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!
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!
-What’s our budget?
-Are we inviting anybody along?
-What time of year do we want to elope? Is there a specific date?
-Where do we want to elope? International or domestic?
Hire an Elopement Photographer and/or Find your elopement location
The first step to planning your elopement will either be to figure out where you want to get married or to hire your dream photographer (uhm, that would be me!). I say this because as an elopement photographer part of what I do for my couples is personalized location scouting. Not every photographer does this so it depends on who you want to have as your photographer! Some couples come to me with an exact location, others come with a general idea like a specific state or country, and others have absolutely no idea.
So, if you already know where you want to elope that’s awesome and if you don’t even better! I absolutely love helping my couples find the perfect location for them and I love providing spots that you wouldn’t have thought or known about! So, no matter what stage you’re at in planning your elopement I would love to chat with you to help guide you through planning your dream elopement. You can contact me HERE and I can’t wait to chat with you!
Check out some location recommendations here!
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.
-Book your flights!
-Book your lodging whether that be an AirBnb, hotel, or resort
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 couple’s do it both ways and they are equally as special!
-Do you need an appointment in order to pick up your marriage license?
-Do I need an officiant? Most places require you have an officiant, but the states Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, California, Maine, Nevada, and Kansas 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?!
-What’s the waiting period? Some states require up to a week between when you file for a marriage license and when you can legally get married!
-Do I need any witness?
-Are there any other legal document 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.
Be sure you have your rings!
All I can say is don’t forget these! You don’t have to go crazy with a super expensive ring if you don’t want to. A few alternative options are silicon rings or you can find some nice and cheap rings on Etsy!
Put any Additional vendors down on your elopement checklist
-Do I want a bouquet? A boutonniere? A bouquet can be a great way to add a touch of personalization to your elopement day if you desire!
-Do I need an elopement planner? If you are eloping abroad this would be a great thing to consider. They will know the legal side, help set up other local vendors and make your life so much easier with all the little details!
-Do I want a videographer?
-Do I need a caterer? Mainly if you are planning a more intimate elopement with friends and family!
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 OK!
-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?
-Am I going to do my own hair and make up or should I hire a makeup artist?
-What shoes are we going to wear?
What should I do after I elope?
Every couple is different and like to announce their elopement or celebrate in some way! You can check out this article I wrote on What to Do After Eloping for more insight!
-Should I send out elopement announcements?
-Should I have a backyard BBQ or go out to dinner with friends/family?
If you’re searching for an elopement photographer I would love to guide you through planning your dream elopement! You can contact me HERE and I can’t wait to chat with you!
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