Elopement Ceremony Ideas – How to Include Your Favorite Wedding Traditions

You’ve taken the time to decide on the perfect location for you two to have your elopement ceremony and adventure, but now you might have the lingering question, “What do we do during our elopement ceremony?!” I totally understand that it might seem daunting, and maybe overwhelming, but I assure you it’s the easiest thing ever!

I’ve seen couples get married with and without an officiant and they are both just as special. It just comes down to how you want your ceremony to go and if you want another person to be involved or not! This also comes down to where you decide to elope and if you want your ceremony to be legally binding that day or have it be a symbolic ceremony.

Whatever the two of you decide to do for your elopement ceremony, it’s going to be perfect and so special, because you’re getting married in the way that matters to you. You can just say your vows during your elopement ceremony or you could have a more traditional outline that you follow. You could also say your vows and exchange rings. The options are endless!

You also might be wondering if it’s okay if you include some of your favorite wedding traditions during your elopement ceremony and throughout the day–ABSOLUTELY!! This is your day and you can keep, create or throw out whatever traditions you want. Your elopement is about creating a day that the two of you love and celebrating how you want. There are truly no rules to eloping! If you want to learn more about what an elopement truly means you can check out my other blog on What does Elope Mean!

So,  without further ado here some elopement ceremony ideas for you to check out and get all the inspiration for your elopement!elopement ceremony ideas

What is an elopement ceremony?

The beauty of eloping, a reason why many couples choose to elope, is that they allow you to get married EXACTLY how you want and wherever you want! Elopement ceremonies can include whatever you want. Sometimes it’s just the couple saying their vows to each other, sometimes there’s an officiant, and other times they can include a small number of guests typically with a max of 20 people. If you want to learn more about Eloping with Family be sure to check out this article!

Elopement ceremonies are usually for people who want to have a more intimate experience and don’t like being the center of attention. If your vows are very personal to you then eloping is definitely for you!

Elopement ceremonies usually take place in the beauty of the outdoors where you can go hiking, take an epic excursion like a helicopter tour, take a relaxing drive, or literally do whatever you want! You can check out my 15 Unique Eloping Ideas for more inspiration!



A beautiful elopement ceremony as couple exchanges rings.

Elopement Ceremony Ideas

Elopement Ceremony Vows

Marriage vows are such a special and important part of getting married. It’s the moment in time where the two of you commit your lives together and tell each other that you’ll stick by their side. No matter if you decide to do traditional vows or write your own it’s going to be an impactful part of your elopement ceremony.

You don’t have to do the exact script that you found online, but you can make each and every part custom to you. Vise versa to that if you want to keep it more simple and use a script that you found and love then go for it! Just remember that it’s your day and whatever you want to do goes!

Share a First Kiss

After you say those vows and exchange rings (if that’s something you want to do!) then it’s time for you to share your first kiss as spouses!! WHOO-HOO! It’s such a simple and classic tradition to include in your day. Plus, who wouldn’t want to kiss their new husband or wife!!

Exchange Wedding Rings

Most of the couples I’ve worked with have exchanged rings during their elopement ceremony. Wedding rings are a fantastic symbol of marriage as there is no end and symbolizes infinite love.

You could even make this a fun part of the ceremony if you wanted to surprise each other with rings, but even if you keep it more traditional it’s such an amazing part of the ceremony as an act of committing to each other!hand-fasting elopement ceremony

Unity Ceremony Ideas

Hand-fasting Ceremony

Handfasting ceremonies are a symbolic ritual where a couple stands facing each other with their hands tied to each other. It symbolizes that now that your hands are bound together so are you two as your lives become one. It is a part of a traditional Irish ceremony!

I’ve seen it where the officiant will bring multiple colors of strings and binds your hands and recites what each other means or you can recite your vows as your hands are bound. There really aren’t any ‘strict’ rules on how to do it and can be a fun thing to add to your ceremony!

