Ultimate Elopement Planning Guide

Elopements may be smaller and more intimate than an ordinary wedding bash, but there are still quite a few details that can be put into an elopement! There are so many things to consider like what you’re going to wear, who you want to spend the day with, and all down to what epic location you’ll want to have your elopement. This Ultimate Elopement Planning Guide will help you out tremendously!

No matter if you to have a ton of details on your elopement day and or if you only want a few make your elopement special and do what matters to the both of you. Simply work your way through the list and see what you want to include on your dream elopement!

The right mindset to have when planning your elopement

It’s extremely important to go into this elopement planning guide with the right mindset. This is your wedding day! This is the day that the two of you will get married and commit your lives together. Just because you’ve decided to elope doesn’t mean you can’t have an incredible experience! It doesn’t mean you can’t get married in your dream location. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a full elopement day from start to finish. In fact, I think you deserve to have a full day experience!

This is the day that you’re going to look back on and remember every day. Eloping allows you to create a personalized experience that’s crafted the two of you as a couple! This is about putting your love story into an adventure that encompasses who you are as a couple. So, as you start to plan your elopement or start to create a vision, go in with the mindset that you deserve to have your day planned and documented from start to finish–Because you do!

Bride & Groomplanning guide for couples eloping

Ultimate Elopement Planning Guide

Bridal Dress

Every bride deserves to feel beautiful on their wedding day! When it comes to what you wear during your elopement the options are endless. I have seen couples go pretty casual and I have seen couples go all out. A lot of the elopement brides I work with tend to buy their dresses from Lulus, Reclamation, or Grace Loves Lace! If you choose to do a hiking elopement you’ll definitely want to wear normal hiking clothes for the hike and then once you reach your epic location you can change into your beautiful outfit.

Groom Outfit

The grooms have it fairly easy, but there are many details that you can add to a groom’s outfit to add a fun personal touch! For example, you could wear crazy socks, a printed bow tie, suspenders, etc. Adding things like this will create the opportunity for some fun detail images for your photographer to capture as well!


Depending on what season you decide to elope in will determine what type of shoes you wear! If you opt for a dreamy winter elopement you’ll want to wear your snow boots, if you go on a hiking elopement you’ll want to wear your hiking boots and if you elope during the summer on the beach you’ll probably not want to wear any shoes at all! Don’t forget that comfort is key. The nature of elopements involves more movement and walking around even if you aren’t hiking so make sure you got your comfy shoes on!


I have seen ladies do their own makeup and I have seen them hire someone to do it as well! If you want to be pampered and relax as much as possible I would definitely hire someone to do it, but if you’re a makeup guru then why not do it yourself?! Either way, be sure to try out a few different looks to see what you love the most. You can also check out this article for 5 Steps for a Glowing Complexion on Your Wedding Day!

Hair & Head Piece

How you wear your hair really depends on the type of dress you wear! Sure, there are other factors, but that is definitely the biggest! As far as a head piece goes, I have seen people wear a veil, a flower crown, beautiful clips, etc. Check out this article for some stunning hair accessories!


When it comes to elopements I highly suggest having a backpack (one for you and one for your fiance!) with all your gear in it. You’ll be packing extra layers, possibly stuff for a picnic, vow book, your marriage license, etc. So, having a comfortable way of transporting your stuff is super important!


ultimate elopement planning guide for couples eloping elopement planning guide for adventurous couples planning an elopement

What additional vendors you do want for your elopement?

Elopement Photographer

This is so important and I am not just saying this because I am a photographer! I look at my wedding pictures ALL the time and I wasn’t even a photographer when I got married. These will last forever and in the end, all you will have left are your memories and your pictures! Why not hire your dream photographer?! Be sure to choose a photographer whose style you love, but most importantly with someone whom you get along well with as they will be with you on the most important day of your life!

Another reason to quickly book your elopement photographer is that they can help you with picking out your dream location! Not every photographer provides this as part of their service, but I provide personal location scouting for every couple. I have couples come to me with no idea where they want to elope and I absolutely love helping pick out their dream location. If you’re looking for an elopement photographer I would love to help guide you through planning your dream elopement! Contact me HERE and I can’t wait to hear from you!


Hiring a videographer may be a little less popular for an elopement, but it will last forever and can be such an amazing way to remember your special day!

Wedding Planner

Wedding planners really can be helpful and can help you with a handful of things! It’s definitely less popular in the elopement sector as I personally guide my couples through planning out their entire day and experience. The only reason a planner would come in handy is if you wanted to do a super elaborate setup and needed help with setting up, tearing down, and transporting the items for that setup.

Detailselopement planning guide for adventurous couples planning an elopement


Bouquets truly add a stunning element to any elopement! This is a great way to add a personal touch to your elopement. You can go simple or you could go all out with a large bouquet! Check out this article to see the 12 different types of bouquets.


