Your Southern California Elopement Checklist ~ laurendixonphotos.com

Your Southern California Elopement Checklist

Planning a wedding can sometimes scream dollar signs and big decisions. However, when deciding to elope, it makes a lot of those worries seem a lot less daunting. You can focus just on the things that matter, you and your fiance´. Planning an elopement is nowhere near the level of planning a huge wedding, but you do want to make sure you organize accordingly and don’t miss an important piece. Enjoying this day is the most important part. That was the motivation behind creating and sharing this Southern California Elopement checklist, so that you don’t miss any detail.

 

SELECT A LOCATION:

Southern California is full of the most gorgeous locations. From pretty idyllic fields to breathtaking beachside spots, socal has it all! The other amazing thing about Southern California is that it is wedding season ALL year round. Whether you’re looking for a more metropolitan area in LA or a low key, feet in the sand celebration in San Diego, there is a location for you!

Check out my blog here where I share some great locations in the San Diego area!
If you are looking to get married at a courthouse in Southern California, click here for a breakdown of how to get started!

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MARRIAGE LICENSE:

One of the most important items for your big day is the marriage license. Ok, its probably like THE most important item. You likely already knew that, but when planning a wedding (even small) its easy to forget these super important details.  Navigating through all the logistics can be tough which is why I linked a good page to start here that includes important information on receiving a California marriage license, FAQs and other resources you may be interested in!

 

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PLANNING THE CEREMONY:

Since the ceremony is one of (if not the most) important part of your day, you’ll want to spend time focusing on what is important to you and your fiance´. So what is there to think about for the ceremony? Well, just like a huge wedding, you have a lot of the same things to think of. I am here to help lay them out for you so you can have a place to start:

  • 1st look versus waiting to walk down the aisle
  • Who will marry you- someone you know or will you need to research officiants in the area?
  • Personal vows versus short, sweet and traditional
  • Bouquet or no bouquet- and while on the topic of flowers, what about a beautiful arch for the ceremony?

There are still a lot of questions to think of when planning your elopement ceremony. Just because you kept your wedding small, doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on all the special moments.

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Alright, I have to say that this part is one of my favorite parts, as I believe details really tell your story. Whether it be a beautiful bottle of sand or a gorgeous flatlay, these little trinkets help to tell the story of your elopement.  With that being said, it’s important to not forget certain physical items that will make your elopement feel even more special.

Things to remember:

 

These little items, that may seem insignificant, really add up and absolutely bring so much life to your story.

YOUR DRESS:

Ok, your dress gets its own section. So where to begin with your dress? Depending on what type of location you choose will help you to decide what style dress. Of course, the world is your oyster and you are allowed to pick whatever your heart desires, regardless of location. As long as you feel like your most beautiful self, then that is all that matters. Looking for some convenient online options? Here is a list of some amazing stores you can shop from for your big day!

Lace and Liberty
Coco Melody
BHLDN
Whistles
Anomalie– highly recommend checking out this site as you can build and style your own dress!
Fame and Partners– for those of you who are wanting to go a little less traditional and a little more modern!

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PARTY TIME:

Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you need to forgo the party. It also doesn’t mean you need to feel pressure to plan a huge event. Dinner and drinks at a beautiful restaurant is all you need, but if you are in the mood to rent a room, have music and dance a little, there is an opportunity to do that as well! If it is just the two of you, there are so many lovely hotels across the coast of CA that offer such a great experience so you can enjoy stress free. If you are still feeling like you want to celebrate with more friends and family, have the night to yourselves and plan for a big party when the two of you return home. There are no rules when wedding planning and certainly no rules when planning an elopement.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Since elopements are generally smaller events, you want to make sure that you let your extended family and friends know that you two have tied the knot. A perfect way to do this, without having to break the budget are through announcements. Remember, those professional photos from the big day are not only good for your framed photos on the wall, but sweet announcements to make those not present on the big day feel a part of it.

Here are my top three favorite sites that offer tons of announcement cards that give you an option to include a photo from the big day!

Paper Source
Minted
Etsy

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PHOTOGRAPHY:

Last but certainly not least is one of the very few things you CAN take with you after your big day (or shall I say small and sweet day?)…it’s photography! Photography is so important on any wedding day, but for elopements, it gives those loved ones who cannot attend a chance to feel like they were there. Hiring a professional photographer is key. Challenging lighting situations, awkward posing and accidental deletion of photos are just a few of the risks you take when not hiring a professional. I can’t express the importance enough as this is the one special day that you do not get to do over again. While on the topic of capturing the day, videography is also such a special way to help those loved ones feel like they were there. It is also such a great way for you to look back and remember your day and look at those moments that made you happy cry, laugh uncontrallably or dance like nobody was watching.

Looking for a wedding photographer? Lets get in touch! Send me your info below!

If you’re trying to find a simpler approach to your big day and focus on what truly matters (you and your fiance’), planning an elopement is a perfect solution. Like mentioned, although it is way less stressful than planning a huge event there are still things you definitely can’t miss. Hope you were able to learn more about planning your elopement from your Southern California elopement checklist. It is such a beautiful day you will remember forever, so make it special, even with a smaller affair. If you are interested in seeing a recent elopement in the San Diego area, check out this post here!

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