Here’s The Plan, Friends!
Maybe eloping has been your plan all along. Perhaps this is a new concept to you due to the current times. No matter your reason, I’ve got you. Now let’s get to the elopement experience break down!
I can’t tell you how excited I am that you are interested in throwing tradition to the wind. Grab hold of what’s important to both of you. Create an incredibly unique wedding experience that’s a true reflection of who you are.
There aren’t many couples brave enough to follow their hearts instead of following the “rules”. I’ll just say it outright—congrats on being pretty badass. The most amazing thing about choosing to elope is that you can forget all expectations, opinions, and obligations about what you’re “supposed” to do. Therefore, instead focus entirely on what matters most to you two, with nothing holding you back.
Just like there’s not just one way to elope, there’s also not just one way to plan an elopement. However, while these are generally the steps to follow, it’s not always a linear process. And if you need help along the way, I’m here for you!
Booking an elopement with me will really take all the weight off of your shoulders. Don’t worry about planning. You both have permission to have as much fun as possible on your wedding day! Let me give you a little brief on how all of this magic is going to go down…
Visualize Your Best Day
The first step in any great creative process is to dream and brainstorm. This is where you and your partner explore all of the possibilities of what your day could look like – without being hindered by details or logistics yet. Are you imagining yourselves wandering along the sandy beaches of the Oregon Coast? Maybe you are envisioning the shade of ancient trees and forest bathing in the Redwoods. The only limits you have here are what you put in place for yourself. So, let it all go and jot down your ideas!
Fun Fact: Once we make things official, I send you over a massive 80+ page welcome guide that talks all things elopements and makes your life easier.
This part of the planning process is all about letting your imagination go wild. Envision the most enjoyable day for the two of you, that would celebrate your relationship in the most authentic way. Forget about any restrictions for a moment and just dream big—that’s where you’ll find what speaks most to you. Furthermore, you’ll have time to figure out the details later.
Pro Tip: Make brainstorming about your best wedding experience a date night!
Cuddle up on the sofa, have a delicious dinner, or go for a walk to your favorite place. Whatever’s your favorite way to spend quality time with your partner, go do it!
Define Your Vision + Goals
Once you have an overall vision for what you two want out of your day, it’s time to make the biggest decisions that will affect your elopement experience the most. Who are you inviting (if anyone)? Where are you going (even just a general idea), and how long are you going for? This is your homework. Although I can’t make these decisions for you, however, I can definitely chat through your ideas with you. I will give you feedback, best practices, and tips! As a Brogan Marie Photography couple, you’ll get a downloadable (and printable if that’s your jam) elopement guide. Not only helping you plan but dream up your magic for your intimate wedding.
I also will step in at this point once you make the smart decision of having me in your corner. I am here to brainstorm location ideas! This can be as vague as island or country options to exact trailheads and National Parks. I’ll send you all of the most hidden gems, and provide logistics for travel like nearest airports, proximity to hotels/towns to get ready in, and the best looking dinner and adventure ideas in the area!
Fun fact: I send you over a get-to-know-you questionnaire as soon as we are official. So I can hear your early ideas and get the ball rolling. Then I know where I need to step in and where my expertise will be most helpful!
Nitty Gritty Details
So, now you’ll need to iron out all of the nitty gritty details – like who will be attending, where you are going, and how long you’ll be gone for!
Book your travel, book a place to stay (either for just the two of you or also for your guests), choose what vendors to hire. Furthermore, what activities you two want to include in your experience, pick out your wedding day attire, and gather any extra gear you may need.
Take your time with all of these decisions and most of all, have fun with it!
I’m here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions or want more ideas or suggestions… Feel free to reach out with questions—I’ve got your back!
Whether you’re going with an AirBnB, a resort, or we’re doing a multi-day backpacking trip… (Ummm heck yeah!) You’ll need the gear to keep you looking and feeling gooooooooood.
Develop Your Elopement Timeline
Up next, it’s time to put your vision all together. Together we create a timeline for your elopement or intimate wedding day (or multiple days) that fits everything you want to experience. These timelines are much more fluid than those for a traditional wedding day. But it does help us to have an idea of when we want to be where. Especially if we’re catching an epic sunset or alpenglow!
Don’t worry. I will design a template and questionnaire because it helps you think of what you’d like to do and when on your wedding day. I’ll basically be crafting your timeline of your elopement day, and you can read through, nodding along, and get ready for allllll of the fun!
By now, everything is really coming together and it is starting to feel like ‘Holy moly, this is happening!’ Remember, your elopement is all about you two! You don’t need to schedule every second of every minute, you can have a rough timeline and locations, and go with the flow. Be present and enjoy the moment.
A popular question I hear is “How much coverage is really enough?” Want my honest opinion? Well, here it is!
Your day deserves just as much documentation as anyone else getting married—and maybe even more. Check out my blog post on Full Day Elopement Coverage and why it is so dang important!
Get Ready To Go!!
Now the planning is done and you just need to gather everything you need, pack for your trip, make sure you communicate with your guests (if you have any), and get ready to have an amazing day! Don’t worry! I’ve got a handy dandy checklist for you to reference. You double check that you’ve packed the absolute essentials.
At this point, I’m so excited that I’ll be texting you with my happy dance emojis 💃🏻! YEAAAAH!!! I can’t wait to hang out with you two. What’s more, I’m so honored to witness your REAL LOVE and capture who you really are in one of the happiest moments of your lives.
It is Time to Celebrate!!
You did it! Your day is here. Breathe in, breathe out. It is time to enjoy every moment and be fully present with your partner. You are going to relive these moments in your mind over and over because this is the incredible experience you created together as you say your vows. And celebrate in a way that feels good to you!
What’s more, remember, your day might not go exactly according to plan, but that’s half the adventure! I will do everything I can to make your elopement dreams come true. If you’re willing to roll with the punches and embrace what comes your way, you’re bound to have an amazing elopement experience (no matter what!).
You’re Married! Now What?
You’ve done it! Because you’ve had an incredible wedding day and I’ve taken photos of it all so you can remember every bit of it. Your next step is to sit back and relax. I now carefully curate and edit your full gallery of photos from your day. This usually takes between 8-10 weeks for completion. I will make sure you two have a sneak peek of about 50 images within 1 week of your wedding day so you can make any announcements and begin to share glimpses of your day with your family and friends. Woohoo!
The images will be delivered as high-resolution jpegs via an online gallery. That way you’ll have access to them wherever you are. You’ll be able to easily print, share, and relive the awesomeness over and over. Feel free to share the gallery link with family and friends too! Anyone with the link will be able to access the gallery, make prints, order products, and download the images for themselves.
You are welcome to order prints and albums through my online shop — every single item I’ve seen created here is sooooo beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough. I have heirloom albums available as well. This is my favorite way to relive your magical day as I’ll custom design a STUNNING album for you that will stand the test of time. And yes, if you change your mind in a few years, or your mom decides she needs a copy of these photos for Christmas in 2023. Yes, this still doable later on!
We Made It!
If you’re still reading this novel… Let me give you a round of applause! We’ve made it to the end of this guide on how your elopement will look, and I’m hella proud of you!
Congratulations on taking the plunge into the next step of your adventure called life together!