Looking at all the options out there for Elopement Packages in NC and need help deciding? Check out our guide to understanding the types of packages and what’s right for you!
Not all the Elopement Packages in NC are the same
Whether you are searching online or seeing social media advertisements for elopement packages, it is so easy to get lost in all the clutter and noise of what people are claiming to do for your elopement!
You may be wondering what exactly is “planning help” or “coordination help?” Or you might be curious about “all-inclusive” packages. Some companies claim to be for “adventurous” couples but what does that mean?
The first step is to realize that there are significant differences in what people offer for North Carolina Elopement packages. Before diving in and choosing who to work with, you really need to decide first what kind of experience you are looking for.
Step 1 – What do you want your elopement experience to feel like?
Before jumping into choosing from what’s out there for elopement packages in NC and planning your day, our advice is to first sit down together and talk through what you are looking for out of your day. Here are some leading questions to help you talk through it!
- Are you looking at your elopement day as an adventurous experience or as a quick ceremony? This is a key question to answer as you look towards elopement packages. Are you dreaming of your day as a dreamy, romantic fairytale experience with a “story arc” that sweeps you off of your feet? Or are you thinking of something quick, convenient and just about having a ceremony together and then going on with your day?
- Do you want to experience a day that is completely different from everyone else’s elopement, or do you prefer the convenience of ordering a predetermined package? This is another important question to understand before you decide on an elopement package. Said another way, are you after an experience that is completely customized do your needs and wants as a couple? Or are you more interested in the simplicity of ordering your elopement “ready to go” and being done with the planning?
- Do you easily stress about even thinking about wedding planning? This one takes a lot of honesty to admit, but it’s a vitally important point of understanding when choosing an elopement package. Would you feel 1000% more calm with expert help leading you through all the planning steps and day-of coordination for your elopement? Or are you ok taking the lead on many things and having to manage parts of your elopement yourself?
Step 2 – Understand “Elopement Package” terms and definitions
Words mean different things to different people, and with how many ways you see Elopement Packages in NC described, it can be easy to assume what they may mean. Let’s talk a bit about all these different terms so you know what they are!
Planning and Coordination | Elopement Packages in NC
This is one of the most wide-open definitions across what is offered in North Carolina Elopement packages today. Not all companies are the same in providing this service.
Broadly speaking, this means that whomever you are working with will help you in some capacity to choose an elopement location & provide some kind of support on your elopement day to keep the plan for the day moving forward.
As with everything though, the devil is in the details. It’s important to ask what is included in the planning and coordination service! Some companies simply communicate with you a few times over email and then match you to a location, then you are on your own for choosing lodging, vendors, or any other services.
Our advice – look for Comprehensive Planning and Coordination. This can take many forms, but it needs to be a clear & intentional process that gets to the bottom of what you need out of your elopement and addressing your wants too. Questionnaires, complementary video calls for planning, and extensive Reference Guides are good signs that you will be taken care of every step of the way. Look for companies that have a referral list for vendors, Airbnbs and more.
This is also a very common term in some elopement package offerings. It can be defined in different ways. For us, it means that you are going on an experience that feels adventurous in your own way. Your day will be exhilarating and feel like both the journey & the destination at the same time. It should be crafted in a way to make you feel like your entire day (or multiple days) is one big amazing experience.
In an Adventure Elopement, it’s about creating a “story arc” of experiences before and after your wedding ceremony. It may be hiking to a sunrise, getting ready at a cabin, saying “I do” at a ceremony with family, swimming below a waterfall afterwards and then re-grouping for a reception at the end of the day to catch sunset. The sky really is the limit!
Often this term is confused with elopements where the experience is just the singular event of the wedding ceremony with a beautiful backdrop. But we would call these Outdoor Elopements instead.
In our opinion, this kind of elopement is where a couple is getting married in a beautiful spot, but there isn’t an experience type of a day built around the focal point of the ceremony. The planning and coordination is just around selecting a ceremony spot and photographing those moments. It can be short & sweet but also feel very abbreviated.
With the popularity of eloping & micro-weddings in general, many traditional wedding venues, Inns and B&Bs are offering elopement packages. As a whole, we would categorize these as Venue elopements.
Another way to look at these is that they are usually a small version of a larger wedding. The timelines can be shorter or just as long. You may have facilities on-site for getting ready, or need to handle that on your own at your place of lodging. There may be options for a reception after your ceremony on-site, or you may need to work that out on your own.
It’s important to ask what is included in the elopement package for both available spaces on-site for you to use & what is provided. Do not assume that you have the same things available to you as the larger wedding packages.
This is another widespread term across available elopement packages, and also one that takes on several meanings.
In general, “all-inclusive” means that you can expect some kind of services to be “bundled in” with your elopement package. If an elopement company is providing an all-inclusive elopement package, it could be that they provide an officiant & flowers – with a photographer and other items (like a cake) for an additional fee. A venue elopement package may provide all of these.
As with everything it’s important to ask exactly what is included!
Our caution with all-inclusive is that you often trade the convenience of having vendors chosen for you for the lack of personalization. Common drawbacks we’ve heard about all-inclusive packages are the limitations on floral selections, the generic style of the photography, or the lack of personalized attention throughout the process.
Our advice – make sure you know who you are hiring and what you are getting in the package! There are some excellent, small elopement companies out there that offer all-inclusive and who have put a ton of legwork into vetting service providers for you. Look towards one of these vs. the “big box” all-inclusive elopement packages.
Step 3 – Deciphering what’s available for Elopement Packages in NC
Now that you’ve had a primer on what the most common terms and definitions are, let’s talk about what we see available out there and the pros and cons of each!
