Party of Two: What Eloping Looks Like | Destination Wedding Planning


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Party of Two: What Eloping Looks Like

September 9, 2023

What does Eloping Really Look Like?

If you clicked this link you agree with us right? There is something about eloping that is very romantic. Although some people consider Destination Weddings a modernized version of eloping, the generally accepted definition is that eloping only involves two people: the happy couple (in secret). Technically a couple more than just the two of them, because there is an officiant and witnesses of some kind. But still, smaller than the micro weddings we see popping up now (which we also love).

Technically, you can elope by just going to the local court house, but since we are travel agents you can probably guess that this post won’t be about that. Instead, we are going to focus on a few resorts that have put together amazing elopement packages (with guest lists of 10 or less) to give you an idea of what eloping can look like. Many resorts provide everything you can imagine, including the officiant and sometimes even witnesses, for prices that are extremely reasonable. Especially when you consider that the average Canadian wedding increased last year to almost $35,000.

This post was originally published in 2017 but has been updated in 2023.

A small rule of thumb

Some of the packages below are free but it is worth noting that in general, the more luxury a resort is, the more they will give complimentary. They also may require you book a certain room category to qualify, and will almost always require a room upgrade. What you are comfortable spending on the vacation compared to the wedding is ultimately up to you. Some packages also include a small amount of guests, but if you are eloping in the traditional sense, they provide witnesses instead. For more talk about budget, head to the end of the post!

Paradisus Resorts

Ever have that fleeing thought of eloping or exchanging vows with a handful of loved ones by your side? Your wish can come true at Paradisus.


Non-denominational/symbolic ceremony*
Ceremony held at a predetermined location – varies by Resort
Bride’s Bouquet to include a mix of tropical flowers and a matching Boutonnière for the Groom


Chilled sparkling wine for the wedding toast
One-tier wedding cake
Guaranteed reservation, for a maximum of 6 in-house guests {including the Bride & Groom},
at an a-la-carte restaurant


10% discount on YHI Spa services for the wedding couple {not applicable towards spa products}
In-room bottle of chilled sparkling wine & rose petal turndown service on the wedding night

This package is complimentary for couples staying a minimum seven nights in the required room category. The only additional charges will be government fees if desiring a legal ceremony. Even with elopement, many couples choose to tackle the legal wedding locally just to make it easier, although some still do choose to get legally married abroad. These resorts can be found throughout Mexico and in the Dominican Republic.

For more details, contact me or check out the Romance by Paradisus website here.

Sandals Resorts

If you are desiring a getaway to a more luxurious destination, Sandals resorts offer gorgeous Beautiful Beginnings Wedding Packages to couples staying at the resort for three nights or more. Sandals resorts are found in Antigua, Grenada, Barbados, Bahamas, St. Lucia, and Jamaica.

The Beautiful Beginnings wedding helps you celebrate your special day with elegance and simplicity. It includes a sweet Fuchsia dendrobium orchid bouquet and boutonniere, as well as a table for eight with crisp linens, a lovely centerpiece, and a charming white cake. It’s the perfect choice for an intimate and memorable occasion.



  • Personal pre-travel wedding planner
  • Personal resort wedding planner and dedicated resort wedding team
  • Picturesque Wedding Location
  • Preparation of marriage documents
  • White Chiavari Chairs
  • Musical Accompaniment (pre-recorded)
  • Witnesses upon request
  • 30 minute Sparkling Wine & Cold Hors d’oeuvres Delightful Reception for Bride, Groom and up to 6 guests
  • Wedding gift from Sandals Resorts or Beaches Resorts
  • Free Wedding Website and Gift Registry
  • 30 Minute Foot Massage for the Groom^
  • Manicure for the Bride^
  • Romantic Honeymoon night turndown service for Bride & Groom
  • Mimosa Breakfast-in-Bed for Bride & Groom any Morning of Choice
  • Honeymoon dinner for bride and groom at a resort specialty restaurant with white-glove service and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine
  • Complimentary 5″x7″ Honeymoon Photo for Bride & Groom
Again, for More Details, Contact me for quick responses! or check out the Sandals website here.

Karisma Resorts

We have gone beyond the basics to include all of the details for the perfect destination wedding in this package. 

Included in their Always & Forever Package

Romantic Ceremony Location: Pledge your love in a tropical paradise, whether it’s on the sand, in the garden, on a pier or beyond.

Service of a Signature Wedding Designer™ and an Onsite Wedding Team: Our experts will guide you through the steps of wedding planning well before the big day; and when you arrive onsite, our team will help you coordinate the last minute details.

Justice of the Peace or Non-Denominational Minister: Enlist the services of one of our recommended officiants to perform your destination wedding ceremony.

Filing of and Translation Services: Translation of your ceremony will be provided if necessary and we will handle the filing of all important documents.

Semi Private Dinner Reservation: Treat your guests to a semi-private dinner reservation at one of our stylish gourmet restaurants – the perfect way to top off your big day.

Free Wedding Website & Honeymoon Gift Registry: Keep your guests informed with a personalized website with all your wedding details. Register for honeymoon extras such as bottles of wine, spa services and more.

Ceremony Décor: Your ceremony setting will be perfectly beachy with white seating for guests, a special aisle runner and a white altar table.

& more

Sound System with Speakers and a Microphone: Your guests won’t miss a moment of your ceremony because we will project every word of your vows with the help of a state-of-the-art sound system.