Pouring Sand

This is a great idea for any couples who want a keepsake from their elopement ceremony! It’s a very simple and easy idea to incorporate into your ceremony. All you need is to have is two different colors of sand and a jar, vase, or container of you choosing to pour the sand into.

Light a Candle Abra

I would only recommend doing this if you’re opting for your elopement ceremony to be at an Airbnb where it’s a more controlled environment rather than a mountain peak. Each of you would like one side of the candle abra and then each of you would take a candle from their side and light the middle candle together!

Plant a Tree

Most couples who decide to include this ceremony idea love the outdoors and love nature. It doesn’t even have to be a tree, but you could pot a plant together, too!couple shares a first kiss after their elopement ceremony


Wedding Traditions to Include in Your Elopement

Bridal Bouquet

Bridal Bouquets can add a nice personalized touch to your elopement day! Even if you want to hike to your elopement ceremony location you can have a bouquet. There are plenty of tricks to cinching it up in your backpack!

You could go all out with a big bouquet or you could keep it small and more on the simple side. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to add some color and infuse your personality into your day!

First Dance

No matter if you’re on the top of a mountain, on a sand dune in the middle of the desert, or surrounded by trees in a forest you can take a moment to share dance with each other. It’s very simple to take along a small Bluetooth speak to blast your favorite song to have a sweet romantic dance or even break it down to some tunes if that’s more your style!

Sharing a first dance is a great way to slow down and take a minute to reflect on your day and enjoy the moment that you’re in!adventurous couple pop a champagne bottle to celebrate their elopement ceremony

Champagne Toast

No matter if you say your vows at the top of a mountain, in the desert or in a forest it’s always a good time and place to pop a champagne bottle to celebrate!

Have a Wedding Cake

Who says you have to have a room full of guests to have a cake?! You can have a cute small cake that’s the perfect size for the two of you or for the few guests you decide to take along. All you need to do is find your favorite bakery and ask them to make a small version of your favorite cake or even a custom one!

A wedding cake to celebrate a couples elopement ceremony.

First Look

First looks are so incredibly special! I’ve had couples get mostly ready together and then when it comes time for the bride to put on her dress they’ll separate and have the big finale be the surprise! I’ve also had couples get ready completely separate so that they don’t see each other at all on their elopement day till they share a first look. A fun side about getting ready totally separate is that when you receive your images you get to see part of your day that you didn’t get see before! Both ways are so fun and they’re always amazing moments! So, no matter which direction you decide to go in–it’ll be perfect!

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue

This can be such a special part of your day and a great way to include family in your elopement even if they aren’t physically there with you on your day! This tradition has been going on for a long, long time and for a good reason. It’s also such a great way to get creative and add personal touches throughout your elopement ceremony and day.

One of my couples had a dog named Blue, so she made a little pin with his picture on it and pinned onto the inside hem of her dress! It was so special and added a unique and personal touch!

There are so many ways to add personal touches to your elopement ceremony and throughout your day. I hope this has help to inspire you and give you some ideas for your elopement ceremony!

If you’re looking for an elopement photographer to document your day and to help guide you through planning your elopement I’d be so stoked to hear from you! You can contact me >HERE< and I can’t wait to chat with you!

In the meantime, check out these related articles!

Best Places to Elope in Utah

10 Best Places to Elope in the U.S.

What To Do After Eloping

Ultimate How to Elope Guide

A Complete Guide to Eloping in Washington State


Elopement Ceremony Ideas

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Courtney made the process SO easy! She does more than just photograph your day. She cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible! I'll never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen!

Contact me about your Elopement!

You probably have a million thoughts running through your head making you a bit overwhelmed.

How does this work? What can I do during my elopement? How do I choose my location? Is the ceremony legal? Can I elope with family?

One of the reasons you're probably eloping is because you want to have a stress-free day, but with so much uncertainty on how to plan an elopement how is it even possible?!