Adventure Elopement with Comprehensive Planning and Coordination
This is the most customized approach towards creating an elopement experience, and in all honesty it is how we operate at StoryBright Films.
This kind of package starts with your “why” behind eloping and goes from there. We have a process we have honed throughout the years to take in all the important aspects of your wedding day vision to create the experience you are looking for.
Our process is also intentionally designed to keep you stress-free through every step, because we believe that not only should your wedding day feel stress-free, but everything leading up to it as well.
Just a few quick highlights about everything we offer for Planning and Coordination in our Elopement Packages:
- Personalized Questionnaire to kick off the planning together
- Access to our exclusive Elopement Locations map (100+ points and counting) for you to choose from
- Our local knowledge of every location to help you choose the right one
- Personalized wedding day itinerary recommendations curated for you
- Online portal to visualize your selections for your day.
- Our 100+ page Guide to Eloping to show you all the ins and outs you need to know
- Location scouting, Timeline creation and more
- Our day-of coordination & support with all the details handled & backup plans too…
If you are after a day that makes you feel like it was designed just for you, then this is the kind of package you are looking for!
Adventure Elopement with Limited Planning Help
So we’re going to be honest here – “Adventure Elopements” has become a big buzzword in the elopement industry. We’ve said this before, but just like all elopement packages are not the same, not all adventure elopement packages are either.
If you are browsing a big elopement company’s website for example, and you are seeing this kind of experience being offered, be sure to look into all the details. They may use words like “customizable” and “tailored” but ask just how much of it is.
And then ask yourself if you feel like such a company can provide the personalized approach you are looking for. Or for that matter, ask that for any elopement company you are looking at, whether big or small. If you are craving the ultimate experience that is uniquely you, then it’s important to make sure you are hiring someone that has a truly comprehensive planning process & coordination for your day-of support too!
Outdoor All-inclusive Elopement
We have generally seen packages that combine these two aspects – getting married in a beautiful outdoor spot and having some / most of your vendors included. Usually, there will be guidance on a website to help you choose a location – then you’ll book that location to start the process.
An officiant is included and you can add other vendors (like a photographer) or more hours of coverage for an additional fee. Your contact with the company is through one of the Customer Support Reps, and sometimes they even have an app you can use to help stay organized.
Pros: These companies make it really easy to elope! You just choose from a few pre-selected spots, book the one you want, and then look forward to your wedding day.
Cons: This isn’t really an experience and it’s nothing like an adventure elopement. You have help getting what you need for the ceremony, but if you want to do things before/after you’re on your own. And what if you wanted to do something different and unique? You’re mostly stuck with what options the company offers you.
Lodging / Venue Elopement
These can take on multiple flavors, but the options we’ve seen the most are either where a traditional wedding venue or a lodging establishment offers elopement packages. Sometimes these will have all-inclusive options as well.
For a Wedding Venue Elopement, you generally can book the property during a weekday and for a limited amount of guests. You have access to the property over a shorter amount of time, and you may only have access to parts of the property as well. If you are thinking about eloping more in terms of a micro-wedding (a smaller more intimate version of a big wedding) then this can be a great match. Usually for a venue elopement like this the price quoted is not for all-inclusive, but some venues do offer this as an upgrade.
For an elopement at a lodging establishment (like an Inn or Bed and Breakfast) they usually bundle a night or two in one of their rooms as part of the elopement package. Many of these locations are beautifully designed and with great views! You get the convenience of a place to stay, a place to get married, and sometimes there is an on-site restaurant too so you can have your complete experience at one location. Many places like this offer all-inclusive as well so you can have a complete turnkey experience if you value that convenience.
Pros: If you are looking for something that feels like a smaller version of a big wedding, that feels like more of a traditional wedding venue, this can be a great match! It is also convenient to have pretty much everything you need at one location.
Cons: With all-inclusive you are often stuck with venue approved vendors, and sometimes you don’t have control over who shows up to photograph or be your officiant. If you are looking for an adventure aspect of your day to be in the great outdoors, this is probably not a good match.
Step 4 – Elopement Packages in NC | How to decide what’s right for you
Now that we’ve covered all of those details, here is our advice on how to shop for an elopement package that is right for you!
Think back to the questions we asked in Step 1 – those answers are your guide to which of the Elopement Packages NC is right for you!
- Do you easily stress about planning your elopement? Then prioritize choosing an elopement package that provides fully Comprehensive Planning and Coordination.
- Are you after an elopement experience that is completely customized and unique to you? Then look for an Adventure Elopement package with Comprehensive Planning and Coordination. Adventure elopements can look like a day completely in the outdoors or a blended experience too. You may want to be “out in the wild” and at a venue for a reception. All across the spectrum or anything in between, anything is possible!
- Is convenience most important to you? Then an all-inclusive outdoor elopement may be a great match!
- Are you not looking at your day as an experience, and more of just the ceremony? Then we’d consider looking at an outdoor elopement, or a venue elopement.
- Thinking of your elopement like a smaller version of a big wedding? Then you may be thinking along the lines of a micro-wedding. A venue elopement or a lodging elopement may be right for you!
- Feel the most comfortable when you have expert help with big decisions in life? Then definitely look for an elopement package with Comprehensive Planning and Coordination.
What we do – Adventure Elopement Packages in NC with Comprehensive Planning and Coordination
Hopefully by now you’ve seen all the options out there for elopement packages in NC. We hope this guide has fully informed you to make the right decision for your wedding day!
Are you feeling that you’re after a completely customized day with all the support you need to make it stress-free? Then reach out to us today! We’d love to describe to you more everything about our planning process & how we cover everything down to the last detail. We’re here to show you all the ideas and inspiration you need. We’d love to help you decide when and where you want your ultimate elopement experience to be. We’re excited to hear from you!
Mark & Carolyn