So you want to elope! How exciting! Not sure where to start? I got you! This elopement timeline checklist will ease the stress of planning!
Prioritizing your Time
You’re trying to find the time to fit everything you hope to do to celebrate your marriage. You don’t want to miss a single thing! You want to make sure you get all the amazing activities you could possibly dream of on your wedding day! Well, I am going to let you in on a little secret/rule!
#1 Elopement Rule
The #1 elopement rule is *drum roll*, there are no rules! You can do literally whatever you want! Plan your timeline around your own schedule, budget, priorities, and be open to do things differently. When you’re already saying yes to a less traditional form of wedding, it’s okay to loosen your idea on traditional timelines and expectations!
4-8 Months Before Your Elopement (Planning Time)
This is the time where you will square away your details.
- Decide on your attire, ensure all your vendors are on board and available (if you havnt already)
- Have your final decisions about how you want to celebrate
- Have you told your family and friends about your elopement? Do you want to?
- Do you want to plan a reception-style celebration with them before or after your elopement if any?
Answer these questions honestly, and plan accordingly. Now that your elopement is SO CLOSE, you’ll want to focus on what brings you joy and confidence during this time, and let go of things (or plans) causing excess stress or discomfort. Remember, you’re eloping because YOU want to! Let this face give you the freedom to do what feels right for you!
The Week Before (Finalize Details)
Like any wedding, the week prior to your elopement is the last chance to get your ducks in a row.
- Ensure the florist is perfecting your bouquet, triple check with any caterers, and have a last call with your officiant! (If you hire me as your photographer, I will be sure to email you for the plan and the break down! We got this!)
- If you’re waiting on anything else, like a final fitting for your dress or suit, give yourself grace and some space within the schedule for things to not go as planned! It happens! And as I said before do not panic! Its your day and it will go amazingly!
- Heres another tip: You’re still allowed to change your mind! Don’t like the food? Pick something else! You decided to tell your family about the elopement prior, and you’re happily surprised to learn they want to help? Be flexible!
The week prior to your elopelment, plan flexibility and space into your schedule. Spend time with people who support you. This is your chance to embrace the butterflies in your stomach and get stoked!!!
The Night Before (PAMPER YOURSELF!!)
This is it!!! Tomorrow you’re saying “I do” to your favorite person! Whether your with your partner the night before the elopement or not, prepare for your big day by relaxing! Order takeout or go to your favorite restaurant! Take a bath, finalize your vows, wear one of those face mask (the pampering kind not the pandemic kind ;))! Get in the mood to take the next step in your relationship by looking back at how far you’ve come. BE PROUD OF YOURSELF!
The Day of Your Elopement
THIS IS IT!!! Wake up with a smile on your face, YOUR GETTING MARRIED! All of your planning is done and now it is time to enjoy it and celebrate! Make sure you wake up early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Try not to rush. If you catch yourself stressing, take some deep breaths. While you’re going to do some amazing things today, the only “requirement” is that you get married!
Many couples I work with plan all-day elopements. This means a full 8-12 hours of fun! Having an intimate and intentional day is just as important when there are two people, as when there are 200. Your elopement timeline is going to be personalized to your unique desires, location, and ideas. Sunrise or sunset; breakfast, lunch, or dinner; one location or three; we will turn your personal timeline into the adventure of a lifetime that lasts a lifetime!
Your day is personalized to what’s important to you. Here are some ways to organize your day:
- If you’re getting up for a sunrise ceremony, set those extra alarms, and don’t press snooze! I know how tempting it is! Even to a morning person like me!
- You can either get ready at your lodging location or at the sunrise location
- Have a first look or first touch
- Get ready with your partner, or have your best friend zip up the dress, or your mom straighten your tie
- You can do the ceremony first thing and then explore, or you can go on an adventure to find the perfect place to say “I do” when the moment feels right
- I know I said that your only “requirement” is getting married, but also highly suggest eating! Say vows, and bring a picnic or something to share afterward
Just remember, this is YOUR day!! There is no required schedule or checklist! Make it your own and this is just a tool just to help if you might be a little lost in planning!
The Day After (YOU’VE DONE IT!!!)
You two are married!!!
- Sleep in, or wake up to watch the sunrise. This is your first morning together as a married couple, and it’s the perfect time to set the tone for mornings to come.
- Share coffee, mimosas, or waffles!
- If you traveled, keep exploring!
- Dont rush back! Enjoy!
The Weeks After
The most common plan my couples choose is to have their intimate ceremony, followed by a reception style gathering later!