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Hosting Garden Weddings for Nature Lovers

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Unforgettable Elopement Ceremony Ideas You Should Steal

Ah, the elopement. It’s like the rebel cousin of the traditional wedding – intimate, personal, and as unique as your fingerprint. You’ve decided to skip the fuss and frills, and instead, embrace the love you and your partner share in a way that truly speaks to your souls. But hold on a sec, don’t just walk down that less-traveled aisle without considering some unforgettable elopement ceremony ideas. We’re talking about adding a dash of creativity, a sprinkle of whimsy, and a whole lot of “you” to your elopement day.

Ceremony Location Ideas

We have been Destination Dreaming… Where the Wild Vows Are…

Sure, you could get hitched in a garden or by the beach, but how about under the twinkling stars in a secluded forest or atop a misty mountain peak? Picture this: you and your love, surrounded by nature’s finest, taking your vows as the sun dips below the horizon. Now that’s the stuff of fairy tales, right? Or create your own moment inspired by The Vow with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, and get married in an art gallery with your closest friends. 

If you’re imagining less of a getaway adventure, and more of an intimate celebration close to home. There are still great options! Another idea would be a backyard celebration, but you could take it a step further. Spend the wedding budget on upgrading your backyard and host your ceremony in the upgraded space. Then you can continue to relax and share that space for more time to come as a married couple, thinking back to the beautiful wedding day. Especially since the Pew Research center shares that 53% of all couples cohabitate before marriage. 

The ceremony location doesn’t need to be traditional or expected. The best unique elopement ceremony ideas are ones that reflect the relationship and passions of the couple! 

Elopement Script Ideas

Write Your Script: Vow Like Nobody’s Watching

Who said wedding vows had to be all formal and serious? This is your moment, and you can script it however you darn well please. Share your promises with a touch of humor, recount your inside jokes, or even quote lines from your favorite movies – because why not pledge eternal love with a little help from “Star Wars”?

You can still fit in your religious traditions or cultural traditions – like a handfasting ceremony as it makes sense. More than anything it is a commitment ceremony to share in the love of each other. And we highly recommend adding in the personal vows too since this can be like love letters in your ceremony. Writing your own vows into vow books becomes an amazing private keepsake for the rest of your life. 

As you begin to write your ceremony script and personal vows, start with quotes that have a special meaning for you and the relationship. Draw inspiration from sample scripts you find online to help guide you, but allow this to be a process that flows from the heart. If writing the wedding script is too daunting for you, most professional officiants will have one ready for you. Another option would be to have someone important to you all write and perform the script as part of the intimate wedding. Having a close friends trusted to write the elopement ceremony script is a big honor but can also be a beautiful way to see how your relationship has impacted others. 

Officiant: Dearly beloved and cherished witnesses, we gather here today in the presence of love, nature’s most brilliant masterpiece. We’re about to embark on a journey that combines the whimsy of a romantic comedy with the profound emotion of a classic novel. [Bride] and [Groom], as you stand here ready to take this leap, remember that love is not only about stolen glances but also about endless laughter, and it’s a privilege to be part of your story.

