Unique Elopement Ceremony Ideas – What to Do in Your Elopement Ceremony

Bride and Groom Vow Ceremony Ideas


You’ve found your partner… You’ve fallen in love and decided to elope…You’ve found the perfect elopement location… You’ve decided to take this huge decision to spend the rest of your life with the one that feels like sunshine… 

And then reality hits. Most people expect a traditional wedding. They expect the elaborate venue, greenhouses worth of flowers, and loads of food you’ll never get a hand on. (NerdWallet says the average wedding costs $33,931!) They expect a lot. But nothing says you have to listen. You’ve never been a boring couple, so why would your wedding be any different?

So what do you do during at elopement ceremony? This question often pops up for couples who’ve been slogging through traditional wedding planning. The beautiful thing about an elopement ceremony is that you and your partner can do anything you want! 

Check out my ideas for elopement ceremony tips and tricks below!

Bride and Groom Off Roading Colorado Ceremony Ideas


Elopement vows are extremely powerful, no matter how they’re said or the words they contain. It’s easy to get stuck thinking elopement vows must be a strict copy-and-paste. But since it’s your elopement ceremony, feel free to create personalized, unique vows that speak to you as a couple!  The process can take any form you want—some couples handwrite their vows, prefer to follow their heart in the moment, or work on their vows together. It’s all up to you!

One thing I would absolutely insist on is to write your elopement vows on paper or in a book. You deserve so much more than a screen for your vow ceremony! Etsy is a great place to look for elopement vow books.

Elopement Vow Ceremony Ideas


Although not all elopement ceremonies require rings, most couples that decide to go on this journey use rings as a symbol of their love during their elopement ceremony. Ring ceremonies signify a lot and are a long-standing tradition for both conventional weddings and elopements. The ring ceremony is one of my favorite parts to document because I love capturing the emotions of this beautiful moment!

Ring Ceremony Ideas


You made it through your vow and ring ceremony promised to support each other through sunshine and rain. Now, who wouldn’t want to go in for a big kiss after such an exciting event! The first kiss in any ceremony is highly anticipated, as it seals your vows and marks the beginning of a new life for you and your partner. Pucker those lips and get ready to lay on that first kiss for the first of your lives, baby!

Bride and Groom First Kiss Ceremony


One special feature of elopement ceremonies is how unique they can be. There are no expectations, no trolling guests, just you and your lover exploring a dope spot! So this is the right time—maybe the only time—to do things exactly how you want. Some couples eat donuts. Make some pancakes or climb a mountain or scream their excitement so loud that nature has no choice but to sit up and listen. It’s up to YOU! 

Bride and Groom Eating Donuts at Olympic National Park Elopement Ceremony


I recommend that couples think of an activity they enjoy doing together and incorporate it into their elopement ceremony! A lot of couples love to celebrate their elopement with singing or dancing, but do what feels right for you. Do you enjoy bonfires by the beach? Light it up and lets make s’mores as the sun sets!

Bride and Groom Bonfire Ceremony


In addition to fun activities, there are other ways to create a totally unique experience. Different strokes for different folks, ladies and gentlemen! I love to embrace all the interesting and new ways couples decide to dedicate themselves to this celebration! Just don’t forget the champagne!

Bride and Groom Spray Champagne Elopement Ceremony Ideas


This ageless Celtic tradition is one that has spread to different parts of the world. It usually involves tying a braided rope around your joined hands, sometimes while reciting a prayer of dedication. You can decide to do it yourselves, allow the officiate to tie it, or ask a beloved guest to do it for you.

Cord Ceremony in Colorado


This addition to the elopement ceremony is all about energy—transforming negative and bad energy into positive vibes. It only requires a bowl, a bundle of sage, and a means of lighting the sage. You and your partner can say a short prayer while lighting it or ask someone to pray for you. Check out this one from the Great Sand Dunes National Park!

Sage smudging Ceremony at Great Sand Dunes Elopement


This is a highly symbolic elopement ceremony that involves joining two pieces into one. Some couples light unity candles, mix sand in a bowl or combine red and white wine. I’ve especially loved to see couples plant trees together (which is also a very positive contribution to the environment). It’s totally up to you to decide your symbol of unity. This is a meaningful elopement ceremony to include if you are blending families and would like to include children.

Unity Ceremony at Colorado Mountain Elopement


Whiskey is a representation of happiness, hope, love, and delight, while also incorporating a bitter taste to represent life’s trials and tribulations. Including whiskey at the end of your elopement ceremony is fun for the day and a fantastic yearly tradition! Check out this Whiskey Ceremony in Yosemite!

Whiskey Ceremony Yosemite National Park Elopement


Ah, the first dance. It’s one of those time-honored traditions that is highly popular with every couple. Bring some music, make some music, or just dance to the sounds of nature all around you. It’s another way to celebrate at the end of your ceremony.

First Dance Ceremony Ideas


Some couples may decide to add religious elements into their elopement ceremony, which are welcome! If you want a pastor to officiate your elopement, you’ll have to work with them on the specifics. A lot of officiants work with the couples directly so they can personalize their ceremonies. This is also great for couples who might have some stage fright on their big day!

Religious Ceremony Ideas

At the end of the day, elopement ceremonies are supposed to be super special moments, a moment that is going to last for a lifetime. If you want a secular elopement ceremony with a non-traditional setting, it’s totally fine! If you and your partner want an elopement ceremony but with a formal outline, that’s great too. It’s your day, so find whatever bits and pieces are unique to you and embrace them! After all, this is a single day that is a celebration of you, your partner, and the life you’re forging together.


My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your elopement ceremony! I have helped over 150 couples come up with fun and unique elopement ceremonies, and I am stoked to help YOU too!

Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic day!

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Colorado Elopement Photographer

Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by vowsandpeaks