There’s a lot to love about eloping—primarily, there are no rules, and you create the day you want, not the day others want you to have. While this is blissfully liberating, it also creates a lot of unknowns, particularly for the gents, so we thought we’d share some basic tips as grooms prep for their elopement.
Tux vs Suit
First: what to wear. When we think of eloping, we don’t necessarily think full-on tuxedo. But the beauty of eloping is you get to do you, with no relatives chirping in the background, so if you want to go black tie, go for it. Consider renting a tux if you don’t think you’ll wear it again. Check out The Black Tie, a highly affordable rental option that lets you enter custom measurements for either a tux or a suit.
If you’re into a suit look, there’s a plethora of options out there, but we really love Indochino‘s custom suits (and many grooms we’ve interviewed do, too). If there’s a store near you, definitely make an appointment to get fitted. It’ll take a couple hours, but will feel pretty damn good to get a bougie experience for a suit that only rings in at $400.
How to Pack a Suit
Since there’s likely some element of travel involved in your elopement, you’ll want to keep your new threads looking fresh. We’re not packing experts, so we’ve borrowed from the pros at Travel + Leisure to bring you six simple steps for packing your suit:
- Hold the jacket facing away from you.
- Turn one sleeve of the jacket inside out.
- Feed the inside-out sleeve through the opposite arm hole and pull it through.
- Fold the shoulder across and place a rolled up sweater or pair of socks under the shoulder to protect its shape.
- Lay the jacket flat, lining up the lapel and collar to maintain the normal fold patterns.
- Roll the jacket around the bundle, then repeat with the pants around the jacket.
Voilà: Your fancy new suit is now a tidy roll ready for tucking inside your suitcase.
Who Pays For What
By now most of us have tossed the whole bride’s-family-pays-for-the-wedding thing out the window, which likely won’t even come up when you’re eloping. And, couples often elope to save money, or, possibly, to keep getting married a secret, which means well-intentioned loved ones who want to contribute financially are out of the loop. But this is good! Oftentimes, when there’s no registry to source gifts from, family members will cover the cost of some element of the elopement, such as a restaurant celebration or travel expenses. Let them. If you’re elopement is a surprise to them, allowing them to cover a party after the fact can make them feel included, too.
Write Your Own Vows
Chances are you’ve heard this already, and for good reason. When it’s just the two of you, and there’s no audience, the pressure is off—the pressure to remain composed, to so say what you think you’re supposed to say, to not cry. Harness the intimate nature of eloping and write your own vows—but do so over time and not the night before. Track the little things your partner does, day-to-day, that you love, and as we suggest on our elopement checklist, do so in a note in your phone, since it’s something you always have on you. Maybe it’s that there’s always a pot of coffee ready when you wake up, or how you love the Saturday morning routine of getting breakfast at your favorite diner. It could just be the way your boxers get folded. These are the moments that make up relationships over time, the moments that matter.
Borrow from a standard wedding tradition and go for a boutonnière, which is usually a bud or tiny set of florals that matches the bouquet. Since arranging fresh florals for an elopement can be tricky, have fun with the tradition and incorporate element that reflects a hobby you two share, such as a golf tee. Or use dried greenery, such as eucalyptus, pampas grass, or olive branches, which makes the boutonnière a keepsake once the day is over.
Pack extra socks, underwear, contacts, toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, dress shirt, razor, and deodorant.
Drink Whenever the Hell You Feel Like It
There’s a lot of advice out there telling grooms when and when not to drink on their wedding day. Which makes sense for a traditional wedding, when there’s a set of groomsmen pushing shots of Fireball at 9 a.m. Chances are you won’t be in that boat on your elopement day. Toast (or take shots) with your honey before the ceremony, immediately after, or hell, during. There’s no one there to judge.