1. First and foremost, stay true to yourselves as a couple.
“We made the decision to elope and were scared of hurting our families; however, we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding that we wanted any other way. It was getting too big and out of hand otherwise. People might be disappointed if you choose to elope, but they’ll also understand. Take the pressure off yourself, no one else is going to notice so-called ‘imperfections.’ The most important thing is who is standing up there at the altar with you, pledging their life and love to you.” — Celeste and Cristian
2. Embrace the challenge of staying on budget.
“Before we made any plans for the wedding, we sat down and discussed what was most important to us, what wan’t a priority and what we might be able to do ourselves. Scott is very creative, so we designed our invites and had them printed at a fraction of the cost of what it may have been otherwise. The decorations were pretty much all DIY (thanks to enlisted friends and family!)…we also saved around $7,000 (or 80 percent) off the standard prices of our flights and accommodations for our honeymoon by doing extensive research. That was a very proud moment for us!
We learned that it was entirely achievable to have a beautiful and special wedding without blowing the bank and having a really long engagement. We probably spent $15,000 at the most, and we only had a five-month engagement, without having prepared a thing before that. It wasn’t easy…I joke that I should put my wedding planning on my résumé because it was such an achievement!” — Libby and Scott
3. Select vendors that you trust.
“Enjoy the lead-up to your wedding and don’t try to over-plan! Research your vendors and make sure you choose those that suit your personal style.” — Kobi and Brad
4. Just roll with it.
“Don’t get caught up in all of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ — just do whatever feels right for you and your beau. Don’t sweat the things you can’t control…you’ll be glowing with such energy on that day that nothing will touch you, anyway. And if you’re planning on DIY? Start early. I cannot emphasize that enough!” — Holly and Cory
5. Extend that blissful just-married feeling indefinitely.
“Don’t waste time being stressed before the wedding day. The only thing that matters in the end is that you both love each other and are committing your life to one another…also, after the wedding is over and you resume your everyday life, continue putting in as much effort as you both did to win each other over. It keeps the love alive!” — Jess and Matt