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Want to skip the pomp and circumstance of a traditional wedding ceremony? Well, why not elope? It’s definitely not every couples’ cup of tea, but some love the easy breezy (and intimate) nature of a two-person event. If you’re considering leaving it all behind and tying the knot without a guest list, there are a few things you need to know before.

Here are a few major elopement don’ts.

Don’t make it any less special
Your wedding day should be special regardless of if you’re having a huge ceremony or intimate elopement. While some couples just want to get it done and dusted without any fuss or muss, others would prefer to have a more sentimental ceremony. Know that just because you’ve decided to elope, you don’t have to skip the stunning decor, flowers, attire or anything else. You can tailor your ceremony down to your altar arrangements, even if it’s just going to be the two of you and your officiant that sees them.

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Don’t overlook package deals
If one of the big reasons you’ve chosen to elope is to skip the hassle of wedding planning, you’re in luck. Many hotels offer package deals that include an officiant, hotel room, food, photography and more (making your wedding dreams only a few clicks away). Of course, you can always put together your own two-person ceremony, but it’ll take a lot more TLC and time on your part.

Don’t skip hiring a photographer
You won’t have the normal wedding day paparazzi (AKA iPhone-obsessed guests) to capture your cute candid moments, so don’t skip hiring a good wedding photographer for your big day. Many elopement packages include a professional photographer, but if you really love a particular style of shooting, you may want to branch out and find your own (hint: we’ve got plenty to choose from in our vendor listings).

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Don’t forget to tell everyone after
Since you’re not inviting everyone from your university roommates to your coworkers, you’re going to need to announce your new relationship status. While you’ll probably definitely post about it on social media, you may want to go the more formal route and send out wedding announcements to your family members and a few friends, as well. This will ensure that everyone hears your good news (it’s easy to miss when scrolling through a packed social media feed).

Don’t be surprised if your friends and family are a bit disappointed
Your parents, close relatives and BFFs may not be too thrilled to hear about your elopement (at least right away). Why? Because they probably had big dreams for your wedding. If their faces don’t exactly light up with joy when you share your big news, don’t get disheartened. It doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision, it just means they’re a bit disappointed that they couldn’t watch you say your wedding vows and stand by your side at the altar. They’ll warm up to the idea eventually, but it may take a little bit of time. P.S. if you need a few tips on breaking the news to your nearest and dearest, read this.

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