In my experience from working with multiple couples getting married, sometimes planning the ceremony can feel the most overwhelming part. There are many ways you can go about doing your ceremony at your elopement or wedding and want to give you some ideas because I want you to free yourself from the idea that the ceremony needs to be done a certain way. Do it your way. Include what you want to include. Make it unique to your personality as a couple. This list is not exhaustive so let me help you plan your ceremony to be the most authentic to you as possible!
For those of you eloping, especially if you’re eloping with no guests, you may feel like your ceremony will just be the sharing of vows but there are SO many things you can include in your ceremony to make it memorable and intimate.
Here are some ideas for your wedding or elopement ceremony:
Whether you’re eloping just the two of you or with a few of your closest people, writing personalized vows for your ceremony is the central part of your ceremony. It’s the moment you get to express your commitment, your promise, your love to your partner. Have a vow booklet made for you to write in your vows as a keepsake after your wedding or elopement. That way your vows are kept forever and you can even make a tradition to read them every year on your anniversary on your date night. Check out my blog here for tips on how to write your marriage vows.
Fun fact: In French, wedding rings are called “les alliances” which is literally translated “the commitments.” I find that to be so beautiful. It’s not just jewelry, it’s a symbol of the alliance, the commitment, the promise you make to each other.
This is a beautiful Celtic tradition that is becoming more and more popular in many other traditions. It is a way of exchanging vows. The couple stands face to face with their hands tied together as they express words of their commitment to each other. This is where the expression “tying the knot” comes from.
This can be a really beautiful and fun way to include any family or friends you may have invited to your elopement. If one of them is musical, they can play meaningful music for your ceremony. Otherwise, having a mini speaker or a sound system of some kind to have music during your ceremony playing songs that are special to you gives a personal touch to your elopement ceremony. Music has a powerful impact on the emotional feeling of your ceremony.
I love this idea for an elopement ceremony, but even for a wedding ceremony. Get creative with a really personal gift from each partner. Something they can have as a keepsake of this important moment in your lives.
This ceremony can be really powerful. It is great for a small, intimate wedding ceremony or an elopement ceremony with some guests. A ring warming ceremony is when your guests each take hold of the couple’s wedding rings and offer a wish, a blessing, and/or prayer for your marriage. So when you finally get to exchange your rings and place it on the hand of your partner, the rings are filled with blessings and love.
Planting a tree together during your adventurous outdoor elopement or adventurous wedding is perfect for the nature-loving couple. It is a great way to make an anniversary tradition of re-visiting your ceremony location to see how your tree is growing, representing your love growing together.
Another idea is planting a flower in a pot during your ceremony to have as a keepsake for your home together. Watch it bloom!
Pour two different colours of sand into a jar to symbolize your commitment and then that becomes an elopement or wedding keepsake!
I love this idea at the end of the ceremony as a way to kick off this new chapter in your story! A way to celebrate your future together! Cheers to you and your love story!
I have to mention this especially for those of you eloping who may not even have an officiant. Share your first kiss as a married couple to commemorate the moment!
This moment doesn’t need to be saved for the reception especially if you’re planning an intimate, adventurous elopement where you may not even have a “typical” reception. Enjoy a first dance together at your ceremony with some meaningful music. It’s a beautiful moment during the ceremony even for a wedding ceremony. There are no rules for weddings! Do it your way!
Kimberly Archambault is an adventure elopement wedding photographer for the laid-back adventurers. Based in Montreal, Canada, she is always ready to come along on your adventure wherever that leads you. Adventurous couples deserve a photographer specializing in capturing one-of-a-kind, stunning photos that bring out the love you share. She believes in documenting your authentic story through moments in time that bring to life the emotions and feelings that define who you are. Now you can cherish the memories of the special moments you share, surrounded by nature and tailored to your unique story.
©Kimberly Archambault 2023, all rights reserved.
Kim is a Quebec elopement photographer based in Montreal and serving worldwide. She married the love of her life in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, and it profoundly shaped her relationship and view on marriage - and now she wants to help you plan the same experience.