Hello, Road Trip Weddings: How the Ceremony Has Changed

wedding at the lake

Let’s face it. If you planned to wed last year in 2020, you might have postponed it for some time now. Whether you like it or not, there’s one reason for all the fuss: COVID-19 happened. As CNBC reported, thousands of weddings were canceled in 2020.

Before you give up on your plans to tie the knot, know there’s a way for you to get it in the soonest time you want. Just a few wrinkles, and you should be wearing that Till-Death-Do-Us part ring in no time. Assuming, of course, you have an open mind.

Early on, wedding planners thought destination weddings were the answer because of all the restrictions since the virus hit the town. No, sir. Even destination weddings had too much load to carry for it to rise to the occasion. You put the lives of your parents and older folks in danger, for one. To top all that, you need the authorities to grant you a permit to gather (depending on the location). It’s one tall order, needless to say. Not with destination elopements. The requirements are as light as a feather. Making it the answer for couples who want a shot at forever in such highly-restrictive times.

The Case for Destination Elopements

Before we set forth, a clear-cut definition of terms should be in order. Or we risk shooting ourselves in the foot as we go along.

To start, destination elopements are not destination weddings. By definition, an elopement is an act of a couple done secretly. This means if you have to ask permission from your parents, it’s not considered elopement. Indeed, there’s that element of surprise, of getting away from the crowd and doing things your way.

Well, we can’t get a more famous example of a couple in elopement than our Friends with Benefits stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, who are now happily living the married life with kids. The celebrity couple deliberately misled the press about their plans by posting different locations on social media. Secretly, they tied the knot in California and headed off to Yosemite Park with their young daughter.

wedding kiss

In the time of the pandemic, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. Of course, this is assuming getting yourselves official is top of the list.

For starters, you won’t have to carry a lot of luggage and do tons of preparation. There’s no need to book a place. You can do it in your backyard or a scenic mountain hideaway far away from civilization. Plus, you can do it without the guests. Just the officiant and a photographer would do.

Best of all, there’s no reception. When the ceremony is over, you’re on your own. But of course, you can choose your chosen friends to be there with you. Say two or three.

It’s exactly what you need in the time of the pandemic. You save on food. You save on the venue. And you don’t make it a health issue with your older folks. Best of all, you make the wedding happen in such tumultuous times.

Making It a Reality

To boot, you still need to look good at your wedding. In fact, this is the day you commit yourself to live a life with your better half. Right? So, top of the list, stunning bridal dresses should be part of the picture. What you wear on the day you start your life as one shall be remembered for years to come. A bridal dress can give that sense of mystery and wonder like no other. Paired with your significant other in formal attire.

You can then bring along extra adventure clothes if you plan to visit Yosemite after, just like Mr. and Mrs. Kutcher did in their elopement.

Certainly, destination elopements trump destination weddings in costs and the hassle department. But there are things you need to bear in mind.

The key to all this is the officiant. Make sure you book him/her ahead of time, and you are clear about what you want to happen on the day of your wedding. Some folks marry in the courthouse and take the road trip later. If the officiant is amenable to traveling with you to your chosen destination, so much the better. You can have the ceremony there, granting it won’t rain.

Then there’s the photographer. Some people bring a friend with them with a smartphone. Word of advice, though: take it up to an expert. A professional take on such a bare-bone wedding can spell the difference between a destination to remember for a lifetime and one that doesn’t ring a bell.

Prep for the Backlash

In hindsight, know that there could be a backlash after everyone knows you’re wed. Why? Your mom could castigate for all the secrecy; your dad could stop talking to you for some time. Moreover, you need to prep yourself for the negative talk from your friends and family who might feel offended.

A good way to counter all this is to tell them the truth—that you’ve been finding it hard to make things happen with the virus around. And that you don’t have the money to spare at this time with all the challenges you’re facing. To mend fences, you can then tell them you’re throwing a party when the right time comes, and stay-at-home orders are rescinded (which could be months from now).

At the end of the day, what matters most is you have the most important person on Earth wrapped in your arms.

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