Eloping has always been an option for couples, but right now it’s more popular than ever.
Not only does eloping save money, it’s a lot less stressful than planning a wedding. Running away from it all can also be uber romantic, allowing you to focus on the love and commitment part instead of the matching napkins and letterpress name cards. Another perk is that you have complete freedom in deciding how to spend your special day. Whether you want to run away to the courthouse and celebrate at a local restaurant, or say I do on the side of mountain followed by a gourmet picnic lunch, your elopement is all about the two of you.
Here are 12 elopement ideas that we love.
1. Tipi Time
If you want some post-ceremony downtime with style then this is for you. A tipi tent complete with lanterns, a gourmet picnic and relaxing on cozy blankets is ideal.
2. Love Letters
Write each other little notes that will also be keepsakes of the day. You can also write down your memories after the ceremony. This a great idea as you won’t have invitations, programs or stories from guests as reminders over the years.
3. Dinner for Two
If you’re a foodie on a budget then a fine dining experience for a lot of guests might be impossible. But for two people, it is less so. You can go to an amazing restaurant or set up a table with a centerpiece, and hire a chef to prepare a meal to remember.
4. Skype Guests
There are various reasons for why couples decide to elope. One reason could be because of the distance between family members. If you still want to include your family or friends in some way then set up a laptop with Skype, so your ‘guests’ can have a live stream.
5. Dessert on the Go
The fun part of eloping is that there doesn’t need to be a schedule of events. What we’re trying to say is that there won’t be anyone there to judge you if you go on a post-ceremony dessert crawl.
6. Getaway Car
Hire a vintage car to drop you off at the courthouse. It will guarantee that you make a stylish entrance.
7. Play the Tourist
Jump on the subway or put on some flat shoes for a long walk to city hall or the courthouse. Take in the sights and stop for photos to create even more memories.
Chances are there won’t be any guests in your photographs, so get creative and incorporate a few props. We love balloons, elopement announcements and cheeky signs.
9. Ceremony At Home
If you want privacy and a space to relax, then a ceremony at home is a lovely idea. If you want the homely feel but in a different environment, then why not rent the apartment or house of your dreams for a night. Saying your vows in front of a candlelit fireplace couldn’t be more intimate.
10. Sentimental Venue
A big bonus of opting for an elopement is that there are more ceremony options available to you. If you’re just having a photographer and an officiant then many spaces will be able to accommodate you. The restaurant where you had your first date, the tree under which you had your first kiss or a place that holds special memories for you both. They can all be wonderful options that would otherwise be impossible if you had 100 guests.
Photo one: megan-w.com; Photo two: stayforeverphoto.com; Photo three: scottclarkphoto.com; Photo four: jessicafeyphotography.com; Photo five: nadiameli.com; Photo six: katherineobrien.com; Photo seven: amyanaiz.com; Photo eight: 100layercake.com; Photo nine: patfureyblog.com; Photo ten: ellephotographs.com; Photo eleven: weddingchicks.com; Photo twelve: mikeolbinski.com
For a classic wedding that’s reminiscent of vintage glamour, take a trip back in time to old New York. With stunning chandeliers, a marble fireplace and Art Deco details, 3 West Club is the ideal venue to host an elegant affair. There are different areas within the venue to choose from, so you can customize your wedding to suit your style.
The Grand Ballroom with its high ceiling and balcony offers more than enough space for a night of dancing. The Grand Salon’s picturesque windows and marble fireplaces make it the perfect setting for a romantic intimate wedding. If you want to get the most out of the midtown Manhattan location, the rooftop Solarium has an outdoor terrace with a stunning view. To really capture the unique feel of an historical house, the Lounge with its baby grand piano and antique furniture will have your guests swooning.
Because 3 West Club only hosts one wedding at a time, you can expect a truly memorable and intimate occasion. We’re thinking of weddings filled with antique details, classic decor and romantic touches. Just think of how photo-worthy it will be to walk down the marble staircase in a sweeping vintage-style gown.
If you’re looking for a New York City venue filled with gorgeous details and the option of having your ceremony and reception in one place, you can find out more information about 3 West Club here.
These bright and cheerful DIY butterfly escort cards will set your heart a flutter – especially when you discover how simple they are to make! In fact, no origami skills are required for this DIY wedding project. If you can do an accordion fold (you probably mastered this in kindergarten), then you are good to go!
Here’s how to make DIY Butterfly Escort Cards:
You will need:
Cut out a square measuring 8 cm x 8 cm, as well as a circle that is 7 cm in diameter. Place the square and the circle on a piece of cardstock. The circle should overlap the bottom right corner of the square as shown in the photo below. Trace the circle and the square and cut out the shape. Place the template on a piece of origami paper and trace it. Cut out the shape from the origami paper.
