When I was planning to marry my second (and current) husband, I was looking for ways to elope that would be easy and unique. I couldn't stand the thought of spending a ton of money on a big wedding because I had already been down that road once before. Thankfully, my soon-to-be husband left the decision-making in my hands so I was able to choose the location of our elopement. Several of the following seven ways to elope were options that I considered before narrowing it down to one choice. Can you guess which one I chose for my elopement?
1. Cruise Ship
I love the idea of eloping on a cruise to the Caribbean or Alaska. To me, it is one of the easiest ways to elope because almost everything is handled by the ship's crew. Plus, you get to experience a fantastic honeymoon at the same time. Some couples invite a limited number of friends and family members to take part in their big day, while others go it alone. Just about every major cruise line offers on-board wedding packages, so if you want to elope without doing much planning, this could be a great option for you.
2. Drive-Thru Chapel
There are several states in the U.S. that have drive-thru wedding chapels. If you are looking for a fun, fast and unique way to say your vows, consider marrying in your car at one of these chapels. Typically, these drive-thru chapels offer dresses, veils and tuxedos for rent if you want to get spiffy before you drive up to the window. Although a drive-thru chapel may seem like a great idea at the spur of the moment, usually you need to make a reservation to get married here. Although, you never know; if there was a cancellation or the wedding officiant has time, you may be able to get married in a drive-thru without calling first.
3. Sky Wheel
If you really want to get married in an exhilarating and unusual way, there are ministers and notaries who will perform an elopement in a roller coaster. Your best bet is to choose something like the Sky Wheel at Myrtle Beach. This is a Ferris wheel that moves at a slow to moderate speed, giving you enough time to complete your vows before you must get off the ride. Although a roller coaster wedding isn't for everyone, if you have an adventurous spirit and you hate the thought of planning a big, splashy wedding, go for it! It will be a fantastic story to tell your grandchildren someday.
4. Elvis Chapel
This list of elopement ideas would not be complete without mentioning the Elvis wedding chapel. Las Vegas probably has the most popular Elvis wedding chapels, but if you are in the southeast, Memphis also has an Elvis chapel. If your idea of the perfect elopement is a fun and fashionably kitschy event, the Elvis wedding chapel may be the perfect choice for you. If you are not inviting any friends or family to your Elvis-style wedding, the chapel will probably have someone on hand to act as your witness. You will probably want to call ahead to book a reservation because these chapels tend to get busy.
5. Bed & Breakfast
Many inns offer elopement packages for couples who want an easy, low-cost alternative to a big wedding. If you choose the B&B route, you can experience your wedding and honeymoon all wrapped up in one. Typically, the inn or B&B will supply you with everything you need to get hitched, like the wedding officiant, flowers, wedding site, champagne and other little extras. If this idea interests you, call the specific inn or B&B to inquire about pricing and amenities, well in advance. As you probably already guessed, prices and amenities vary, depending on the location.
6. Location of Your First Date
No, not every item on this list is as wild as the roller coaster idea. For a simple, but romantic wedding spot, consider eloping at the location of your first date, first kiss or other first. This may take a few phone calls ahead of time, but there will be much less planning involved than there would be with a big wedding. If your first date was at a movie, purchase tickets and elope in the same theater. If you went roller skating, elope on skates at the roller rink! You get the idea.
7. Scuba Diving
There is a new trend hitting the elopement scene. More and more couples are now getting married underwater. If you and your future spouse love underwater adventures, eloping in scuba gear would make for a very memorable wedding. You may need to make a few calls before you find a wedding officiant who is willing to perform the underwater nuptials, but there is still very little planning involved with this type of elopement. Imagine the fantastic underwater wedding photos!
With a willing wedding officiant and the location owner's permission, you can basically elope anywhere you choose on land, sea or air. If you want to do something a bit more exciting than a City Hall wedding, your options are endless. My husband and I eloped at a funny little drive-thru wedding chapel in Tennessee, and I will always remember it as being simple, silly and beautiful. What unique location would be your perfect elopement spot?