The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Elopement

I’ll take you through the essential steps to plan your dream elopement. We’ll cover everything you need to know to make your elopement planning journey a breeze.

Step 1: Dream Up Your Best Day

Congratulations on taking the first step towards planning your elopement! This is an exciting time, and I’m thrilled to help guide you through the process.

Dream up your ultimate day.

When you first start planning your elopement—the best mindset you and your partner can have is one with no boundaries. This part of the process has nothing to do with limits, so forget for a moment about what’s “feasible,” and just let yourself dream.

I whole-heartedly believe that no single elopement or intimate wedding is exactly like another—just like there’s no couple out there that’s exactly the same. So don’t limit yourself to what you’ve seen on blogs, social media, from friends and family, or even from me. Your wedding day is about creating a day that’s going to make you feel the most alive, happy, relaxed, and in-love.

This part of the planning process is all about letting your imagination go wild, and envisioning the most enjoyable day for the two of you, that would celebrate your relationship in the most authentic way. Forget about any restrictions for a moment and just dream big—that’s where you’ll find what speaks most to you. You’ll have time to figure out the details later.

Looking for a few creative questions to get the brainstorming going?

Here’s some questions to think about together:

  • What have been the best days that you two have had together as a couple? Where were you and what did you do together?
  • Describe how the perfect elopement day would feel—are you relaxed? Excited? Happy? Content? Free of any and all stress? Really talk about the feeling you’re chasing.
  • Close your eyes and picture your wedding day—what’s it like? Are there other people around? Or is it just you? Do you see busy streets, family & friends, your dog(s) or an empty landscape?
  • What does the scenery look like? Do you see mountains? A city skyline? A waterfall? An ocean? Cliffs? A desert? A lake? A cabin in the woods? A vineyard? A beach?
  • What about the weather, temperature, and what you are wearing? What would be the most comfortable and the most “you”?
  • How much time are you dedicating to your elopement? Is it part of a honeymoon trip? Is it a weekend adventure in your favorite spot or a multi-week trek somewhere new?
  • Who do you see there with you on your day? Your friends? Family members? Your furry best friend? Or are you craving a “just for us” day?
  • What are you doing on your day together on your wedding day—are you going out for a drive or going on a hike? What about relaxing in a hammock or soaking in a hot spring?
  • What does your ceremony look like? Are you reading vows? Are there religious or traditional aspects? Is there something meaningful you’d love to include that’s special for you?
  • How did you fall in love—are there ways you want to implement that into your ceremony? A special place? A special moment? A special song?
  • Are you eating your favourite foods on your elopement day? Drinking your favourite beverages?

Pro Tip: Write down all of the ideas that are sparked during this process so that you can refer back to them later when you’re making concrete decisions.

Step 2: Make the Big Decisions

Now that we’ve got a sense of what you’re looking for, it’s time to make some big decisions. These will set the foundation for your elopement, so take your time and think carefully.

  • Who are you inviting? Will it be just the two of you, or will you have a small group of friends and family join you?
  • Where are you going to get married? Will it be in a specific location, or will you choose a destination that’s meaningful to you?
  • How long will you be away for? Will it be a weekend getaway, or a longer trip?

Some questions to consider:

  • Who are the most important people in your life? Do you want them to be there to celebrate with you?
  • What kind of location would make this experience truly special for you?
  • Are there any specific dates or times that work better for you?

Step 3: Plan Out the Details

Now that we’ve got the big decisions out of the way, it’s time to start planning out the details. This is where things can get a bit more complex, but don’t worry – I’m here to guide you through it.

Some Questions to Consider

  • What are some of the must-haves for your elopement? Are there any specific vendors or services that you need?
  • How will you transport yourself and any guests to and from the location?
  • Are there any specific activities or entertainment that you want to include in your elopement?

By considering these questions and planning out the details, you’ll be well on your way to creating an unforgettable elopement experience.

Book Your Travel and Accommodation

Make sure to choose a location that fits your budget and preferences. Consider booking a romantic getaway, a luxurious resort, or a cozy bed and breakfast. Think about what will make your elopement truly special and memorable.

