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How To Elope: Everything You Need To Know

In this guide, we'll give you everything you need to know when figuring out how to elope. Ready to go on a journey with us? Let's begin!

So, you’re thinking about ditching the traditional wedding scene and jetting off to tie the knot in some exotic locale? Yay! But figuring out how to elope can feel daunting. That’s where we come in.

In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know when figuring out how to elope.

Ready to go on a journey with us?

Let’s begin!

how to elope

Why Choose An Overseas Adventure?

Eloping abroad isn’t just about exchanging vows in a different setting; it’s about immersing yourself in an unforgettable experience that reflects the essence of your love story.

Here’s why choosing an overseas adventure for your elopement can make your special day that much more special:

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Adventure & Romance

Eloping abroad opens up a world of breathtaking locations that set the stage for a romantic and adventurous celebration unlike any other.

Just imagine a secluded beach at sunset, a charming European villa, or a majestic mountain peak as your backdrop. What’s not to love?

Intimacy & Privacy

Escaping to a foreign destination allows you to share your vows in the most intimate of settings, away from the distractions and expectations of a traditional wedding.

It’s just you, your partner, and the beauty of the world around you, creating a deeply personal and meaningful experience.

Cultural Experiences

Whether it’s a traditional tea ceremony in Asia or a Celtic handfasting in Ireland, eloping abroad allows you to incorporate local customs, traditions, and rituals into your ceremony.

Freedom & Flexibility

Eloping abroad gives you the freedom to tailor every aspect of your celebration to suit your personalities and preferences.

Say goodbye to wedding planning stress and hello to spontaneity as you design a day that feels authentic to who you are as a couple.

how much does it cost to elope

Where Should You Go?

Figuring out how to elope means knowing exactly where you’re headed off to.

And if you don’t already have a location in mind, here’s some inspo for you!

Tropical Paradise

Picture-perfect beaches, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear waters — tropical destinations like Hawaii, the Maldives, Bali, and the Caribbean offer a romantic backdrop for beachfront elopement.

Exchanging vows barefoot in the sand as the sun dips below the horizon really creates a magical ambiance that’s second to none.

European Excursion

From historic castles in Scotland to vineyard villas in Tuscany to seaside cliffs in Santorini, Europe is teeming with enchanting destinations perfect for a romantic elopement.

Immerse yourself in old-world charm, stunning architecture, and cultural richness as you say “I do” amidst centuries of history and romance.

Mountain Adventure

For couples who crave adventure and breathtaking scenery, mountain destinations like the Swiss Alps, the Canadian Rockies, or the Colorado Rockies offer the perfect backdrop for an elopement filled with adrenaline and awe-inspiring views.

If you’ve got the guts, you could exchange vows at the summit of a majestic peak or amidst towering pine forests for a ceremony that’s as exhilarating as it is unforgettable.

Urban Escape

If you’re city dwellers at heart, consider eloping in a bustling metropolis known for its iconic landmarks, vibrant culture, and cosmopolitan vibe.

Cities like Paris, New York City, Tokyo, and London offer endless opportunities for romance as you recite your vows with skyline views in the backdrop.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Gems

For couples seeking a truly unique experience, consider eloping in lesser-known destinations that capture the spirit of adventure and exploration.

Whether it’s a remote island in the South Pacific, a charming village in the Swiss countryside, or a secluded wilderness retreat in Patagonia, hidden gems like these promise an elopement experience unlike any other.

how do you elope

What Are The Costs?

Embarking on an overseas elopement is undoubtedly a thrilling adventure, but it’s essential to consider the financial aspects to ensure your dream escape remains within reach.

Here’s a breakdown of potential expenses to help you budget for your unforgettable celebration:

  • Travel Costs: The biggest chunk of your budget will likely be dedicated to travel expenses, including flights or other transportation to your chosen destination.
  • Accommodations: Whether you’re staying in a luxury resort, a cozy boutique hotel, or a charming Airbnb, accommodations are a significant consideration.
  • Ceremony Expenses: While eloping is often more budget-friendly than a traditional wedding, there are still costs associated with the ceremony itself.
  • Photography & Videography: Capturing the magic of your elopement is essential, so budget for professional photography and videography services to immortalize your special day.
  • Clothing: If you’re planning on getting married in shorts and a t-shirt, that’s totally up to you. But if you’re going for something more classic, don’t forget to budget for your wedding attire.

