HOW TO TURN YOUR ELOPEMENT INTO YOUR HONEYMOON

Granada, Spain…wanna go back with me?

Granada, Spain…wanna go back with me?

You’re eloping, which means you have way more flexibility than you ever thought to choose the location where you exchange your vows! Go you!

One thing I love to encourage couples to do is to elope in a place that they can then turn into their honeymoon - or easily start their honeymoon from. Lots of my couples come to Tahoe for 2 weeks to elope somewhere in between - and enjoy the rest of their time as a honeymoon. It’s a pretty great setup, and I think gives them more reason to enjoy themselves. It’s not just a vacation, it’s your elopement and your honeymoon.

“Okay, Ruthanne, that sounds great, but how do we actually do that? What if we have no idea what to plan?”

I gotchu, boo.

Here’s a brief guide on how to turn your elopement into your honeymoon (and maybe elope in a place even cooler than you were originally thinking!?)

1. pick your location

So you don’t really know yet where you want to elope? That’s totally cool. Hop on pinterest, turn on the travel channel or browse google earth. What looks appealing? What climate do you typically enjoy? What is your goal to focus on within your honeymoon and elopement destination? Do you want to hike - or does nightlife matter more to you? Best of both worlds? The possibilities are endless! My favorite places to recommend out of the places I’ve personally visited are Chamonix - France, Barcelona - Spain, Amalfi - Italy, Jasper - Canada, Lake Tahoe - California (duh), Moab - Utah…but I have quite the bucket list too. Send me an email if you wanna chat about it!

2. decide what part of the location you want to focus on enjoying

Again, think about what element of this location you’re visiting you really want to enjoy. Do some research, look at airbnb experiences, look the place up by hashtags on instagram. There are lots of different things that each location can offer.

3. splurge a little bit on your accommodations and plan a nice date night or two

Um, when else do you get to justify an extra nice night out or expensive tour you wouldn’t otherwise shell out the cash for? BASICALLY NEVER! Find some awesome restaurants or experiences to enjoy and book the heck out of them. Internationally, this can be more tricky than others - you’ll want to avoid places reviewed by tourist sites such as tripadvisor, but in general…follow your nose. Other ways to make your stay special would be to get lodging with a hot tub, spa, or extra beautiful balcony with a view.

4. bring your photographer in for the elopement and a session in “normal” clothes to kick off the honeymoon fun!

While we didn’t elope in a destination outside of our hometown, we did have a “day before” session with our photographer and I think everyone should do that or a day after session - they are so great to capturing the “real” and “day to day” you, and honestly - those are some of my favorite images. I need more walls in my house, seriously. There is not enough room for all the photos I want to frame from our photo sessions. Ask your photographer to include a quote with a day after session when you talk to them. Remember - splurge a little bit. Do what will make you smile most in 20 years. These moments matter!

5. get out of your comfort zone and take the long way home

This applies more to once you get there - but the most romantic moments of our honeymoon were when we took our time, walked the streets of Spain with glasses of sangria, and got a little bit lost. Wherever you go and however long you take to honeymoon, let yourselves be totally focused on why you’re there: not for the food, not for the culture, but because you’re celebrating life with your person. And I don’t know about you, but I think that’s the most beautiful part of it all.