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How to Elope: A Complete Guide

Marcela Diaz



I'm a New England-based fine art wedding and engagement photographer. With my unwavering commitment, my objective is to skillfully encapsulate the intimate moments that unfold during your wedding day.

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A bride and groom smile at each other as the bride raises her bridal bouquet into the air during their elopement. Image by Boston, Massachusetts wedding photographer Marcela Plosker and overlaid with text that reads How To Elope: A Complete Guide.

So, you’ve decided to get married and you’re thinking about eloping. That’s so exciting! Maybe you’re still wondering exactly how to elope. It’s not the most common type of wedding, so it makes sense that you would still have some questions.

Luckily, I have some answers for you! This complete guide on how to elope contains all my top tips on planning your elopement based on my experience as a wedding and elopement photographer in Boston.

How to Elope:

Hire a wedding coordinator

For any couple trying to find the best tips on how to elope, I highly recommend considering hiring a wedding coordinator. One of the best aspects of elopements is how intimate they are. However, this also means that more work can fall on you since fewer people are attending your wedding. Even though it’s a very small kind of wedding, there are still lots of moving parts and logistical details to sort out. This is why having a day-of coordinator or wedding planner can be so worth it! Your wedding coordinator will alleviate so much stress and work from you so that you can fully soak in your special day. For example, while your planner is organizing everything for your ceremony, you can focus on taking all of your gorgeous wedding portraits!

If you’re looking for a Massachusets-based wedding planner, I’d look into any of these amazing coordinators:

Choose an elopement date

One of the first steps to planning your elopement is choosing a date. Consider whether you and your fiancé have a favorite season of the year or day that is meaningful to you both. Maybe you both love New England’s vibrant, cozy fall weather. Or maybe you love the idea of getting married on the anniversary of the day you met. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a day to elope. Just make sure that whatever date you choose, it’s a day that feels special to you! 

A bride and groom smile while at the altar during their elopement as an example of how to elope. Image by wedding and elopement photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts, Marcela Plosker.

Choose a location

Along with choosing an elopement date, you’ll also need to decide on a location or venue for your special day. Elopements are super fun because you can choose a location or venue that may not work for larger, more traditional weddings. The possibilities are almost endless! You could get married at one of New England’s breathtaking hiking destinations or go for a classic downtown Boston elopement. If being inside is more of your vibe, you can always opt for a courthouse wedding or even at your favorite restaurant!

If you’re interested in an outdoor location, keep in mind what the weather in Massachusets might be like on the dates you’re considering for your elopement. An indoor ceremony may be more realistic if you want to get married during the winter.

Decide on how many people you’ll have attend

As we said earlier, elopements are small, intimate weddings. Some couples choose to have several guests witness their wedding, while others keep it to just themselves, the officiant, and a photographer.

When figuring out how to elope, it’s super important for you and your fiancé to be on the same page about how many guests you want to attend your elopement. This way, you’ll be able to ensure your guest list (or lack thereof) is exactly what you want it to be.  The truth is: you may offend some people by eloping and not inviting them. By deciding how many guests (if any) to invite and sticking to your plan, it will help prevent you from inviting people purely out of obligation. After all, your wedding day is about you and your fiancé only! Do what feels right for the two of you, not everyone else. 

Hire an elopement photographer

As you’re considering how many people to have present on your wedding day, I recommend that you add in an elopement photographer to your final count. Your big day is going to be the most beautiful and romantic day, and having wedding photos to look back on forever is so worth it! If you’re worried that having an extra person around may diminish the intimate feel of your day, look specifically for a wedding photographer who specializes in New England elopements. Whenever I photograph elopements, I love to keep things light and peaceful to maintain the intimate, romantic atmosphere of the day. An experienced elopement photographer won’t take away from your wedding, but instead will make your day even more magical and fun!

When it comes to decor, invest in florals

Some couples like a more minimalist decor style for their elopements, while others like to go all out in this department. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do elopement decor. Your best bet is to pick a style that fits you and your fiancé’s aesthetic. 

However, I do have a tip that I like to give every couple wondering how to elope. No matter your style, invest in florals for your elopement wedding! Whether you want to do your ceremony in front of a huge floral backdrop or pick up a simple bouquet and some greenery, you can’t go wrong! There are absolutely gorgeous floral options for any kind of wedding, and these flowers will add lots of variety to your wedding photos.

A bride and groom smile at each other while standing on the steps of a cathedral style building during their elopement. Image taken by Boston, Massachusetts wedding photographer Marcela Plosker as an example of how to elope.

My favorite tip on how to elope: make the day your own!

Finally, this is probably my favorite tip on how to elope. My last piece of advice is: really make your wedding day your own! I know I’ve implied this throughout this whole post, but it’s so important for planning an elopement that it deserves its own section.

Feel free to plan as traditional or non-traditional a wedding day as you’d like. Don’t want to wear a traditional white wedding dress? Ditch it for whatever makes you feel the most fabulous! Plan a day that feels truly enjoyable to you and your fiancé. Maybe have a picnic at the park afterward or do something else you two enjoy doing together. The sky’s the limit!

Now you know how to elope!

Now that you’ve read this guide, you know all the essential details on how to elope! The main thing to remember is that this day is all about you and your fiancé, so do whatever makes you feel the happiest. The planning process shouldn’t be stressful or overwhelming; it should make you even more excited to get married. So, don’t forget to have fun as you plan your magical elopement!

If you have any other questions about eloping or need an elopement photographer, send me a message.

Xoxo, Marcela

North Shore, Massachusetts and Boston Wedding Photographer Marcela Plosker sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee

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