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Eloping Ettiquette

Beach Wedding in Sausalito

Today's 'Elopements' are not only spur of the moment decisions, they are also styled pre-planned ceremonies as well.  For this reason, most of the traditional wedding etiquette rules aren't followed.  However, there are etiquette rules for elopements that should be applied.

The decision to 'Elope' understandably disappoints some friends and family; while others support & are happy for your union. To better understand the do's and don'ts of the elopement process, we have provided the following tips & suggestions.

Family & Friends

Choosing to ‘Elope’ may cause hurt feelings, disappointment, and may also be considered disrespectful as guests are not required to be a part of one of the most important days of your life.  When considering whether or not to inform your parents beforehand, put yourself in their shoes and consider how you would feel if your son or daughter decided to 'Elope' without informing you ahead of time.  A gathering of your parents and those loved ones that are closest to your heart is a recommendable option to explain why an ‘Elopement’ vs a traditional ceremony is most important to both of you.  Another recommendation is to find ways to involve your loved ones:  sharing photos and|or videos via social media or a personal website immediately after the ceremony.  If you’re not totally set on the ceremony being just the two of you, invite your parents to experience the union as well.

Regardless of when and how you decide to announce your 'Elopement', ensure the message will be received in a respectful manner, the following recommendations apply: 

  • In no way should your 'Elopement' be announced via social media or voicemail message.  

  • For parents, consider in-person announcements before the ceremony.

  • For loved ones closest to your heart, a personal phone call immediately after the ceremony.

  • For non-immediate family & friends, a phone call when you're return or a printed or written wedding announcement by mail with a photo or two of the wedding day. 

Family & Friends

Although 'Elopements' aren't as detailed as a traditional wedding ceremonies, there is still a fair amount of planning involved to ensure your ceremony is all that you dream it will be and also involve some aspects of a typical ceremony:

  • Budget planning

  • Formal wear

  • Travel

  • Venue|Location

  • Aisle

  • Heartfelt vows

  • Picturesque Décor

  • Professional Photographer|Videographer

  • Announcements

  • Post 'Elopement' Celebration, etc.


If you want to go all out, consider our Rendezvous service for a Destination Elopement & All Inclusive Honeyoom get-a-way.​

Legal Details

Depending on the city and state in which you live and the country|destination of your 'Elopement', you'll also need a marriage license, a legal copy of your birth certificate, & a government issued photo identification card.  

Procedures vary from country to country, and some require lengthy preparation.  Many countries have requirements that the parties have been resident in that country for a specified period of time before a marriage may be performed there.  Other requirements may include age, waiting period, blood work, affidavits for proof of legal capacity, proof of divorce|dissolution of marriage, & death, etc.

​The process of marrying overseas can be time-consuming and expensive.  Therefore, if you plan to marry in a foreign country, do your homework & find out about the requirements of that country before you travel.  Contact the embassy or tourist information bureau of the country where you plan to marry to learn about specific requirements. 

Legal Details

You can elope anywhere your heart desires; the options are endless!  Whether your ‘Elopement’ takes place at City Hall, a weekend getaway in Las Vegas, the beaches on the Coast of California, at  an all-inclusive resort, or far-away destinations such as Cuba, Dubai, Greece, and Capetown South Africa, the experience is equally as romantic when two people are truly in love.  And, with Jus Gorjus as your planner of choice, we can help make your dream wedding become a reality with our Gorjus Elopements packages.


We Do - We Did, We Eloped!  Immediately after returning from your 'Elopement' and|or honeymoon, send a hand-written or printed marriage announcements to your friends and family members.  To share the experience, also include some romantic & intimate photos or even a collage, showcasing your special day.

​To avoid hurt feelings, parents, siblings, close family members and friends should be informed as soon as possible.  The order in which loved ones should be informed is (1) in person, (2) by phone, then followed-up with a mailed announcement.  Less is more, the wording should be simple and brief.

The Post I Do Party

Just because you chose to "Elope' does not mean you can't celebrate your union with family and friends.  The celebration can be as simple as a cake & champagne gathering, small dinner party, a large wedding reception or even a  picnic immediately upon your return.  You can also choose to celebrate your union  by hosting an extravagant anniversary party after your first year of marriage. 

Post 'I Do' Party

Because you are choosing to 'Elope' vs having a traditional wedding ceremony, friends and family are not included|invited to attend and are therefore, not required to send gifts to celebrate your marriage & gift registries would be considered inappropriate. Depending on their knowledge of your union, some friends and family may still send gifts, while others might not.  


However, if a post-elopement reception has been planned, a gift registries are appropriate and can be created.  If you choose to forgo receiving gifts, then consider signing up to have monetary donations sent to a charitable organization in  your name.  The same protocol for weddings applies: send handwritten thank-you notes for each gift as soon after receipt as possible.



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