3 Mistakes We Made When We Eloped (And What We Did Right!)

Kaci and Ben's Bountiful Elopement

If you are thinking about eloping…I support you 100%! It is the best way to get married, but there are some drawbacks of course.

A little backstory first, we actually had sent out invitations already for our June wedding. When we found out it was Leap Year, we decided that would be an awesome day to get married on!

This is our best photo from that day…and I am flipping everyone off lol

Here is what we learned when we eloped:

1. Tell Everyone You Are Eloping Or Tell No One.

We eloped to have an epic wedding anniversary date, but also because I am a pretty private person. The thought of saying our vows in front of everyone makes me feel silly.

Elopements are not selfish!

How could committing to put another human being first for the rest of your life be selfish? It isn’t! When people say this, what they really mean is “I was expecting to witness the best moment in your life because I love you so much. I am hurt I am not invited because I feel like you don’t care about me”

People we saw daily found out because we are terrible at keeping secrets. Some invited themselves which wasn’t we wanted, but it was hard to say no. When other family found out after they were hurt. So here’s the deal, people care about you. They feel entitled to witness the biggest event in your life because they love you and helped shape who you are.

Realize that no matter what you do, somebody’s feelings are going to get hurt or they are going to disagree with you; Whether you are eloping or even if you are going to have a big wedding. Hear them out, but do what makes you happy. My best advice is to be honest & kind about why you are doing things the way you are.

2. Make it Special

We were 2 broke young adults. All of our money went to college tuition. I didn’t really think that much about making the day special. I just wanted to marry my best friend! I worked the day before our wedding, my boss found out and sent me home early. My husband worked the morning of our wedding. He got off at 7AM.

We then built a fort together made out of PVC pipe, blankets and twinkle lights to get married in. A fort wedding was only fitting since Ben proposed in a blanket-fort! After, Ben took a nap in the car, we randomly went to eat at iHop, then we said our vows and drove off to our honeymoon.

I wish we would have planned an epic day from start to finish to truly make it the best day ever. We definitely should have taken the time off work (but hey at least we didn’t get married on our lunch break lol).

If I was planning it now, even with a limited budget I would

  • Have our day start with a nice breakfast and pampering
  • We would stay separate so we could do a first look
  • I would have other people setup the venue or getting married outdoors so we didn’t have to work on our wedding day
  • Perform a unity ceremony like tying the knot or sand ceremony to have a physical representation of our bond
  • Do something fun together like an airplane ride or horseback ride so we have unique experience because hey, you don’t get married everyday! It should be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

3. Hire a Photographer & Videographer

I thought it would be weird to have a stranger documenting our vows, but now I really regret it. We had Ben’s best friend taking pictures and video on my camera (she did the best she could with what she had!) but I wish we had a professional. It was a tight, dark space, so we definitely needed somebody with off camera lighting. You can’t really hear the audio on our wedding video which is such a bummer.

This is a screenshot from the ceremony video…Our dark, blurry first kiss that I can’t get printed because of the low-quality.

Now, we have blurry photos and a dark, silent video to share with our kids and all our friends and family. Since we eloped, this was the ONLY documentation and way for all of our loved ones to witness our wedding.

This is by far the biggest regret. Especially now that I know so many amazing photographers and videographers out there that I would have loved to be there with me on my wedding day.

(Shameless plug, I’m pretty cool if you need a photographer still! Let’s chat >>> https://kacilou.com/contact)

You Can Elope & Have a Reception

Guess what, you can have the best of both worlds! Our reception still happened on our original wedding date in June. We got to say our vows privately and still celebrate with all our loved ones later. That was perfect for us!

I would still choose to elope

Even with all the drawbacks, I would still choose to elope. I loved how it was low-key, intimate, authentic, and centered on us. No stress, no drama, no fanfare. You gotta do what makes you happy. Eloping is not for everybody, but if that is what you want, then you should totally do it!

Need help planning your elopement or still need a photographer, I’m your gal! I would love to chat with you! Reach out at kaci@kacilou.com or use this form https://kacilou.com/contact.

Tell me what you think in the comments!

Personal, Wedding Planning


Kaci Lou


3 Mistakes We Made When We Eloped (And What We Did Right!)

Kaci and Ben's Bountiful Elopement