How To Plan Your Dream Elopement


I am so stoked you’re here because that means you’ve decided to elope! Adventurous elopements are something special and they are very much for the intentional and adventurous couples, who value experience over a production, to commence the forever chapter of their lives. This is an opportunity for you two to truly connect in an intimate and adventurous way- wherever you feel called. I won’t bore you with my life story (yet) and why I document adventure elopements. Instead, let’s just jump right into how to plan your adventure elopement!

Pick A Location For Your Elopement

Picking a location and considering the time of year go hand in hand. I would look at locations that resonate the most with you as a couple. If you’re mountain people, I would suggest choosing an epic location in the mountains (check Yosemite). If you’re tropic people, check out locations like Hawaii and French Polynesia. You’ll also want to consider things to do. I am really big on a candid and documentary approach so having things to do (like hiking, or playing in water, first dance, a picnic, etc.) helps to facilitate that more organic approach and less posed. So depending on the location you gravitate towards, also consider things you’ll have to do. If you need some ideas, check out this blog post on things to consider including in your elopement.

Planning Your Elopement During Sunrise or Sunset?

There are a couple of factors to consider when deciding on the time of day. I always suggest sunrise or sunset for the most important photos of the day for more dreamy and soft lighting. What I mean by this is for some couples, the ceremony is the most important or the adventuring is the most important. I don’t suggest anything less than 2 hours for an elopement so if you’re planning 2 or more hours, that’s not entirely going to fall within that prime lighting. Some couples will want to do a day of adventuring than the ceremony or vice versa. I personally think prime lighting lasts the longest just before and during sunset. But that also depends on the location! And if you’re not a morning person, or morning couple I wouldn’t suggest sunrise (no shame)!

Do You invite Guests To Attend Your Elopement?

Decide on if you want any guests! Some couples want a few family members or friends to come along for the adventure or parts of the adventure. Others want to do the whole day just the two of them. Decide on if it’ll just be you two or if you’ll have a few guests!

Do You Want To Do A First Look?

I personally think first looks are underrated. Even though your elopement day is already very intimate and experience driven, a first look is an opportunity to just be with each other and take things in.

Planning Your Elopement Timeline

One of the biggest goals with eloping is that it is stress free. So having a general timeline and a back up timeline will really help ease any stress or anxieties. Make sure you have time to do all the epic things you want to do!

The Elopement Checklist

  • Set a budget
  • Decide on the location(s)
  • Set a date
  • Buy elopement attire
  • Buy your rings (if you haven’t already)
  • Find out the legal logistics for your destination
  • Hire your photographer
  • Book your lodging and travel
  • If you’re honeymooning, book your trip
  • Don’t forget about witnesses
  • Book any other vendors (videographer, officiant, planner, hair/makeup, florist, musicians, etc.)
  • Buy vow books or get crafty and make your own
  • Create your elopement playlist
  • Finalize your day-of itinerary

Lastly, be 100% yourselves!

My name is Taylor Dewey, I'm a couples, weddings, elopements and underwater photographer based in Oahu, Hawaii.




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I'm Taylor Dewey. A Hawaii based wedding, elopement, couples and underwater photographer.




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