We are all about helping couples plan for their epic adventure elopement. Whether it’s traveling to a new place you’ve never been before for your elopement or heading back to a special spot to have your ceremony, we’re here to help!
As you prepare to embark on a wild wind romance together, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Read on for our complete guide and some of our best tips when it comes to planning your adventure elopement.
#1 – Decide on a Budget
The first thing to do for your adventure elopement is set a budget. Take some time to sit down and talk about what you both want and how much the cost would be.
One thing that makes elopements different from traditional weddings is the budgeting. Most aspects of an elopement will cost less than a wedding – which gives you so much more room to add and take away whatever you’d like.
Your adventure elopement is all about you and what you want, so take advantage of this opportunity as you finalize your budget.
Pro Tip: Be sure to include travel expenses, vendors, photographers, florists, and hair and makeup within your budget plan!
#2 – Research + Pick Your Location
The next thing to consider for your adventure elopement is the location you want to hold your ceremony.
With so many beautiful locations to choose from, we know it can be difficult to pin one down! That’s why we’ve crafted a few questions to help you better decide which location might be best for you.
- What kind of view do you want to have in the background?
- What is the difficulty level of getting to your dream spot and does that affect your choice? (Hiking, climbing, driving, traveling, etc.)
- What place has significance for you?
- Where do you want to say ‘yes’ to forever?
- Which setting suits you best between a mountain elopement, desert elopement, forest elopement, or beach elopement?
- Where would make the best memories for your big day?
Once you’ve chosen your location, do some research to see if permits are needed to get married in your destination.
#3 – Pick Your Time of Year + Date
Now that you’ve pinned down your elopement spot – let’s talk about seasons and weather. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- First, figure out what season you’d prefer to have your elopement in.
- Next, do some research to see what the weather is usually like on a typical day in your elopement location and plan for it.
- Factor in the likelihood of a change in weather.
- Select your dream date.
Pro tip: Consider a weekday – some of the more popular locations will be less busy and more private.
#4 – Book a Place to Stay + Travel
So you’ve got your budget, location, season, and outfits – up next is booking travel and a place to stay. Booking travel and accommodations well in advance will set you up for your big day and leave you feeling prepped, relaxed, and ready to go.
Be sure to book a place that’s near your elopement location, and if you’re planning to stay a few days after – choose one that’s perfect for your post elopement, honeymoon vibes.
#5 – Decide on Your Elopement Attire
Once you’ve decided on your location and season to elope, it’s time to pick a fit that you’ll love and feel comfortable in.
The goal is to choose clothing that suits the weather, that will allow you to move, and that will make you look awesome while doing it.
#6 – Hire Your Dream Vendors
These are the people who are making your stunning adventure elopement happen – think photographers, florists, and hair and makeup. Because you’ll be working with this team of people throughout your big day, be sure to pick a team of people who support your wedding visions and are fun to work with!
#7 – Get Your Marriage License
All locations require a marriage license, but each state is different when it comes to the number of witnesses required, how long your license is valid for, and how to apply.
Once you’ve gone through the steps to get your marriage license, you’ll need an officiant for your ceremony. Here at Off Path Photography, Ross just got recently ordained – so if you’re in need of a photographer who doubles as an officiant, we’ve got you covered!
#8 – Plan the Ceremony
This step is entirely up to you! You get to decide how long your ceremony will be, what it will look like, how the vows will go if you want to incorporate music or not, and who will be there as you say “I do”.
#9 – Guest Numbers
Now that you’ve planned your ceremony, you’ll need to figure out how many guests you would like to be a part of your day. Whether it’s just family or a few friends (or both) – be sure to plan for transportation, seating, and the reception and get ready to celebrate with the ones you love!
# 10 – Plan the Reception
This is the part where you celebrate the beautiful commitment you just made to each other and dance the night away – which we are all about! Whether you’re wanting a big reception party or a small intimate party, it’s all up to you. That’s what makes elopements so unique.
Check out this wedding we shot for Bethany and Rick to see how they partied and played at their gorgeous boho reception.
#11 – Enjoy Your Dream Adventure Elopement
Now that you’ve mapped it all out – the only thing left to do is enjoy your dream elopement! Soak up this incredible experience and prepare yourself for an adventure of a lifetime as you say ‘I do’ in the setting of your dreams.
Whether it’s in a forest, on a mountain top, by the ocean, or in a desert – your elopement is meant to be the perfect solution to satisfy your craving for adventure and love.
We hope this blog helped you to see just how easy planning an elopement can be. With these eight simple steps, you’ll be sure to make your elopement one to remember and a story worth telling over and over again.
Here at Off Path Photography, we are committed to capturing the heartbeat of your big day and helping you as you plan. If you have any questions or you just want to chat about your upcoming elopement – you can reach out to us here on our page!