So you’ve decided to elope! Woohoo!! Can we just take a minute to say how pumped we are for you?! Choosing to elope comes with its own set of obstacles, so here we have created debatably one of the most important resources: an elopement checklist! You know, a guide for the whole elopement planning process!
What’s easy about a big wedding is that you likely know a handful of people who have had one. With elopement it can feel a little lonely or confusing. Because no one is telling you want to do or how to do it. Not to worry, we have you covered! And just in case the whole elopement process is feeling too much, feel free to reach out about all-inclusive elopements and help from our team.
Elopement Planning + Checklist
Step One: Logistics of Elopement Planning
First things first in your elopement planning journey: Knowing what you and your partner want to do! Lucky for you, eloping allows you to do pretty much anything for your nuptials. The best way to figure out what to do is to sit down one evening with your partner and brainstorm. What do you two do together? What have you always wanted to do? Do you have hobbies? All these things can likely be turned into elopements. If you’re looking for ideas, feel free to send us an email, we have loads of ideas!
Some couples like to take a helicopter to an exclusive location, and others have chosen to horseback to a beautiful ceremony location! You can get really cheesy if need be, to get to the root of the elopement answer! Sit with your partner, close your eyes and picture your wedding day: where are you, what’s below your feet, what does the air smell like, what does it feel like on your face, what’s the weather like, what are you wearing, who’s there, and how did you get there? You both should answer these questions and compile your thoughts to formulate an elopement plan.
This exercise should clear up any questions about what you’re doing, but also when and where! With this you can move on to the other important logistics. You know, like budget and date!
As far as dates go, first you need to consider the weather and seasons at your desired location. Of course, so much is riding on what activities will take place on your elopement day. If you’re taking a helicopter somewhere, you’ll want a date/season that is less cloudy, but if you’re hiking you might prefer weather that is less hot! Something to consider is that some dates are very popular and will require booking well in advance. You’ll also want to consider the tourist side of things. Does the location you’ve picked have a busy season? What would this mean for your wedding day?
Moving along to a rather important part of the process: budgets. You don’t have to be on a budget to create one; this only helps you to know what you are willing to spend on each topic/vendor. There’s no point in wasting time on a $12,000 photographer if that’s not what you originally had in mind. Things to consider within your budget are:
- Elopement Planning
- Attire for wedding day
- Excursions and/or adventures
- Cake and treats
- Dinner and appetizers
Step Two: Bookings
Understandably, bookings are a very important part of your elopement check list! Without vendor and accommodations, booking your wedding day would not be the same. Once you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you can start the process of picking your vendors, like photographer, commissioner and floral. A lot of these vendors book up quickly, and years in advance.
If you are hoping for a quick elopement date, make sure to put that in your inquiry, so you don’t waste your time. Some vendors have specials for certain dates they didn’t book, so if you’re on a tight budget this may be something to consider! Another option for a quick and/or budget booking is pop up elopements/weddings! They are often put on by a group of vendors on one specific date at a cool location! Amore Adventures offers a lot of options in regards to quick dates and pop up weddings. We would be happy to help, shoot us a message!
When it comes to booking accommodations, you have to consider transportation as well. Where are you going, how will you get there, how will you be getting around while you’re there? Some hotels offer transportation services or discounts for cars. To avoid any hassle and last minute ordeals, book in advance for accommodations and transport.
*NOTE* If you are bringing guests, some hotels have bulk options.
*TIP* We suggest having a file called “elopement” or even “elopement bookings” to save all your important files, notes and information! The last thing you need is to forget or lose these important details. Consider printing your confirmations!
To close here are the main things you are booking:
Step Three: Preparation
Preparing for your elopement is basically a bit of a review of everything we just went over. You’ve booked your vendors, accommodations, and experiences – now its time to focus on what you and your partner need for your elopement! A lot goes into planning for this big event, below are some subjects you will not want to forget.
Lets talk about your ceremony! Have you and your partner had a chance to discuss how you want your ceremony to look? As far as vows go: Some couples choose to do a simple ceremony and read their vows intimately after. Some couples do a first look, and say their personally written vows at that time. Other couples choose to go with their officiants pre-written standard repeat after me vows! During the ceremony you may have rituals and cultural beliefs you want to instill into the service, we love that and think its great! Make sure to talk to your officiant/celebrant ahead of time to make sure its all done correctly. You can get pretty creative when it comes to your ceremony.
There is also the option of having a close family member/friend officiating your ceremony or having no one there (just you and your partner). Our clients get exclusive knowledge on how to do this in BC and/or Alberta!
If you are going on a adventure/excursion that is on a tight time line, do consider getting more time or keeping your ceremony shorter so you have time for portraits on the ceremony location if you desire those!
