If the mere thought of wedding planning, the high costs of the affair, or walking down the aisle in front of many eyes is enough to make you shudder, then the intimacy of an elopement may be right up your alley. And why not? Eloping is becoming a more popular, chic way for couples to express themselves. It can be more romantic, cheaper, and less stressful—not to mention: You can exchange your vows anywhere, which adds the possibility of an adventurous element and a unique bonding experience.

What Is Eloping?

Eloping is a marriage conducted without the knowledge of the couple’s family and friends, particularly their parents. Typically, those who elope only have a ceremony and do not host a reception or celebration.

Whether you choose to go halfway around the globe, stay local in your city, or something in between, the limitless destinations are perhaps the most overwhelming (and potentially thrilling) part of eloping. That said, having an elopement doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the traditional elements of a wedding if you don’t to. Want to invite a few friends? Go for it! Can’t live without a first dance? Get your music ready! No matter when, where, or how you tie the knot, we suggest making your elopement as personal as possible. It is your wedding day, after all.

From breathtaking locales to unique décor to epic experiences, ahead are 25 elopement ideas from real couples that may just convince you to say “I do” ASAP.

Want more elopement ideas? Check out the most common traditions that couples tend to forget, below.

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