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Whether you're eloping because you're a fanfare-free kind of couple — or because you're so wildly in love, you can't bear to wait months for married life to begin — we're willing to bet you still want to keep a tradition or two when it comes to your big day. Here, wedding planners reveal the top six ways you can infuse traditional details into your wedding.
Wear a white dress.
Even if your aisle is the courthouse's hallway, you can still walk it in white. "If you always imagined yourself in a princess ball gown or head-to-toe in lace, just do it," says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Delray Beach, Florida. "Wear the dress that makes you feel good, despite the location or the number of people that see it."
Skip the courthouse and tie the knot in a church.
"You don't have to get married at the courthouse or on a sandy beach," says Samuels. "If you are a religious couple, choosing to marry at your house of worship is still allowed."
Embrace the attention.
Just because you don't have 250 guests gawking as you enter a reception hall doesn't mean all eyes aren't on you. "Walk around in your wedding dress while your photographer shoots photos, " suggests Samantha Spector, owner of Milk & Honey Special Events in San Francisco. "Walk to dinner, or go out dancing — whatever you choose to do, be sure to make an appearance in public and let everyone cheer you on."
Include friends and family.
It's a common misconception to think you must elope alone. "Having a small group of close friends and family to cheer you on and toast to your happiness will make the tradition that much more celebratory," says Spector.
Have your cake, and eat it too.
Does cake for two — or as few as 10 guests — seem like an unnecessary indulgence? Samuels urges you to reconsider. "Here's a thought — have a slice of the cake everyday for the duration of your honeymoon — so you can keep the memory of your wedding alive throughout the trip," she says. "Even a small wedding cake is too good to waste!"
Incorporate meaning wherever possible.
Weave sentimental items that rekindle memories and emotions into your small service. "Is there a wine you shared on a memorable date — or a restaurant dish you both love?" says Spector. "Think about what means most to you in your life and whether there is a way to incorporate it into your ceremony or post-ceremony celebration."