Men can also enjoy having a bit of floral fun! Adding a fun pop of color can really make a groom look well dressed and put-together.


If you wear a pair of earrings or necklace they can truly pull your entire look together! I also love it when the guys wear their favorite watch which can make you look so dapper!

Ceremony Decor

There are a million different things you could do for your ceremony! You could have a stunning arch with florals, you could stand a fun boho rug or you could have nothing and opt to have an incredible backdrop with mountains in the back. Take a look at this article for some ceremony decor inspiration!


Ceremonyplanning guide for couples eloping planning guide for couples eloping

Elopement Planning Guide

Elopement Location

This may be the hardest part of planning your elopement because there are so many incredible spots! You can go on a hiking elopement in Colorado. You can go international and make it a destination. The options are endless! Check out these articles for some venue and location ideas!

Best Places to Elope in Utah

A Complete Guide for Eloping in Washington State

Best Places to Elope in Oregon

Best Places to Elope in Montana

10 Amazing Iceland Elopement Locations

Legal Documents

If you are getting married local this will be pretty standard and simple for you to do, but if you decide to get married in a different state or country be sure to do your research to see what documents you are going to need. However, in order to avoid the hassle a lot of couples get married legally where they live and have their destination elopement ceremony be symbolical!


This correlates to the above and if you decide to have a symbolical ceremony or not! I have seen it done both ways and they both work out beautifully it’s just a matter of your own personal preference. One of my favorite things about Colorado is that you can self-solemnize!


Some people opt to have their nearest and dearest family and friends to celebrate with while other choose for it to be just the two of them! When couples elope they usually aren’t trying to leave people out, but they want to have an intimate experience. If you want to elope with just the two of you, but want to keep your family involved somehow read How to Keep Family Involved in Your Elopement.  


Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have a first dance! If the two of you have a special song take a dance in the mountains and have a special and romantic moment between you two after your ceremony. This truly creates such a sweet moment for couples!


All I can say is don’t forget to take these along!


Take a moment to decide if you want to do personalized or traditional vows! I have seen it done both ways and they are special no matter what. This is really a personal preference! If you have an officiant be sure to keep them in the loop. I’ve written a guide on How to Write Wedding Vows for Your Elopement so be sure to check it out!!

LET’S CHAT ABOUT YOUR ELOPEMENT!elopement planning guide


Elopement After Party


At the end of your elopement day, you can do whatever you two want! You can roast marshmallows by a fire, go to your favorite cafe, have a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant, order pizza, lay under the stars with a picnic, or even hit up your favorite taco shop!


If you have a more intimate wedding with some family then you could always have a donut or dessert bar, opt for roasting marshmallows, have a mini cake or if it’s just the two of you why not go to the ice cream shop you love?!


Champagne toasts are always such a fun way to celebrate getting hitched! I mean popping a champagne bottle in the mountains is pretty dang fun and makes for some awesome pictures and memories.


ultimate elopement planning guide for couples eloping ultimate elopement planning guide for couples eloping

Travel Costs for your elopement


Don’t forget about your Airbnb or hotel for the night before and after! Also, consider having your honeymoon where you have your elopement if you opt for a destination elopement because it will save you travel time, money and you won’t be exhausted! Check out the article I’ve written on How to Plan an Airbnb Elopement!


If you have to fly to your elopement location be sure to be patient when buying tickets to keep an eye out for the best deals! There are some awesome sites like Scott’s Cheap Travel and Million Mile Secrets to try to find the cheapest flights and travel hacks!

Car Rental – Cab – Train Tickets

Don’t forget about all these little things! Depending on where you are you may not need all these forms of transportation, but if you are don’t overlook them and be sure to have the cash handy to buy tickets.elopement planning guide

Post-Elopement | What to do after you have your elopement

Wedding Announcements

A lot of couples who elope send out wedding announcements after they elope to share a bit of their day with their loved ones and the family members usually love them!

Dinner or BBQ to celebrate

Many couples enjoy going out to dinner or having a backyard BBQ with friends and family to celebrate their marriage! This helps families feel like they are special and still involved in a small way! I’ve written a more in-depth article on What To Do After Eloping. Be sure to check it out!

I hope you found this Ultimate Elopement Planning Guide helpful! If you are beginning to plan your elopement I would love to help guide you through planning your dream elopement and be a part of your special day! Click >HERE< to contact me to chat about your vision!

Check out more helpful blog posts!

How to Plan the Elopement Timeline of Your Dreams

Rocky Mountain National Park Elopement Guide

How to Elope in Washington State

How to Avoid Crowds at Your Outdoor Elopement

Ultimate Olympic National Park Elopement Guide

Ultimate Elopement Planning Guide | Courtney Lynn



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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!!