Elopement Checklist

At first thinking about planning an elopement might seem like a complete breeze, and while elopements are definitely more stress-free and laid back than a traditional wedding there are some details that you definitely don’t want to forget! The best part about deciding how to elope is that you can keep your elopement day as simple as you want or you could include as many details and activites as you wish! So, to help make your elopement planning easier I’ve created the best Elopement Checklist for you!

Elopement Checklistelopement checklist for couples eloping

Planning out all the Elopement Logistics

In order to get started with planning your dream elopement, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself. By starting to think about these things you’ll be well on your way to planning the elopement your dreaming of!

Figure out what’s most important to you and start to come up with a budget!

I totally understand it might seem overwhelming when trying to come up with a budget for your elopement day. Where do you start?! This will be different for every couple, but when I say budget that doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible! There are things you might not even know about till you actually start planning. You’ll probably get ideas along the way as you start to plan!

The best way you can get started on planning your budget is by figuring out what is most important to you to have on your elopement day. You can start this process by brainstorming and dreaming up your ultimate elopement experience. Start to ask yourself these questions and your vision will start to appear!

What general area do you want to elope?

Do you want to stay domestic or go international?

What type of scenery would you like to have on your elopement day?

Do you want to be in the mountains, the forest, in the desert, on the beach, a cliff overlooking the ocean? You don’t have to come up with a specific location! Just try to think of what your dream backdrop would be!

Are we inviting anybody along?

Are you the type of couple who wants to have a ‘just us’ experience on their elopement day or do you want to include your absolute closest friends or family? There are ways that you can absolutely get both experiences so be sure to check out my article on Eloping with Family to get all the ideas and see what would be best for you!

What time of year do we want to elope?

Are you both obsessed with winter or do you prefer when the sun is shining?! Your location and the weather you’re hoping to have are directly correlated to one another so be sure to look into the weather patterns for the particular state or general location – for example the PNW – you’re considering!

What activities do you see yourselves including?

Are you hoping to go hiking or canoeing on a lake? Do you want to take a drive on a mountain pass road and enjoy the sights?! Do you want to have a bonfire and roast s’mores?! Anything you dream up for your elopement day you can absolutely include!

Hire an Elopement Photographer

As an experience elopement photographer most couples contact me when they have a general vision of what they’re looking for, but don’t know where to go from there. I love this because I work closely with my couples to help pull together their vision and turn their dream elopement into reality!

Once you have your photographer who can help you tie your vision together you’ll start to dive into the nitty-gritty details! If you have a photographer who doesn’t help with the planning then consider hiring a planner in the location you want to elope to help you with everything.

At this point, you probably know the type of scenery you’re looking for, but aren’t sure about which state or location would be best for you. Again, helping couples pick out the perfect location for them is part of what I do for my couples, but again, if you have a photographer who doesn’t do this or even if you just want some inspiration check out these articles below!

Check out some location recommendations here!

A Complete Guide to Eloping in Washington State

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Guide

Best Places to Elope in Oregon

Best Places to Elope in Utah

10 Best Places to Elope in the PNW

Best Places to Elope in Idaho


The ultimate elopement checklist for couples eloping.

Booking Your Travel for your elopement

No matter if you are staying local, domestic or international be sure to nail out your travel plans! If you are traveling internationally make sure you don’t forget about any train, taxi or bus fees that might come up. Of course, you need to wait to nail out these details till your specific location is picked out so that you can decide on the best flights and Airbnb location! I’ve written a guide on How to Plan an Airbnb Elopement so be sure to check it out!

1 – Book your flights!

2 – Book your lodging whether that be an Airbnb, hotel, or resort

3 – Get your car rental

Get Your Marriage License

Once you have decided where you want to elope you can start your process of getting legal. This should, of course, be a priority on your elopement checklist! If you are eloping in another country there can be some hurdles to jump over, but if you want to avoid the hassle get married legally in another country, you can always get legally married where you live at your local county clerks office and have your ceremony on your elopement day be symbolical. I have seen couples do it both ways and they are equally as special!

Even if you’re eloping in the states don’t forget that every state has its own marriage laws. Be sure to look at what’s required to get legally married there! There can be some hurdles to jump so if you’d like to keep it as simple as possible go the route of having a symbolical elopement ceremony and doing the paperwork where you live.

Here are a few things you need to look into when figuring out the legal process of getting a marriage license!

1 – Do you need an appointment in order to pick up your marriage license or is there a mail in option?

2 – Do I need an officiant or any witnesses?

Most places require you have an officiant and witnesses if you want a legal ceremony on your elopement day, but certain states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin allow you to self-solemnize your marriage meaning you don’t need an officiant! In Montana, anybody can marry the two of you-like, literally anybody! You don’t need to be ordained to marry a couple in Montana! How cool?!

3 – Is there a waiting period before I can use my marriage license?

