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How much time do you need for your elopement?

How much time do you need for you elopement day? How much photography coverage do you need? Elopements are incredible because you can do whatever you want all day, but also overwhelming because….you can do whatever you want all day. You’re not confined to the time limits at a venue or a traditional wedding day timeline. Its easy to think you only need a couple hours- after all how long could a ceremony and a few photos take? But don’t sell yourself short! Its not unusual at all for traditional weddings to have anywhere from 8-12 hours of photography coverage; and while an elopement day is different than a big wedding it is still your wedding day.

Elopement timelines can look totally different depending on the couple and the activities of the day. At minimum I’d recommend at least 4 hours because you don’t want to feel rushed on your day and really be able to soak in and have meaningful moments! When going through the elopement planning process we create a custom timeline that allows you and your partner to have your ideal day. Below are just a few examples of the possibilities of what an elopement day could look like!

 

4 hour timeline (2.5 mile round trip hike)

3pm: arrive at trailhead and begin hike taking photos along the way

4pm: arrive at location 

4:10pm: bride and groom change into wedding attire separately 

4:30pm: first look

4:45pm:  explore area find perfect place to say vows

5:00pm: exchange vows

5:20pm: sign marriage license with dogs

5:30pm: CELEBRATE!!! You’re married! Take a second to soak it all in

5:40pm: champagne pop 

5:50pm: explore area taking photos along the way

6:15pm: head back down in wedding attire taking photos along the way

7pm: arrive at trailhead, photographer departs

 

4 hour sunrise timeline (no hike)

4am: photographer arrives at hotel

4am: final getting ready photos of both bride and groom, also detail shots of rings etc

4:45am: Head down to the car, one person goes ahead to keep integrity of first look

5:15am: Arrive at first location get set for first look

5:30am: First look

6:00am: walk to ceremony location

6:15am: Ceremony

6:45am: Champagne pop and breakfast picnic

7:30am: explore the area taking photos along the day

8am: photographer departs

6 hour timeline (2.5 mile round trip hike)

2pm: arrive at trailhead and begin hike taking photos along the way

3pm: arrive at location 

3:10pm: bride and groom change into wedding attire separately 

3:30pm: first look

3:45pm:  explore area find perfect place to say vows

4:00pm: exchange vows

4:20pm: sign marriage license with dogs

4:30pm: CELEBRATE!!! You’re married! Take a second to soak it all in

4:40pm: champagne pop 

5:50pm: explore area taking photos along the way

6:15pm: find the perfect place for celebratory picnic

7pm: begin hike back down in wedding attire taking photos along the way

7:30pm: pause for headlamp and star photos

8:00pm: arrive at trail head photographer departs

 

8 hour timeline (4 mile round trip hike)

11am: arrive at trailhead begin hike taking photos along the way

1:00pm: arrive at location 

1:10pm: bride and groom change into wedding attire separately 

1:30pm: first look

1:45pm:  explore area find perfect place to say vows

2:00pm: exchange vows

2:20pm: sign marriage license with dogs

2:30pm: CELEBRATE!!! You’re married! Take a second to soak it all in

2:40pm: champagne pop 

2:50pm: explore area taking photos along the way

3:15pm: snack break and rest

3:45pm: head back down trail in wedding attire taking photos along the way

5:15pm: arrive at trailhead head to airbnb

5:45pm: arrive at airbnb

6:00pm: enjoy dinner cooked by private chef, have cake, share first dance (or make a fire and have smores!)

7:00pm: photographer departs

8 hours (no hike)

1pm: photographer arrives at air bnb/begin getting ready  and detail photos

1:30pm: couple begins separate getting ready to preserve first look

2:15pm: Head to first location

(driving separately to preserve first look)

3:00pm: Arrive at first location /get set for first look

3:10pm: first look

3:30pm: explore area, find perfect place to say vows

3:45pm: say vows and sign marriage license

4:15pm: CELEBRATE!! YOU’RE MARRIED!!!! (cheers with your favorite drink)

4:30pm: rest and snack break

4:50pm: read letters from family

5:15pm: Explore area take some photos along the way

5:45pm: head to second location (lake)

5:50pm: arrive at lake

6:00pm: explore around lake taking photos along the way

6:45pm: head back to airbnb for dinner- stop at one overlook that’s on the way with epic views

7:30pm: arrive at airbnb

7:30pm-8:30pm: dinner/cake/first dance

8:30pm: star photos

9:00pm: photographer departs

You can customize your elopement day to include literally anything- whether a favorite activity like kayaking, fishing, or brewery hopping, to having a super chill laid back day exploring the mountains. The most important thing is that you have a meaningful, unrushed day that you really get to experience and remember. Wondering what a real elopement looks like? Check out Sam & Taylor’s day here and Brittany and Michael’s day here.

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