If you’re wondering how to plan an elopement, then we’re here to help you in ten easy steps to make sure your day is stress free. Planning an adventure elopement is such an exciting process! The day is planned around what you love doing together and there are endless possibilities of what you can include on your day. There are some essential items that you have to organize before the day so we have put together this adventure elopement checklist to make the planning process a little easier so you can focus on the excitement!
Sit down together with a bottle of wine or cup of coffee. Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and both of you write down at least 3-5 things that are the MOST important to you when it comes to your wedding day. Obviously getting married is the #1, but besides that, do you care most about photography, location, having your family there? What means the most to you? Once you have those items written down, share them with each other!
1) CHOOSE A LOCATION
tIME FOR THE FUN PART!!
Helping MY couples research and choose a location is one of MY favorite parts ABOUT MY job. Finding the perfect spot that suits who you are and what you love doing together will make your day so special! wHETHER IT'S IN THE MOUNTAINS, AT THE TOP OF A WATERFALL OR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT: i'M HERE TO HELP FIND THE PERFECT SPOT TO TIE THE KNOT!
2) CHOOSE YOUR DATE
If you don’t already have a date in mind, then I suggest choosing a weekday during your preferred season if possible. If it’s a popular location, then opting for a weekday often means more seclusion.
3) CREATE A BUDGET
THIS PART IS SUPER CRUCIAL. COME UP WITH A ROUGH ESTIMATE ON HOW MUCH YOU CAN OR WOULD LIKE TO SPEND ON YOUR ELOPEMENT. THIS INCLUDES ALL EXPENSES INCLUDING: TRANSPORTATION, PLACE TO STAY, DRESS/TUX, FLORALS, LOCATION PERMITS, DECOR RENTALS, HAIR AND MAKEUP, OFFICANT, WEDDING RINGS, MARRIAGE PERMIT FEES, ETC.
4) HIRE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
THIS IS PROBABLY THE #1 OR #2 MOST IMPORTANT DETAIL TO NAIL DOWN. AS SOON AS YOU HAVE A DATE DOWN, BOOK A PHOTOGRAPHER! MOST ELOPEMENT PHOTOGS CAN HELP YOU WITH A LOT OF DETAILS INCLUDING LOCATION PLANNING, TIMELINE PLANNING, FINDING VENDORS IN THAT AREA AND SO MUCH MORE! WE LOVE BEING APART OF YOUR DAY SO DON'T HOLD BACK ANY DETAILS!!
5) APPLY FOR MARRIAGE LICENSE
Every state/country is different. It’s very important that you plan your elopement wayyy ahead of time when it comes to researching the laws and requirements before making anything official with booking plans or reservations!
6) OBTAIN ALL REQUIRED LOCATION PERMITS
If you are getting married in a national forest or protected land, then a permit will likely be required for photography and/or the ceremony. I highly suggest researching your ceremony location, so you aren’t surprised by any rangers.
7) bOOK YOUR VENDORS
BOOKING YOUR VENDORS IS JUST AS IMportant AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER. MOST WEDDING INDUSTRY VENDORS BOOK MONTHS IN ADVANCE, AND YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT ON YOUR FAVORITE VENDOR FOR PROCRAstinatING! SOME COMMON VENDORS TO ADD TO YOUR LIST WOULD BE: HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST, FLORAL DESIGN, FOOD VENDOR, OFFICIANT, OR BAKER.
8) CHOOSE YOUR WITNESSES
I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO BE MY CLIENTS WITNESS IF THEY WISH TO NOT INVITE ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO THEIR CEREMONY. mOST PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL OFFER IT AS WELL BUT FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE ALWAYS WELCOMED, JUST BE SURE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL GUESTS WHEN BOOKING VENDORS, TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING.
9) book travel accomendations
Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to choosing your accommodations! You’re going to want a place to stay that is close to your ceremony location and has great lighting. Photographers typically love any location that has big open windows and is void of clutter. There are so many beautiful and unique AirBNB’s that you can take advantage of. be sure to start looking around 6 months in advance as places do book up quickly depending on the time of year and the location!
10) plan your timeline
this is crucial and will make for a easy sailing day of fun! I would plan the day around sunrise and sunset, as they make for the best lighting! a rough draft for an elopement day would include the following:
♡ getting ready/detail shots
♡ first looks with groom/dads
♡ formal photos with friends/family
♡ ceremony/ vow exchange
♡ fun activity/celebration
♡ time for sunset photos or any extra shots wanted
11) prepare for your big day
yay, it’s finally here! all your planning is about to be so worth it. be sure to create a packing list for everything you are going to need for the day! include the big things like plane tickets, the dress/rings + the little things like your vow books, earrings or shoes! you don't want to forget anything that may potentionally set your timeline back.