5 Tips for Creating an Elopement Day Timeline

Whether you’re heading to Colorado to elope atop one of the mountains or heading down to Chicago’s City Hall for a courthouse elopement, having a timeline for your day is essential. A timeline helps your day run smoothly, allows you to fit in everything you want, and gets rid of any stress you have the day of. With the flexibility that comes with an elopement it can feel difficult to come up with a timeline as your day can be pretty abstract, which is why I put together this list of 5 tips on how to create your timeline.

1. List Out Your Priorities

The first thing that you’re going to want to do when you create the timeline for your elopement day is list out all of you and your partner’s priorities. Talk through your day, what you both want it to include, what you both envision, and list everything out. No detail is too small, and the best thing about elopements is that there’s so much flexibility that comes with them, you can really do anything! 

Do you want to fly somewhere new for a destination elopement? How about a courthouse elopement where you meet up with some of your friends and family at your favorite restaurant after? Want to include some traditional wedding events like a first dance, cake cutting, and exchanging of rings? Figure out all the details, big and small, that you want on your elopement day and list them out so you can prioritize the ones most important to you. You’ll then be able to plan out your elopement day timeline accordingly!

2. Plan Your Meals

This is super important for your elopement timeline as you’ll definitely want to be fueled and energized for your big day! While not as long as a standard wedding on average an elopement still takes up a large chunk of the day. Most photography coverage ranges from 4 to 6 hours and that doesn’t even include getting ready before and anything you do afterward. Be sure to eat lunch or breakfast prior to meeting up with your photographer so you aren’t hungry while your photos are being taken. It’s a good idea to bring snacks along as well in case you’re doing something more active like a hike for your elopement. Lastly, make sure you make reservations ahead of time for dinner afterward especially if you plan to celebrate with friends and family.

3. Make Your Appointments in Advance

Everything from your marriage license, reserving your venue, booking your photographer, booking hair and makeup, and any other vendors of your choice. The earlier you book these the less stress you’ll feel and you’ll really be able to start structuring the timeline of your elopement day. The last thing you want to do is wait too long and then your venue is booked for your date, or you have to go with a different photographer than you originally planned. Once you do have your appointments and vendors booked, start to nail down your timeline with some concrete times and an outline for the day. Most photographers can help in this planning process as well since they’re there for a large portion of your day!

4. Plan Ahead 

Going off of making your appointments and bookings ahead of time you’ll want to plan ahead for your elopement day. This can be simple things like planning your outfits and packing them ahead of time to crucial details like making sure you have a witness present for your ceremony. Be sure to do your research on the state you plan to elope in. Some states require a witness, others do not. Some have a waiting period for your marriage license to be valid, some you can get your license the same day as your ceremony. Whatever the case you’ll want to plan ahead for it so that your timeline for your elopement day isn’t thrown off by a requirement you missed. Wedding Wire has an incredibly useful article that breaks down the requirements of each state which you can find here.

5. Get Creative and Have Fun!

As I mentioned above, the absolute best thing about elopements is the freedom that they allow you when it comes to what you can do. I LOVE when my couples include things that they love to do together in their elopement timeline. Activities you love to do together like hiking or rollerblading, going to your favorite bars or restaurants, really anything that makes you two you is so much fun to include in an elopement day. It makes the day special and unique to you and your love for one another which is what it’s all about really! 

Your elopement is one of the most special and important days of your life which is why having a solid timeline is SO important. It helps your day run smoothly and allows you to plan out and fit in everything you hope for in your day without cutting corners or having to skip out on things you want to do. Be sure to plan out your timeline with your partner so you both have a day filled with love and excitement as you head into this brand new chapter of your lives together! For more elopement and wedding day tips head over to my blog, and to book me for an elopement or wedding of your own head to my contact page here.

June 16, 2022

Sreeja Ankam

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