Some states require up to a week between when you file for a marriage license and when you can legally get married!

4 – Are there any other legal documents or problems that might come up?

You never know, so keep birth certificates, divorce papers from previous marriages, and all other important documents on hand.

Write Your Vows

If you decide to write your own vows then take some time to sit down and think about what you want to say to your fiance on the day you commit your lives together. I wrote a complete guide on How to Write Wedding Vows for Your Elopement that will help you out a ton!!

Be sure you have your rings!

All I can say is don’t forget these! You don’t have to go crazy with super expensive rings if that’s not your thing. A few alternative options are silicon rings or you can find some nice and cheap rings on Etsy!


Adventurous couple eloping

Elopement Checklist – Add Whatever Personal Touches You Want to Your Elopement Checklist

You might be eloping, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add fun details to your day if that’s something you want to do! Adding things like florals, vow books, jewelry, a veil or a hat can be a great way to add personalized details to your elopement!

You can customize your ceremony and activities to things that you love both to do or even things you’ve been dreaming of doing. Think of things that would matter to the both of you and add meaning and value to your day however that looks for you!

There are no rules to eloping! If you can dream it up you can include it on one of the most important days of your life!

Pick out Your Elopement outfits

The choice is yours! You can do and wear whatever you want so if a big fancy dress isn’t your think that’s totally okay! I wrote a helpful article on the best dress styles for eloping so be sure to check that out as well. However, I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is to be comfortable during your elopement day. This might look like wearing a flowy dress instead of a fitting dress or wearing a suit with stretchy material instead of a tux.

Here are a few things to ask yourself when picking out your outfits:

  • Do I want to wear my dream dress? Or not. You don’t have to wear a dress if you don’t want to.
  • Should he wear a suit, tux or something else?
  • What’s the weather going to be like? Do I need a jacket and base layers to stay warm?
  • Am I going to do my own hair and makeup or should I hire a makeup artist?
  • What shoes are we going to wear? Pro tip: I will always recommend outdoor boots or shoes for couples eloping! Even if you aren’t hiking there will still be a lot of walking and exploring around during your elopement day and having sore feet wouldn’t be fun!
  • Am I going to wear any jewelry or a watch?elopement checklist from an experience elopement photographer


How will you let your loved ones know your eloping?

Every couple is different and only you know the best way to announce your elopement or the best way to celebrate afterward – if you want! You can check out a few articles I’ve written that you’ll find helpful– What to Do After Eloping, 5 Tips on How to Announce Your Elopement, and Eloping with Family for ways to include them during your elopement even if they aren’t physically there with you on your elopement day!

This is your elopement day and no matter what you should stand strong and get married exactly how you want to. After all, that is what eloping is all about!

If you’re searching for an elopement photographer who will guide you through planning and help you through every step I would love to hear from you! You can contact me HERE and I can’t wait to chat with you!

Check out these related blog posts!

10 Tips for Planning an Adventure Elopement

How to Plan the Epic Elopement Timeline of Your Dreams

Glacier National Park Elopement Guide

Ultimate Mount Rainier Elopement Guide

How to Make Your Elopement Special


Ultimate Elopement Checklist For Planning Your Dream Elopement | Courtney Lynn

comments +
  1. This is such great information!!! The tones and emotions in your photos are giving me the feels!!! <3

  2. Kailee says:

    Love this quick & easy elopement list! Covers everything! And your photos are stunning!

  3. Jessika Hill says:

    Your elopement checklist is so helpful! Also your photos are gorgeous. They look like they belong in an elopement magazine!

  4. First, these photos are amazing! I love the tone and the emotion! And you really have some important and super helpful information on here for elopements! Awesome post!

  5. Kara says:

    What great information for couples eloping! And the tones on these are gorgeous!

  6. THIS IS SO VALUABLE! Thank you for the educational post on eloping. So many will find this helpful!

  7. Sienna says:

    Ooh I love helpful blog posts like this! Wonderful job making elopements accessible for all!

  8. Sara says:

    These are all such helpful ideas and info and your shots are stunning to boot. If I wasn’t already married I would totally elope with you haha.

  9. Shea McGrath says:

    The lighting is absolutely gorgeous in these photos! I love this blog post, too – very informative for couples looking to elope!!

  10. Henry Tieu says:

    These info are so useful. I love that you are sharing this so couples can learn more about you and what you do

  11. These photos are stunning and great tips for couples eloping.

  12. […] Don’t forget to check out my Elopement Checklist! […]

  13. […] written an in depth Elopement Checklist for you, too! It’ll help you know where to start to plan your elopement and figure out those […]

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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?!

trusted by & seen in

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


Give me your thoughts on your elopement!*

Tell me about the best adventure you've been on!*

date & location*

Where do you currently live?*

Phone Number*

How'd you hear about me?!*


You & your fiance's full names*

Let's freaking do this!!