Thinking About Eloping?

You and fiancé are spontaneous the type and you’re thinking of eloping. You don’t want to incur thousands of dollars for an elaborate wedding and want to buy a house instead.

You have loving family and friends and don’t want anyone to feel disappointed or left out.  What are elopement dos and don’ts?  

There are several types of elopements to think about when planning your special day:

Surprise! We Eloped: head on down to City Hall, done and done!

You and your Fiancé and an Officiate: Find a special place to hold your ceremony and have an officiate meet you there

An Almost Elopement:  invite a few close family and friends to a special place to hold your special ceremony

Do: Prepare Yourself for Family and Close Friends’ Reactions.  One of the most difficult parts of eloping is the fear of not being supported in your decision and disappointment that they were not a part of your wedding.  Shocking your closest friends and family is a huge no-no. Try a handwritten note delivered before or after.

Do: Send a Marriage Announcement with pictures after your elopement.  It’s the opportunity to showcase some of the gorgeous intimate photos you captured on your special day.

Don’t: Downplay Your Elopement. Just because you decided to elope instead doesn’t mean the day isn’t special — it’s your wedding! Celebrate! Add the special touches- a bouquet of flowers, a beautiful dinner for two complete with champagne.

Do: Find a special place to elope.  Maybe in the Bykenhulle House in the picturesque Hudson Valley in NY would be the spot. It’s quaint; it’s romantic and is one of the most beautiful and historic spots in the area.

When thinking of eloping, there are questions you have that need answers:

What is the wait time between getting your license and the wedding?

What are the witness requirements?  Vows, Plans, Rings, Photography, Officiate?

You want to keep it simple and are planning to elope because the thought of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Fortunately one of the best sides of eloping is that there is so much you don’t have to think about- Of course, this doesn’t mean you necessarily want to opt out of everything-

Rings: Do you want them? Do you not? If you do, make sure you order them in plenty of time (and don’t leave them at home).

Vows: You don’t have to have your own vows, but you can. Decide ahead of time if self-written vows are going to be part of your elopement. Civil ceremonies are usually pretty short, but you can generally bring your own vows if you have them.

Travel Plans: If you’re eloping somewhere that isn’t local, make sure you make arrangements ahead of time. Treat yourself! (Bykenhulle House!)

Clothing: You don’t have to buy the expensive gown or rent a tux but decide what you want to remember wearing on your special day.

Photography: You will want pictures of your wedding.  You can easily find a local photographer, many who offer hourly rates.

Flowers: Do you want to carry a bouquet or wear a boutonniere? Go to the local florist and find something pretty.

Celebrate:  Dinner and drinks, dancing? Whatever romantically appeals to you both.

Remember Announcements:  You’re not sending out save the dates, but you might want to send out wedding announcements after the fact.  Someone might throw you a party and you can share your wonderful pictures!


Let the Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast make your elopement special and memorable.  Go to our website to see how beautiful it is!

Our Elopement Package Includes:

  • Two night stay in our historic Bed and Breakfast
  • 3 Course Plated Breakfast
  • Use of event grounds for up to 2 hours for Ceremony and Photos
  • Choice of Garden Patio or Gazebo for outdoor ceremony
  • Officiant Arrangements and Fees
  • Ceremonial Flowers and Music
  • Wedding Cake “Just for 2”
  • 30-minute Rehearsal
  • Witnesses if needed

Our package includes Concierge Service for arranging dinner reservations. We can enhance your package with other special services like professional photography, spa treatments, or “live” ceremony music. Enhancements to the base package have additional fees. For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Helene Rosenkranz, Wedding and Events Manager, at