Everything you need to know to plan your elopement day

You’ve decided that you’re going to elope. YAY! That’s so exciting! Now you’re just wondering how to elope?!

Eloping means that all of the wedding day choices you have to make, are yours entirely. There are no rules. You can truly make your day any adventure you want — it can be a day that reflects the two of you instead of being focused on everyone else’s needs, opinions, and expectations.

Your elopement won’t look exactly like anyone else’s, and there’s no perfect checklist for planning such a personalized day. And all of this freedom to plan your dream day can feel a bit overwhelming. No matter how you choose to elope, my hope is that this guideline will help you get through the moments where it feels like you have a dozen things to do at once and you feel lost!

Elopement planning check list

1. Determine your budget

Whether you’re eloping just the two of you or having a small wedding, the first thing that you need to do is determine a budget. Be sure to include all aspects of your wedding day in your budget, like travel, marriage license fees, required permits and officiant, expenses with guests, vendors – such as photographer, florist, hair & makeup, and activities you want to plan to do.

2. Choose a date and location

Choosing your elopement location and date is one of the most important decisions you will make after you’ve made the rad decision to elope. Make sure you do your research and choose a location and date that fits your vision for your epic adventure into marriage.

Would you like to read your vows at the top of a mountain? Or do you want to have your ceremony at your favorite beach? Some really important things to keep in mind when you begin narrowing down location options: Are you having guests? What season do you love most? Are you warm or cold weather people? Answering these questions will help you find the perfect location for your elopement.

If you choose to elope in the winter make sure to read my guide about winter elopements so you can have an amazing and safe elopement experience.


Consider a Weekday Elopement! While traditional weddings typically happen on weekends, I strongly suggest you elope on weekdays and also avoid holidays. Typically, elopements take place on public lands, whether that’s a national park or anywhere else where there are likely to be other people like hikers and explorers. So the easiest way to avoid crowds and really enjoy the environment on your big day is to elope on a weekday instead.

3. Hire your elopement vendors

Okay, so now you know when and where you’re going to elope it’s time to select a team of people who will help you have the best day ever! Think about what vendors you want to hire to compliment your day, like photographer/videographer, hair and makeup artist, florist, officiant, elopement planner, If it’s your dream to hike to a remote location on your elopement day you need be sure that any vendor you hire that will need to be present is also ready for an adventure. So make sure to have a good conversation with them and don’t let any important detail out!

4. Arrange your elopement attire

How do you pick your elopement attire? When you’re choosing what to wear on your elopement day be sure to consider the location you’re getting married. Comfort is key! Make sure to pick a dress/suit that allows you to move and feel comfortable on it!

5. Get your marriage license

Some couples opt to take care of the marriage license in their town prior to their elopement day while others wait until the day they are eloping. The requirements of getting your marriage license will change depending on where you choose to elope, so you want to make sure to check the local requirements and be sure to check the times that the local courthouse or clerk is open.


  • Dream about your day
  • Research and consider logistics
  • Make choices and start booking
  • Finalize details and get ready
  • Experience your vision come to life and enjoy every moment of your incredible elopement day!

This is a day to be remembered and there’s nothing like reliving your elopement day through your images!

I truly care about your elopement day. Why? Because I’ve eloped myself! I’m here for you as a resource and guide during the entire elopement process, so get in touch with me and together we’ll plan the best day of your life!

For more inspiration, check the related posts:

You can save this guide for later using one of the images below:

How to Elope – Elopement Planning Guide

Planning resources

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