How to Plan the Epic Elopement Timeline of Your Dreams

Elopement Timeline Planning

Elopements mean so much more now than they once did. They carry a different meaning than just running off randomly and getting married. And guess what? Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean that you deserve any less than someone who is having a traditional wedding. You deserve to plan out the most epic elopement timeline you could imagine.

I believe that your elopement day matters.

It’s still your wedding day and it’s a day that you’re going to look back on and remember for the rest of your life. Your elopement day is so much more than just your vows and pretty pictures–although extremely important!

Elopements are about the entire experience that you have on your wedding day. It’s story that deserves to be told from beginning to end. So am I insinuating that you have an all day elopement? You bet I am.

I totally understand that this is something that you probably have never heard of and might think is odd, but let me tell you how far from the truth that is! Someone who is having a traditional wedding typically won’t settle for anything less than 8 hours, right? They want the whole shabang captured. Well, guess what?! You deserve to have the whole shabang captured, too!

Elopements are about crafting a day around the two of you. It’s putting your love story into an epic adventure that encompasses who the two of you are!

You deserve to have the wedding day of your dreams. It’s something that you should hold onto and embrace. Your day deserves to be documented from start to finish so that you can look back on this day and remember it like it was yesterday. That’s why you won’t see me offering any packages for only a couple hours, because I believe it’s a story that deserves to be told and remembered.

how to plan an elopement timeline

How to Plan an Elopement Timeline–What do you do all day?

First of all, there are absolutely no rules to eloping! If you can dream it up, you can do it! I love to help paint a picture to my couples by asking them some questions like this:

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 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?

As soon as they start to think about these things and dream it all up, their mind is opened up to all of the possibilities. The things that they come up with to these questions they could with out a doubt spend doing and fill up time for 8 or more hours!

You can spend time exploring multiple areas, checking out different views and enjoying multiple activities to celebrate.

So, when it comes down to it, when a couple realizes that there are no limits, they can’t fit what they want to do into small time slot, and why should they?!

The way I see it is that this is your day. This is your shot. This is the time for you to shine and say, “We’re doing this for us!” Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have the wild and epic day you want. Go all out on your wedding day and have it documented from beginning to end, because you 100% percent deserve that!

Now that you’re mind has been opened and you have some epic ideas and want to go on the adventure of your life where you say your vows, and have a wild experience, you’re thinking you have no idea where to start or how to go about planning your elopement.

Don’t worry, I got you! One of the ways that I help to create a unique experience for you is that I’ll help guide you through every step to plan the elopement of your dreams. Most couples come to me with a vague idea of what they want and tend to be extremely flexible as they’re not even sure if that’s what they want!

I’ll hop in the caravan with you and guide you step-by-step to start planning your elopement timeline which includes everything from location, activities, additional vendors, outfits, gear and so on and so forth!

When it comes down to it, this day is about you and crafting an entire experience around the two of you. Don’t think of it as an 8 hour posed photo shoot–HECK NO!! I am there to document and capture your real emotions and entire experience and adventures. I here to be your guide, your location scouter, your dress holder and to provide you with some epic images of the best day of your life.elopement timeline tips for couples eloping

Planning an Elopement Timeline–What does an all day elopement timeline look like?

Every timeline is crafted specifically for each couple around their desires. When you look at these timelines view them as inspiration only, because your day will most likely look completely different! Every day has a different look because every couple has different interests and a different vision for their elopement!

Here is an example of a 9-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
  • 3:30pm: hop in jeep and head to ceremony location, stop and get out along the way for epic portraits, crack open a beer
  • 4:30pm: arrive at ceremony location, explore and adventure around, find the perfect ceremony spot
  • 5:30pm: enjoy a picnic with cheese, crackers, wine, whatever you want!
  • 7:00pm: ceremony and vows, enjoy a first dance
  • 7:30pm: sunset and final portraits
  • 7:45pm: head back to airbnb
  • 9:00pm: arrive back at AirBnb and enjoy a bonfire with s’mores (if you don’t want a private chef, a bonfire with s’mores is so fun too!)
  • 10:30pm: photo coverage wraps up!


Here is an example of a 12 hour elopement timeline with a break in the day!

  • 3:30am: we meet at trail head
  • 4:00am: start the hike
  • 5:30am: get to the top of the hike, time to allow couple to cool down, relax and get ready for ceremony
  • 6:15am: alpenglow has started, enjoy a first look
  • 6:30am: sunrise has began, start ceremony & vows
  • 7:00am: pop champagne bottle to celebrate, take some portraits at the top
  • 7:45am: start to hike down the mountain
  • 9:30am: arrive back down
  • 4:30pm: meet back up at Airbnb
  • 4:45pm: hop in jeep to head into the national park
  • 5:30pm: enjoy drive and hop out where we want for pictures and exploring
  • 6:30pm: arrive at lake, explore around
  • 7:30pm: sunset, wrap up final portraits
  • 8:00pm: head back to Airbnb
  • 9:00pm: arrive back at Airbnb where a private chef awaits, enjoy meal and drinks
  • 10:30pm: wrap up photo coverageadventurous couple hugging as they have their ceremony as they planned their day

Elopement Timeline

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start planning your elopement day and elopement timeline!

Craft the day you want–not what others think you want

As you start planning your day or considering eloping you might hear ‘Oh you only need a few hours’ or you shouldn’t go that far away for your wedding. You’re eloping for a reason–to be able to have the day that you truly want and not to impress friends or family. Don’t let others influence your decision to have the day that you actually want.

The day will go by so fast and memories fade away, but images will last a lifetime. Be sure you actually value your day and the time that you spend with each other on such an epic day.

Allow time so that you can truly enjoy your day

As I had mentioned above–time flies, but I want you to, and you should be able to fully enjoy every moment throughout your day. The more time you have you won’t feel rushed like you have to hurry up for the next thing.

While creating an elopement timeline is an important aspect, it’s also important to remember to allow and leave time for those adventures so you don’t have to rush. What if during that drive you spot a place that you love and want to enjoy? You should feel rushed through that experience.

Remember that it takes time to get in and out of cars and to walk here and there. This tends to be something that couples will initially overlook, but it’s critical to implement those transition times into your elopement timeline as well!

Remember–there are no rules to eloping!

There are no rules to eloping. Don’t forget that.

Leave all logistics behind when you think of how you want you day to go–I’ll help you and guide you through the actual planning and logistics! Do you want to go on a helicopter ride? Do you want to go skiing or snowboarding on your elopement day? Do you want to take a sunset boat ride? Do you want to go jeeping through the mountains?

Whatever is on your heart and however you want to celebrate–I’ll help you make it happen.


bride and groom plan elopement timeline

So, no matter what kind of day you craft, remember it’s about the two of you committing your lives together in an epic way. Why not start out your lives together in a way that you’ve always dreamed? Shouldn’t you have the wild wedding experience of your dreams?

I believe that.

Check out these related blog posts!

How to Plan an Airbnb Elopement

Ultimate How to Elope Guide

10 Best Places to Elope in the PNW

5 Tips for Announcing Your Elopement

10 Tips for Planning an Adventure Elopement

Looking for an elopement photographer to help you plan out your entire elopement day and document your elopement day story? Contact me >>HERE<< to chat about your elopement!

How to Plan an Epic Elopement Timeline | Courtney Lynn

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  2. […] you want to included on your elopement day. I wrote another helpful article on creating the elopement timeline of your dreams so be sure to check it out! When it comes to deciding on activities remember that there are no […]

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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


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Let's freaking do this!!