How to Plan an Elopement: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Elopements have become a popular choice for couples seeking intimate, meaningful, and unique wedding experiences. Planning an elopement involves careful consideration of your desires, locations, and logistics. As your elopement photographer and guide I’ll walk you through each step to help you plan the elopement of your dreams.

Step 1: Get Dreamy!

Let’s dive into your elopement adventure! How to plan an elopement all begins by envisioning your dream day as a duo. Grab your partner, cozy up, and chat about what makes your hearts dance. Do you picture exchanging vows atop a mountain or by the calming beach? Maybe a riverside hideaway is your vibe?

Now, let’s chat cash. Moreover, don’t worry, we’ll make it fun! Discuss your budget—knowing the cool stuff you want without breaking the bank is the game plan. Additionally, this is a key player in planning your elopement. Pssst, this isn’t the time for a snooze-fest; it’s about being real about what you can sling.

Furthermore, who’s on the VIP list? Keeping it intimate or inviting a few? This step’s about knowing who’s getting an all-access pass to your rad day.

Lastly, time to dream on about seasons, places, and styles! Do you dig those sun-drenched summer vows or the cozy autumn hues? Explore spots and vibes that light your fire and reflect who you are!

So, grab a coffee, get cozy, and chat about what makes your hearts race! After all, this vision board is where your adventurous journey to “I do” begins. Get your pen and paper and start planning your elopement.

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Step 2: Let’s Find Your Magical Spot!

Alright, lovers, it’s time to pin down that dream location! Picture yourself: you, your partner, and the backdrop that makes your hearts skip a beat. So, let’s crack open the treasure chest of possibilities and uncover that gem where your story truly shines. This is the best part of the elopement planning process. Where do you envision your day?

Get online, dig into that map, and scout out places that match your vibe. Think stunning mountaintops, enchanting forests, or maybe a remote beach where the waves whisper tales of love. While you’re at it, sprinkle a bit of realism into the dream mix too – check out how easy it is to get there, what permits you might need, and the local do’s and don’ts.

Accessibility is key! Is it a hop, skip, and jump away or a trek through the jungle? Factor in how you and your guests (if you’ve got any) will journey to this magical nook of yours.

Now, here’s where the fun happens – narrow down your options! Think meaningful, think “OMG, this is it!” Your ideal spot should whisper, “This is where our story belongs.” Whether it’s a mountain, forest, desert, or wherever your hearts feel at home, find that spot that’ll become part of your love tale.

So gear up, get the globe-spinning, and let’s chart the course to your very own “Happily Ever After” spot! Because, hey, this is where the adventure of a lifetime really kicks off!

Step 3: Secure the Legalities

Planning your elopement can be fun, but let’s talk about getting you married legally. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty to make this adventure officially yours! A wild journey needs a little paperwork, and your elopement is no exception. Time to break out the investigative hat and get savvy with the legal know-how.

First things first, hit the keyboard and do some sleuthing on the marriage requirements at your dreamy chosen location. Every place has its own set of rules, so find out what your spot demands for lovebirds like you. Consider things like waiting periods, specific documents needed, and any extra special hoops to jump through.

Now, once you’ve gathered the requirements, it’s game time. Schedule those appointments! Whether it’s a meeting at the courthouse or setting up an official date with the local authority, make sure to secure that all-important marriage license. It’s the key to unlocking this thrilling new chapter of your lives together.

Give yourselves ample time – no one wants a time crunch when it comes to sealing the deal. So, prepare in advance, fill out the forms, and have all necessary documents on hand.

Remember, this step is just a tiny detour on the road to planning your elopement day. So, stay calm and organized, get your checklist rolling, and before you know it, you’ll be officially hitched, ready to embrace the adventure of a lifetime!

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Step 4: Assemble Your Team

It’s time to curate your very own dream team! Whether you’re dreaming of an intimate just us elopement or a micro-wedding, this step is all about assembling the squad that will make your day absolutely magic. Additionally, next up, let’s get the legality part squared away. Decide if you want an officiant to lead the way or consider the option of a self-uniting marriage (where local laws allow). It’s all about finding the best fit for your adventure.

Furthermore, now, the fun part – vendors! Elopement planning consists of quite a bit, so I take time to offer vetted recommended vendors for my booked clients. Consider the artists who’ll add that extra zing to your day. Whether it’s someone to capture every dazzling moment (like, um, me, the photography guru), a florist who turns blooms into pure magic, or a painter to capture the essence of your day in a painting, let’s round up the best people for you. Planning every moment of your elopement day, especially the moments when you want to jump in a lake and not care about your hair since you have a hair and makeup artist traveling with you throughout the day.

