How to Make an Elopement Timeline

How to Make an Elopement Timeline

If you’re still in the early stages of planning your elopement, you’re probably wondering how this whole process goes down. You know you want to exchange vows, and maybe a first look, but the other details are still fuzzy.

As your photographer, I’m here to help you help you bring these details into focus; I want to work with you to create an experience to remember. I am here to help bring your dream wedding to life, without table settings and bridesmaids dresses. Instead you’ll find new stamps in your passport, and a unique and meaningful experience, that keeps you and your partner at the center. Exactly the way it should be.

Step 1: Plan an Experience

When you start to think about your elopement timeline, I encourage you to think about the experience before the logistics. Before you get into the details, think about how you two want to spend the day. You get to do what’s meaningful to you for your elopement, so start asking yourselves questions like:

When you travel, what experiences do you two love to share? If you two love hiking, spend the morning of your elopement trekking towards a lake or waterfall.  Or maybe you love exploring hot springs, or coasting along bike trails – whatever it is, do something you love on the day of your elopement!

Do you have meaningful routines built into your relationship? If practicing yoga or cooking breakfast together is a weekly ritual, why not make that part of your wedding day?  Think about ways that you nurture connection in your relationship, and incorporate those moments into your elopement timeline.

Step 2: Identify Timeline Elements

Once your elopement vision starts to take shape, make a list of all the events and moments you want to experience on your special day. Common elopement timeline events include:

  • Getting ready photos

  • A first look

  • Adventure – hiking, kayaking, off-roading…nothing’s off the table!

  • Ceremony + vows

  • Family portraits

  • Champagne toast

  • Celebratory dinner/dessert

Step 3: Put it All Together

Once you know what you want to do for your elopement day, it’s time to figure out how it all comes together! Here’s where I come in: I’ll help recommend how much time to reserve for hiking to a ceremony location, how much time it takes to drive to a location to catch that perfect light, what time of day is best to avoid crowds and find privacy, etc. I always recommend that you pad extra time into your day for getting ready (it always takes longer than expected), and you set aside time for just the two of you if you have guests attending your elopement. But don’t worry, I’ll work with you to create a timeline that allows to relax and stay present, knowing that you have enough time for everything.

To help you see what it looks like when all the details come together, here’s a sample elopement timeline:

11:30 - 12:30: Late morning yoga session

12:30 – 2:00: Hang out with family at the reception campsite (this is a great time for me to capture candid moments, like friends lounging in hammocks, the two of you doing crossword puzzles, etc.)

2:00 – 3:30: Get ready  

3:30 – 4:00: Drive to the ceremony location

4:00 – 4:30: Vows, ceremony, champagne toast

4:30 – 5:30: Couples portraits around the ceremony spot/nearby locations

5:30 – 6:00: Drive back to the reception site  

6:00 – Onwards: Celebrate back at the campsite (BBQ, s'mores, IPAs, music, speeches, etc.)

Hopefully these ideas help you as you plan your elopement timeline. Still a little unsure about where to start? Shoot me an email and let’s start planning your elopement timeline together.