Broke Girl’s Guide: Elopement Edition

“We’re going to have an elopement in New York City and we want you to officiate the wedding.” These were never words I expected to hear out of my best friend Hannah’s mouth, yet here we were.

Of course I said “yes” to being a part of Hannah’s big day. She has been my best friend for 17 years and I wouldn’t miss her big day for the world. I’d never been involved in an elopement before, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now that I’ve been through one, here are a few of my pointers for the “broke girl’s guide” to elopements!

The Broke Girl's Guide Elopement Edition with image of wedding dress on hanger in backgroundThe photographs used in this piece are thanks to the wonderful Theyzi Clark of Theyzi Clark Photography. Please make sure to check out her blog and other work here on her website! You can also find her work on her Facebook page here!



Being a part of an elopement means secrets. Elopements aren’t supposed to be a big fuss until they’re over, once everyone has realized what has happened. Seeing as this was a destination elopement, those few—meaning three of us besides the bride and groom— had to make some travel arrangements. I clearly remember asking Hannah, “so, is it okay that I tell my parents why I’m going to New York City with you”. Thankfully, the answer was yes, but other than telling my parents, I had to keep things on the down low as much as possible to respect the bride and groom’s wishes.

Rachel laughing and Hannah crying as they both couldn't believe Hannah was getting married.
I promise we’re sharing a special moment here!

If you’re invited to be a part of an elopement, it means you are part of a very, very select group of people of utmost importance to the bride and groom. Even though you may want to shout from the rooftops in excitement of their marriage, it’s essential to respect their wishes and keep the elopement a secret. Trust me, it was incredibly difficult for me to do so because I was just so excited for Hannah!


The morning of the ceremony, our small but mighty group was standing on a subway platform some in the Upper West Side and I was watching Hannah begin to melt. We were running a bit behind schedule and the bagels she wanted for breakfast were on the literal other side of Manhattan from us, the cake needed to be picked up in Rockefeller Center, and there are next to no post offices in New York City to mail a letter. Oh, and she was getting married in a matter of hours. So in about 30 seconds time, I took the letter from Hannah, found the nearest post office to Rockefeller Center, and jumped onto a subway train to run the necessary errands.

On the morning of her wedding did I want to leave my best friend’s side? No. But I knew that dividing and conquering, and eating my bagel way later than everyone else, was the right thing to do.

Flexibility is so key during elopements because there is no real precedence. The thing about elopements is each couple gets to do it their own way which means as a participant, you need to be flexible in aiding the couple to make their big day as smooth as possible. For me, that meant tromping around New York City alone with a wedding cake in tow!


Like I mentioned, there were only three of us in the bridal party, plus the bride and groom. There was also a photographer and videographer around with assistants, bringing our grand total to nine people at the actual ceremony. Nine people is not a lot in comparison to the 100+ people that typically attend weddings, so our small but mighty group was tasked with bringing a lot of excitement and happiness to the day.

Rachell, Hannah, and Alex laughing in pink and white floral robes
Laughter and happiness, two essentials for an elopement

Important things to bring in your elopement happiness arsenal are funny jokes for natural smiles in photographs and a good playlist for getting dressed for the ceremony. We found that randomly saying “penis” is a great tool to incite laughter when you’re a terrible joke teller like me. And for the love of God, if you have an Amazon Alexa in your house, don’t ask her to play an upbeat pop playlist. Chances are you’ll end up with the pop break-up playlist that we ended up with. They were quality songs, I’ll give you that Alexa, but a break-up playlist for a wedding day?!

No matter the number of people that are present at the elopement, it’s so important to remember what a special day this is for the couple and bring all your happiness possible to the day. Surround the couple with this love and happiness, because after all, they must’ve seen something in you to invite you to be a part of such an intimate ceremony!

Happily Ever After…

Hannah and Alex embracing with their bridal party looking on.

Despite having no idea what I was getting myself into with agreeing to be a part of my best friend’s elopement, I really had a wonderful time. There is nothing more special than seeing the love between two people on the most special day in their lives during such an intimate setting as an elopement. Who knows, you may never be asked to be a part of an elopement, but chances are you’ll get invited to a wedding and maybe be a part of a bridal party. I think that no matter the size of the ceremony, these tips are helpful in celebrating anyone’s big day!

Are you involved in a wedding soon, or have a hunch you might be? Check out my Broke Girl’s Guide to Engagement Parties here! And be on the look out for more Broke Girl’s Guides too!!

In my own world,


  1. Melissa Parcel

    September 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    This is so cute! I’m secretly hoping that my daughter will do something like this, it would be perfect for her personality!

    1. racheldyke

      September 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      It definitely takes a special bride to elope!

  2. Corinna @ The Mommy Clause

    September 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    How exciting!! Congratulations to the couple! Looks like the bride chose the perfect group of friends to be with her during this special event!

    1. racheldyke

      September 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      She really did!!

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