Salt & Wind Travel

Why To Cancel Your Wedding And Elope (Or WeddingMoon)

Cancel your wedding and elope. No, I’m serious. Okay, okay, before you go all cray on me, I’m the first to admit this is not for everyone. And I don’t want to put on the pressure because as someone who was engaged for over a year, I know full well how everyone likes to weigh in on such things.

It as if the more important a life event — wedding, babies, etc — the more random people share their opinions. All I can say is that eloping to Thailand was the right choice for us and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Here’s what we learned:

Bangkok Palace @saltandwindBangkok Palace @saltandwind

Find A Place That Shares Your Values

My number one piece of advice about eloping abroad? Have it be somewhere that shares your values and life perspective. My husband had never been to Thailand when we embarked on this elopement adventure but I assured him it had a hospitality and kindness that was akin to his native Hawaii. That meant that even if a lot of the experience was new and different it also felt comfortable and familiar too.

Chao Phraya River Bangkok @saltandwindChao Phraya River Long Tail Boat Bangkok @saltandwind

Spend A Few Days Acclimating 

Once you decided to go abroad, you might as well really soak it all up. We started our Thailand wedding adventure with a few days in Bangkok so that we could meet our whole wedding team but also to just enjoy Bangkok. That meant we got to play tourist for a second and soak in our surroundings instead of worrying about all the details. 

Bangkok Cooking Class @saltandwindBangkok Chinatown Chinese New Year Lion @saltandwind

Find A Place Where You Can Do What You Love

As a couple a few of the things we love most are great food, quality beach time, lots of cultural experience, and tons of exploring. From racing around the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok to tasting our way through Chinatown to cooking classes, we made time to explore the area together and it made for some really great memories. 

 Thai Wedding Ceremony Thailand @saltandwindWestern Wedding Ceremony Thailand @saltandwind

Have It All Arranged Locally

One thing you must accept if you elope is to let go of any plans or pre-conceived notions. Especially if you elope abroad. We worked with a Bangkok-based team for the wedding dress, wedding planning, and photography so that we didn’t have to bring anything along with us. That meant we didn’t have total control over every last detail but it made for some fun surprises.

Consider The Non-Traditional Elements

Flowers? Your call. A reception dinner? Up to you. So much is up to you that you can customize the wedding day to your needs. We love being at the beach so we arranged for some beach time midday where we had lunch and hung out in the water together before getting married. It was totally non-traditional and very much romantic. 

Thailand Wedding Photographer @saltandwind

Thailand Wedding Photographer @saltandwind

Splurge On Great Photography

Yes, one major plus of eloping is you don’t spend as much money as you would on a traditional marriage but one place you should splurge? The photography. Since you don’t have everyone from your bestie to your brother and your uncle capturing every moment, it matters that much more that you have a stellar photographer to document it all. Because even though you’re just eloping, the moment is still just as much an out-of-body experience as if you had a traditional wedding so you’ll want some photos to remember it all.

Share The Moments With Your Friends and Family

I’m not gonna lie: the hardest part about an elopement is not having “your person” (be it your BFF or Mom or sib) to send you down the aisle. But that’s what FaceTime is for, right? Okay, ya, it’s not really the same thing. However you can still share it all with your friends. So, be sure via Boomerang, Insta, WhatsApp, or otherwise keep your people informed so they feel like they got to partake.

Twin Palms Phuket Thailand Penthouse Roof Pool @saltandwindTwin Palms Phuket Thailand Penthouse Bubble Bath @saltandwind

Make It a WeddingMoon

More and more of my friends are getting married and putting off the honeymoon. But when you elope, you don’t have to take all the time off to prep for the wedding so you might as well add in time for a honeymoon. As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly connected, so we made an effort to completely disconnect for a few days. Because we got married in Phuket, we decided to stay put and post up at the Sala Phuket Resort.

Don’t Plan Too Much

The major advantage of eloping? You don’t have to get wrapped up in any drama, to do lists, or any other craziness that happens with a traditional wedding. And there’s no reason to change that. So don’t plan too much on your honeymoon. You’ll come back a happier, more connected couple if you just enjoy your time together, trust.

Celebrate When You Return

Chances are you’ll need to make the marriage legally official in your home state so you’ll need to set up a courthouse date. Because we didn’t do any of the pre-wedding festivities — engagement party and whatnot — we had the budget to throw a happy hour when we returned to Los Angeles. The only date we could do it was on a Wednesday and, if I had the choice, I would have changed was to make it on a weekend so people could stay out longer.

Aida Pool Phuket by Kristen Kellogg @saltandwind

Baba Nest Pool View by Kristen Kellogg @saltandwind

Do A Formal Announcement

The only problem with eloping? It’s hard to make sure everyone gets the memo. And you’re Great Aunt Sue? She might get her feelings hurt if you don’t keep her in the loop. So order an elopement announcement ASAP and get it out to your nearest and dearest (and save a few for yourself because you know, posterity, and all).

Have Your Own Romantic Getaway In Thailand!

So, it turns out the Tourism Authority of Thailand is going to host one lucky couple for a romantic. To enter, you have to “Pin It To Win It” and basically choose your ideal Thailand vacation theme, pin all the corresponding photos, fill out the form, and follow them on social media. Head here for all the official rules and details and good luck!

This trip to Thailand and this post was sponsored by Bangkok Airways and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. All content, ideas, and words are our own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors who allow us to keep Salt & Wind up and running.

P.S. If you liked this story, you’ll probably like our newsletter too! 

P.P.S. Hitting the road soon? Show us how you travel in good taste by sharing your adventures on Instagram with the #swsociety hashtag!

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