Starting at the circular end, make a small fold. Turn the paper over and make another fold. Continue folding (accordion style) until you have reached the end of the paper.
Take a piece of string and place it in the centre of your piece of paper. Tie a knot.
Trim the ends of the string as shown in the photo below. These will be your butterfly’s antennae.
Gently unfurl the ‘wings’.
There you have your lovely butterfly!
Place your adhesive stencils on the bottom of a piece of 3.5″ x 2.5″ watercolor paper, spelling out the name of one of your guests. Place your table number stencil at the top of the paper. Use watercolor paint to fill in the letters and number. Let dry (using a hairdryer speeds up the process.) Remove stencils.
Using a glue gun, place a dab of glue in the centre of the butterfly (on the back) and adhere to centre of watercolour paper.
That’s it! Mix and match patterns and colors for a striking DIY wedding display.
Coming from close-knit families and with 2 kids of their own, both Leigha and Todd knew that they wanted their wedding day to be all about family. Despite originally considering eloping on Vancouver Island, the couple chose to wed in Ontario instead so their loved ones could be present for their big day. They exchanged their vows in a simple, heartfelt backyard ceremony – with the most adorable flower girls possible, we might add – and celebrated with a home cooked dinner and their family members by their side.
A huge thank you to Jess of Daring Wanderer Photography for sending us the beautiful photos so we could share them with you today.
Leigha & Todd
Oshawa, ON Canada
Wedding Date: July 13, 2014
Number of Guests: 24
Wedding Cost: under $5,000
Wedding Ceremony Location: Home of the groom’s parents
Wedding Reception Location: Home of the groom’s parents
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
The inspiration for our day was found in our family; not in just our children, but also our grandparents, parents, and brothers and sisters. Both Todd and I come from close-knit families and we are so very lucky to have all of our grandparents with us still, so we knew our wedding had to be about family. When we first began thinking about a wedding, we were all set on eloping on Vancouver Island. But the more we thought about how much it would mean to our families to be in attendance, we knew we would have to get married in Ontario.
We opted to keep it small for a few reasons, the main one being cost. The last thing we wanted to do was go into debt considering we have two young children and had not yet purchased our first home. Also, we figured if we kept things small, we would have more money to spend on details like flowers and food and photography. We looked at it as choosing quality over quantity. Finally, I am a shy person who has never enjoyed being in the spotlight and the thought of 100 people watching me confess my love to my husband was quite frankly terrifying!
What are some of the challenges you faced with planning an intimate wedding?
Coordinating food, the table and tent rentals, and having it all come together smoothly. Luckily, we were able to get married in the gardens of Todd’s parents’ backyard. It was beautiful. We also were lucky to have our mothers cook all the food and our dads help set up everything outside.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Once we decided that the focus for our wedding was on family, it made it very easy to decide on our guest list: immediate family and significant others. This kept it small and intimate.
Did you have any “issues” with the guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
Everyone respected our decision. We had the most important people in attendance and that’s all that mattered to us.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Our favorite moments were watching our flower girls meticulously sprinkle the rose petals down the aisle – I couldn’t believe the attention to detail from a 3 and 4 year old! I also really enjoyed hearing my husband’s vows for the first time.
What were the highlights of the reception?
Having all of our family together with us to celebrate was the best part. The food was also delicious.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
We saved money, it was relatively stress free yet it was still beautiful and a day we’ll never forget.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
My advice would be pretty simple: do what your heart says. It is a day to celebrate your love and commitment to your partner so always let those sentiments guide you in your planning
Photographer: Daring Wanderer Photography
Florist: Mint Floral Co.
Cake: Bob Caygeon Bread Co.
Dress: J. Crew
Tassel Garland: Studio Mucci, Etsy
Flower Girls’ Floral Crowns: Etsy
Food: All made by the bride and groom’s parents and friends
Table/Chair/Tent Rental: Tim’s Rentals
It’s been five years since we posted our recipe for Butter Tart Squares. Where has the time gone?? Since then, the post has become one of the most popular food related DIY posts on Intimate Weddings.
Today, my nine-year old daughter decided to give the recipe a whirl for the first time. I was so impressed with how the squares turned out, I just had to grab my camera and take some photos before the treats were devoured.
Whether you are looking for some yummy sweets for your bridal shower or you are simply looking for a new recipe to add to your dessert collection, I guarantee that if you are butter tart fan, you will love these butter tart squares!