Your elopement discussion and the following planning (for any type of wedding, for that matter) can be downright exhausting.
And on top of that, just starting the necessary conversations to get plans in place can be a pain in the butt. Where do you begin? How do you gauge your partner’s opinions? How do you make these conversations more fun and less stressful?
Enter: date night (elopement planning edition)
At Ascend Together, we believe that there’s a way to make every aspect of elopement planning fun— or, at the very least, stress-free. That’s why we’ve put together this blog about some fun, unique ways you can turn those big elopement discussions into a romantic and enjoyable (and dare we say … sexy) core memory.
You may be thinking “Excuse me? Turn my elopement into a what?” Allow us to explain …
A core memory is a recollection you find yourself coming back to repeatedly throughout your life. Oftentimes, it’s a moment that’s especially emotional, happy, and (in your memory) a time where everything felt so right your brain said “Yep. I’m locking this mem in forever. This is a good one.”
Because here’s the thing: your elopement discussion is supposed to be energizing, romantic, and exciting. We’re talking about your elopement here! It’s the day where you celebrate your love story in a way that’s wholly, relentlessly you — and that’s pretty flippin’ fantastic if you ask us. It’s totally normal to occasionally feel stressed or frustrated while planning something this important, but if you and your partner work to put yourselves and your relationship at the forefront of your decisions, we promise you the process will transform from a to-do list to a connective experience you two can reflect on for years to come.
Before we dig into our ideas for ways to do this, here are some guiding questions we’ve crafted to help you and your partner as you enter this season of your lives together.
10 Guiding Questions to Map Out Your Elopement Vision
- Why are you eloping and what is the intention you want to set?
- What are three things you want to look back on your day and remember?
- Where have you shared your most special moments?
- Where do you envision your elopement taking place? Mountains, beach, open area, City Park, National Park, hike to the location, easier access location, etc.
- Where would you like to stay? Rental house, hotel, glamping, etc.
- Do you have any specific things you want for documenting your day?
- Have you thought about additional vendors you want assistance from? If so, what would you want someone else to assist you with? Hairstylist? Makeup artist? Officiant? Florist? Etc.?
- Will you be sharing the day with any guests (friends, family members)? If, so how do you want to include them in your elopement? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to remember?
- Have you and your partner discussed your budget together? What parts of the day are you comfortable spending money on?
- When you envision your day, what does it look like overall?
Think about some of the above questions and write down your answers to come back to as you move through the planning process. Once you’re ready here are some fun ways you and your partner can turn your elopement discussion into a date night!
Elopement Vision Core Memory Options
As you have discussions with your partner about your elopement vision, remind yourselves to immerse all five senses into your experience — this is often a key characteristic of a core memory. Oftentimes, when you recall a core memory, the emotions paired with the recollection are so powerful that it’s easy to recall what all of your senses were experiencing. For example, is there a certain smell that takes you back to a very particular time and place? Is there a song that transports you to a specific memory? As you have discussions about your elopement vision with your partner, if you’re able, consider your senses as often as possible. Immerse yourself in sensory experiences that are pleasant for you — snack on a food you love, play some of your favorite music in the background, etc.
These memories are so special. Don’t forget that! Planning an elopement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and as you reflect on this time later on in life, you’ll want your memories to be as clear, accessible, and tangible as possible.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for turning your elopement discussion into a core memory!
Make your elopement discussion a game
Love yourselves some friendly competition? Turn your elopement discussion into a game! There’s nothing like laughter, romance, and meaningful conversation all wrapped up into one. By playing a game together, it turns a conversation that can at times feel heavy into something that’s fun for you both.
Some fun ways to do so …
- Give yourselves 5 minutes to write down as many ideas for something as possible. The winner gets a prize!
- Create a list for something together (for example, locations). Take turns eliminating one option from the list until you narrow it down to something you both really love!
- Have a dance party to pick out songs for your elopement playlist!
