After careful consideration or on a wild impulse you have decided to elope. You’ve got your license and you’re ready to go…at least within the next 60 days. This doesn’t mean that you get to forgo all the planning of the big bash, it just means you get to do it on a micro scale.
(For more about eloping, make sure that you go back and read Let’s Elope – Part 1.)
The Venue – Once you have your North Carolina wedding license you can get married anywhere in the state as soon as the license is issued and you have your officiant. You can be wed in a chapel, at the beach, in the courthouse, at your favorite bar, in the library’s sci-fi section, or just about any spot you and your beloved deem to be the place for you. And the time of day is only dependent on your venue being open and you being awake.
The Guests – The minimalist wedding is the two of you and your two witnesses. The witnesses can be strangers to you or someone dear, as long as they sign off on the marriage certificate saying that they witnessed your nuptials. You may want to invite your parents or your best buds to be there when you take the plunge. An elopement doesn’t have to be a secret, although many times it is, and either of you may feel the need or desire to have a few of your kith and kin present for moral support and to share the joyful moment with you.
The Couture – You can wear what you like for your elopement. You may decide to spring for a fancy dress or a new suit, matching leather jackets to go with your new motorcycle, or just pull something you love from your closet and don that for your gay wedding apparel. Wear something that makes you happy, something that when you look at your wedding pictures years from now it will give you the warm fuzzies.
The Accessories – If you’re a bride who doesn’t want to carry a big bouquet consider a smaller nosegay, a corsage that you can slip on your wrist or pin to your dress, or a sweet rose headband or floral accent for your hair, and a boutonniere for the groom. You can forgo them completely, of course, but flowers are romantic and what is more romantic that eloping?
The Photos – We all know you can do selfies; everyone can do selfies! But this may be the one of those times that you’d like to have someone else grab a great shot (or many) of you for posterity. You can have a photographer capture the wedding as it happens, follow you around for the day, or just do a lovely portrait of you (two). You’ll get the star treatment and it will make people wonder who that special couple is with their personal paparazzi.
The Party – You may have a party for two at your favorite vegan food truck, or ask your clan to meet you at the diner to spring the news on them. If you have a morning wedding, scoot out for brunch with your tribe. In the early afternoon, lunch is luscious or if it is later and not quite time for cocktails then go with cake and champagne. This is your chance to have a catered picnic for two at the beach, go to that insanely expensive restaurant you’ve always wondered about, or have PB&Js in the park. You may end up just grabbing something on the road or at the airport if you are traveling immediately after you do “I do!” Whatever you decide, it will be and should be memorable.
The Announcement – Before you change your Facebook status and post those selfies you know you will take, clearly communicate your news to your VIPs. This includes parents, siblings, BFFs, or whomever you are closest to and who have been looking out for you over the past many years. If you can’t do it in person then go for the phone call or Facetime. The type and order of communication is directly proportionate to the value of the relationship. For instance, if you kept this a secret from your parents you need to make that face to face announcement and be prepared for tears…hopefully joyful ones.
Eloping has the benefit of being an efficient way to wed. It is not for everyone, but if you have an adventurous spirit, would rather spend your money elsewhere, or just don’t want to deal with the stress of planning a big wedding then go get that license and take the plunge!