If you’re considering a luxury elopement, the hurdle you may be struggling with most is that your friends and family won’t be there when you wed. And while it’s true that a traditional elopement is typically shrouded in secrecy, if you really want to invite a select number of people to join you on your adventure, you can (and should). Just keep in mind the below list of dos and don’ts to spare yourself complications, and preserve as many of the advantages of a luxury elopement as possible. (Photo: Robert Evans Studios)
DO Keep the Guest List Short
A ceremony and reception in Hawaii with 40 guests is a destination wedding, not an elopement. By limiting the guest list to a handful of your closest (and most trustworthy) loved ones, you also limit stress, planning, travel arrangements, and costs while maximizing the time you can spend with each individual.
DON’T Feel Obligated or Pressured to Invite Anyone
The beauty of an elopement is that you and your betrothed are the only people required to be there, and anyone else is extra. That means if you just want to bring two of your best friends as witnesses, you can – no guilt. And your second cousins twice removed? Not unless you want them there (no matter what your mother says).
DO Have the Majority of Your Plans in Place
If you inform people that you are planning to elope in the vague future, most will try to talk you out of it in favor of a traditional wedding. However, if you inform your prospective guests that you will be eloping on a specific date at a specific time at a specific location and would love for them to be there, there is nothing to argue about – your plans are set, and they can attend or not.
DON’T Plan Around Your Guests’ Preferences
A luxury elopement places the focus of the experience on you and your spouse (unlike a traditional wedding, which focuses heavily on the experience of the guests). That means you should elope exactly where and when it will be most memorable for you, not when and where it will be the most convenient for your potential guests. If they can make it, great – if not, they can celebrate with you at your post-elopement reception.
DO Ask for Discretion
However you choose to invite guests to your elopement, make sure you include that your plans are meant to be kept as quiet as possible. The last thing you want is for word of your plans to spread through the grapevine – along with hurt feelings – and find yourself fielding calls from people who weren’t/aren’t invited asking for details.
DON’T Plan to Host Your Entire Trip
A luxury elopement is a wedding ceremony and honeymoon in one, but while you may want loved ones to witness your vow exchange, a honeymoon should be limited to you and your spouse. By all means spend a few days with your guests, but make sure they understand that after a certain date, your hosting duties will cease and you’ll be enjoying your luxury honeymoon!