Wedding Certificate: You tied the knot! This package includes a wedding certificate that will list the details of your ceremony abroad.

Witnesses: Witnesses are necessary to legalize a marriage and they must be onsite for a predetermined amount of time before your ceremony. We will provide them if needed.

Groom’s Room with Gourmet Bites: Give the guys a comfortable and luxurious place to get ready, relax and nosh on wedding day treats from 12pm – 4pm before the ceremony.

Free Memorable Moments Honeymoon & Anniversary Package: Your Gourmet Inclusive® Wedding Event includes everything you need to have a luxurious honeymoon, such as a private candlelit dinner on the beach, gourmet breakfast in bed and more.

*The Always & Forever Package is valid in the North American market only, $950USD for symbolic ceremony and $1,450USD for legal. You may qualify to receive this package complimentary depending on room category, date of ceremony, duration of travel, etc.

Check out the Karisma Wedding Website here. Or, of course, Contact me 🙂



You may recognize this name from the cheat sheet I made up a couple weeks ago. Or perhaps you will recognize one of their six brands: Zoetry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now and Sunscape. If you are considering these resorts for an elopement or really any trip I highly recommend you check out my cheat sheet to find the right brand for you. A few of these brands have great wedding packages that would be well-suited for elopement although since these resorts are in a wide variety of destinations, I will just admit upfront that there is some variations.

Secrets Wedding in Paradise Package

This package is complimentary when booking at least 7 nights in the Preferred Club Junior Suite Pool View or higher.

This package includes

• Symbolic Ceremony
• Wedding organization and personal touch of on-site wedding coordinator
• Preparation and ironing of couple’s wedding day attire
• Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request)
• Bouquets and/or boutonnieres for the wedding couple
• Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast (for up to 10 guests)
• Special turn-down service the night of the wedding
• 15% discount on all spa treatments
• Newlywed Package
• Late check-out for the couple
• Free Anniversary Nights

Breathless First Comes Love Package

This package is complimentary when booking a minimum of 7 nights in the Xhale club Romance Suite Marina View category or higher.

This package includes:

• Dedicated wedding coordinator
• Symbolic Ceremony
• Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for the wedding couple
• Preparation of the couple’s wedding day attire
• Wedding cake for up to 10 guests
• Sparkling wine toast for up to 10 guests
• Seductive Wedding Night Turndown Service
• Late checkout for the couple (upon request and availability)
• 20% off spa treatments

Dreams Wedding in Paradise Package

This package is complimentary when booking at least 7 nights in the Preferred Deluxe Ocean Front or higher.

This package includes:

• Symbolic Ceremony*
• Wedding organization and personal touch of on-site wedding coordinator
• Preparation and ironing of couple’s wedding day attire
• Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request)
• Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for the wedding couple
• Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast (for up to 10 guests)
• Special turn-down service the night of the wedding
• 15% discount on all spa treatments
• Newlywed Package
• Late check-out for the couple (based on availability and upon request)
• Free Anniversary Nights

NOW Your Moments Wedding Package

This package is complimentary when booking a minimum of 7 nights in the Preferred Club Junior Suite Partial Ocean View or higher

This package includes:

• Symbolic Ceremony*
• Dedicated wedding coordinator
• Bouquet for the bride
• Boutonniere for the groom
• Preparation of the bride’s gown and groom’s tuxedo/suit
• Wedding cake (for up to 10 guests)
• Sparkling wine toast (for up to 10 guests)
• Romantic turndown service that evening: rose petal drawn Jacuzzi bath, bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries
• Late check-out for the bride and groom (upon request and subject to availability)
• 20% off spa treatments

For more details, feel free to contact me or head to the AMResorts page to explore there many options here.


This is another brand that has a wide variety of destinations so the packages do change depending on the destination you desire. They also have a range of hotels from 3* to 5* (not all all-inclusive) so budget friendly couples may want to start their search with this brand.

STAR WEDDING Price of Package $999USD
  • On-site wedding specialist
  • Minister, judge or priest
  • Witnesses (if required)
  • Setup of wedding venue (canopy, chairs and table with white linen)
  • Champagne toast after the ceremony
  • Bride’s fresh floral bouquet and matching groom’s boutonnière
  • Traditional white frosting cake decorated with fresh flowers
  • Wedding dinner in a specialty restaurant (one hour and a half)

For more details contact me or check out the Iberostar Wedding Website here.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Elope Abroad?

At the end of the day, if you are marrying the one you love, it is going to be amazing. At Love at First Travel, you are not restricted and can decide what budget you are comfortable with. However, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you what I would recommend. I recommend, if at all possible, a minimum budget of $5000 ($2500/person) for Canadians. To have even more options, you are looking at closer to $6000. If you have ten people, you might qualify for group rates which are a bit cheaper as well!

If you are looking to spend less, you can still reach out and I will be happy to help but you will likely be looking at a select few options that I would recommend and probably only travelling during low season. If you are comparing eloping with a “last minute sale”, remember that weddings, even weddings for only two people, require extra coordination and resorts often have a minimum amount of time before a wedding that you are required to book by.

Another factor to keep in mind, is that if you are paying $1500/person for a weeklong getaway, you are likely not staying at a resort that offers free wedding packages (not always, there are always exceptions) so you might end up spending another $1000-$1500 to get the wedding you want when you could have instead added that money to your travel budget.

Planning to elope or host a micro destination wedding?

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