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Elopement Planning

Planning Your Elopement

planning your elopement

Planning an elopement and overwhelmed with where to begin? Use this resource as your guide!

Choosing to forego a traditional wedding does not necessarily mean you eliminate the stresses of planning entirely. Big tasks are often more manageable when they are broken down into smaller steps. Strategize how you will tackle planning your elopement by outlining what you will accomplish during the months and the weeks leading up to your big day.

3+ Months Away

  • Set a budget and establish a timeline for how you will save that amount

  • Choose where you will say “I do”

  • Set a date – be conscious of local events if traveling abroad

  • Decide how involved you would like to be in the planning:

    • Hire a planner?
    • Purchase an elopement package?
    • Book a day-of coordinator?
    • DIY?
  • Shop for your elopement attire

  • Research legal requirements for marriage at your destination

  • Hire a photographer and do an engagement shoot to break the ice

  • Book your elopement accommodations

  • Make travel arrangements to and from your elopement destination

  • Make day-of travel arrangements (e.g., how will you get to and from your elopement ceremony location?)

  • Decide where you will honeymoon

  • Confirm your shots and travel documents are up to date (e.g., passports if traveling abroad)

2 Months Away

  • Book your honeymoon accommodations and make travel arrangements

  • Choose your witness(es)

  • Book all other vendors

    • Celebrant/officiant?
    • Videographer?
    • Day-of coordinator?
    • Hair/makeup stylist?
    • Florist?
    • Baker for a one-tier cake?
    • Musicians?
  • Purchase wedding rings

  • Purchase all wedding attire (e.g., gown, accessories, undergarments, shoes, suit, etc.)

  • Obtain your marriage license

  • Purchase a wedding present for your fiancé

1 Month Away

  • Purchase all hair and makeup supplies

  • Do a styling trial run

  • Select wedding music (if applicable)

  • Confirm all vendors

    • Photographer
    • Videographer
    • Venue
    • Accommodations
    • Transportation
    • Celebrant/officiant
    • Other (day-of coordinator, hair/makeup stylist, florist, etc.)
  • Confirm travel plans with your witness(es)

  • Have your hair cut and/or colored

  • Schedule final fittings for all apparel

  • Break in new shoes

  • Obtain foreign currency if traveling abroad

  • Make reservations for celebratory meal

  • Create a timeline for the day-of (click HERE for an example)

  • Make arrangements for pet sitters, house sitters, mail, etc.

1 Week Away

  • Write your wedding vows

  • Get a manicure and pedicure

  • Check the forecast and make arrangements for a backup plan (as necessary)

  • Write a note to your fiancé (to be exchanged the day-of with your gift)

  • DIY: purchase flowers, champagne, download music

  • Pack for your elopement (click HERE for a packing list)

  • Pack for your honeymoon (if applicable)


  • Announce your elopement (click HERE for announcement ideas)

  • Plan a reception to celebrate with friends and family

  • Send thank you notes for all wedding presents