Moreover, don’t forget, I’m right here and ready to bring my camera and adventurous spirit to your day. Get in touch, and we can curate a plan for stunning visual memories of your epic journey. I’ll be there to document and capture your elopement wishes – preserving every grin, tear, and joyous leap into the unknown! I help in every step of the elopement planning process.

Lastly, gather your crew, find your key players, and watch the magic start to unfold. This is your dream team, and together, you’re about to create an elopement day that’s truly yours!

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Step 5: Plan the Details

Now that the vision board is taking shape, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty details! Picture-perfect elopements don’t just happen; they’re crafted with passion and heaps of planning magic.

First things first: the timeline! Whip out that imaginary clipboard, and let’s map out your day. From sunrise giggles to sunset vows, sketch it all out. Consider every glorious moment and let’s ensure it’s a smooth ride. I do this for my all my elopement couples including the location scouting!

Speaking of style, let’s talk threads! Planning what you’ll wear on your elopement day is not talked about enough. Just so your know you can always plan to change into your elopement attire. Whether it’s that glamorous gown or the perfect suit, choose outfits that fit the vibe and your personal flair. It’s not just clothes; it’s the the way you adventure in style.

Let’s get creative – think personal ceremonies or rituals that are straight out of your unique love story. Your elopement is all about YOU, so add those personal touches that make this day genuinely yours. Is it a heartfelt poem you’ve written or a dance under the stars? Let’s spice it up!

That’s where I, your trusty photographer and bestie, come in. I’ll be right there to capture these details that will turn into cherished memories. The candid laughter, those teary-eyed whispers – I’ll make sure it’s all beautifully immortalized!

It’s all about planning an elopement day that sparkles with personality and radiates your love. So, let’s make every detail count! Your elopement adventure is on the horizon, and I’m here to capture every moment that’ll tell your epic love story. Let’s plan those remarkable moments, one laughter and stylish wardrobe choice at a time!

Step 6: Capture the Moment

Capturing your love in this moment. It’s time to focus our lens on capturing that jaw-dropping magic. A professional photographer is your ticket to eternalizing this whirlwind of emotions, laughs, and tender moments.

When you embark on an elopement, every click of the camera should paint a story, and I’m here to ensure every frame speaks volumes about your love. We’ll dive into your preferred style – intentional documentary, candid, and editorial style? Your story deserves the perfect visual script and I make sure to discuss every detail with my couples before hand. Your day is intentional and it deserves to be told in the most beautiful light possible.

What’s on your shot list? Whether it’s the “I do” moment against the sunset in the mountains or that candid laughter by the waterfall, I’m all ears for those special scenes you’re eager to cherish forever. Each frame will be a chapter in your love story.

I’m not just your go-to photographer; I’m your partner in this grand adventure. From scouting the prime locations to understanding your vision, we’ll be in sync to ensure your day’s tale is told with absolute finesse.

The goal? To beautifully capture this epic day, frame by frame. Your elopement is an extraordinary tale waiting to unfold, and it’s my joy and privilege to be the one freezing these magical moments in time. Let’s turn every snapshot into a heartwarming memoir, shall we?

How to plan an elopement

Step 7: Gear Up for Your Grand Adventure!

Time to pack your bags and ensure you’ve got every piece of the puzzle in place for the big day. Think of it as a checklist of joy – a quirky mix of wedding finery and adventure gear. Let’s break it down!

First things first – attire. Plan outfits that harmonize with your dreamy location. Whether it’s the cascading mountains, lush forests, or sandy shores, make sure your clothing complements the setting. And, don’t forget the rings! Your symbols of eternal love deserve a prime spot on that list.

Permits, permissions, and any legal must-haves – get those sorted! For that majestic mountain or serene riverside, these might be essential for a smooth, breezy day. Plus, any personal knick-knacks or keepsakes that are close to your heart – pack ’em in!

Now, let’s get practical. Hydration – check! Snacks – check! For those off-the-beaten-path locations, be prepared with some outdoor essentials: a trusty first-aid kit and weather-appropriate gear. You might be sealing your love amidst nature, so let’s make sure you’re all prepped up.

