Eloping is an incredible way for you to have your wedding day exactly where and how you want and to create intimate and unforgettable moments together as a couple.
Instead of standing in front of crowds of people to say your vows in what can feel like a very formal setting, it’s just the two of you – and maybe a few select members of your family and friends.
Having a photographer with you throughout the day is a key component of your elopement, as you are choosing a special location and making memories that you want to be able to look back on, reminisce over and show your loved ones who weren’t there with you.
But do you need to have an officiant or celebrant present to perform a ceremony for you?
We’ve seen elopements done in many different ways, and there isn’t one simple answer to this question, but we are going to break it down for you to explain when and why you should have a celebrant, and the situations where you may choose not to.
They create the wedding day experience with personal and celebratory moments
A celebrant will create a ceremony that is completely personal to you to enhance the intimate feel of your day, they will set the scene and use storytelling and create an emotional build-up to the moment you exchange your vows.
If you want your elopement to truly feel like the day you are marrying each other and want to celebrate this date in the future as your anniversary, it makes sense to have a celebrant present to perform a ceremony for you, where they can create these very personal moments and announce you as newlyweds on the day.
By having a ceremony, you are commemorating the day, location and the meaning of why you are there.
Your celebrant may be able to perform a legal ceremony to make it official
Depending on the country you are choosing to elope in, celebrants may or may not be able to perform a legally binding ceremony. In the majority of European countries, the ceremonies performed by celebrants are symbolic, and the legalities of your marriage can be arranged with a registrar / at a town hall, usually in your country of residence, before or after the symbolic ceremony.
If you are keen to do your legalities at the same time as your elopement, in Italy this is a possibility. We organise elopements in different locations around Italy so get in touch and we can check with the local celebrants there what the requirements would be for you to do this.
Alternatively, if you are eloping in Australia or the USA, it’s likely you’ll find a celebrant who can perform a legal ceremony for you.
But, if you’re already having a bigger celebration with a ceremony involved, maybe going solo is for you
If you are having an elopement as an addition to your bigger wedding celebration where you will have a wedding ceremony in front of family and friends, doing it twice may not be something that feels relevant to you or necessary.
Your elopement may be for you to simply have the private moments together and exchange your personal vows to each other without sharing them with anyone else, and if that’s the case, having a celebrant isn’t a necessity.
I would recommend going back to point 1 and imagining the celebrant creating those personal, emotional and celebratory moments for you, but if it doesn’t feel right, then follow your gut and simply exchange your vows in your chosen location.
Get in touch with us, we will be happy to help you advice you on the type of ceremony and celebrant for your destination elopement.