The Elopement of a Lifetime: Ceremony Ideas for Your Elopement

Say goodbye to the traditional wedding norms and hello to an elopement that’s tailored to your love story. With a little creativity and planning, you can create a ceremony that’s as unique as you and your partner are.

As a luxury elopement photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing the most intimate and romantic moments of couples’ lives. There’s something truly special about eloping – the intimate intentional decision of making a commitment to one another in a secluded, serene setting, surrounded only by nature and each other. It’s a chance to put the spotlight on your love and connection, and to create a day that’s truly unique and personal to you and your partner.

But with so many options and ideas out there, planning an elopement can be overwhelming. That’s why I’m excited to share my expertise and insights with you, to help you make your special day truly unforgettable.

What to Do During Your Ceremony

Regardless of how you choose to do the legal side of getting married, there are numerous traditions that you can decide to incorporate on the day you say your vows – or you can skip them all and decide on your own.

Here are some ideas of what exactly you can do during your elopement or intimate wedding ceremony:

  • Read Personalised Vows. Reflect upon your relationship so far, declare any promises that you want to share about your future together, express any emotions that you are feeling, and commit your life to your partner.
  • Exchange Rings or another token. Rings are traditional since they represent an infinity with no beginning and no end, but you could exchange any other symbol that is important to and honours your relationship.
  • First Kiss & First Dance. Celebrate some exciting firsts in your new married life together with your first kiss as a married couple and your first dance.
  • Incorporate Music. Play your favourite song on a portable speaker, have a musician play your favourite tune, or surprise your partner with your musical talent by playing your own instrument or singing an original song.
  • Sage Smudging. If allowed and safe (please check fire bans and always leave no trace), this ceremony requires a bundle of sage, a way of lighting it, and a bowl. The intention is that you light the sage, which is symbolic for replacing any negative energies with positive, healing ones. You can also use an essential oil sage spray if fire isn’t safe.
  • Bio-degradable confetti. Get your celebrant to make an announcement about the confetti toss before the ceremony starts so guests know what to expect when it ends. Walk slow and pick a song that’ll get the good vibes going for you both to walk to. Get everyone to throw upwards, not at your face (the more time in the air the better!) If you’re having your confetti toss in an open field, along a beach or somewhere else that provides a light background, choose rich colours, such as royal blues, deep purples or bright pinks. Hold hands, laugh, kiss dip in the middle of the aisle makes for incredible photos! If you have fun it’ll show!
  • Read Letters. You can ask friends or family members who aren’t physically present on your day to write you a letter for you to read during your ceremony. This is a beautiful way to feel their presence and support.
  • Handfasting This is originally a Celtic pagan ceremony where the hands of you and your partner are bound together by a braided rope, and it both figuratively and literally joins you and your partner. You can also have friends or family members participating in tying cords around your hands.
  • Unity Ceremony. A unity ceremony consists of joining two parts of something into a singular piece, and it is representative of merging your life together with your partner’s life. Traditionally, this has been done by lighting a unity candle, but you can also combine two different colours of sand or plant a tree together–whatever feels like a unification of you and your partner.
  • Surprises & Gifts If you have a special surprise or gift for your partner, whether it’s a handmade gift, jewelry, or something else, giving it to your partner during your ceremony can be really special!
  • Create a Space for Those Not Present. As a gesture to a special person or people who could not physically attend your day, you can include a moment of silence during your ceremony, or incorporate a memento from them into your wedding day.

As you plan your elopement ceremony, remember that this is your special day – it’s about celebrating your love and commitment to each other. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add personal touches that make it truly unique. Whether you choose to include traditional elements or create new ones, the most important thing is that it feels authentic and meaningful to both of you.

Remember to take time to cherish each other on this special day – after all, this is just the beginning of your new life together! If you’re looking for someone to capture it all for you, reach out today and let’s start planning the most incredible experience of your lives together.