Remember, your elopement day is an exquisite blend of a celebration and an adventure. So, as you pack your essentials, sprinkle a bit of love, a dash of excitement, and a bucket-load of happy memories into that bag. It’s not just about what you’re taking; it’s about carrying the anticipation of a day that’ll be etched in your hearts forever.

How to plan an elopement

Step 8: Enjoy the BEST Day Ever!

It’s the day you’ve been dreaming about, the day to let your love unfurl in the most incredible way. The sun isn’t even up yet, but you are – because today’s about to be legendary! Arrive early at your chosen spot; after all, punctuality is key when magic’s on the agenda. Check your setup, ensure everything’s just perfect, and watch as your dreams fall into place.

The time has come to say those special words, to share a look that says more than a thousand “I love yous.” Don’t hold back on the giggles, the tears, or the quirky surprises. It’s your moment to be you, completely and unapologetically.

And when the time’s right, celebrate! A toast to your adventure, a private meal under the stars, or maybe, if you’re feeling extra bold, a streak through nature! Because hey, there are no rules for joy – just you, your partner, and the amazing adventure you’ve begun.

Capture every candid moment, every stolen glance, and every burst of laughter. This day isn’t just about tying the knot; it’s about creating a treasure trove of memories that’ll warm your hearts for eternity. This is your love story, and today, it’s as epic as can be! How to plan an elopement is a multi step process- I know but you can definitely get through it.

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Step 9: Keep the Joy Rolling!

You’ve officially rocked your elopement day, and now, it’s time to share the joy! Whether you’re planning a cozy post-elopement celebration or a fun reception with family and friends, this is your chance to sprinkle some love over everyone who missed out on the adventure.

Imagine it – an intimate gathering at an Airbnb, a beautiful dinner setting, or a quirky VRBO the day after or weeks after. Revel in the enchanting tales of your elopement day; let the laughter and love overflow! Show off your stunning photos, the stolen moments, the loving gazes, and the spontaneous dances. Share the wild stories and sweet memories – because everyone loves a good love story, especially yours!

For those who couldn’t join in on the main event, this is your opportunity to bring the magic to them. Gather around, tell your tales, and share the visuals. Let them experience the thrill, the passion, and the craziness of your adventurous day.

This is your chance to extend the love, keep the celebration vibes going, and bond over the wonderful whirlwind that was your elopement. So let’s get cozy, share the your love story, and spread that love! After all, an epic love story like yours is worth celebrating again and again.

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Step 10: Preserve Your Memories

How to plan an elopement is more than what it will look like. It’s also about how it will feel. It’s time to lock in those precious moments from your intimate elopement adventure! You’ve got the love-filled stories, the stunning visuals, and the crazy wild adventures tucked away in your hearts. So why not encapsulate them forever in a dreamy wedding album for your coffee table or a gallery wall for your home? Every glance, every touch, and every dance move, all tucked between those pages or showcased for you to remember that feeling everyday.

Share the magic! Showcase your love story across social media or blog platforms. Your love story of an adventurous elopement can light up the hearts of others who are about to tell their own thrilling journey. Inspire them with your craziness, your beautiful moments, and the raw love that shines through every image.

But it’s not just about inspiring others – it’s also a time for you to reflect. Take a step back, soak in the memories, and relive that wild, heart-thumping rollercoaster of emotions that marked your special day. Cherish how this experience has woven a new chapter into the fabric of your relationship.

After all, your elopement is not just a memory; it’s a significant cornerstone in your shared journey. So let’s immortalize this beautiful day, share it with the world, and bask in the wonderful love you’ve created. Your adventurous elopement is more than just a day – it’s a beautiful saga that deserves to be celebrated and treasured forever.

Boho Great Sand Dunes National Park Elopement

Your Elopement Adventure Begins Here

Planning an elopement is an opportunity to create a deeply personal and unforgettable celebration of love. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll ensure that every detail is considered, making your elopement a true reflection of your unique love story. If how to plan an elopement is overwhelming I help my clients with planning and documenting their day. Embrace the adventure, capture the magic, and start your journey as a married couple with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s get in touch and start planning your elopement today!

 Photographing love and life for the past 7 years. My passion for elopements comes from the intimate memories and inspirational landscapes that we share our earth with. 
My goal as your photographer and guide is to provide you with all the essentials needed to elope. You and your partner deserve a stress-free experience surrounded by love and admiration from every direction in every moment of your special day. Your wedding day is an unforgettable day and it should be documented in a way that authentically serves you. 

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Your adventurous elopement photographer & Guide

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