If you’re reading this wedding checklist for elopements, then it’s safe to assume you are a bad-ass bride or groom planning an intimate ceremony for you and your partner! Planning can be a hard thing to do for a lot of people, if you’re deciding to elope and not involve many people in your wedding plans, then someone has to do it, right? Thankfully I’m here to make it a bit easier and break it down into bite-sized pieces for you. This checklist is designed to make sure you’re on top of your planning decisions, if you haven’t yet done brainstorming or started the planning process at all, first read about how to plan an elopement.



Six Months Away

  • Set your budget.

  • Choose your location!

  • Decide on your wedding date.

  • Choose if you will be planning the elopement yourself, or working with a wedding planner, or day of coordinator.

  • Buy your flights! Get those early-bird deals.

  • Book a place to stay.

  • Reserve a vehicle to get around in.

  • Decide on travel arrangements to your elopement ceremony location.

  • Make sure all of your travel documents are up to date if you’re flying or going international.

  • Research what is needed to get your marriage license in your designated location

  • Start shopping for your wedding attire.

  • Book your elopement photographer!

  • Book an engagement session to get comfortable being in front of the camera before your big day

  • Set up a gift registry or something like Honeyfund to receive honeymoon funds.

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Four Months Away

  • Start booking your vendors

    • Officiant (if you aren’t having a friend or family member do it)

    • Wedding planner

    • Videographer

    • Caterer/Private Chef

    • Hair and make-up artist

    • Cake Baker

  • Figure out your honeymoon location.

  • Book accommodations for honey moon.

  • Finalize travel and lodging for your elopement.

  • Buy your wedding bands.

  • Plan any extra activities you would like to include.

  • Organize and plan your ceremony timeline.

  • Write your vows.

  • Purchase additional elopement attire and “extras” such as:

    • Vow book.

    • Gifts for one another.

    • “just married” signs.

    • Any elopement decor you might want to include.

  • Purchase gear you may need if you’re hiking to your elopement location

    • Backpacks

    • Hiking boots

    • Hiking socks

    • Some cozy layers

  • If you are including guests, invite them and share everything you currently know about your timeline.

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Two Months Away

  • Order those marriage licenses! Remember, they’re only good in most places for three months, so don’t get them too far in advance.

  • If you’re eloping outdoors, develop an indoor “plan b” in case of bad weather

  • If you’re eloping in a National Forest, National Park, or state park, remember to call the ranger station and obtain the permits you need, and check about any potential road closures.

  • Finish creating a thorough timeline of your elopement and ceremony plans

  • Share the timeline with all of your vendors and confirm their service hours

  • Purchase any extra hair or make-up supplies

  • Schedule any final fittings for your dress and tux

  • Do a styling trial run with your hair and makeup artist

  • Check-in with all of your invited guests and make them aware of your plans for the day, and in what way you would like them to be included, and make sure they have their own travel accommodations as well as lodging.

  • Decide on how you want to celebrate! A small reception at an Airbnb? Dinner for two? Fireworks with your friends and family?

  • Triple check that timeline and send an email to everyone involved in your day

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One Week Away!

  • Time to pack! Make sure to remember the following:

    • rings

    • vows

    • momentos

    • gifts you bought for each other

    • accessories

    • jewelry

    • shoes

    • hiking gear

    • layers

  • Pick up your marriage licenses

  • Check in with your wedding planner, vendors, guests, forest ranger, (anyone who is involved in making the dream happen) for peace of mind.

  • Make sure all of your vendors have been paid, and consider grabbing cash if you need to tip any of them

  • Look into whether one more time and determine if you’re going to need your back up location

  • Get excited!

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After Your Elopement

At this point, the greatest day of your and your best friend’s life should have happened! Congrats on getting eloped! That was it for the elopement checklist, but here are some things to consider after you’ve gotten married.

  • Ask your photographer for some sneak peek images!

  • Announce that you eloped! There are so many cool ways to do this, check out these beautiful announcement cards on Etsy.

  • Plan a celebration with any extra friends and family you’d like to involve!

  • Write awesome reviews for all of your vendors that helped make your amazing day happen.

  • Write thank you cards to anyone who contributed to your day, sent gifts, etc.

  • Go kiss your partner and embrace married life to the fullest ♡

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I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

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