One of the first things anyone will notice when they begin to plan an elopement in Montana is that the costs rack up QUICK. Between a photographer, officiant, venue, flowers, and gas, you're well on your way to $20-$30K.
Sooooo, how do we knock those costs down a bit?
Keep it small. If you can get the total number of people down to 10 or less, you're golden. One of the biggest expenses in weddings is simply entertaining 50-300 guests. When your wedding party is intimate, the entertainment is in being all together and celebrating this huge moment in you and your fiance's lives. A great way to allow friends and family celebrate with you is to, after your elopement, host a backyard BBQ with everyone! You can wear your wedding attire so everyone can see you in your dress, or just go casual with what you're comfortable in.
Going off of point one, when your wedding party is small or even nonexistent, there is really no need for a venue! When you hire me or any adventure photographer, typically it comes included that we will scope out a good location for your ceremony on public land. In Montana, you're never more than an hour or two from drool-worthy, stunning locations. (More Beartooth Pass weddings, please!) After the ceremony, I love the idea of reserving a restaurant for a little wedding celebration. Eat some good food, have your first dance, sign your marriage license, and just enjoy your friends, fam, and brand new official SPOUSE! This can save you literally thousands of dollars.
Officiants....by now this is pretty common knowledge. But it is seriously SO easy to become licensed in marrying people. Ask someone special to you to marry you and your spouse! (Orrrr, if you are looking for a Pastor to officiate to incorporate your christian faith into your marriage, my husband happens to be one of those.) But all in all, there's not a ton of pressure on DIY-ing this one. Officiants can be very affordable and it is super helpful to have someone know what they are doing legally and to file everything away for you once you're married. So although this is on the list, it's definitely not a top priority.
Shop used for your wedding dress! Goodwill, Facebook marketplace, and other gently-used stores carry a TON of wedding dresses. Some are definitely dated, but there are also plenty of adorable, very fashionable dresses on there! And at a great discount.
Etsy everything else. I kid you not, if you need it, it's on etsy. Whether it's shoes, silk flowers, a veil or hairpiece, it's on there. And you can be supporting someone's small business which is ALWAYS a bonus.
I hope this helps! If you're curious about having a adventure wedding, shoot me a message here!
Hey, I'm Jess! A wedding, elopement, and micro wedding photographer in Montana! I'm so grateful your here. Feel free to connect with me over the 'gram, here!