Last Updated on January 4, 2022 by vowsandpeaks
How Do You Make an Elopement Timeline?
Have you started to plan your adventure elopement but realize you are overwhelmed with where to begin on your timeline? Planning an elopement is supposed to be fun and exciting, but stress comes in all different forms. Just because you decided on skipping the traditional wedding, doesn’t mean you will be completely free of planning-stress. However, as your photographer, planner, and guide I am here to help!
Most elopements can last a whole day, but some even spread out over multiple days, it all depends on what you have envisioned! You could have a family celebration one day, followed by a hike in Colorado the next, or have romantic a beach ceremony followed by a cozy Bon Fire, or you could even spend an extra day hiking through lush fields of flowers in Telluride the day AFTER your vow ceremony. The possibilities are endless!
I can guarantee that you will have the wedding day of your wildest dreams with the very minimum amount of stress if you follow this elopement timeline guide! This guide will help you outline what tasks you should tackle in the weeks and months leading up to your big day!
STEP 1 ― PLAN AN EXPERIENCE
- Hire a bad ass photographer that will help you plan, coordinate and capture your big day! Find someone that shares your vision! Your photographer should be there to help you tell your story without pushing you outside your comfort zone. It’s about working with someone that will help nudge you in the right direction, and help create a day that will be unforgettable elopement schedule from start to finish!
- Write a list of what you would like to include on your elopement day. Try and find a place that feels like “home” for you to share your vows! Is there somewhere special you’ve visited together before? A place you’ve seen and imagined yourself getting married at? After choosing your spot, you should settle on a month and date for your big day. I suggest looking at days during the middle of the week so you can enjoy more privacy and seclusion!
- Find cool ways to incorporate your passions into your big day! Do you like to eat sweets or drink whiskey together? How about playing disc golf or maybe you share the same energy and passion for yoga, cliff jumping, kayaking or hiking? Take a helicopter ride or backpack through the mountains of Colorado. Think of some fun things you enjoy doing together and add that into your elopement timeline!
- Get your friends together and shop for your attire. This is a fun way to include those that might not join you on your elopement!
- Book your accommodations. Elopements aren’t traditional and your accommodations shouldn’t be either! Find some fun options that will make you look back on forever. Check out these for inspiration!
- Start booking vendors. You will find plenty of people that will be so elated to be part of your elopement and I will even help by giving you a preferred vendor list! Make sure to let your photographer know that you have hired vendors so they can account for them in your elopement timeline.
Some of the vendors you might want to consider are:
- Hair/makeup stylist
- Baker or desert specialist (because who doesn’t like sweets?!)
STEP 2 ― IDENTIFY YOUR ELOPEMENT TIMELINE
Your vision is coming together and you can see the big day in site. Now is the time to talk over your elopement schedule with your photographer. This is a great time to talk about your ideas for the big moments you envision on your special day!
Some of these common elopement day timelines include:
- Getting ready photos
- First look
- Ceremony + Vows + Ring exchange
- Champagne toast & spray!
- Family portraits
- Celebration desert
- First dance
- Adventure activity – hiking, skiing, rock climbing, ice climbing in the winter, bon fire, whatever you want!
STEP 3 ― PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
After identifying key things to include in your elopement timeline, it’s now time to put everything together! Doing this ensures that nothing important is missing from your day! Having an elopement itinerary is also important for people who might be a type A personality. This helps calm their nerves and ensures that everything is organized and on schedule.
Some things you can do in preparation for your final elopement itinerary:
- Write your gushy wedding vows
- Break in the new boots (no one wants blisters on their big day)
- Pick out your wedding attire
- Just like everything else in life, you will need to do a little planning for your elopement, too! You should start by packing for everything you might need on your big day!
- Plan any other activities for your day that will make it extra special
About one month out, you should be getting your elopement timeline from your photographer (see example below!)
HOW LONG DOES AN ELOPEMENT TAKE? – AN ELOPEMENT TIMELINE EXAMPLE
So now you have a better understanding of what an elopement timeline might look like, but it might be hard to outline this day in your head? You can check out Cody and Virginia’s elopement elopement timeline example from Colorado for some inspiration! This elopement itinerary is probably the most common for my couples.
- 12:30 – Get hair and makeup done
- 2:30 pm – Meet at parking lot of trailhead, Minturn, CO 81645
- Details: 3.1 miles up, 1,172 elevation gain
- Take photos and video with along the way
- 5:30 pm – Arrive at Fancy Lake
- Get dressed for first look (WEE!)
- 6:00 pm – First look!
- Portrait photos with lake
- Crack some celebration beers!
- Spray some bubbles!
- 6:30 – Vow Ceremony
- Handwritten vows
- Ring exchange
- 7:00 – Explore surrounding area
- More portrait shots!
- Gift exchange
- 8:00 – Alpenglow starts
- First dance!
- 8:45 – Headlamp shots by the lake!
My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your adventure elopement! I have helped over 150 couples on their elopement timelines and I am excited to help YOU too!
Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic elopement!