How couples are hiring elopement planners to design lavish weddings – that only they are invited to


How couples are hiring elopement planners to design lavish weddings – that only they are invited to

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UPDATED:

19:35 GMT, 11 April 2012

It is no secret that weddings are expensive. And an elopement can be a canny way of escaping the high cost of a lavish marriage ceremony.

Now however, some couples are turning to the idea of the 'fancy
elopement' as a more luxurious way to avoid a 200-guest showdown without having
to resort to an Elvis-officiated ceremony in Las Vegas or a trip down
to uninspiring City Hall.

And they are seeking the help of high-end wedding planners to meticulously design every detail just as they would a grander affair.

No one here but us: Fancy elopements are becoming increasingly popular among couples who would rather spend the money on the romance without the fanfare

No one here but us: Fancy elopements are becoming increasingly popular among couples who would rather spend the money on the romance without the fanfare

The concept of the extravagant, private ceremony is becoming
increasingly popular among all kinds of people, even stars like Ricki
Lake.

According to People magazine the television personality celebrated her nuptials last weekend with fiance Christian Evans in a secret, intimate ceremony in Southern California.

But celebrities are not the only ones who crave privacy, The New York Times reports, and many couples are opting for elopement as a way of keeping the romance and beauty of a wedding without the cost or fanfare.

Most elopers want the white gown and the tuxedo, the three layered cake and the candlelit dinner without the stress of sparring families, exes and frail grandparents.

And while the extravaganza can end up costing $10,000 to $100,000, couples indulging in even the most elaborate details can do still so for far less than the $26,000 Brides magazine says the average wedding costs.

Women over 30, according to LA-based wedding planner Lisa Vorce, find the private ceremony appealing for different reasons.

Solitary bride: Ricki Lake before she wed Christian Evans in a private ceremony last weekend

Solitary bride: Ricki Lake before she wed Christian Evans in a private ceremony last weekend

She told The New York Times: 'Clients getting married in their 20s say, “I want to be in front of 200, I want to be a princess bride.”'

But those at later stages in life don't need the attention. 'They just want a special thing with their significant other. It’s kind of like this glorified honeymoon.'

Some of the ambitious private weddings featured on today's wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes show how creative couples can be when numbers and costs are taken out of the equation.

An elopement can be a countryside ceremony with a perfectly laid out picnic or a hip warehouse, candlelit scenario with rose petals and a table set exquisitely for two.

And couples can afford to be more indulgent with their styling when there are less people to cater for.

One bride, Shalini Saycocie, who got married in Colorado with just an official, her fiance and a photographer present explained that the most important thing was to have fabulous images of the day.

'The visual aspects were especially important for me, since our family wasn’t there with us,' she explained. 'I wanted someone else to be the eyes for our friends and family.'

Another bride, Carey Provost recalled: 'It was almost like a glorified photo shoot for the two of us. We got to spend the whole day together, just the two of us, which almost made it more meaningful.

'There wasn’t a distant cousin or mother or girlfriend there adding stress.'