How to Make an Elopement Special – Introduction
We understand that our couples have never done this before, and you might be wondering how to make your elopement special. Making your elopement special really means – how to make it special for you and your partner. What elements could you include that would really make it the best day for the two of you? Maybe you two aren’t really into sweets, and instead of having a cake or some other type of dessert you’d rather chow down on some mac-and-cheese for your meal to indulge in. (Where are all my carb lovers at?!) When it comes to creating your elopement day and trying to think of ideas on how to make your elopement special, really think about what would make the two of you happy. That is going to be the secret to making your elopement day special. Think back on a day, or an experience that the two of you just absolutely loved. Was it someplace new? Was it someplace you’ve been to a thousand times? What was the weather like? Were there people around, or were you completely alone? What time of day was it? Did you wake up early that day or sleep in? Thinking back and figuring out what about that day made it so fun is the secret. Take pieces of what you know you love, and incorporate those elements into your elopement day to make your elopement special.
In this guide, we give you some ideas, share some of the ways we made our own elopement day special, and encourage you to make your day your own. No two relationships are the same, so no two elopements will be the same.
How to Make an Elopement Special – The Ultimate Guide
25+ Ideas on How to Make an Elopement Special
Write Your Own Wedding Vows
Writing your own wedding vows is a surefire way to make your elopement special. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk about your relationship and make it all about you. This part of the day can be really emotional, so plan for the waterproof mascara. We know that writing your own wedding vows can feel really intimating, so we made a resource specifically for you, my friend. Check out this blog post if you’re wanting to write your own wedding vows but need help with it.
Create a Personalized Elopement Ceremony Script
Your elopement ceremony doesn’t have to be reciting vows, and then it’s over. This is the perfect opportunity to make your elopement day special. Take some time to put extra thought and planning into your elopement ceremony. If you’re not sure where to start, we created a resource to help. Check out this blog post to help you create a personalized elopement ceremony script to make your elopement special.
Working with a florist to design the bouquet of your dreams can really make you feel special on your big day. You could even go a step further and get florals to decorate your backpack, have a floral crown, a boutonniere, or so much more! The first thing you’ll want to do is come up with a color scheme. Then go on Pinterest and pick out some inspiration. Your florist will be able to help you pick out flowers for the season and based on your color scheme.
Here are some Florists we’ve worked with before in the past and absolutely love!
Indulge in Your Favorite Meal
This is your freaking wedding day! If there is any day to indulge and be a little gluttonous, this is it! Splurge on that filet mignon, eat a second helping of dessert. If you two are food lovers like us, you deserve to have the meal of your dreams on your wedding day. Do it up! 😜
Help Eachother Get Ready
Some of our couples prefer helping each other get ready instead of having a first look. It’s the perfect way to make your elopement extra special. You two can spend that time together and have fun together while getting ready!
Sounds crazy, right? I mean, there are bears, and coyotes out at night. But guess what else is out at night? NO ONE! Getting a head start on your elopement day and beating everyone else to the trailhead means you’ll have your destination all to yourself for a bit. Night hiking is also super fun! If you’ve never experienced it before, we would love to show you how fun it can be.
Hire A Private Chef
If you’re wanting to feel extra special, skip the restaurant or campfire meal and hire a private chef. Hiring a private chef can feel especially luxurious, and will have your elopement day feeling extra special.
Have A Campfire
Depending on the time of year and location, this logistically might not be possible since fire bans can be common in the summer and fall here in Colorado and other areas. If you’re dead set on having a bonfire to add a special element on your elopement day work with your elopement photographer to decide where and when you can have a fire. Typically anywhere on the beach, or anywhere that isn’t super dry is a safe bet you can have a campfire. If there is an unexpected fire ban in place there are alternatives. Work with your elopement photographer to come up with ideas to take place of the campfire.
Deciding What to Wear
Your wedding clothes and how you look and feel will be one of the main elements to make your elopement day special. Dressing up extra nice, and just feeling absolutely radiant is a surefire way to make your elopement special.
Hire A Professional Hair and Make Up Artist
Some people will skip this one, especially if you aren’t used to wearing makeup on the regular. But think about how special and fancy it would feel to sit back and relax while being pampered?! I’ve had my hair and make-up professionally don’t a few times and it’s so fun!