Sample Script

Officiant: Dearly beloved and cherished witnesses, we gather here today in the presence of love, nature’s most brilliant masterpiece. We’re about to embark on a journey that combines the whimsy of a romantic comedy with the profound emotion of a classic novel. [Bride] and [Groom], as you stand here ready to take this leap, remember that love is not only about stolen glances but also about endless laughter, and it’s a privilege to be part of your story.
Opening Words:Officiant: Love is a lot like a well-written novel. It has its suspenseful moments, its heart-pounding chapters, and its beautiful crescendos. But unlike a novel, your love story has no ending – it’s a timeless masterpiece that keeps on writing itself.
Quote from “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen:Officiant: As Mr. Darcy once declared to Elizabeth Bennet, “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” [Bride] and [Groom], your love story is one for the books, and today, you’ll write another page in this grand adventure.
Sharing of Vows:[Bride] and [Groom], you’ve chosen to embark on this journey together. [Bride], please share your vows.
[Bride]:”I promise to love you through laughter and through tears, through the plot twists and the quiet moments. I promise to be your partner in adventure, your confidant in secret jokes, and your comfort in all storms. With you, every chapter of my life is richer, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”
Officiant: [Groom], your turn.
[Groom]:”I vow to be your protector and your partner, your loyal sidekick in this grand story we’re crafting. With you, I’ve found my greatest adventure and my truest love. I promise to be your rock and your laughter, your steady anchor and your joyous dance.”
Quote from “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks:Officiant: Just as Noah wrote to Allie in “The Notebook,” “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” May your love forever be this kind of love, igniting your souls and creating a beautiful harmony.
Exchange of Rings:May I have the rings, please? These rings symbolize your unending circle of love, a love that’s boundless, eternal, and, in this case, pretty darn shiny. [Groom], please place the ring on [Bride]’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
[Groom]: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
[Bride], your turn. Place the ring on [Groom]’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
[Bride]: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
Closing Words:Officiant: In the book of life, you’ve each written a chapter alone, but today, you begin a new volume together. May each page be filled with the laughter of inside jokes, the warmth of shared dreams, and the profound love that you hold for one another.
Final Reading – Quote from “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo:Officiant: Let us end with the wisdom of Victor Hugo, who wrote, “Life is a flower of which love is the honey.” May your days be filled with the sweetness of love, and may your hearts forever bloom in each other’s presence.
Pronouncement:By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you partners in romance, companions in comedy, and lovers for life. You may seal this union with a kiss that echoes through the pages of your love story.
Closing Music and Exit:Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, for the very first time, [Bride] and [Groom], partners in this grand adventure called love!

Non-Traditional Officiants

While in some states or jurisdictions, you can have your dog legally marry you. That might not always be feasible!  We wanted to share some non-traditional ideas for officiants that can add a unique and personal touch to your wedding ceremony:

Elise Abigail Photo
  • Close Friend or Family Member: Have someone close to you who knows your love story well officiate the ceremony. This could be a sibling, best friend, or a mentor who played a significant role in your relationship.
  • Professional Speaker or Performer: Consider hiring a motivational speaker, comedian, or spoken word artist to officiate your wedding. They can infuse the ceremony with humor, inspiration, and a captivating stage presence.
  • Local Celebrity or Influencer: If you have a local celebrity or well-known figure in your community who supports your relationship, inviting them to officiate can make your day truly memorable.
  • Spiritual Leader from Another Faith: If you and your partner come from different religious backgrounds, inviting a spiritual leader from each faith to co-officiate can represent your union beautifully.
  • Life Coach or Therapist: A life coach or therapist who has helped you and your partner grow as individuals and as a couple can provide meaningful insights and guidance during your ceremony.
  • Cultural or Community Leader: Enlist a respected leader from your cultural or community organization to officiate, incorporating traditional rituals or customs into the ceremony.
  • Creative Artist: If you and your partner share a passion for art, music, or writing, invite a creative artist like a poet, painter, or musician to officiate and incorporate their craft into the ceremony.
  • Favorite Professor or Teacher: If you met in school or have a special connection to a particular teacher or professor, having them officiate can be a touching tribute to your journey.
  • Professional Impersonator: If you and your partner have a favorite fictional character or celebrity, hiring a professional impersonator to officiate can add a fun and unexpected twist. You may have seen this idea before done with an Elvis impersonator, but there are so many options out there!
  • Local Storyteller: Many communities have skilled storytellers who can craft and narrate a personalized love story during the ceremony, making it engaging and memorable.
  • Bilingual Officiant: If you come from different language backgrounds, a bilingual officiant can seamlessly switch between languages, creating a harmonious fusion of cultures.
  • Pet or Animal Trainer: If you’re animal lovers, invite a pet or animal trainer to incorporate your furry friend into the ceremony, or have them officiate with your pet by your side.