A Few Tips To Keep Costs Down

If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few things you can do to save money wherever possible.

  • Travel Off-Season: Off-season travel typically offers lower prices on flights, accommodations, and other services. Plus, you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds, allowing for a more intimate experience.
  • Look For All-Inclusive Packages: Some resorts and wedding venues offer all-inclusive elopement packages that bundle together accommodations, ceremony services, and other amenities. They often provide significant savings as opposed to booking everything individually.
  • Keep It Simple: Focus on the elements that are most important to you. Whether it’s stunning photography, a meaningful ceremony location, or a gourmet meal, prioritize what matters most to you.

how to plan an elopement ceremony

What Legal Stuff Do You Need To Know?

Before jetting off to elope abroad, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and logistics of getting married in your chosen destination.

Here’s what you need to know to ensure a smooth and legally binding ceremony.

1. Research The Marriage Laws

Every country has its own set of regulations regarding marriage, including residency requirements, waiting periods, and documentation. That’s why you should start by researching the marriage laws and requirements of your chosen destination.

2. Get The Necessary Documents

Determine which documents you’ll need to legally marry in your destination country. This may include passports, birth certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), and any required visas or permits. Be sure to obtain certified copies and translations of documents as needed.

3. Getting The Marriage Licenses

Some countries require couples to apply for a marriage license in person at a local government office, while others may allow for online applications or applications through a consulate or embassy. You should find out how to obtain a marriage license in your destination country if you want to make sure you actually leave as a married couple!

4. Legalization

Depending on your home country’s requirements, you may need to legalize or authenticate your marriage certificate for it to be recognized internationally. This process often involves obtaining an apostille — a certificate that verifies the authenticity of a document — for your marriage certificate.

5. Language Barriers

If you’re getting married in a country where you don’t speak the native language fluently, consider hiring a translator or interpreter to assist with the legal proceedings. It’s essential to fully understand the documents you’re signing and the legal implications of your marriage.

How Do We Share The News?

Sharing that you’ve gotten married abroad is a great opportunity to update the ones you love in a memorable way. Here are a few ways you could go about doing that.

  • Personalized Announcements: You can opt for traditional printed announcements or get creative with digital announcements, such as e-cards or social media posts. Include a heartfelt message along with a favorite photo from your elopement to make the announcement extra special.
  • Video Message: Record a heartfelt video message together, sharing the story of your elopement and expressing your love and gratitude to your loved ones.
  • Postcards / Souvenirs: If you eloped in a picturesque destination, consider sending postcards or small souvenirs from your wedding location to friends and family members as a unique way to announce your marriage.
  • Social Media: Share the news of your marriage on social media with a heartfelt post or announcement. Include photos, videos, or a slideshow from your elopement along with a meaningful caption expressing your love and gratitude. Don’t forget to tag friends and family members to ensure they see the announcement!

And there you have it! The why, what, how, and where of planning your elopement.

how to make an elopement special

Final Tip – Download The Air Doctor App!

Your elopement is all set! Now there’s just one thing left to do…

Make sure you don’t get sick abroad!

With the Air Doctor app in your pocket, you can access medical advice, get prescriptions, and receive expert medical guidance wherever you are in the world – even in a chapel in Las Vegas!

Air Doctor’s easy-to-use app gives you:

  • A global network of over 20,000 multi-lingual doctors and specialists
  • Choice of clinic, at-home (hotel), and video consultations
  • Active in 78 countries
  • Cross border prescription services
  • Telemedicine services in up to 21 languages
  • 24/7 multi-lingual support
  • Transparent pricing, and reviews
  • Most common medical specialties

Safe travels, and congratulations!

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.