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Planning an elopement: deciding on the location

By Sophia Carlini - 5 March 2016 27

So what happens after you’ve made the decision to elope, or even just get married? Where do you even start? There are so many things to consider.

We are quite lucky that we had already planned a trip to visit Mike’s dad in Macedonia this year, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone by eloping and honeymooning at the same time. It also cut out a lot of the thought process; we no longer had to sit down and think about when we might want to get married and we didn’t need to consider a guest list, all we needed to work out were a few little details; like where in Greece we wanted to marry, where we were going to stay and what we were going to wear. At least that’s what we thought.

In my mind, planning an elopement was going to be the easiest task ever; I am a super organised person and love the challenge of organising events. With my blasé attitude and lack of understanding of what is actually involved in planning any wedding, February rolled around and I finally decided to start Googling Greece. Thanks to Pinterest, I had decided that I wanted to get married in Santorini. I mean look at this place!

divine weddings

*Photo sourced from Divine Weddings Santorini

Little did I know that Santorini is, like, the world’s favourite wedding destination, and even though the Greek economy is not that great at the moment, it seems you would need to give up your first born to afford a wedding in Santorini. So Santorini was out!

I realised quite quickly that eloping was going to be harder than I thought; it was especially going to be tricky as we weren’t actually in Greece and couldn’t meet with people or check out venues.

As our new café had just opened its doors and honestly, I was on the verge of a meltdown; Mike and I weren’t sleeping and all we were doing was working, I decided that I just didn’t have the capacity or the mental strength to plan our wedding, at least not by June 2016. We really wanted to be married and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it, then eloping whilst we were already going to be on our holiday, so we really wanted to make it work. As girls do, I ran to my mum for advice — I ring her with all of my problems. My amazing mum knew how stressed out Mike and I had both been with the shop and everything else happening in our lives, that she decided she would take over the planning for me. I seriously don’t know what I would do without my mum.

I wrote my mum a list of what I had in mind and the basics of what I needed; flowers, photographer, hotel etc. and I left it with her. Within a few days my mum was shooting off emails across the globe in an attempt to plan my wedding. My mum was amazing; she short-listed a bunch of hotels and negotiated a deal with a wedding planner in Greece. She had thought of absolutely everything! And then we hit a snag; my mum had discovered that there is quite a bit of paperwork involved with eloping in Greece. Not only would we have to fill out paperwork for DFAT in Australia, Greece also has their own rules for eloping — which includes announcing your wedding in the local Greek newspaper a couple of weeks before the big day, and providing birth certificates translated to Greek.

Whatever happened to the days of running away to get married without a care in the world?! I’m not saying eloping is impossible, but it’s definitely a lot more work than we had planned on. To announce your wedding in the local paper, you have to be in Greece, and translating your birth certificate into Greek costs quite a bit of money. We realised that the cost and difficulty of eloping was quickly getting out of control.

Mike and I had to reconsider our options.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Planning an elopement: deciding on the location
Maya123 1:01 pm 07 Mar 16

madelini said :

The amount of people arguing about the use of the term “elopement” is astounding. It’s almost as though language is fixed and cannot adapt to incorporate broader or different meaning.

I don’t believe people are arguing about the term “elopement” here. It’s fairly unanimous it was used wrongly. True, language is not always fixed and can adapt, but that usually takes time (years) and needs to be a word that a large proportion of the population is now using with a new meaning. It should not be an argument for when any word is just used incorrectly, as was done above with “elopement”. Language’s main use is communication of meaning and the accepted use of “elopement” is for a couple to run away/escape in a secretive, sneaky way, without telling their family to get married; often without family approval. To give it other personal meanings, which the general population doesn’t relate to, is to stifle and confuse communication. If personal meanings are acceptable for “elopement”, then personal meanings should be acceptable for all words. Imagine how much ‘fun’ that would be. “Fun”, that’s my own interpretation of that word.

justin heywood 12:32 pm 07 Mar 16

madelini said :

The amount of people arguing about the use of the term “elopement” is astounding. It’s almost as though language is fixed and cannot adapt to incorporate broader or different meaning.

I agree. Perhaps people didn’t read the article, which is about why just ‘running off and getting married’ is near impossible in the modern world. Especially if you want to run off to Greece. Even more especially if you tell your mum!

madelini 11:21 am 07 Mar 16

The amount of people arguing about the use of the term “elopement” is astounding. It’s almost as though language is fixed and cannot adapt to incorporate broader or different meaning.

switch 10:16 am 07 Mar 16

Masquara said :

This misuse of language is up there with Robyn Archer’s infamous “diaspora” faux pas – describing people who had visited Canberra as somehow our diaspora. Pshaw.

You still jealous of the amount she got paid.

Masquara 5:14 pm 06 Mar 16

This misuse of language is up there with Robyn Archer’s infamous “diaspora” faux pas – describing people who had visited Canberra as somehow our diaspora. Pshaw.

agent_clone 4:01 pm 06 Mar 16

I agree with the others. You are planning an overseas wedding, not an elopement. The easiest method for getting married would be to find some celebrant, lodge your application, wait a month, maybe invite your immediate family to the wedding (you need 2 witnesses). And voila, your done. The expense/effort involved is however much you make it (with the basic expense being lodgement and celebrant).

Masquara 3:29 pm 06 Mar 16

Now that word is out, you needn’t “elope” ( can’t really elope if you’ve told the entire interwebz!) – you can avoid expending your hard-earned feeding guests, and get your wedding cost down to $401 by hopping across the border to the Queanbo Courthouse. No clothing requrements, and you can use the pull-ring off a beercan for your wedding ring. Cost of petrol for yourselves and a couple of witnesses: a few dollars. Wedding snaps on the iPhone of course. The only downside is that you can’t really expect wedding gifts for an elopement, so a Peter’s of Kensington wedding registry is a bit out of the question …

fabforty 9:14 am 06 Mar 16

Agreed. You are not eloping, you are simply getting married in another country.

At least you are not imposing the huge cost of attending an overseas ‘destination wedding’ on your friends and family.

rubaiyat 6:06 pm 05 Mar 16

This Grand Elopement reminds me of Peter Cook dressed up as Greta Garbo, driving around London in the back of a cab with a megaphone blasting at the public:

“I VONT TO BE ALONE!”

rubaiyat 5:30 pm 05 Mar 16

I have a photo of myself standing holding a large pumice boulder over my head, like superman, in the middle of the reemerging volcano in the centre of Thira.

Don’t go taking too many photos perched on scenic edges of the village. You can still see where a good chunk of one disappeared into the water far below.

rubaiyat 5:27 pm 05 Mar 16

chiflean said :

Sorry, but a wedding planner? For an elopement? This is ridiculous.

A case of having your wedding cake and eating it. 😉

No_Nose 3:54 pm 05 Mar 16

As many people commented in your other thread, you really need to look up the definition of the word “elope”.

You are planning a wedding…and what appears to be quite an organised, expensive and controlled one at that. Thats fine, its your day, do what you like.

But lets stop pretending you are ‘eloping’.

Masquara 3:52 pm 05 Mar 16

Surely the cost of getting a document translated and putting a small ad in the local newspaper won’t add much, proportion-wise, to the cost of two airfares to Europe, hotel accommodation etc?

Masquara 3:50 pm 05 Mar 16

chiflean said :

Sorry, but a wedding planner? For an elopement? This is ridiculous.

Quite. And how can it be an elopement if you are consulting with your parents?

chiflean 2:55 pm 05 Mar 16

Sorry, but a wedding planner? For an elopement? This is ridiculous.

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