No need to stress, you're in the right place! This is where I come in and do the heavy lifting for you.

I'm Courtney, and I specialize in documenting adventurous elopements for couples who love the outdoors, but role is so much more than just an elopement photographer.

I'm here to guide you through every single step of planning your elopement and to give you a clear path tossing that stress out the window!

So, if you're ready to have a unique elopement experience that's actually focused on you, then let's friggin' do this!!

You know you want to elope,

and you know you want it to be meaningful and adventurous, but where do you start?!

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Courtney has a very warm and bubbly personality that shows through her work! She made my husband and I feel SO comfortable throughout the whole day.

We were very confused on how to start planning our adventure and she was there to answer a lot of our questions in the beginning and honestly with a very short time frame! We planned and got married in 6 weeks, because we knew we really wanted her there for our day and that is what she had available! It was a challenge well accepted for all three of us.

Our day was perfect. She captured our true essence of love and laughter and each photo shows it. There weren't very many set up photos unless we asked for them. She just gets you in the moment!

You can absolutely tell that Courtney loves what she does and wants your day to be perfect. She listens to you and really tries to understand you as a couple first and then uses that within her photography skills.

If you are looking for an adventure/elopement photographer I would highly suggest Courtney Lynn. We will be looking at and reliving our elopement forever thanks to her amazing photos. You won't be disappointed!

Amber & Ryan

Courtney was so helpful during the whole process! She helped put together a wonderful day!  She really wanted to make sure our wedding was just right for us. She made our elopement perfectly formulated for us, and I can't think of a more beautiful day!

One of our concerns going into an elopement was wanting to have pictures that let us remember the entire day. Courtney was there from start to finish and captured the whole day! Because of her outstanding work, we can share it with our loved ones, and they can experience the event almost as if they were there. We also really appreciated that she captured genuine moments between us instead of making it a photoshoot.

It felt like we were hanging out with a friend, and we think that helped us enjoy our day to the fullest.
If your dream wedding is an adventurous elopement day, I couldn't recommend Courtney more. She went above and beyond and was such a joy to work with throughout this whole experience.

She made us feel at ease and relaxed. Some wedding photographers are all about capturing posed moments that can be really awkward; that's NOT Courtney's style at all. Not only was she down to do whatever we wanted and go on little side adventures, but she made us feel comfortable.

She captured our true personalities and who we are as a couple! When looking at our gallery, our love for each other and our personalities can be seen in each image! She is extremely talented and did a phenomenal job of capturing the beauty of our wedding location. If you hire her, you will not regret it!

Sadye & Matthew

We are SO happy we decided to go with Courtney for our wedding photos! Originally we were supposed to elope in Italy, and she helped a TON with planning things like travel and what our day was going to look like.

Then the pandemic hit and we realized we probably weren't going to be able to go to Italy. So, we decided to change locations to Glacier!

She made it super easy and stress free, and helped plan what our new day in Glacier was going to look like!

Courtney was super easy to spend the entire day with, very friendly and fun to talk to! Even though our day didn't go exactly how we planned due to the weather, we all just went with the flow of it and it still turned out to be an amazing day!

If you're in doubt, just hire her!! You won't regret it one bit and you will get so many incredible photos to look back on your day!!

robbie & Aryton

When my now husband and I started planning our elopement, we were confused to the max. We didn’t know where to start or how to go about planning anything. We knew we wanted to get married in Ireland, but had too many options on exactly where. After doing some research of elopements, I was scrolling on Pinterest and came across some BEAUTIFUL photos taken by Courtney!

Courtney  made the process so easy! She is organized, professional, sweet, and so so funny!! Courtney does more than just photograph your day, she cares about you having the BEST day! She helped us plan EVERYTHING! Even down to the little details, like what type of shoes to wear! She helped us narrow down where, giving us her informative opinions on each of our options! She gave us cool ideas that we could incorporate into our special day. No idea was too big! When the day came, we had the absolute best time exploring and getting married! After we exchanged our vows, we went to celebrate at a local pub (Courtney’s idea ;) ). It was a blast!!