Remember, the key is to choose an officiant who resonates with you and your partner, and who can bring a personal and meaningful touch to your special day. Whether it’s someone you know well or a professional with a unique skill, your choice of officiant can make your wedding ceremony truly unforgettable. If you are opting for a courthouse elopement, you may not have the option to pick an officiant. To get those heartfelt moments you may want to plan some time for readings as a part of the elopement reception. 

Including Your Hobbies & Passions

A non-traditional wedding ceremony big or small can offer a great opportunity to infuse hobbies and passions into the elopement ceremony and big day. This could be Fur-tastic Elopement Companions! You’re not alone in this journey of love, so why not invite your four-legged friends to join the adventure? Imagine your furry BFF strutting down the “aisle” with the rings or simply basking in the joy alongside you. Their unconditional love adds a sprinkle of magic to the day. Having them apart of your day could also calm nerves and be a fun part of a first look. 

If your hobbies are in paints or DIY/crafting – there are fortunately a ton of options out there for you. But a  great way that we have seen is “painting your love story.” Who needs an aisle runner when you’ve got a canvas? Consider starting your marriage on a creative note by painting a masterpiece together during your ceremony. Each brushstroke is a pledge, and the resulting artwork will forever capture the vibrant strokes of your love story.

A classic romantic moment that will never go out of style is including music into the day. While there are many different ways to do this, we have loved seeing a bride play a song, that she wrote and performed, play during the first dance. This could have been a song played during the ceremony too! But you can always serenade under the sky with a classic acoustic guitar performance during the intimate ceremony and at the end of the night – preferably around a bonfire. Got a musician friend who strums the guitar like nobody’s business? Invite them to serenade your vows with a live acoustic performance. There’s something undeniably romantic about pledging your love with the sound of soft strings in the background. 

Hopefully you can keep the elopement photographer around for the entire day to capture all these beautiful moments! 

Romanticize the Moment

Not only can you romanticize the moment in the vows you write or the scripts you select for the ceremony, you can set the ambiance. The simple ceremony can be into the evening and lit up with candles for a ceremony of light and love. Light up your vows – literally. Have a collection of candles that you both light together as you say your promises. It’s not just symbolic; it creates a mesmerizing visual and intimate ambiance that’ll make your ceremony truly shine.

fall elopement ceremony juniper gardens springfield missouri, anniversary session, couple session
Photo by Hanna Sher Photography

Extend Beyond the Day

As always, find way to extend the joy and love from elopement ceremony! Make sure to send out elopement announcements (virtually or on paper!) to allow others to celebrate you! But in a more personal way to extend the day, let your love bloom and grow! Rather than a traditional sand or unity candle ceremony, plant a tree or a little garden during your elopement. As you nurture it over the years, it’ll stand as a living testament to the growth of your love. If you are in Missouri, like us, might we suggest planting a Joe Pye Weed plant. It’s a Missouri native that is easy maintenance, comes back year after year, and a favorite amongst pollinators! 

And if you need an easy date night idea as the relationship goes on. Plan a cute picnic and read your vows to each other again over your favorite drinks and dinner. Also, take the time to print and use your elopement photos to look back on these moments again and again. 

Your Elopement, Your Rules

Eloping and your elopement ceremony isn’t just about simplifying your wedding; it’s about amplifying the meaningful moments that matter most. So go ahead, steal these unforgettable elopement ceremonies ideas and give them your own unique twist. Whether you’re howling your vows with your pup by your side or painting your love story onto a canvas of dreams, your elopement day will be a true reflection of the love that fills your hearts. Cheers to the adventure you’re about to embark on – may it be as extraordinary as the love you share.

If you want to learn more about having an intentional elopement, read here.

Elopement Photosession Springfield Missouri

August 15, 2023

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