I know, you chose a small intimate elopement to escape the madness of wedding planning. If you thought you were off the hook think again. There's still a little bit of planning that goes into elopements too.
But don't stress. That's what I'm here for. To help guide you through planning and creating your perfect wedding day as quickly and easily as possible. So step #1 grab a glass of wine, sit down and just have fun.
choose to elope!
You did it! You're already done with step one. Pat yourself on the back for making the courageous decision to create the day you want with your partner!
location location location
When it comes to choosing a location the possibilities are practically endless. Start wide and narrow it down. Ask yourself questions like do you want to get married in the U.S. or are you open to an international elopement? What climate do you do best in, or more importantly what climates don't you do good in? (Sometimes the location will depend on the time of year you want to get married.) Once you've figured out a climate and scope of where you want to elope you can begin to narrow it down further from there. It can be daunting so if you just don't want to deal with finding a location and just want to be given a list of the best options shoot me an email and I'll put together a location list of the best spots to elope anywhere in the world.
find the perfect time of year
Now that you know where you want to elope you have to pick a time of year. Start by checking the weather throughout the year. Keeping in mind again what climates you do best in. If you're getting married in a park or want to elope on a specific trail be sure and check to make sure that the area is open that time of year. Being a little flexible with your date is always a good idea.
permits, passes, & regulations
You have the location, you have the time of year now comes the extra fun part: permits, passes, and regulations. Search online and through park websites to figure out what kind of permits you need. How much will they cost? How do you apply? How long does it take to get the permit?
If steps 2, 3, & 4 are sounding a little daunting then before moving to steps 5, 6, 7, & 8 send me a message now! a big part of my job is helping you with everything from location ideas, to figuring out the best time of year and researching and informing you of any permits you may need.
Planning an adventure elopement is a little different than your standard wedding. Some vendors might not be as familiar with what an adventure elopement is. You want to make sure you find an officiant who's okay with a little adventurous (ish) hike and possibly standing out on a ledge. On top of that, a lot of times you're traveling in from out of town so you won't get a chance to meet the vendors in person prior to your day. You want to make sure you have read all the reviews and properly vetted your vendors so you don't end up being disappointed on your wedding day without any other options! I suggest finding your photographer as soon as you decide to elope. On top of being a photographer, I'm here to help with planning all of the steps above and can recommend the best vendors in any location you choose!
plan your day
Your wedding day isn't just saying I do and heading home. It's about the experience from beginning to end. Start to think about the things you want to do on your wedding day to make your day unique. Like hot air balloon rides, or horseback riding, or something simple like planning a picnic or even just popping champagne! There are so many little (or big) things you can do on your day to make it more special to the two of you. If you need more ideas on what to do to help make your adventure the best experience of your life check out this blog post!
build your timeline
Now that you've put together your perfect day full of experiences and small intimate moments you'll never forget it's time to sort it all out and put it down in a timeline. Always budget for a little more time than you expect to need. The best part about eloping is that you're not on anyone else's schedule. If things start to fall a little behind you don't have to rush to catch up on account of anyone else. The only real limiter is the sun - but hey we can always just take some badass night sky pictures of you two in case it sets on us. Don't forget to include travel time! Driving, hiking, exploring.
make your checklist!
Most of the time you'll be traveling a little ahead of time to your destination. Between all the cars, planes, and the wedding high it's easy for something to get left behind. Start making a checklist of all of the things you'll need on, before, and after your wedding day. Think about every detail of what you're wearing, what your partners wearing, all the way down to the socks. Trust me, you don't want to end up hiking around without socks.
Once you've reached your destination, and checked off everything on your checklist all that's left to do is enjoy the amazing adventure that awaits you!