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What's an Elopement Package, and Do I Really Need One?

We break it all down by sharing the pros and cons.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Erich McVey

Once you've made the decision to elope, you probably want to do so quickly and with as little pre-planning as possible. An elopement package, which you'll typically find offered by destination wedding venues around the world, includes everything you'll need to legally tie the knot for one price. Your venue will handle the bulk of the logistics, and you'll just have to show up on the big day. The efficiency of these elopement packages be a huge draw, especially since they really do make planning your day as easy as possible. If you're not sure if an elopement package is right for you, here are a few of the pros and cons to consider.

 

RELATED: Jaw-Dropping Destinations That Are Perfect Elopement Backdrops

 

Pro: An elopement package is meant to include everything you need for your wedding.

For example, at The Cove Eleuthera, a popular wedding destination in the Bahamas, the elopement package includes photography, an officiant, a lavish meal for the couple, five nights' accommodation, beauty treatments including hair and makeup, a small floral package, transportation to and from the airport, and a few other highlights. Most couples would agree that, besides attire, they don't need much more.

 

Con: Not all elopement packages are created equal.

The extensive offering mentioned above aren't necessarily the standard. Each wedding venue will have its own package that works best for their clients' needs and for their venue specifically. It's usually helpful to shop around when it comes to selecting your elopement destination, seeking out the package that works best for your needs. Plus, you'll want to be sure you understand exactly what isn't included so you can budget accordingly.

 

Pro: Elopement packages require very little management for couples.

Most elopement packages come with a planner or coordinator who knows the venue inside out and has great relationships with the local vendors they bring in for these intimate events. Fortunately, this means the majority of a couple's research will be spent finding the best venue.

 

Con: The packages often aren't very flexible and aren't necessarily all-inclusive.

Elopement packages are usually only valid for vendors the venue hires. While that may be acceptable for couples that plan to keep their wedding as low-key and decision-free as possible, others may be turned off by the lack of flexibility and may want to bring in their own photographer or makeup artist. Depending how customizable you'd like your elopement to be, it might be worth discussing these specifics prior to committing to the package on offer.

 

Related: Elopement Photos That Make the Case for Getting Hitched Somewhere Cold

 

Pro: Couples can have a wedding quickly.

Most venues require only a few weeks' notice to plan an elopement. Every venue is different, but most elopement packages don't have a minimum planning period.

 

Con: You can't plan too far in advance.

Some venues won't book elopements with more than a few months' notice. It doesn't take much pre-planning work to produce an elopement, so couples may find that booking a venue any more than four or five months prior to their preferred wedding date is difficult.

 

Pro: You probably won't need to do any site visits.

Did we mention how easy elopement packages make wedding planning? Doing a site visit for an elopement is usually completely unnecessary. You might want to see your venue in person just for the fun of it, but it's not expected that you'll make the journey to your destination more than once.

 

Con: Elopement packages often require the ceremony to take place during odd hours or on a weekday.

The reason most venues can get away with booking such small events as elopements is because they're able to keep the rest of the venue up and running simultaneously.

 

Pro: Elopement packages are the exact reason you decided to elope. It's so easy!

There are no vendors to manage, no big meetings to attend. The only real requirement is that you show up for your wedding weekend with your fiancé and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.