Small weddings and elopements are on the rise! More and more couples are turning to one of these for their nuptials, inviting only their life’s VIPs to the event. This decision leads to a lot of couples doing all the planning, organizing and decorating for their day. But many of them also wonder if they should hire a micro wedding or elopement planner.
What is an elopement planner?
An elopement planner is someone who specializes in elopement and tiny weddings. Sometimes your elopement photographer or videographer doubles as your planner (like me). They are equipped with the knowledge and skills to appreciate your vision and help bring it to life.
What does an elopement planner do?
Just like any other wedding planner, their services include an entire spectrum of planning needs. As an elopement and micro wedding planner + photographer, I offer bespoke elopement planning for weddings with under 25 guests. This means that I am:
- researching vendors and helping you pick the perfect ones
- creating the best timeline for the day (with back-ups)
- location research and scouting where necessary
- helping style your day (as requested)
- keeping you on track with planning tasks
- ensuring every little detail is all set and ready to go on the big day
Why should you hire an elopement planner?
The thing is, even planning a small wedding can be stressful and overwhelming. An elopement and micro wedding planner is here to help alleviate that stress and guide you through the process.
On top of managing a lot of the logistical things for you, your planner is first and foremost your cheerleader and advocate for the day of your dreams. They will be there to validate your elopement decisions, equip you with the tools and advice to help you craft the day of your dreams, and most importantly how to set your goals and boundaries and stick to them.
Elopements and micro weddings have their own unique challenges that make it different from planning a conventionally large wedding. Couples who choose to elope are often working on a shorter timeline than a 200 guest wedding, making the planning process much more condensed and overlapping. Also, there are wedding venues and vendors who have a minimum guest count, time requirement or monetary investment in order to book them. Micro wedding and elopement planners are familiar with these issues and will have a great list of referrals to assist you in creating your day.
The biggest benefit of having a planner, even for your elopement or micro wedding, is that there is a point person there that’s not you.
A DIY wedding always sounds great and can be a lot of fun… up until the wedding day when suddenly everyone who said they would help you is running late or having problems & questions with their task and is turning to you for answers. Instead of relaxing and preparing yourself for one of the most emotional and significant moments of your life, you’re getting a bunch of stress dumped on you. Elopement planners take all of that off of you so that you can be fully present and enjoy each moment of your day.
Planners also just know things. Like the proper way to pin a boutonniere, how long it really takes for hair and make-up to happen per person, the super secret options for the items you need, that one obscure etiquette protocol that will make an incredible difference in your guest experience, and the list goes on. You would be surprised how shockingly little you know about weddings until it’s time to plan one.
What does an elopement planner cost?
As with all industries, there are a range of prices and services for elopement planners. You can hire people for day-of coordination of your wedding or you can hire a full service planner, and costs can range from under $1000 to over $5000.
As an elopement specialist, I offer both planning + photography in comprehensive packages for weddings under 25 guests.
This is an excellent way to economize on your needed services for your elopement, where you might be trying to save some money but still want quality from your vendors and an exceptional wedding day experience. The benefit of hiring one vendor for both of these positions is the fluidity and continuity it will provide for your day both in the execution of the event and in the subsequent pictorial story-telling.
Ultimately, your choice to hire (or not) an elopement planner shouldn’t be driven by price. You should be realistic about your abilities to plan your elopement and manage your stress levels. Many couples who hired a planner after initially thinking they wouldn’t need one can tell you how worth it the investment is in the amount of stress relieved, as well as the knowledge and experience provided.