Even before you’re engaged, you probably know that a venue and photographer are two things you need to book right away when planning a wedding. Heck, couples look at venues and check their booked dates BEFORE a ring is even in the picture. But with planning an elopement, it’s a little different.
You can still use lots of the same wedding vendors (like a photographer, MUA, floral designer, etc.) when planning an elopement, but the order in which you book is a liiiittttttttle different. Let me ‘splain.
YOU DON’T HAVE A TYPICAL WEDDING VENUE
This is the big thing that shakes up the order of stuff. You can do things two ways:
- You already know your location and you do your own research figuring out what permits are needed, if any. Let’s say you’ve been to The Redwoods and KNOW that’s where you’re getting married. Bitchin’. That’s one decision narrowed down. THEN find a photographer who you’ll get along with and who knows their shit about the Redwooods (*ahem*). Important note: If you’re really diggin’ on a particular photographer but aren’t set on your date and/or location, choose your photographer first. THEN work out the logistics on the day’s they’re available.
- You’re not sure on venue/location. Maybe you could do Glacier National Park, but the Oregon Coast excites you too. That’s where a photographer who specializes in small weddings and elopements (like moi) comes in. This is a “two birds, one stone” sort of thing. Elopement photogs like me know their stuff when it comes to lots of different locations. Book your photog who is an expert on locations first, then decide together what the best place is for the two of you.
THE COOL THING ABOUT HIRING AN ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER…
… is that a lot of us specialize in knowing alllll about those locations that you probably have been dreaming of. With me, I ask my clients questions about their likes, dislikes, and really get to know them to help decide which location speaks to them and represents them the best. Planning an elopement doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and with an adventure photographer to help, it will be, dare I say, fun.
Whether you’re inviting guests or not, lodging is the next thing to take care of after booking your photographer and deciding your location. Places surrounding locales like national parks often book up a year in advance. Luckily, I provide my clients with help in that department. I have Airbnb lists compiled based on where you want to get hitched. Whether that’s Glacier National Park or somewhere else like the Oregon Coast.
Smaller (but still important) Details
It varies by photographer, but I provide an elopement guide to help you choose the perfect outfit. If you’re wearing a dress, I help you select a dress based on fabric to allow movement for images, and also something that fits your body type. You can incorporate anything you’d like to into your elopement day. From florals to a hot air balloon ride, horseback adventure, or an epic hike leading to a picturesque view. We’ll work together on brainstorming those fun pieces so your day is fun-filled, but leaves room to relax and not feel rushed.
LONG STORY SHORT
When planning an elopement, here’s what you should book first:
1. Photographer OR Location
2. Whichever one you didn’t book
3. Lodging for you/guests