Choose Your Vendors

This might include photographers, videographers, florists, and more. Research local vendors who specialise in elopements and weddings, and make sure they fit your budget and style. You can also consider hiring a planner or coordinator to help you with the logistics.

Decide on Activities and Entertainment

Will you have a ceremony, a reception, or something else entirely? Consider what will make your elopement truly special and memorable. You could have:

  • An all-day elopement on a sailboat in Greece
  • A multi-day safari elopement in Africa with elephants and giraffes, ending the evening by a bonfire
  • A multi-day elopement in New Zealand, featuring helicopters and snowboarding
  • A multi-day elopement in Hawaii, with snorkeling and a fairy-lit dinner for two under the stars surrounded by candles as you’re barefoot in the sand
  • Begin your elopement before the sun rises with a hot air balloon ride, followed by breakfast, a ceremony, and spending the rest of the day exploring
  • A private cooking class in Italy, followed by pizza and coffee for lunch, a helicopter ride to the Dolomites, and spending the next day dancing in the cobblestone streets, enjoying ice cream, and riding a Vespa just in time to watch the sun set on the water

Plan Out Your Attire and Accessories

You’ll want to look great for the occasion! Consider what will make your outfits truly special and memorable. You can also think about what accessories you’ll need, such as jewelry, flowers, or other decorations.

Step 4: Craft Your Timeline

Now that we’ve got all the details planned out, it’s time to craft your timeline. This is where we’ll make sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan. If you’d like a deeper dive into timeline planning, check out the dedicated blog here.

  • Create a schedule for your elopement. This should include everything from getting ready to saying “I do”!
  • Make sure to build in some buffer time in case things don’t go exactly as planned.
  • Communicate with your vendors and guests about the schedule and any important details.

Some questions to consider:

  • What are some of the most important moments in your elopement? Make sure to leave plenty of time for those!
  • How will you handle any unexpected issues or setbacks?
  • Are there any specific traditions or customs that you want to include in your elopement?

Step 5: Get Ready and Have the Best Day Ever

The final stretch! This is where we’ll get ready for our big day and make sure everything is in place.

  • Take some time to relax and enjoy the experience. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun and romantic celebration!
  • Get ready with your partner – whether that means getting dressed up, doing hair and makeup, or simply enjoying each other’s company.
  • Take in every moment of this special day. Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Some questions to consider:

  • How will you make sure to stay relaxed and focused on this big day?
  • What are some of the things that will make this day truly special for you?
  • Are there any specific ways that you want to celebrate your love and commitment to each other?

Step 6: Enjoy Your Special Day

The final step – enjoying our special day! This is where we’ll take in all the hard work and planning that went into making this day happen.

  • Take plenty of photos and memories along the way. This is something you’ll want to cherish for years to come!
  • Enjoy every moment of this special day. Remember, this is a celebration of your love and commitment!
  • Make sure to take time to relax and enjoy each other’s company – after all, this is what it’s all about!

Some questions to consider:

  • What are some of the things that will make this day truly special for you?
  • How will you make sure to stay present and focused on this big day?
  • Are there any specific ways that you want to celebrate your love and commitment to each other?

Eloping takes the stress out of planning a wedding And i take the stress out of planning an elopement

But you know what shouldn’t be taken away from you?


So even if a big wedding isn’t for you, you should still have the freedom to custom design your day.

Get everything you want, and nothing that you don’t. You get all of the fun of planning, with none of the stress and expectations.

Cause that’s what an experience prioritised around you two should be like. You deserve the most incredible experience. There is no one size formula, because if you’re here deciding to get eloped- you know thats not enough for you. This means you two get to do what you want, whether thats a day of just you two or with 10 members of your closest friends and family.

An intentionally intimate day is actually about you two as a couple.

I’m here to support you every step of the way. Going “big” doesn’t necessarily mean going all out on florals, a big venue, cars, and so on like a traditional wedding. Going “big” can mean investing in your experience and your day or a multi day elopement. After all the best adventures don’t all happen in one day, do they?

Ready to capture your love story? Contact me to learn more about my elopement photography services and how I can help you create unforgettable memories.