How to plan your elopement

May 24, 2018

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When it comes to planning elopements, Emily with Lace and Brass Events is an expert! I interviewed her to get some of her wisdom on what it takes to plan an elopement. If you’re feeling torn between the big wedding and keeping it small and simple, grab her tips here-


What perks are there to eloping or having an intimate wedding rather than going the traditional route?

When I speak with couples considering an elopement or intimate wedding, they’re all saying the same thing: They’re looking for a small, simple ceremony that isn’t going to cost an immense amount. But they’re still wanting their wedding to be a beautiful and special! When it’s just the couple or even with 20 guests, you’re able to plan something beautiful within a smaller budget and in less amount of time than a more traditional wedding.

What if a couple has already started planning a large, traditional wedding and decides to elope halfway through? What do they need to do to accomplish this?

I’ve actually had couples who started planning a larger wedding and decided it wasn’t for them. They canceled their plans and went with one of our elopement/ intimate ceremony packages! In one of these cases their photographer was open to changing the date and location, and they just worked that out with the photographer and myself. We found a date and location that worked for everyone! Couples could also still elope or have a small ceremony with their immediate family and then still keep their plans for a larger reception the same. It just removes the ceremony part which they ended up loving that option to split up the two.


What is the difference between a pop-up elopement and a styled elopement?

For our packages we created our Sweet & Simple and Rose Gold All-Inclusive Elopement Packages. These include at the minimum a photographer, officiant, flowers, our assistance putting together a timeline, hiring those vendors, finding the venue/space for the ceremony and son on. The Rose Gold then also includes live music, champagne, a small wedding cake, and some more add ons.

We were finding that some couples were interested in eloping but needed a little more help or direction. We decided to create our pop-up elopements which is essentially like the Sweet & Simple package except we have also chosen a location and time of the year. Our packages are available for anywhere, we just wanted to help give some ideas and that is where the pop-ups came in.


What benefits are there to hiring a planner for an elopement or intimate wedding? What aspects of the wedding can a planner assist with?

Almost all of our clients are having a destination wedding, whether that’s a large traditional wedding or an elopement. They don’t live in the area and some have never been to the area where they are getting married. Hiring us to plan your wedding or one of our all-inclusive packages includes our expertise! We know who to hire, where to go for specific venue/location requests, what to do/not to do for destination weddings/elopements and so on.

For our all-inclusive packages we are hiring the vendors that are included in the packages. Couples can instantly feel relieved after hiring us because they know we are taking care of the essentials for their special day. We put together the timeline, find the perfect location based on their wants and needs, assist them with getting their marriage license and then coordinate the actual ceremony. We can also add things to our packages like chairs for your guests, arches and decor. We will then take care of setting these up and taking them down. Essentially couples are able to just show up for their ceremony knowing we have taken care of everything!

A lot of these elopements and intimate weddings happen in amazing outdoor settings. What should a couple think about to make sure their outdoor wedding is successful?

Love this question! I actually just wrote a blog post on Five Tips for Your Outdoor Elopement. The biggest things couples should keep in mind is weather, and honestly embracing it. Also if couples are looking at parks, beaches or public spaces they’ll want to check calendars to make sure there aren’t any big events happening on the date they’re considering. Couples should also keep in mind that public spaces are just that- public. They technically cannot make anybody leave but I’ve always found that people tend to be pretty respectful and keep some distance during ceremonies. I’ve also found that less is more when it comes to decorations and being in beautiful outdoor settings.

What are some ways a couple can infuse their personality into their intimate wedding or elopement so it reflects their relationship and personalities?

I always encourage my clients to make it their own! From what they wear, the flowers they hold to their actual ceremony script they should make everything exactly what feels right for them.

What is the best way to decide on a guest list for an intimate wedding and diplomatically deal with people who expect to be invited to the wedding but won’t be?

Putting together a guest list for any wedding can be difficult. Our packages have a 20 guest maximum so I feel that gives a great “excuse” for clients to tell family members- I’m sorry, we are just inviting immediate family because that’s all we can actually have! Really when it comes down to it, think about your very closest family and friends. This is your ceremony and because it is going to be very small, you want to make sure the guests that you do have truly are your closest. The intimacy is a beautiful thing for small weddings and couples just love the extra time they have with their new spouse and their guests!


What are some types of places and/or venues that would be good for intimate weddings and elopements?

There are some beautiful parks in the Twin Cities area, North Shore area and over by where we live in Bayfield, Wisconsin and on Madleline Island. For couples looking to have an incredible adventurous elopement here in the Midwest we can’t help but mention our Apostle Islands Sailboat Elopement package!! You’ll have a luxury sailboat overnight with all of the bells and whistles for your ceremony either on the sailboat or on one of the Apostle Islands.

There are also a number of great venues and spaces in Duluth, Minnesota where you can have your intimate ceremony and dinner at the same location. We love to plan elopements by us here in Bayfield or Madeline Island but also love to travel! Last year we planned a really fun elopement in New Orleans and would love to plan more destination elopements. We have had Jekyll Island, New Orleans, Banff or Yellowstone National Parks, desserts in Arizona and so many locations out west on our Elopement Bucket List!

Meet Lace and Brass!

My name is Emily Jeffress and I’m the owner of Lace & Brass Events. LBE is a wedding and elopement planning company based in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Our services include wedding & event planning, wedding coordination, and event design. For elopements, intimate ceremonies or vow renewals we offer very unique all-inclusive elopement packages and our Apostle Islands sailboat elopement package. Although we mainly work in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota we absolutely can (and love) to travel! Recently Lace & Brass Events has been awarded Wedding Wire’s Couples’ Choice Awards 2018 and The Knot Best of Weddings Top Pick 2018. You can also see work of ours published on Dainty Obsessions Magazine, Ruffled Blog, 100 Layer Cake, Minnesota Bride Weddings Magazine, Lake Bride Magazine, Lake Superior Magazine, So This is Love and more!


If you need a photographer to capture your elopement, get in touch by scrolling down clicking the wedding button below. Lumos Images has specific collections that are perfect for elopements and intimate weddings!



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