How We Can Help Plan Your Elopement
When we planned our own elopement back in 2016, we did it because we recognized that a big wedding wasn’t for us. We wanted our wedding to be adventurous, intimate, affordable, and more us. What we didn’t realize is that there is so much freedom when planning an elopement, but there aren’t very many resources.
When you plan a traditional wedding, you can read thousands of blog posts, get advice from hundreds of websites, you can buy a step-by-step guidebook, and you can talk to your family and friends who have planned their own weddings. Heck, most couples even hire a wedding planner to guide them through the process!
But this isn’t necessarily the case for elopements. Many of our couples are overwhelmed by the options and lack of traditional structure involved with planning an elopement. But luckily, through the process of planning our own intimate wedding and the elopements of dozens of our couples, we’ve learned how to make planning an elopement fun, stress-free, and personalized. Which is the way it should be!
All of our Full-Day Elopement Photography and/or Videography packages include "Personalized Elopement Planning Help”.
Location, Location, Location
The first major decision you should make is picking out a location. There are a few ways to choose your dream elopement location:
Choose a place that has special meaning to you. For Cat + Matt’s intimate wedding, they chose to get married in Isle of Skye, Scotland because it was the place that they first realized they were falling in love.
Choose a place that you’ve always wanted to go. For Whitney + Chris’ elopement, they chose to get married in Santorini because Whitney had previously fallen in love with other Greek Islands.
Choose a place with a landscape that you only dreamed of seeing. For Brittany + Justin’s elopement, they came across the Faroe Islands on our recommended locations list and immediately knew it was where they wanted to get married.
Let us guide you in choosing a place that fits your vision. Do you have an idea of what you would like your elopement to be, but aren’t sure where to start looking? We spend a lot of time researching amazing locations and scouting while we travel. We would be happy to help you find your dream wedding location! For Amanda + Hass’ intimate wedding, we brainstormed many location ideas in Southern California until finally, Joshua Tree clicked.
Once you’ve committed to the area you want to elope in, we’ll help you narrow in on what’s possible in that location.
Now, our favorite part of elopement planning! After you’ve decided on the perfect area (for example Big Sur, the Rocky Mountains, or Iceland), we’ll dig deeper to narrow down your location and find some hidden gems for you! We’ll help you choose a breathtaking ceremony spot, and somewhere to explore afterward. For each of our couples, we put together an interactive map (like the one above) full of beautiful viewpoints, ceremony location ideas, and hikes to choose from.
Permits + Licenses
What we love the most about elopements and intimate weddings is that you often don’t need to rent a venue. One of the ways our couples save money is to have their ceremony out in nature. National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks are all great options for your elopement. After all, if they’re beautiful enough to be protected land, it’s safe to say they’re pretty awesome! Each of these parks have their own rules regarding permits for wedding ceremonies, so we will help you navigate this! The typical permit fee ranges from $150-$300.
As much as we wish weddings were all about making promises to each other, there’s also that pesky legal part. Couples eloping here in Colorado are in luck because we are one of the few states that offers self-solemnizing elopements. That means that you can pick up your marriage license and sign it yourselves - no officiant or witnesses needed! For American couples eloping in the US, we can help guide you through the process of getting your marriage license. For couples eloping outside of their home country, we can help give you resources to making this possible. Alex is an ordained minister and can legally perform ceremonies in states where it is required.
Online Elopement Planning Suite
This is the best part! After booking, all of our couples gain access to their own collaborative elopement planning suite. It’s hosted online, so we can all update and view it at the same time! Think Google Drive, but BETTER! Are you the kind of person who is always on their phone? Download the app and plan while on the go!
In the planning suite, we will guide you through the entire process of planning your own elopement. Are you still unsure about where you want to elope? Or do you have a general idea, but need help narrowing things down? That’s what we’re here for! We’ll start by asking you questions and brainstorming ideas to help you narrow down the perfect locations. The map we mentioned above is hosted in your planning suite, so you can easily access and edit it anytime!
We also provide you with a planning checklist so you know when each step needs to be completed. We’ll help you with everything from creating a timeline for your wedding day, to creating a list for family photos, to helping you with practical information related to your chosen location that you probably haven’t even thought about! This is designed to give you peace of mind throughout every step of the planning process!
Wedding Day Timeline
Once you’ve chosen your location, your accommodation, your ceremony site, and any other places you’d like to visit, we will create a wedding day timeline for you. Two of the biggest considerations we make when creating your timeline are crowds and weather. We do our best to avoid crowds and be aware of the weather throughout the day. For locations with temperamental climates, we will often make two separate timelines: A best-case weather scenario and a worst-case weather scenario. That way everyone is prepared and on the same page no matter what Mother Nature gives us. For all of our timelines, we build in buffer time between events in case anything changes or gets behind schedule. Our goal for every elopement is to keep it stress-free and flexible!
Another thing many elopement couples worry about is what their ceremony will look like! Some of our couples choose to have a family member guide and officiate their ceremonies, while others hire professional officiants. Most often, our couples choose not to have an officiant at all! In this case, we will help guide you through the process of saying your vows, exchanging rings, and having your first kiss.
Last but not least, we’ll help you find the rest of your dream elopement team! We’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible florists and we are pretty food obsessed. So if you need recommendations, we are more than happy to help you find the right people!
OTHER JOURNAL ENTRIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
We're Lisa + Alex, the goofballs behind Vow of the Wild. We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, but we are passionate about traveling to new places and meeting new people along the way. We are lucky enough to have what we consider to be the best job in the world (other than a professional dog petter). We get to create films and photos for adventurous Colorado Elopements and adventurous Destination Elopements across the globe! Feel free to reach out to us, we'd love to meet you!