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Should you Elope for your Second Marriage?

Should you Elope for your Second Marriage? Portsmouth, NH elopement photo on beach

What to do for your Second Wedding

Are you getting married for the second time and considering whether to have a traditional wedding or something more intimate and unique? Eloping may be the perfect option for you. In this guide, we'll explore why eloping can be a great choice for second marriages. AND I'll be giving ideas to make your elopement special and meaningful. Say goodbye to the stress and expense of a traditional wedding and hello to a personalized and breathtaking elopement experience!

In the past, eloping may have been seen as a hasty or impulsive decision, but times have changed. Nowadays, elopements can be intentional, and well-planned intimate wedding celebrations! With an elopement, you have the freedom to create a day that is tailored to your preferences and priorities. All that WITHOUT the pressure of conforming to traditional wedding expectations.

If you're getting married for the 2nd time, you may have a different perspective on what you want your wedding to look like. Maybe you already had the big event, or are older and don't want to big to do. Perhaps you're looking for a more low-key celebration that focuses on your love and commitment to each other, rather than the details and spectacle of a traditional wedding. There's no wrong way to get married, as long as it aligned with you and your partners values and vision!

Whether you're looking to get married quickly or simply want a more intimate and personalized experience, eloping can be a beautiful way to celebrate your love and commitment to each other. Let's dive in!

What is an Elopement?

Couple eloping in the white mountains of New Hampshire at echo lake in the fall

First off, let's clear the air on what even is an elopement?! Gone are the days when eloping was taboo - and getting married in Vegas was just a low-budget, only-option kinda thing. Elopements can be romantic, intentional, and well-planned intimate wedding celebrations. In the past, it may have primarily meant keeping it a secret and running away from home, but that's not quite true anymore. While some couples may still choose to keep it a secret, often times it's been communicated to friends and family well in advance. Eloping now really means ditching the stale traditionally large weddings and opting for a more unique and personalized experience. Whether that's just the two of you or you bring along guests.

As an experienced destination elopement photographer, I'm here to encourage my couples to elope with ease anywhere in the world. With oodles of resources, guidance, location scouting, and vendor recommendations. It's my goal to provide my clients with all the tools they need to have an epic, meaningful and breathtaking elopement.

Is an Elopement Right For You?

Many couples who are getting married for the second time are not as interested in having a big, traditional wedding. They may want a more intimate experience that focuses on the love and connection they share with their partner. An elopement can provide just that, AND MORE!! It allows couples to exchange their vows in a beautiful location, with or without their closest loved ones present.

Here are a few signs eloping is right for you:

  1. You want to avoid the big event. Eloping may be right for you if you want to avoid the stress and expense of a traditional wedding. While an elopement doesn't have to mean low budget (talk to me about my destination elopement packages! You prioritize intimacy and meaning over tradition. And want to have a unique and personalized experience, or are looking to get married quickly.
  2. Experience is a priority. Instead of catering your wedding day to the guest list and societal expectations, you want a day filled with experiences. Making intentional memories TOGETHER, as opposed to feeling rushed through an event. The things you cherish most are not in possessions or appearance, but in spending time with one another doing the things you love. That can be with or without friends/family!
  3. You like flexibility. Another advantage of eloping is the flexibility it provides. You can choose the time, location, and style that suits you and your partner best. You can have a small, intimate ceremony on a mountaintop, or exchange vows on a sandy beach at sunset. The possibilities are endless, and the experience is tailored to your preferences. Elopement timelines also tend to be less stressful than traditional weddings. As you have the freedom to make it as full or relaxed as you want!
  4. Adventure is your jam! While not all elopements are adventurous, if you and your partner love exploring new places, being out in nature, and trying out new things; eloping really is the best way to incorporate all of those things into your wedding day!

Second Marriage Wedding Ideas

I've had the honor of photographing many second-marriage elopements. Let me tell you, it doesn't make it any less special. And I can say from personal experience; getting married isn't just for the youngins! My own grandmother got married quite a few times throughout her life, even in her 70's! She outlived many husbands and kept going because she believed in love. MANY people choose to get married later along in their journey here on Earth. If you're considering an elopement for your second marriage, or your first marriage as someone NOT in their 20's; there are plenty of ideas to make your day special. I know it can get overwhelming since you can do anythinggg you want, but let me break it down for ya!

