How To Personalise Your Elopement Ceremony

A lot of couples who choose to elope do so because they want to create a day that is unique to them and focused around the commitment that they are making to each other. And one of the highlights of an elopement day is their elopement ceremony.

Creating A Unique Elopement Ceremony

When you make the choice to elope, you have the chance to plan a ceremony that is unique and meaningful to you. If you’ve decided to leave the legal part out then you’re not bound by any rules or traditions. You are free to create everything just as you want. Your ceremony can be as short or as long as you like. You don’t even need to have a ceremony if it doesn’t feel like you. Making your commitment to one another can be done in any way you choose.

Whether you decide to elope with your closest friends and families as your witnesses, or just the two of you, here are some things you could include in an elopement ceremony:

Saying vows to one another

Many couples choose to write their own wedding vows and read them to one another on their wedding day.

What things could you include in your wedding vows? Here are some ideas to get you started:

* 5 things you love about your partner
* The promises you want to make to one another
* Re-telling a favourite story from one of your favorite moments together
* Your hopes for the future
* Why you want to marry them today

Emma & Adam privately read their wedding vows to one another in the Austrian Alps. Photos by Wild Connections Photography
Image by Wild Connections Photography

Reading a favourite poem or movie quote

If you’ve got an officiant or witnesses, you could choose a favourite poem, song lyrics or a quite to be read out loud.

Exchanging gifts

Sometimes it’s fun to exchange a unique gift with your partner that’s a total surprise. I’ve seen all kinds of things, with everything from jewellery to hip flasks and garter knives.

Exchanging rings

Many couples choose to exchange rings as a symbol of their wedding. However, I’ve also seen some couples do some fun things like go and get matching tattoos after their ceremony.

Wooden ring boxes for this elopement in the Swiss Alps by Bendik Photography
Image by Bendik Photography

Reading letters from your friends & family

If you friends and family aren’t going to be there on the day of your elopement, one really nice way to still feel like they are there is to ask them to write letters to you both and read them out loud during your ceremony. Another fun take on this is to get them to record video messages which you can watch. Of course, if they are going to be there, you could ask them to read the letters themselves.

Tying a knot

This is a favourite with couples who climb or love sailing.

Handfasting (if you have an officiant)

This wonderful Celtic tradition is one of my favourites, and I’ve seen it in different forms. Many couples choose a traditional cord for their handfasting, but they use one that’s been made by their friends & family. But I’ve also seen couples who’ve used things like ski socks or a bike chain as a fun alternative that fits with their own story.

Photo by Lynne Kennedy Photography

A celebratory shot / Popping a bottle of champagne

There’s nothing like celebrating your marriage with a toast, whether it’s popping a bottle of champagne or taking a drink of your favourite spirit from a hip flask.

Having a silent first dance (or to a tune on your phone)

Traditional weddings almost always have a first dance, and most couples seem to dread this, mainly because of the pressure of being on show. But when there’s nobody around, it’s just you and your love dancing to the noise of the breeze and the birds.

Silhouettes of a couple walking along a cliff by Lynne Kennedy Photography
Image by Lynne Kennedy Photography


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Editor of We Are The Wanderers Cat Ekkelboom-White at Lake Prags in the Dolomites in Winter

Author: Cat Ekkelboom-White

Cat is the founder of We Are The Wanderers as well as a photographer for Wild Connections Photography and mentor at the Adventure Wedding Academy.