Here are a few professional Hair and Makeup Artist that we’ve worked with before in the past and absolutely love!
Have A First Look
Seeing each other in your wedding clothes for the first time can be a really emotional moment. All the planning, and research, and trying on, and alterations, it’s all for this exact moment. It’s your wedding day and you’ll be looking super lovely, so make the most of it and plan out a first look. The raw emotions that develop when seeing your partner in their wedding clothes for the first time is a moment you’ll want to look back on time and time again.
Celebrate by Popping Something Bubbly
This can be champagne or sparkling water. There is just something about shaking a carbonated bottle, popping off the cork (and finding it, of course, LNT), and spraying that bubbly all over the place that brings out the kid in everyone! It’s so fun! Pair that with jumping up and down in joy and clapping and you have yourself one hell of a fun celebration.
Incorporate Personal Touches Into Your Day
What is something you could incorporate into the day that is completely you? Here are some ideas: Music. Dancing. Art. Your pets. A 4×4 vehicle. Hammocking. Stargazing. Canoeing. Hiking. Backpacking. Bird watching. The list goes on and on…. We’ve said it so many times, but I’ll say it once more. No two people are the same, no two relationships are the same, so no two elopement days should be the same. Make it your day and incorporate personal touches to make your elopement day special.
Love Letters From Family
If you’re wanting to include those closest to you, have them write letters to you and your partner. Take time out of your day to sit down and read each letter. The support from family and/or friends can be a great feeling. If you’re wanting to include your friends and/or family, don’t pass up the chance. They will feel honored you’re asking them to be included after deciding to have such an intimate day.
Include Your Furry Best Friend
If your dog(s) want to come along on your elopement day, we encourage it! We love dogs so much that we made an entire guide on Eloping with your Dog. 🐕
Eloping Just the Two of You – Celebrate with Family Later
If you already know that you want to elope with no other guests, then perfect! But if you’re on the fence – consider the idea of eloping just the two of you, and then throwing a celebration at a later date where family and friends can attend and celebrate you! We’ve found that planning a backyard wedding to celebrate with family and friends at a later date is a perfect balance.
Plan to Watch the Sunrise, or the Sunset, or Both
Life can be so busy and don’t I know it that we rarely find time to soak in the beautiful display of the day beginning or the day ending. If watching the sunrise or sunset is something you don’t get to do often, planning to be there for either or both will create a really special memory to look back on.
Plan For Time to Relax and Be Still
There is something you always hear from couples who have traditional weddings, and it’s “the time flew by, I don’t remember a lot of it”. Well, the same thing can be true for elopement days. The feeling of time “flying by” stems from nonstop doing and going. If you plan to have time to sit, relax, take in the views, be fully present, and just be still, you’ll notice that time is going by much slower. If you’re wanting to remember your day, be intentional about your plans.
Surprise Your Partner With a Gift
We love it when we get a surprise email from one of our couples telling us they are surprising their partner with something unique and special on their elopement day. Who doesn’t like feeling spoiled and loved? But better yet, who doesn’t like spoiling their partner? The gift of giving, especially on your elopement day can make your day feel extra special. You’re already embarking on this adventure together, and then add a gift onto it. Super romantic.
Plan to Do Something Spontaneous
Knowing that you’re planning to do something spontaneous on your elopement day can be super fun and special! Think of the anticipation that would be building. It could be something as small as waiting to decide where to eat, or something bigger like jumping in an alpine lake. If you two are the types of people who thrive off spontaneity, planning to do something spontaneous on your elopement day might just be what you’re needing!
Plan to Have All Day Photography Coverage
It’s not uncommon for traditional weddings to have all-day coverage, so why shouldn’t you?! From getting ready – to the ceremony, to the celebration, to all the wedding day elements in between. This is how I explain it to my couples: Think of one of the best days you and your partner have had together. (I’m thinking of a day Alex and I had) Wouldn’t you love to have a full photo album to look back on from that day? Memory after memory, all right there for you to pick up and relive whenever the feeling strikes. I know I would! I know there are moments that I’m already forgetting about that day. The random laughs we had, the views we saw, the moments we got to experience. Now is your chance to hire a photographer for all-day coverage, and this is the day that actually counts! This is the day you’re putting all this planning and effort into. Don’t invest your time, and energy into this really special day without getting it fully documented. You will never regret having every moment captured. I promise! Contact us now and we’ll send you our full pricing guide. Check out our elopement pricing here.
