs, probably one of our favourite bouquets to date. They made their wedding their own, which is honestly something that gets lost on a lot of wedding days.

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4. CAPTURE THE DAY

We are obviously huge fans of getting the right photographer to capture your wedding day, but this takes on a whole different meaning for an elopement. Because there won’t be many people there to see the story unfolding, we think it’s important to get a photographer to capture that story for you. Get someone who will photograph the little moments and the little details you chose for your wedding day. Chances are you will want to share those memories with your loved ones who weren’t present at the ceremony.

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5. WRITE DOWN YOUR MEMORIES OF THE DAY

A great post-elopement or even honeymoon activity would be to sit down with your partner and write out a list of all the memorable moments that happened on your wedding day. We think this is a great exercise for any wedding, but much like the photos, we think it will hold an extra special meaning because the day was only witnessed by the both of you, and maybe a friend or two. It will be interesting to see which moments stood out to you and which ones stood out to your partner. And it’s a great thing to look back on years later while reminiscing about your perfect elopement!

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As mentioned almost a hundred times already, as long as you make your elopement about you and your partner, the rest will fall into place. Focus on the love you share and plan out your idea of the perfect day, and your elopement will be the dream wedding you’ve always wanted.

If you’re still on the fence about making your wedding an elopement or intimate ceremony, check out the rest of the photos from Colleen and Kaz’s Cuckhold’s Cove dreamy elopement below.

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Thank you, Colleen and Kaz, for letting us be a part of your Newfoundland elopement. Your wedding was such a beautiful, special experience and a day that remains very memorable to both of us.

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