- Turn it into a drinking game! Take a drink every time you love an idea (or hate one — this option can end up being hilarious or awkward), or think of another creative way to enjoy your favorite cocktail or mocktail while you chat.
- Play 20 questions! If you have an idea you really love, try to get your partner to guess it within 20 questions.
- Make a presentation! Separately put together a PowerPoint that outlines what your dream elopement looks like, then present them to one another. stargazing
Document your vision
Breaking news: your engagement won’t last forever. In fact, it’s such a fleeting time in the big picture of your relationship that it can be easy to let it pass by without truly soaking it up and relishing in it! When you’re older you may wonder “What did we sound like back then? What sorts of conversations did we have about our elopement? What was most meaningful at that time?” A great way to capture this memory is by documenting it! Find a way to record your elopement vision discussion so that, when you want to look back on this time in your lives, you can do so and feel as if you’re right there.
Some ways you can document your vision …
- Record yourselves separately talking through your dream day — that way, you can talk about your fantasies comfortably and privately. Watch one another’s videos, take some time to reflect, then come together to discuss!
- Record yourselves chatting things through “fishbowl question” style — put some big topics in a bowl and draw them out blindly and discuss them! This will be entertaining to look back on later and see how the two of you talk things through
- Grab a disposable camera, and document the night the old-fashioned way! Each of you get a camera. Choose the best setting for you to chat about your elopement vision, and whenever you feel like it, snap a photo. The beauty of disposable cameras is that you have no clue how they’ll turn out until you get them back! It’ll be fun to later look back on every little detail of your night.
Have your elopement discussion in a meaningful place
Is there a place that’s special to the two of you? The spot you first met, your first date location, or where you dream of eloping? Design a date night perfect for the two of you, then go to that special place that brings all those happy, sappy memories flooding back. Trust us on this one — there’s nothing like planning out your big day in a meaningful location. Don’t forget to bring a notebook or laptop to write down important notes and information!
Some ideas we have for crafting an elopement vision date night in your special place …
- Go stargazing — Have an outdoor location you love? Grab a cozy blanket, snuggle up under the stars, and get to fantasizing about your dream elopement. There’s nothing quite like staring up at the night sky to make you want to talk about lovey-dovey things.
- Rent a cool car and go for a joyride — Arrive at your special place in style! Dress to the nines, rent a fun car for the evening and treat yourselves to a joyride around town. Hit up your favorite spots, and chat through elopement plans in your sicknasty ride!
- Pair the old with the new — If you’re visiting a place that’s familiar to the two of you, create a new and different memory there by experiencing this place in a way you haven’t before!
Some Pro Tips
- Continue the elopement discussion in a joyful way! Go on your walk once or twice a week, and have a goal for each walk (bonus points if you call it your Stroll Goal). For example, on your first walk, make it your goal to pick a month and year for your elopement. The next stroll, pick a date. After that, talk about budget, and so on!
- Go at your own pace No one knows your relationship like you. Don’t rush things that don’t need rushing! Take your time to chat things over, and come to a decision together in a way that feels natural.
- If it’s not fun, don’t push it Honesty hour: sometimes, certain aspects of planning an elopement can be just plain stressful. If you and your partner have difficult conversations ahead of you, don’t feel the need to make them lighthearted. What matters most is that you lead these conversations with patience, empathy, and love.
Remind yourselves as often as you need to that the most important ingredient for your elopement is your love. You two are the stars of the show, and when it comes down to it, all the planning, details, and in-between things are secondary to what matters most. Take time when you need it, space when you need it, and above all else, give one other patience and gentleness — this is such a meaningful event, and the two of you deserve nothing but complete and total confidence that it’s going to be everything you’ve envisioned for yourselves!
So, now are you getting excited about planning your elopement? Because we sure are! If you want to start putting your dreamy elopement plan into action alongside a team that understands your vision, let us know. We know how important this process is, and when you have the right people by your side through it all, it’s the experience of a lifetime!