Elopements aren’t what they used to be. An elopement used to be a quick ceremony with no frills – and was probably held as a result of disapproving parents! Nowadays an elopement is more like an intimate wedding, which you can have wherever you want and with whoever you want to be there. While an elopement could technically be a quick affair, it can also last all day or even sometimes for multiple days. Just like with any wedding, you need to have a plan, so you know how the day’s going to go, even if you might have to make some adjustments depending on the weather.
Planning out an elopement timeline will give you at least some idea of how your day is going to go. It also helps your PNW elopement photographer to plan out their day and think about when and where to get the best shots. When you’re planning your elopement, you should think about the essential elements that you want to include in your special day, the perfect time of day to get married, and how you want to celebrate your elopement.
What’s included in the timeline of your elopement will depend on exactly what you want it to look like. For some people, it’s hiking to a remote location so that you can find a very special and unique spot. Others will want a ready-made venue waiting for them and maybe a bit more of a helping hand to make sure the day goes smoothly.
If you do want to go to a more remote location, getting there is probably going to take up part of your day. Hiking is one option if you’re looking for an adventure, but there are other ways to get there. Whether you take a helicopter flight, enjoy a bike ride or hike to your elopement location, it’s a good idea to get a benchmark for how long the journey might take. Of course, the joy of an elopement is that you don’t have to have exact timings for everything.
Getting ready is probably going to be another event on your list, and one you might want your destination elopement photographer to capture. The big question is when you should get ready for your ceremony, especially if you’re planning a hike to the location. Hiking in a wedding dress? It’s not impossible, but it’s also not something you want to do for too long.
The time of day can definitely make a difference to your elopement, especially if you’re getting married outside. Some couples choose to get married at sunset or even sunrise, so that’s something to think about when you’re planning. You should know roughly what time sunrise or sunset is for the time of year, but you can also check a more accurate time closer to the date. Don’t worry about getting amazing photos – any good Washington elopement photographer will be able to take beautiful photos no matter what time of day it is.
Here’s an example of an elopement timeline that you might put together:
9:00 – 11:00 – A short hike to get you close to your ceremony location – your Tacoma-Seattle wedding and elopement photographer can document this part of the day too
11:00 – 12:00 – Getting ready – this is a great opportunity for some candid photos as the excitement starts to really build.
12:00 – 12:30 – Hiking to your ceremony spot – you probably don’t want to have to go too far once you’re ready for the ceremony!
12:30 – 1:00 – The ceremony – this part will make everything else worth it, especially if you’ve found the perfect spot to exchange your vows.
1:00 – 1:30 – Champagne and celebrations.
1:30 – 2:30 – Couple’s portraits around your ceremony location and elsewhere, plus family shots if you’ve brought anyone along.
2:30 – 4:30 – Hike back to make your way to your reception/celebration location – maybe with a quick change of clothes first!
4:30 – 5:30 – Some time to freshen up, change into a new outfit and have a few drinks to celebrate some more.
5:30 – 6:30 – Dinner and dessert.
6:30 until late – Sparklers, dancing, and plenty of candid photos courtesy of your Tacoma wedding photographer.
Everyone’s elopement timeline is going to look a little different. It all depends on what you want and where you’re having your ceremony. Just plan on having a rough idea of what the day will look like, and work with your Seattle wedding photographer on the photos that you want.
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