I like to think of destination weddings as the ultimate wedding experience. Not only are you about to live the day you have been dreaming of but you get to do it in a unique-for-your own-reasons place. Having a destination elopement though brings everything to a whole other level!
Elopements are all about love, intimacy and personal moments but doing it in an other country – or even in a different continent – can make it a bit tricky. Start planning in advance, be prepared to hear complaints from your family and close friends (a post party will calm everyone down ), and make sure you have everything you dream of!
Choose the right location
Destination elopement usually go hand in hand with honeymoon, so the location is important! My opinion in regards to the perfect location might be biased, but I don’t think that anyone can disagree with me in saying that Santorini is one of the most romantic places on earth!
My tip: avoid the month of August as it is the warmest and most crowded month. September is always better!
Find the right vendors
Just because it is an intimate wedding, this doesn’t mean that you are going to be on your own. The wedding planner and the photographer are the most important ones. It’s them with whom you will be spending the entire day with, they will be witnessing your wedding and sharing this memory with you.
My tip: Always ask for a Skype call before you go ahead booking any of those two to make sure that they are the perfect person for you and the job. Local vendors are always more preferable as they know all the pros and cons of the place your are going to.
Destination elopement make the venue selection much easier, as you do not have to think about logistics like guests capacity, venue access etc. It can take place anywhere you want.
My tip: Santorini is full of beautiful hotels with balconies and terraces with Caldera view perfect for the ceremony. Before booking a hotel ask about their wedding options and combine your accommodation with the wedding ceremony. The areas of Imerovigli and Firostefani are the best!
Just because it is only going to be the two of you, this doesn’t mean that they day isn’t special or you don’t get to have what you always dreamed of, it is still your wedding!
Getting a bridal bouquet, decorating the wedding venue, and arranging a romantic dinner to end your day is the best way to go. Don’t forget to add your personal touch in everything you do!
Photos – photos – photos
You want to share your story with your friends and family and make them feel like they were there with you. Book the photographer for at least 5 hours to have time to capture everything. The day schedule can be:
1 hour – preparation and details
30 minutes – first look and ceremony
3 hours – portrait photos at various spots
30 minutes – cake cutting and dinner
My tip: surprise your fiancee with a boudoir photoshoot before the ceremony! Ask to meet the photographer a day before the wedding, it will make you (and most importantly your fiancee) feel more relaxed on the wedding day.
Photos by Clayton Austin – SGW Real Wedding