Why An Adventure Elopement?
There are many reasons to opt for an adventure elopement. It takes much less time to plan than a big wedding day, and you can still invite those you love! Eloping emphasizes you and your joyous union, with less of a focus on a grand party. With intricately decorated venues, elaborate table settings and endless details added to weddings, it all can become quite overwhelming and not to mention expensive. I say, embrace the minimalist perspective and have an adventure elopement!
How Do You Plan An Adventure Elopement?
If you are getting married, you will have to do some planning. There is no way around it! However, with elopements there is quite a bit less planning that needs to be done. There are five main decisions that you will need to make and it is smooth sailing from there! So, let’s get into it!
Location Is Everything!
The first thing you will need to decide is where you will say your “I-dos”! You can pick a location that means something to you both like where you hiked for your first date or a favorite vacation spot. Or you may want to choose a destination where neither of you have been before to start your marriage off with an adventure.
With an Adventure Elopement you have a lot of options when it comes to where, but typically it is outdoors with a gorgeous backdrop. Many couples have mentioned to me that they feel closer to God in nature and that added significant meaning for them. Others have wanted to start their marriage with a grand adventure and getting married on the top a mountain peak fulfilled that for them! Either way, I am totally down to go where ever your elopement takes you!
There so many beautiful adventure elopement locations out there. Some of the most stunning backdrops in the USA are located in our National Parks. To elope in a National Park you will need to contact the specific National Park and most likely pay $100-$200 for a permit. Permits are mostly required for having more than 5 people or setting up chairs for guests or any decor like an arch. Because these areas are protected land for everyone to enjoy we want to make sure we respect the land and leave no trace. Whether you choose a National Park or somewhere else you will want to do your research and make a phone call or sending an email to the land managers to where you wish to have your ceremony. This will ensure that everything you are doing is okay and your special day won’t be crashed by the land regulators.
The Guest List
There is no right or wrong when it comes to who should or shouldn’t be at your wedding. Elopement guest lists are generally kept small just for ease in the logistics. I usually have couples who choose to include immediate family members and a few close friends, or no one at all. I personally love the sacredness and serenity that comes with just having the bride and groom at the vow ceremony. It feels so much more personal and special. But, it is hard not to have your people by your side.
Either way, you get to decide! Your adventure elopement is all about you two and celebrating your commitment to one another. Consider what will make you the most happy and at peace of your wedding day. If it helps narrow your list down, usually the location you choose will determine who you will want to invite.
To make it all legal you will need to have someone officiate the wedding. You can just google “getting legally married in…” to find all that is required to be married legally in that state. Each state has different requirements to be llegally married, but THIS is what Utah requires. You also have the option to have a friend or family member perform your marriage if they get ordained online. It is a super easy process and will make your adventure elopement that much more special!
Documenting It All!
The most important professional to hire for your wedding day is your photographer / videographer. You will want to remember all the details from your adventure elopement, as well as being able to share it all with loved ones that won’t be there in person. Having all the special moments and raw emotions documented will allow you to share and relive your day for years to come. Here are some things to consider when looking for a wedding photographer.
Do you connect with them? You both want to feel comfortable with the professional wedding photographer you hire because these photographs are the only thing that will last after your day is over. You will want someone that you can be yourself around. I suggest talking to them in person or over the phone to gage whether or not they are a good fit for you.
Do you feel like they are capturing your vision of what you want your day to look like? Does their image style fit the look you are going for? Every professional wedding photographer should have a portfolio of photos for you to view online or in person. Look for a photographer that can provide great images in similar locations that you are considering for your adventure elopement.
Do they have the experience needed for the job? There are so many photographers out there that can take a great photo in perfect conditions, but do they understand how to deliver beautiful photographs even when weather or lighting isn’t ideal? Are they able to capture raw emotions and bring your wedding day back to life? These are things to consider asking them because you only get one shot with a once-in-a-lifetime event!
What Wedding Vendors?
With adventure elopements there are no rules! That’s one of the many reasons I love them. When it comes to vendors you can keep it simple and just get an officiator and a photographer or add as many details as you would like. Here are a list of vendors to consider.
This one is more than likely important to you. Especially if you have been dreaming of a specific gown since you were a little girl! You can keep things simple and have your beautiful dress too! Take the time to go to a few bridal shops and still have that magical moment when you say yes to the dress. Picking out your wedding dress is something you only get to do once in your life, so make the experience worth it!
I always like to advise my brides to consider the shoes they will want to wear when eloping. Many beautiful elopement locations have rough terrain and being able to walk, run and even dance is something to consider. I’ve never had a bride regret getting married in her chacos! So when choosing your wedding gown you will want to consider what shoes you are wearing. That may or may not influence your decision.
The groom should also feel like a million bucks! Every groom is different and has a unique vision for what he will look like on his wedding day. Whether he decides to get a full tux, a casual suit, or dress in his jeans and leather jacket, the groom should love what he is wearing on your special day too! When opting for an adventure elopement in a national park you don’t have to dress a specific way, just wear what fits your style!
Hair & Makeup:
Many brides love getting a professional to do their makeup and hair for their wedding day. You will get the look you’ve always dreamt of! Or you may feel more confident when you do your own hair and makeup! Either way this is something you may want to consider. I suggest doing a practice run with your stylist or by yourself to cut out the stress of things not going smoothly on your wedding day. You may even want to pamper yourself on your wedding day by going with a makeup and hair stylist that works at a spa and begin your day with a facial or even a massage. There really are so many options!
Some brides choose to just have a bouquet to hold when they say their vows. Others go all out, with flowers in their hair, bouquets for her and her bridesmaids and even have a floral covered arch to compliment to add something unique to their ceremony backdrop. I’ve even seen brides gather a few wildflowers themselves for a bouquet! Florals really bring the entire wedding together, and it is the same with an elopement. It will add something special to your adventure elopement and make you feel more like a bride.
Hiring a wedding planner can help ease the stress for your elopement. They can help bring to life the adventure elopement of your dreams. Or, if you are totally lost in what you really want they can help help you plan your day from ground zero! These professionals have many connections and can really keep the stress of planning and organizing down to a minimum.