Quiet elopements: the low key elopement for homebodies

low key elopement ideas

Sunday, January 24th, 2021




We all love the beauty and grandeur of adventure elopements, but what if that’s not right for you? Maybe you’re looking for more of a low key elopement, something more intimate with less grandeur.

Let’s meet the quiet elopement.

The quiet elopement is the homebody version of the adventure elopement – still adventurous, still full of love, but more backyard style in design. A quiet elopement could be in your living room, your parent’s large backyard, or any other location that’s near and dear to your heart. Low key elopements are for the couples who want to focus on their feelings and experience and general state of being on the day they get married, and want to focus less on logistics of hotels and larger events and accommodations.

Considering a quiet elopement? Here’s a few low key elopement ideas to get the brainstorming started:

Hoping to plan a low key elopement but not sure what to do? Here’s a few ideas. Don’t take it straight from this list: use these as inspiration to find what matters to you as a couple.

First Date or Favorite Cafe/Brewery Location.

Did you grab sunrise coffee or late-night drinks on a patio? Head back to that location, even that table if possible. Say some vows, get your favorite beverages. reminisce over your relationship and how far you’ve come. Get breakfast. Do you normally bring along a crossword puzzle or play a specific board game while you’re there? Nothing is off the table.

Engagement Location.

On a lake? In the woods? Your favorite restaurant? Where you got engaged already has so much meaning for you, why not just bring it on home and get married there.


Nothing says intimate or cozy like being right at home. Love your back porch or the yard that goes with it? Have some emotional attachments to your living room after years of quarantining there? Use these already meaningful spaces to make more memories. Make breakfast together, sit down to vows, dance in the kitchen. Maybe even wear sweatpants – this day is yours.

Favorite hiking trail.

Do you frequently hit up that little trail by your house, the one with all the trees or the view of the city? You don’t have to hit a National Park to make your elopement worthy. Use these spaces that already make you comfortable, and do the hike you already know and love. Never stop at a common spot on the hike? Walk (or run, or ski, or showshoe!) until you find a fitting place.

Your day-off tradition.

Do you frequently walk around a downtown neighborhood, or search the shores for beach glass? Why not spend your elopement there? This is something that already has meaning to you, and now you’ll get to do it while looking super fancy.

Your favorite low key adventure.

Do you like to shop for new ingredients and cook adventurous things together? Do you like to pick up your favorite takeout and hit that really great view spot for a picnic? Whatever it is you love to do, you can definitely transform those plans into an elopement that fits you like a glove.

low key elopement

How to plan a quiet elopement:

A huge benefit to a quiet elopement is that there’s often fewer logistics involved in planning. You can sleep in your own bed that night, you’ll go places you’ve been before. But there’s still steps you’ll want to make sure everything is set.

Call ahead to your location, and ask permission.

While some coffeeshops or restaurants or the like won’t mind if you show up with a photographer in tow, calling ahead is a genius move. Not only then could you possibly reserve *your* table/chair/location, but you’ll know you’re allowed to have your photographer on-site with you.

Mind any permits.

A lot of locations that host weddings require a permit to be had, even if it’s a small group or not in a wedding specific hall/area. Do the research and make sure any permits you may need are taken care of.

Create a timeline.

Even if your plan is just, “be there at 4 and explore afterwards!” have at least one concrete time to anchor your day. If you have a photographer with you, they can help you create any logistics you might need.

Choose who’s going to be there.

Just because it’s an elopement, doesn’t mean it has to be alone. If you want family or friends present, consider who would really cherish getting to experience this with you, and invite them along. They don’t have to be there for your whole adventure, or you can invite them to. That’s the beauty of planning an elopement exactly the way you want.

Hire any vendors.

Do you still want to have a cake? A photographer? Are you required to have an officiant in your state? Hire the vendors that you value and can help you accomplish your goals. There are even some planners who specialize in elopement packages, like Emily of Lace and Brass Events. She’ll provide all the vendors necessary to make your low key elopement legal and photographed.

Looking for more ideas for a low key elopement?

Head to the intimate affairs tag on the blog to see all of our couples who chose to elope. Many are outside, but is there an idea that inspires you?

Have you already had a quiet elopement? Are there any ideas/suggestions missing from this post? Drop them in the comments below!


Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN. 

I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.

This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.


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