Make a Time Capsule
We’ve had a few couples create a time capsule on their elopement day! You can put whatever you want in it! Here are a few ideas: Nail a wooden box shut with your handwritten vows and a really good bottle of wine. On your 20 year wedding anniversary open the time capsule and relive your day! This is a great idea for how to make your elopement special!
Flip a Coin to Decide Where to Elope
If you have more than two ideas in mind, write them all down on a piece of paper and draw one out of a hat. Some couples feel most at home in new places, so this is a great idea for couples wanting to go somewhere new but can’t decide. Can you imagine telling the story of how you two eloped? “Well, we couldn’t decide on a location, so we picked one out of a hat!” Ummmm how freaking cool is that? Not too many people can say that! If you’re having a hard time narrowing down a location, that is an area we can help you with! We love helping our couples nail down that perfect location that checks off all the boxes.
Bring a Picnic
Bringing your own picnic of food is an amazing idea. It’s the perfect solution for how to make your elopement special. Bring your favorite foods, no matter what it is! Taking the time to sit down in beautiful scenery, soak it all in, and enjoy a nice picnic with your love is super fun!
Elope in a Meaningful Location
If you’re someone who wants to elope at a location that’s special to you, this is a great way to make your day extra special. The location alone is meaningful, so the rest of the day will follow suit.
Make an Entire Stay Out Of Your Elopement
Don’t plan to get into town the day before your elopement, and then leave town the day following. Plan for a full stay of a week or longer. This will take a lot of stress off of the trip. You want to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and rest the days leading up to your big day, so if you’re going to splurge on anything, splurge on the amount of time you’re investing in this once-in a lifetime experience.
Plan to Do Something You’ve Never Done Before
Never laid on the beach at night while stargazing? Have you ever slept in a tent in the middle of a National Forest and listened to coyotes howl? What about renting Jeeps and exploring 4×4 roads? Always wanted to go snowshoeing? Experiencing something new for the first time on your wedding day is a great way to make an additional memory to look back on.
Stay Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Stay
Splurging on an Airbnb that is aesthetically appealing makes a world of difference for your mood. Being able to experience someone else’s luxury even for a few days can make your trip extra special. Airbnb’s and Vrbo’s have taken off over the past few years and you can find just about anything you’re looking for at really affordable costs.
Inviting Those Closest to You
Some people thrive off of other people’s company, and that’s awesome! Not every elopement is a two-person-only elopement. If you know having certain people present on your elopement day will make it special, then invite them.
Paddle Around an Alpine Lake
When in Rome, am I right? Colorado is known for its pristine, crystal blue alpine lakes, and what better way to experience the scenery than being in it!
Incorporating Your Guest Into Your Day
You’ve chosen to be super intentional about the wedding day you’re having, and your guests are probably very aware of that decision. If you ask your guest to be involved, they will be over the moon ecstatic. Some ideas for involving your guest in your day: Give each guest a role. For example, someone to put your veil on, someone to zip up your dress, someone to help you tie a tie, someone to recite a reading during your ceremony, or have everyone recite a reading during your ceremony, have each guest say something to the happy couple during the ceremony, and so much more.
Having a sweet treat to indulge in to celebrate your marriage can make your elopement day super special. Especially if it’s not something you have regularly. Contact a baker who can make a delicious cake for you. There is just something about wedding cake, it’s so damn delicious. It’s the one thing I miss about photographing traditional weddings :’) If you’re planning to have a hiking elopement and need a dessert that is easily transportable (and won’t get crushed in a backpack), talk to your baker. They will have ideas and will be able to create something special for the two of you. Customized desserts, it doesn’t get more special than that 😉
Decorate Your Hiking Backpacks
Many parks and forest areas don’t allow decorations or props being brought in for a ceremony and don’t allow any type of receptions other than pre-existing picnic areas, and even then they still don’t allow decorations, so decorating your backpack can be a great alternative for adding your own flair! Think about in the olden days, when couples would drive away in a car with paint on the back windshield that reads, “just married”, and with aluminum cans strung along with string clanking on the asphalt as the couple drove away. Now replace the car with your legs, the windshield with your backpack, and replace the asphalt with a hiking trail. Same thing, but adventure elopement style 😀
If you’re needing advice for hiking gear, and what to pack for your adventure elopement, click here to check out this blog post. We’ll even give you backpack suggestions!