Our elopement was an absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I will never be able to thank Courtney enough for making it happen. So for anyone on the fence, swaying back and forth about whether or not work with Courtney on your big day, SWAY NO MORE! You’ve found your person!! My day couldn’t have been any better and my pictures are beautiful and capture the fun we had!!! I can’t wait to work with her again!

Taylor & andrew

"Planning for our day and the day itself would have been completely different without Courtney. We only knew that we wanted to share our vows in the Tuscan countryside and have beautiful photos, and Courtney planned the perfect agenda for that to happen.

She coordinated our timing around sunset, and not only were the photos breathtaking, but the actual evening was too. I remember looking out over the vineyards as the sun set, the view becoming more and more stunning by the minute. There were no moments that felt forced or posed, every shot was comfortable and fun and full of love.

Courtney is such a sweet, kind, fun person and we truly enjoyed spending the day with her. Courtney helped us to turn our dreams into reality, and we hardly had to do a thing. She allowed us to be in control of our day but gently took all of our wants and needs into consideration while making everything happen. Lastly, our pictures are just magical. Courtney is an incredibly talented photographer, and I feel so lucky that we were able to work with her. I would recommend her over and over again to anyone eloping."

Ellie & Zac

"Let. Me. Tell. You. It's not the technical aspects of photography that are the most difficult. It's the human aspect. Remembering that as a Photographer, you may be behind the lens but you are still a human, in front of other humans, in some of the most raw and intimate of moments.

Courtney balances both of these necessities (but rarities) with poise, great direction, and an overall kind calmness that just makes you breathe a sigh of relief. If you've come across Courtney's page and see what you like already, BOOK HER NOW. Don't spend another second looking for another Photographer that doesn't bring anywhere near the amazing light and spirit that this girl brings right here. Thank you again Courtney for allowing my husband and I to marry each other all over again! The images are stunning and I can't wait to blow them up and hang them in our home."

Shannon & Brandon

"Working with Courtney was an extremely easy experience, seamless, positive and obviously fun. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and wanted to surprise her with a surprise honeymoon adventure session.

Courtney worked with me to make that dream gift for my wife a reality. Meeting and posing for a photographer for the first time can be intimidating, but with Courtney it was anything but that.

Courtney is extremely positive and helpful and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She played some of our favorite songs and before we knew we were just having fun and she was catching them every second. Perhaps the best part of our session was that Courtney knew all the characteristic and peaceful places of where we were, which made our photos even more extraordinary.

She kept the focus on my wife and me. When we shared our images with friends and relatives, everyone complimented on Courtney's aesthetics and the emotion she was able to capture. I can't thank Courtney enough for exceeding all our expectations with this photo shoot!!"


"Pick her -- she's the best! Courtney is amazing! Seriously! If you're thinking about eloping you should snatch her up to capture your day. She makes the entire experience fun and relaxed plus the pictures just blew us away. I will never forget our magical time in Venice and I'm obsessed with the gorgeous photos Courtney took of us. She's so so good!"

Jami & Tim

Courtney is not only a talented photographer, but she makes you feel so comfortable even though being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking! She did such an amazing job with our day and if I had to pick my favorite photo it would take FOREVER, because I love so many! Definitely consider her if you want adventurous and beautiful photos coupled with an amazing experience!

walker & mac

Don't take it from me,
Take it from my past couples!

You’re in the right place!

I’m here to guide you through EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

Let’s toss that’s confusion out the window and focus on how you want to get married!

Let me relieve those feelings of being lost, save you time, tell the story of your day and let’s get started creating a day that you’ll never forget!

So, if you know you want to elope,
but feel unsure on where to start, 

contact me & let's get starting creating your dream elopement!

...and you want an amazing storyteller to document your day


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