So you and your fiance have made the decision to elope…AWESOME!! But wait…what now? More than likely, you’ll hop over to google and type in something like “how to plan an elopement”. Maybe that’s how you stumbled onto this post! However you got here, I’m really glad you made it. Let’s dive on in.
Choose your location.
I’m going to put this one above choosing your date, but they really go hand-in-hand. If you don’t have a preference on date, then think about your location before thinking about a specific date. If you’re wanting to tie the knot at Mount Rainier, and you don’t want to trudge through snow drifts, you’ll want to set a late-summer date. But if you’re hoping for an elopement encased in snow, think about a middle-of-winter date. The PNW has OODLES of insanely gorgeous locations for elopements, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Consider what vibe you want as you choose a location. Sandy toes and salt water? The Oregon Coast has miles upon miles of locations that fit that bill. Epic views and mountain scenery? Take your pick from Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, or North Cascade National Park.
(P.S. I have some bucket-list locations that I’m dying to shoot at…including some out of state locations! If you’re eloping and looking for a photographer, make sure to check with me to see if your location is on my bucket-list. If it is, you could be looking at a major discount!!)
Choose your date.
After you’ve decided on your location and the general time of year, it’s time to nail down your date. I’d encourage you to think about eloping on a weekday! Not only will your vendors likely have more availability, but this is also an easy way to cut down on guests without making it a big deal. Which leads us right into the next point…
Decide what kind of an elopement you want.
Do you want to just ditch everything, grab your love and an officiant (and a photographer, of course) and exchange vows privately? Or do you want a small affair, with just 10-20 of your closest people as witnesses? There is no right or wrong answer here…it is 100% up to you and your love. Talk it over, make your decision, and don’t let anybody make you feel guilty for whatever you decide. This day needs to be 100% about the two of you, and the vows you’re taking.
Pick your vendors.
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean that you don’t need vendors! It will just look different from a typical wedding. The main vendors that you’ll still need and/or want are:
You may also want a coordinator, a caterer, and a videographer. Think through what you want your elopement to look like, and then start breaking it down from there to figure out what specific vendors you will need.
Now that you’ve got your location, date, vision, and vendors nailed down, it’s time to ELOPE! Remember that there are no rules with elopements…this day can look however you want it to. You have that freedom! Embrace it, have fun with it, and enjoy the day that’s in complete celebration of you and your love.