Mugs, champagne flutes, matching hiking t-shirts. Make your elopement day special by bringing a fun personalized item. Etsy is a great website for items like these. You can buy from small businesses, and know someone created it with love.
Bring an Instant Camera
We are photographer nerds, so we love anything photo/camera-related. But it seems like a lot of people are into the Fujifilm Instax cameras right now, for good reason! They’re just so fun! If you don’t already have one, I would say it’s worth buying one just for your elopement day to make it extra special!
Hire an Amazing Elopement Photographer
Hire an amazing elopement photographer who knows the area, can help you decide what to do for your big day, and someone you get along with. Set up a phone or zoom call to get to know me and Alex. We would be honored to venture along you on your big day and capture your greatest adventure yet. Click here to contact us now.
How We (Alex & Kelly) Made Our Elopement Day Special
Read our full beach elopement story here.
It all started with where we were going to elope. I (Kelly) had always dreamed of getting married barefoot on the beach. I grew up on the East Coast, and my family would take yearly vacations to Ocean City, Maryland. I grew up in the sand and salty Atlantic waters. Seagulls, Thrashers Fries, sunblock, and building sand castles are what my childhood memories are built on. Eloping on the beach was really meaningful to me.
Time of Day
We decided on a sunrise elopement. Both of us know ourselves pretty well, and we know that waking up early is an almost guarantee that we’ll have a good day. There is just something about waking up before the world that gives us both peace and excitement for the day ahead. We’ve both seen plenty of sunrises on the beach, and we knew that was when we wanted to say our vows.
Alex brought his backpack acoustic guitar and we sang our favorite songs on the beach after our ceremony. We also brought bottles of champagne and celebrated on the beach afterward. After our celebration on the beach was completed, our best friends took us to a restaurant with a dock right on the water. We had ourselves a big, delicious meal. (We are really into food) By that time it was only late morning, so we decided to head back to the house and take naps. Taking a nap mid-day is very on-brand for us. Something we offer for our Full Day Elopement Experience Collection (12 hours of coverage) is a mid day break. We understand that you might want to take a few hours to yourselves. We did. When it comes to our couples, we put you first always. This isn’t about us, this is about you. We will do everything we can to make sure you have the best day, and if that includes a midday nap, hell yes! After we woke up from our naps, we all hopped in our cars and drove out to the beach. We had planned for an afternoon of kickin’ it on the beach, swimming in the water, surfing and just having fun in the sun! We also planned an evening of camping on the beach, tent-style, with a campfire. For dinner we had hot dogs and s’mores. We understand that for some people, this would be a nightmare. But that’s the best part of eloping! You make your day special for you. There is no set timeline. It’s a day that is completely yours.
Who To Invite
We knew we didn’t want a huge audience. We both come from big families, so deciding on a guest list was difficult. We would have loved for everyone to be there, but knew in our hearts that we wouldn’t enjoy our day if it meant hosting and entertaining, or worrying about if people were having fun. It’s just not us. So we decided to only invite our two best friends, who are also a couple. By having just our two best friends and our officiant there, it felt very special to us. Having a very small ceremony was intentional. That’s how we wanted it.
How To Make an Elopement Special – Conclusion
Remember how I said above in the introduction that making your elopement day special for your relationship is the secret? I meant it. Alex and I have this amazing story, and memories to look back on for the day we got married. A day that was built for us. We understand that we are probably the only couple in the world who would want to get married the way we did. A 4AM wake up call, walking in the hot sand, humid weather, sleeping in a tent. The beauty about being intentional on how you get married is that nothing will overshadow your commitment you’re making to your partner. Every element, every decision you’re making for your elopement is centered around you. Your relationship is what’s so special, and every decision you make for your big day will follow suit, because it’s who you are. Not a lot of couples can say they went against the grain and did things their own way. We applaud you for being so unique, and for unapologetically getting married exactly how you want. We hope this guide helped you brainstorm some ideas for how to make your elopement day special.