The luxury elopement experience by Rochelle Cheever is a boutique design and photography studio based in San Diego, California and Rome, Italy.

Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Venice

ELOPEMENTS: How To Find The Ideal Location

Elopements: here's how to find the ideal location factors to consider for your romantic elopement. When it comes to elopement destinations, the choices are endless. That's the beauty of eloping. It's just about the two of you. 

The dream of getting married in a magnificent location is what attracts so many couples to the idea. It's stress-free; you can do it on your own time: and there are absolutely no rules. 

An elopement is the ultimate romantic getaway.

Recently, there has been a trend towards "adventure elopements," hiking, camping out. I'm not about that. I'm all about comfort. 

At least not for elopements.

I don't want to wear clunky shoes on my wedding day. 

I love the idea of getting married against the backdrop of nature, but that doesn't have to mean deprivation. 

And I don't find anything romantic about being without a proper bathroom or bed on my wedding night.

Camping and hiking is great, but out of context for destination elopements. At least to me.

For the past decade, I've scouted the most romantic places in the world, searching for perfect elopement locations. And I also wrote a book "The Elopement Experience - a complete guide to designing a magical, intimate wedding."

I believe, a great elopement experience has to check all the boxes: beauty, romance, fun, great food, comfort and a strong cultural identity. 

Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Capri

This can mean:

  • An Island so remote you need a boat get there, but with a lovely hotel on site. Try Ischia, Capri or Santorini.
  • The majestic 2000-year-old ruins of the Roman Empire, isolated, but in the midst of a cosmopolitan city offering all the creature comforts and some of the best food and wine you'll find anywhere on earth.
Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Capri

The world's most spectacular nature, think Big Sur, Joshua Tree, a Hawaiian waterfall, Lake Como, the lavender fields of Provence. You don't have to sacrifice comfort to get married in a gorgeous nature if a good hotel is nearby.

To find the ideal location for your elopement, consider these six points:

1. How many will be in your party?  

Will it be just the two of you, or will you invite a few family and friends? If you plan to invite your grandparents or older relatives, you'll have to take their needs into consideration. The same goes for small children or babies.

Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Lake Como

2. Describe your dream wedding. 

  • Ask yourselves what sort of environment fills you with joy. 
  • Do you love the beach? The mountains? The desert?
  • Think about the things you like to do as a couple.
  • Do you crave art and culture?
  • Are fine dining and great wine a part of your fantasy?
Elopements: How to find the ideal location -Rome

3. What sort of weather do you enjoy the most?

Are you a summer person? Do you love the snow?

Are fall colors your idea of the ultimate glory.

4. When can you take time off? And how much time will you have?

5.How Far Can You Travel?

  • Can you fly to a distant beach in January? 
  • Or will you need to think of a location  nearby.
  • Consider what's happening at your chosen location during the dates you choose. 

For instance, all of Italy is on vacation during the last two weeks of August, so venues will be crowded. In Mexico the Day of the Dead at the end of  October is a national holiday that attracts hordes.

Be sure the place you choose won't be overrun or closed.

Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Santorini

6. What Type of Venue Suits Your Needs?

Do you prefer an all-inclusive resort? 

Be aware that many resorts offer all-inclusive wedding packages.

 These can be convenient, but your options will be severely limited. 

If you want a personalized wedding, avoid buying a package.

You may prefer to rent an apartment or villa, especially if there are other people in your party. The two families can connect without having to travel between hotels. 

Many places offer breathtaking beach or mountain views —even a terrace where you can be married as the sun sets. 

If possible, visit the venue first. 

Ideally, you'll find a place that has meaning for you as a couple. Perhaps a place you've already visited on vacation, maybe even the place where you fell in love. 

If a visit is impossible, at least try to get a Skype or video tour

Elopements: How to find the ideal location - Lake Como

Other Things to Consider

If you're planning a wedding in a foreign country, you'll need to consider the local legalities and permits. 

Check out the local laws and be sure you understand the documents you'll need to bring with you. 

And if you're getting married in a park or other public space, you may need a permit. 

Set an overall budget that includes travel, the cost of the venue, the photographer, makeup and hair stylist, officiant, flowers and your wedding clothes. 

Yes, you can have your dream elopement!

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