Would you rather trade picking out bridesmaid dresses and chair rentals for a new stamp to add to your passport for your most unforgettable experience yet? Then chances are, you’re planning an elopement. A lot of couples know that they want to do something special for their wedding day, but they don’t necessarily know how they can spend their entire elopement day. Here are a few different examples of an adventure elopement timeline, as well as some steps to take to get started with your elopement planning.
1) Figure out what vibe best fits you
Before you start planning your day, picking out your dress, and booking flights, think about how you want your wedding day to unfold. Do you want something very private, quiet, and laid back? Do you want to go on an adventure? Decide what best represents you, your relationship, and your mutual interests. You’ll be able to make decisions much more easily once you can visualize your day unfolding in the perfect way for you.
2) Make a list of everything you want to include
When couples are planning more traditional weddings, they tend to fall into the trap of doing things “just because” that’s what other people do. Your elopement can be – and include – anything you want. Make a list of everything you can think of – traditional, what friends or family have done at their weddings, what you would love to do at yours – and then go through it with your partner so you can decide together what stays and what goes.
A few examples of what couples can include in an adventure elopement:
- Getting ready photos
- A first look
- Exchanging gifts before the ceremony
- Hiking, swimming, canoeing, or any other adventure you want!
- A ceremony, either indoors or outdoors in an epic location
- Vow exchange, hand fasting, religious elements, or something personal to you
- Walking down the “aisle” to acoustic music or a special song
- Portraits with guests and family
- Champagne toast and floral confetti
- A first dance
- A special picnic if it’s just the two of you, or a lunch or dinner with your family and friends
3) Craft your own adventure elopement timeline!
As an elopement photographer, I help you with planning, including creating your timeline! Planning an elopement or small wedding can feel overwhelming, so I help you with everything from figuring out what vibe best suits you, which locations would work well, and how to pull all of the details together.
Here are a couple timeline examples to give you an idea of what’s possible for your elopement day!
Elopement Timeline Example #1
Hiking Adventure Elopement Timeline
10am – Hanging together at a cabin or Airbnb (you can spend a quiet morning alone doing yoga, having coffee, taking your dog for a walk – or you can hang with family and friends)
12pm – Getting ready
1pm – Leave for Jeep adventure to go drive along the coast and explore + get tacos
3:30pm – Hike to 1st location
4:15pm – Change into wedding attire
4:30pm – First look + portraits
4:45pm – Hike to ceremony location
5pm – Ceremony + vow exchange
5:20pm – Champagne, portraits, exploring + hiking
6:30pm – Hike back to Jeep
7pm – Meet friends and family at restaurant for celebratory dinner, toasts + speeches, first dance, music, cake, and party!
Elopement Timeline Example #2
Sunrise Adventure Elopement Timeline
4am – Getting ready
4:45am – Drive to ceremony location
5:15am – Sunrise ceremony
5:45am – Exploring + portraits
6:30am – Breakfast picnic + thermos coffee
7am – Drive to 2nd location for more exploring/portraits
8:30am – Drive to restaurant/venue for brunch reception
9am – Brunch reception with family + friends
12pm – Horseback riding just the two of you
2pm – Start the party with your guests!
These are just a couple of examples to show you what a full, intentional elopement day can look like. The beauty of having an elopement is that you can craft your own traditions and do things your way. Don’t be afraid to do something brand new that feels most like you.