HOW TO ELOPE ⭐️ 17 STEP GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR DREAM ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT WEDDING
Howdy, 🤠👋 we’re Samuel & Karly, and this is our guide on how to plan your dream adventure elopement wedding! Enjoy. 🙏
Planning an adventure elopement or wedding can initially feel quite overwhelming but we’re going to do our very best to make it as easy as possible.
If you’d prefer your experience to be entirely stress free we also offer full adventure planning in addition to our photography and videography tradecraft.
Let’s start with understanding what an elopement is in today’s culture.
What does elope mean?
Here’s what elopement has previously been defined as;
- Elope (e·lope) – run away secretly in order to get married, especially without parental consent. run away to marry. run off/away together. slip away. sneak off. run off/away with a lover.
So things have changed…
The definition of elopement has evolved in the wedding universe as;
- a “just us,” or intentional intimate small wedding experience with only the closest of family and friends (and us of course.)
What is an Adventure Elopement?
Simply put, an adventure elopement is an intimate alternative to traditional weddings, enjoyed outdoors at an epic destination like a State or National Park.
We’ve created planning resources on the most popular places for adventure elopements and weddings to assist you in your planning journey:
- Sedona, Arizona
- Moab, Utah
- Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
- Boulder, Colorado
- Austin, Texas
- Big Sur, California
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Glacier National Park
- Big Bend National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
And here’s our top guides on the major adventure elopement topics:
- WHERE TO ELOPE – 217 Best Places to Elope
- ELOPEMENT DRESSES – How to Adventure with Your Elopement Dress
- ELOPING WITH FAMILY – Creative Ways to Include Family
- ELOPEMENT CEREMONY – How to Plan the Perfect Ceremony
Whatever you decide, we’ve got you 100% covered with photo, video, and adventure planning.
Why should you elope?
HERE’S THE TOP 7 REASONS TO ELOPE:
- You want a “just us” experience that focuses on intimacy and intentionality
- You don’t want to plan a party for hundreds of people
- You want to avoid family drama
- You want way less planning and stress
- You value authentic moments over material things
- You want truly EPIC photos and video
- You want an adventure!
Adventure elopements are the fastest growing wedding trend.
And for good reason, especially in the current world climate. Imagine…exchanging your vows in a National Park like Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, at the edge of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, or on top of a glacier in Alaska after riding in your private helicopter. Epic.
and now, without further ado
HERE’S OUR 17 STEPS TO PLAN YOUR DREAM ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT WEDDING
- DREAM AND CREATE A VISION BOARD WITH YOUR PARTNER
- Use resources like Pinterest and Instagram to collect your favorite inspiration.
- BOOK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, VIDEOGRAPHER, & PLANNER (WE’RE ALL 3 🤠)
- We offer everything you need to enjoy a complete and stress-free experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
- START MAPPING OUT YOUR FAVORITE LOCATIONS + TIMES OF YEAR
- These go hand in hand because each depends on the other (ex. mountains in the winter can be rough).
- OFFICIALLY CHOOSE YOUR DREAM ELOPEMENT LOCATION
- National Park with mountains, glaciers, desert, cliffs, canyons, forests, beaches, caves, pyramids, alpine lakes, waterfalls, rivers, or maybe a museum, skyscraper rooftop, or a highline?
- PURCHASE SPECIAL USE AND PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITS FOR LOCATION
- A Special Park Use Permit and Photography Permit is needed for most Park locations.
- BOOK TRAVEL AND LODGING
- Book your flights and airbnb or other lodging as early in advance as possible.
- CREATE BACK-UP PLANS FOR YOUR LOCATION(S)
- Our dear Mother Nature has her own agenda and it’d be wise to create plans accordingly.
- OBTAIN MARRIAGE LICENSE
- You’ll want to sort this out prior to your actual wedding day.
- SEND OUT INVITATIONS
- If you’re inviting any family or friends now is a great time to let them know.
- BOOK YOUR OTHER VENDORS
- Officiant, florist, HMUA, cake, rentals
- PURCHASE WEDDING ATTIRE AND ADVENTURE GEAR
- I usually recommend hightop hiking boots and anything else is up to you. If you want to hike in your wedding attire maybe consider not going with a tight fitting trumpet design. 🙂
- PLAN YOUR CEREMONY, RECEPTION, & ACTIVITIES ITINERARY
- In addition to planning your ceremony and reception, most of these epic places will have activities to match; luxurious relaxation at the spa, hiking, camping, cliff jumping, swimming, climbing, highlining, BASE jumping, skydiving, off-roading, 4-wheeling, biking, helicopter tour, horseback riding, restaurants and beyond.
- CREATE YOUR ELOPEMENT TIMELINE
- With the help of your planner / photographer, create a relaxed timeline for the big day, giving you ample time in between activities to ensure the stress-free elopement wedding experience.
- PLAN THE HONEYMOON AKA MULTI-DAY ELOPEMENT ADVENTURE
- Basically anywhere you go you’re going to want to be there for at least 3 days to explore the best places.
- CELEBRATE AND SAVOR THE MOST EPIC DAY OF YOUR LIFE
- Let go of any expectations you have for the day and allow us to guide you every step of the way so you can be 100% PRESENT and enjoy your celebration.
- ENJOY THE HONEYMOON OF YOUR MULTI-DAY ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT
- The hardest part is over and now it’s time to decompress and enjoy exploring the rest of your beautiful location and all that it has to offer. Remember, you can also hire us to document a portion of this as well.
- SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS YOUR WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT
- You could do this literally, figuratively, or both. Send out announcements to the world that you are now a married couple!
And just to make sure we’re sending you on your way planned and prepared for adventure, here’s our Adventure Elopement Checklist. Enjoy. 🙏
THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT CHECKLIST
- Visualize the scenery with your amazing partner
- Mountain, desert, glacier, forest, lake, beach, cave, cliff, canyon, mid-air…space?!
- Craft perfect combination of location and date with planner
- Hire elopement planner (us) ——– we 📋
- Book photographer (us) ————– really 📷
- Book videographer (us) ————— make 🎥
- Officiant (us) ——————————— this 🤠
- Witnesses (us) —————————— easy 🤩
- Create back-up(s) for your location and date
- Acquire permits and/or reservations
- Obtain marriage license
- Travel & lodging (Airbnb is amazing)
- Florist – fake or real either way they’re gorgeous, bouquets adventure well too! 💐
- Cake (cupcakes?) 🧁 cupcakes adventure well…usually 🙂
- Decor – maybe you want a giant hexagon wedding arbor
- Rings – the sacred symbol of eternal union! 💍
- Dress & attire – appropriate to the adventure! (we can help)
- Vows – freestyle em, write em, say em 3 different times if you want
- Invitations – or maybe it’s “just us”you can also hold a separate time and place to invite your friends and family, sometimes even months later!
- Ceremony – on a glacier accessible only by helicopter? 🚁
- Reception – maybe a cliff-side bonfire or airbnb party
- Honeymoon – a week of exploring your epic destination!?
- Announcement – “shout from the mountaintops…” literally? ⛰
You’re well on your way to the most magical day of your life.
If you have any questions regarding your adventure elopement we’re on the other side of the screen excited to help.
If you found this post helpful share it with your partner or someone who you think it will benefit. Thank you. 🤠🙏🏴☠️
This is such a helpful post! I love how easy you’ve made it for couples to get married in such an epic way. And there are some lesser-known, but just as important tips for couples here too–like making sure you get your Special Use Permit and having a backup plan in place. So important!
Thanks Kim, appreciate you! 🙏🏻