The ultimate guide to help you plan the perfect elopement ceremony

Elopement ceremony ideas – the ultimate guide to plan the perfect elopement ceremony

The moment you’ve been waiting for – the moment where you exchange vows and promise to spend the rest of your lives together, and officially get married! The elopement ceremony is the main event of your elopement, and when this part of the day rolls around, you want to make sure it’s as meaningful, special, and absolutely magical as you dreamed it would be. This guide is all about planning the perfect elopement ceremony – with some tips, things to do, and some unique elopement ceremony ideas!time adventures together, a Norway elopement might be right for you.

Let’s dive in…

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - find the perfect location

Find the Perfect Elopement Ceremony Location

As they say in real estate, location, location, location! The spot you choose for your ceremony will have a huge effect on the vibe, how it feels in the moment – so when you’re thinking about potential elopement locations, think about where you want to be when you marry your best friend. You’ll remember this moment for the rest of your lives, so choose a spot that speaks to the two of you!

When you start narrowing down options for your elopement location, think about what kind of scenery you want to be surrounded by – are you drawn to snow capped mountains, alpine lakes, lush green forests, or rugged beaches? Think about what kind of experience you want to have – do you want to hike, or would you prefer a spot that’s easier to get to?

Another big factor in choosing the perfect spot is privacy – a secluded spot where you can exchange vows in complete solitude will make a huge difference, so look for places that aren’t as well known. 
If you need help deciding on the perfect place for your elopement ceremony, take this quiz!

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - write your own vows

Write Your Own Vows

Writing your own vows is so much more special and meaningful than having prewritten ones, or the generic “I do’s.” For your elopement ceremony, create your own vows to share with your partner! Don’t worry if you aren’t a strong writer – what matters to your partner is that you speak from the heart and that your vows come from you.

Elopement Ceremony Ideas – Things to Do During the Ceremony

Most elopement ceremonies include reading vows, exchanging wedding rings, and sealing the deal with a kiss.

But, you can also personalize your elopement ceremony with some fun, unique elements to make it your own.

Here are some elopement ceremony ideas, and remember, there are no rules, so celebrate your own way!

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - include friends and family

Elopement Ceremony Ideas to Include Your Family

Some couples want to include their family or friends in their elopement day, and you can definitely do that! 

You can include them by asking someone to officiate, having a flower child or ring bearer, giving your family time to speak at the ceremony, or just having them be there as guests.

If you prefer a more private experience and you want your elopement day to be shared between just the two of you, there are still some ways to include your family in your elopement ceremony. You can have them write letters for you to read, have them record videos for you to watch, ask them for “something borrowed” to bring with you, or even call them from your ceremony spot!

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - make a time capsule

Make a Time Capsule

Another fun elopement ceremony idea is to make a time capsule for the two of you to open later – on an anniversary a few years in the future. You can write letters to each other and put them in, add some sentimental items or maybe a gift, and anything else that you’ll want to open later!

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - plan a surprise for your partner

Plan a Surprise for Your Partner

A really special way to make your elopement ceremony unique is to plan a surprise for your partner. This can be anything from a sentimental gift to pulling out your guitar and singing for them! You know your partner better than anyone, so plan something that they’ll love.

How to plan the perfect elopement ceremony - include your dog

Include Your Dog in Your Elopement Ceremony

Your pup is part of the family, and you can definitely bring them along for your elopement ceremony! They can be there to stand by your side (like they do every day), or you can give them a role – like carrying the rings. Check out this guide for some more dog friendly elopement ceremony ideas!

Add a Unity Ceremony

Unity ceremonies are a popular way to symbolize two people coming together, and incorporating one into your elopement ceremony is a great way to add a unique twist! There are all kinds of cultural and religious traditions for unity ceremonies, as well as some just-for-fun things you can incorporate.

Here are a few ideas for a unity ceremony!


Handfasting is an ancient Celtic ritual that involves binding your hands together with a rope or cord, to symbolize that the two of you are now connected and bound to each other. Usually, an officiant does this and reads the vows, but you can personalize it to make it your own!

Knot Tying

Another idea for a unity ceremony is literally tying the knot! The couple ties two cords in a fisherman’s knot, which symbolizes being stronger together and supporting each other.

Candle Lighting

This is one of the most popular elopement ceremony ideas – the couple takes two separate candles that are lit, and uses them to light a bigger candle in the middle, symbolizing the two flames becoming one!

Sand Ceremony

In a sand ceremony, the couple takes two vials of sand (usually two different colors), and takes turns pouring them into a larger container. Once the two vials are combined, the sand can never be separated again – just like the two of you! This is especially fitting for a beach ceremony.

Tree Planting

Another unique elopement ceremony idea is to plant a tree, or pot a plant together! You can either plant a seed, or bring a potted plant that you already have. The tradition is to have two more pots of soil, taken from somewhere significant to you – for example, the place where each of you grew up – and then you take the two and combine them, and finish off by watering the plant.

Sandwich Making

A fun way to do a unity ceremony is to make up your own! A common way that couples do this is to make a sandwich – each person will make one half, and then you combine them to make a yummy snack.

Elopement ceremony planning

Planning the Perfect Elopement Ceremony

Your day isn’t like any other – because the whole point of eloping is that you get to plan a day that’s completely customized and perfect for you! As an elopement photographer, my job is to get to know you, so that I can help you plan your one of a kind wedding day. 
I’ll give you tips and ideas that reflect who you are, and be there every step of the way as you plan the perfect elopement ceremony! Contact me to get started, and let’s start dreaming up your elopement day.

The ultimate guide to help you plan the perfect elopement ceremony
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