As an elopement photographer part of what I do is to help my couples plan out their day and I absolutely love doing so! One thing they wonder is how they can make it more special and unique. I mean, eloping by itself is pretty special and unique, but I totally get that most couples want to add some type of personalization to their day to make it extra special! The amazing thing about elopements is that they make it so that you can get married exactly where and how you get married. So, if you are wondering How to Make Your Elopement Special keep scrolling for some tips and ideas!
How to Make Your Elopement Special
1. Make it a WHOLE day!
This is YOUR wedding day! This is the day that you’re going to look back and celebrate for the rest of your life. I believe that you deserve to have elopement documented from beginning to end. Think about this – Couples who have a traditional wedding will usually have their photographer there for 8 plus hours so that they can capture the whole day. I take this same approach to elopements! Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean that you deserve any less than someone who has a traditional wedding. Why shouldn’t you enjoy the entire day and celebrate the two of you in the same?!
After all, elopements are an extremely intentional way of getting married! They’re all about crafting an experience that about the two of you and having a day that you’d actually want to do all over again.
Definitely don’t overthink this! I can’t speak for all elopement photographers, but for me, as an elopement photographer, my job is to document your day and to tell your story. So, when you think of an all-day elopement definitely don’t think of it as an all-day photoshoot. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone!
I love to help paint a picture to my couples. So, answer these questions below!
What would be the best day that the two of you could create from start to finish? What do you want the view to look like when you wake up in the morning? What do you want the weather to be like? What do you want to wear? What type of adventure do you want to go on? What would be the backdrop of your dreams for your vows? How do you want to celebrate that? What type of adventure do you want to go on together?
Once you start to imagine all the possibilities of how your elopement day can go, you won’t want anything less than that! All of the activities that you think of and how you start to envision your day can easily take up 6 plus hours!!
You can spend time exploring multiple areas, checking out different views, and enjoying multiple activities to celebrate.
ELOPEMENT TIMELINE EXAMPLE
Every timeline is crafted specifically for each couple around their desires. When you look at this timeline view it as inspiration only because your day will most likely look completely different! Every day has a different look because every couple is different has a different vision for their elopement!
Here is an example of a 10-hour consecutive elopement timeline!
- 1:30pm: spend time getting ready–hair, makeup, getting fancied up
- 2:45pm: send groom off to first look location while bride finishes getting ready and puts dress on
- 3:00pm: have a romantic first look and a few portraits
- 3:30pm: hop in jeep for off-roading adventure and head to ceremony location, stop and get out along the way for epic portraits
- 5:30pm: arrive at ceremony location, explore and adventure around, find the perfect ceremony spot
- 6:30pm: enjoy a picnic with cheese, crackers, wine–whatever you want!
- 8:00pm: ceremony and vows, enjoy a first dance
- 8:30pm: sunset and final portraits
- 8:45pm: head back to Airbnb
- 10:00pm: arrive back at Airbnb and enjoy a bonfire with s’mores
- 11:30pm: photo coverage wraps up!
I hope this timeline helps you see how a full day elopement could go! There are so many different ways to plan out your day. There are no limitations!
2. Have a first look!
I personally love first looks for elopements, because they add such a special moment to your day. They will also add a traditional element to your elopement day and make you both feel so special. Plus, it always makes for great pictures! A lot of times couples will arrive at their location together and then finish getting separately like putting their outfits on or whatever it may be to add an element of surprise. I have also seen couples rent out separate AirBnb’s if they are having a more intimate wedding with a few guests and get ready totally separately. So, it’s all about what works best for both of you and what you guys want to do!
3. Get married in that epic location!
I don’t think there could be a better way to start off your lives together than having a grand adventure in a gorgeous place! Consider having your honeymoon wherever you get married to save yourself money and from being tired from all the traveling as well. I totally get that planning a destination elopement could be a bit daunting with all the legal logistics, but there are so many different ways to go about this. You could get officially married where you live and have your destination elopement ceremony be more symbolical! The possibilities are endless!
Here are a few ways to help you get started thinking about the type of location that’s perfect for you!
- Decide whether you want to elope domestic or internationally! This will be the first deciding factor and help narrow down those location options.
- Think about the type of scenery you love! Do you want a mountain view? Do you want to be in the middle of a forest? On a cliff overlooking the ocean?
- Choose a place that will have meaning to you! This can be a place that you’ve already been to before and loved or it can be a new place that you both would love to explore together for the first time!
- Hire an experienced elopement photographer who helps with planning! I personally help location scout for my couples and help plan out their entire elopement day. I kinda double as a coordinator!!
Get some epic location ideas!
How to Make an elopement special
4. Do a first dance and add other personal touches to your elopement experience!
This is another traditional element you could add to your elopement day if you wish! A lot of the couples I work with have a first dance right after they say their vows and finish their ceremony or when they get back to their Airbnb! It’ll create such a sweet moment for you. All you got to do is bring a small Bluetooth speaker and dance away!
You can also add as many personal touches to your day as you want. There are to rules to eloping and you can add whatever is special to you! For example, if you’re both big foodies hire a private chef to cook you dinner to celebrate. If you both love kayaking then go kayaking down a river or on a lake! You can customize your elopement day to make it as special and personalized as you want!
5. Write Your Own Vows
Writing your own vows to each other can make your elopement special in so many ways! You’ll have something to come back to year after year and say to each other again if you ever decide to do a vow renewal. I’ve written a complete guide on How to Write Wedding Vows for Your Elopement so be sure to check it out!
6. Go on a Rad Adventure
You can interpret adventure however you want! You can go hiking, take a helicopter tour, go snowmobiling, ride an ATV, go kayaking, rent a boat, drive a 4×4 on a mountain pass, etc. There are no rules for your elopement!! Check out 15 Unique Eloping Ideas for more!
7. Spend your money on what matters to you!
Eloping will give you more financial freedom than a traditional wedding and will allow you to spend your money on what you want to splurge on. Why not spend that money on your dream dress? Why not hire your dream photographer? Sure, things like that will cost you money, but in the end you’ll be drooling over whatever it is and you simply won’t regret it.
Should I Elope?
If you have an adventurous spirit and desire to have a special, unique, and meaningful experience on your wedding day then eloping is a great choice for you! Eloping is all about having a stress-free, laid back, and incredible experience that you’ll actually want to do all over again. It is about starting your lives together on an epic adventure and committing your lives together in a place you’ve always dreamed of or in an extremely meaningful place to the both of you.
If you are looking for an elopement photographer who will be by your side and help guide you through planning your dream elopement then I would be so honored to be a part of your special day! I take my elopement expertise and your vision and turn it into an epic day that you’ll never forget.
However you want to celebrate and spend your day, I’m going to help you make that happen. You can contact me >HERE< and I cannot wait to talk to you about your elopement!
These are only a few ideas and there are seriously a million ways for you to make your elopement extra special and unique!
Check out these related blog posts!