Here are a few ideas for how to make your elopement day personal:

Choose a meaningful location: Consider choosing a location that holds significance to your relationship, such as the place where you first met or a destination that you've always dreamed of visiting together! If you’ve never been to the location you want, hiring a photographer who either has been there before (OR is an experienced destination elopement photographer like me!) can make all the difference!

Not sure where you want to elope? I've compiled a list of the Best places to elope in the U.S.! PLUS a guide on How and Where to Elope in Upstate NY as well as Acadia, Las Vegas, and plenty more tips and guides on my elopement resources page!

Make it an extended adventure: Plan a trip around your elopement. Vacation/elopement/honeymoon all in one! Explore the area, try new activities, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don't stress about putting it all into ONE day, but rather spread it out and fill each day with different activities!

Book activities/excursions: Consider booking adventures you and your partner enjoy, such as hiking, horseback riding, or wine tasting, etc. You can do those things solo, with your photographer, or even include guests into the fun! This can make your elopement even more special and memorable.

Have Multiple Celebrations. This can be a great solution if you’re torn between wanting something private with just you two, but also wanting to include family. Maybe if you have kids you want to be there, or loved ones who have supported you through your relationship.

Personalize the ceremony: You can also personalize your ceremony by writing your own vows, exchanging meaningful gifts, or incorporating cultural or religious traditions that are important to you. If you have kids (or pets!) you can include them in the ceremony too!

Should you Invite Guests to your Elopement?

Elopement ceremony in New Hampshire with guests

Whether or not to invite guests to your elopement is entirely up to you and your partner. If you want a more intimate experience, you may choose to keep your day just between the two of you. However, if you want to include loved ones in your celebration, you can invite a select group to join you. Just make sure to communicate your plans clearly and respectfully to any family or friends who may have expectations for a more traditional wedding! Here are a couple options when it comes to eloping:

  1. Have a ceremony with just family and have a dinner with friends later.
  2. Get married in secret and pop the news to friends and family afterward.
  3. Go on a private elopement adventure just you two then host a party a different day.
  4. Celebrate your marriage, ceremony, adventure, dinner, exclusively with just you two.
  5. Have a mult-day celebration with a variety or private time + family celebrations.

How to Include Family on Your Elopement Day

If you're getting married for the second time and want to include family in your elopement day, there are plenty of ways to do so! If you or your partner have children, you can find ways to incorporate them into your celebration. Whether on the day of or later on if you choose to have a private ceremony.

Here are some ideas to make your loved ones feel included in your elopement ceremony:

daughter helping mom get ready for wedding
daughter reading a poem at parents elopement

Include a unity ceremony:

One idea is to include a unity ceremony that symbolizes the blending of your families. For example, you could have each member of your family pour sand into a jar to create a blended sand art piece that represents your new family.

Have a family vow exchange:

Another idea is to have a family vow exchange, where each member of the family shares their own special vows to one another. This can be a beautiful way to include everyone in the ceremony and create a sense of unity.

Create a family photo album or video:

After the elopement, create a family photo album or video that includes photos and memories of your elopement day. This can be a great way to share your special day with those who were not able to attend and create a lasting memory for your family.

Include a family activity or outing:

Plan a family activity or outing before or after the elopement. This can be a great way to bond and create special memories as a family.

Give them a role:

It could be as simple as being a part of the bridal party, or having them be in charge of the dessert. If your children are older there are plenty of ways you can have them help while making them feel special and a part of the day. If your kids are younger, consider having another family member there to help out with watching them so you can enjoy your day without stressing about what they're doing!

Have them get ready with you:

Whether they are a part of the elopement ceremony or not, having your kids there to help you get ready can be a very special memory to share! Have them help you with putting on your jewelry, putting on shoes, etc.

There is no wrong answer here! Whatever makes the most sense for your relationship and family dynamic is up to you. Some couples choose to include a few loved ones in their elopement, while others prefer the intimacy of a "just us" kinda day! Either way I am here for it and will gladly be there to document your beautiful day!

Elopement Photographer

Whatever you choose, an elopement can be a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate your love and commitment to each other. As your adventure elopement photographer, I will be there with ya every step of the way. Feel free to reach out and we can discuss Elopement Package options for your day!

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