So, you know that you want to Elope! Yay! Elopements are an amazing way to get married, because you can create a plan that fits you and your fiance. There aren’t any expectations, there are no rules, so you can really create the day you and your soon to be life partner have dreamed of.
But, because the term “Elopement” has changed so much in the past years, it can be tricky to plan everything out. With no set rules, the whole day is open to doing whatever you’d like! As fun as that sounds, it can also be a little challenging to figure out what exactly you’d like to do! If you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, don’t worry! I promise everything will come together magically, and you’ll have the day you dreamed of.
I’ve found it helps to have a set schedule to keep things flowing smoothly and help you two have the Elopement you dreamed of. Because Elopements usually don’t have Wedding Planners (who are like fairy godmothers on wedding days) your Elopement photographer will usually step into this role, and help your day go smoothly.
Chances are if you have decided to Elope, it’s because you care about the wedding experience. You want to spend your wedding day doing the things you love, with the people you care about the most. So, the first step is to start deciding on what adventures and experiences you want to have on your Elopement. I always recommend creating a list! Lists help me so much when planning, so go find your favorite notebook and let’s get started!
First, write down what you both love to do when traveling, when exploring a new town, and in your every day lives. Also, add some more traditional wedding items you would like to incorporate into your Elopement! Defining these four things will help you narrow down the activities you want to do on your Elopement.
When traveling, what stands out as the most fun aspect of your trip? Is it swimming in all the amazing lakes and oceans? Is it hiking through historic landscapes or old forests? Next, what do you love about exploring a new city? Do you love eating at the local hotspots? Do you love shopping in the cute shops? Next, write down the routines you both do as a couple. Maybe you love taking a morning jog together, or making breakfast or dinner together! And lastly, incorporate more traditional aspects, for example, a first look, a champagne pop, or a reception. Write it all down!
By now, the list of activities you have is probably pretty long! And while that gives you amazing things to chose from, unfortunately (unless you plan on staying many weeks!) you probably won’t be able to do everything in one day! So, now begins the process of choosing the things you want to do on your elopement!
Cross of things on your list that isn’t feasible to do first. For example, if you love hiking in the mountains and swimming in the ocean, but are eloping by the beach, go ahead and cross of hiking in the mountains. Then, cross of items that aren’t things you want to remember forever as doing on your Elopement. For example, if you don’t want to remember shopping at local shops, cross it off!
Now, your list should have a few activities that are the most important for you and your fiance to do while eloping!
Once your list is narrowed down, let’s start creating an outline of a timeline. Pick out the activities you have listed, and start ordering them in a cohesive way! I’d recommend picking two to three items only. Then think about the things you’d like to do, and when.
An example beginning timeline would be…
After you’ve placed the items you love to do in a cohesive way, add in the traditional items you have to have, like a ceremony and couples portraits! When placing these items in your beginning timeline, make sure to consider how you want your day to be structured. If you like waking up late, and aren’t a morning person, consider placing your ceremony after all the activities. And if your family wants time to explore as well, consider doing family photographs before the ceremony.
An example beginning “finalized” timeline…
Now, you’ve figured out what you’d like to do on your elopement, and when you’d like to do them! The only thing left is placing when you’ll do all of these things into your timeline! Send your beginning “finalized” timeline to me, and I’ll recommend the best times for photographs, when your location will be the least busy for your ceremony, and other helpful tips and tricks (like adding extra time for travel and getting ready). We will finalize the times, so your day will be happy, stress-free, and run super smoothly.
An example finished timeline…
8:00-9:00am Morning Coffee while sitting on the air bnb’s deck with your partner
10:30-11:30am Paddle-boarding with just your partner
12:00-2:00pm Begin getting ready
3:00-3:30 pm First look on the beach
3:30-4:00pm Couples portraits on the beach
4:00-4:30pm Travel to the ceremony on your rented Vespa
5:00pm-6:00pm Ceremony, vows champagne pop
6:00-6:30pm Family portraits
6:30-7:30pm Couples portraits
7:30-8:00pm Travel to the Campfire
8:30-10:00pm Family Campfire on the Beach, plus swimming
Hopefully, planning out a schedule has helped you feel a little less overwhelmed with the process. If you need any other tips, please don’t hesitate to send me a message! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number is 916.572.2757