If your choosing to have your make-up or hair done for your big day, consider making a Pinterest board dedicated to all the looks and details you like. This was it is super easy to share with vendors! If you aren’t down with making a board we suggest saving some images of looks you love, and noting the colours or details you want! You’ll want to have a discussion with your beauty vendor ahead of time about the style you are going for: moody, dark, vibrant, deep, natural, light, browns, pinks, etc.
If your having guests they’ll likely get hungry, and hey so will you! Think about where and when you’ll want to eat or have a snack. If you are bringing a cake to the ceremony, make sure to chat with your coordinator or planner to make sure yo have the appropriate supplies! If you are heading back for a small reception you may want to consider having appetizers waiting for everyone! Oh, and of course drinks! alcoholic or virgin refreshments will surely be appreciated by everyone. Make sure to connect with your vendors ahead of time to avoid any confusion.
P.S. Sparkling water or Champagne isn’t just for drinking, this beverage makes for some pretty great photos. Consider bringing two bottles, one to pop and drink and the other to pop and spray!
Attire + Accessories
Now that you know some more details about your ceremony and elopement in general, it should be easier to figure out attire. Wedding days don’t have to be standard, as you already know! Couples may choose non-traditional colours (like black, red, hunter green) and others may choose pant suits, or even every day clothes, perhaps even a short dress! While there’s no right or wrong way to dress for your elopement, you should consider what your doing for your day. Keep in mind the activities that will go on during your elopement, make sure your attire is prepared and comfortable for that! Hey, don’t forget even though you chose a non-traditional way to get married doesn’t mean you can wear your cultures traditional attire! This can bring such a unique and thoughtful touch to your wedding day.
As far as accessories go, you may have specific items you wish to have or always dreamt of! Maybe its a engraved flask, custom hand made shoes, or a special sign!. Regardless to what it is, get planning and working on it ASAP – you don’t want to be left with out it!
Tip: You don’t have to wear your attire to location, you can carry a dress in a hiking bag or ask us for help!
When it comes to attire we are huge fan of Re-duce, Re-use, Re-cycle methods! Here’s some info on attire, both new & used!
Here’s some helpful links for getting started on attire + jewelry:
Another GREAT option is Facebook groups.
You can make posts specific to your budget, vision, vibes, and more! There is so many dresses that have only been worn once, and have so much love left in them!
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Fraser Valley of BC:
Wedding Buy & Sell: Lower Mainland, Canada
Greater Vancouver Wedding Swap and Shop
Wedding Buy/Sell/Swap-Greater Vancouver, BC area
Wedding buy and sell Chilliwack and fraser valley
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Interior of BC:
KELOWNA AREA WEDDING SHOP & SWAP (Local Vendors And Sellers Only)
Kelowna Wedding Vendors & Brides
Kamloops Wedding Swap/Buy
Kamloops wedding services and decor(no rules)
Here’s a few very useful groups catered to The Vancouver Island portion of BC:
Wedding EVERYTHING – Vancouver Island
Alberta Everything Wedding Group
If your choosing to go with the traditional exchange of rings, you’ll want to have these done and ready to go at least a month in advance! For unique and fresh concepts we suggest checking out Etsy, they have a verity of hand made beautiful options.
Invites/Save the dates!
Eloping doesn’t mean no one can come!! We consider elopements to be any group under 15 people, and any groups under 30 to be intimate weddings (which we also plan). With that being said, if you are choosing to have people come you may want to consider sending out a save the date if its far in advance, but at least sending a invitation! If you do choose to do either make sure to keep one and bring it to your elopement!! Or at least send us one we can bring for photo-ops!
Even if you didn’t invite anyone you still may want to send thank you cards to anyone who sent well wishes, gifts, or for vendors. At Amore Adventures we make sure our clients are sent a preview within 48 hours – if you have your cards decided and ready you can quickly print off a photo to send OR make the photo part of the card!
Some couple choose to have a special gift for each other for the day of. Usually these are waiting for both partners while they get ready, and are accompanied by a special little note! Other couples who are having important guests have a special something for those special people (parents, siblings, bridal party, etc.)
Step Four: Licensing & Permits
No matter what, in Canada you will need a marriage license! Here’s a link for British Columbian’s of where you can pick up a marriage license at click here. For Alberta here is a link with more details about the process, and click here for locations to get a marriage license. If you are from out of these provinces this may look a bit different for you, our team can help you figure this out.
As far as permits go, this will depend on the location of your elopement! Chat with your planner about what you’ll be needing and any fee’s you have to pay to the city/town. If you do not have a planner you’ll want to touch base with your vendors to see if they can offer any assistance. You can also call the city/town of the place you are eloping in, and ask them! Make sure to check with your venue about ay additional permits you need to get with them!
Some places require a permit that can run up to $400, so you really need to research if you haven’t chosen a vendor that can do the research for you (planner etc.) Many areas groups/gatherings under 15 do not require permits, but do check with your vendors and the city in which you wish to elope!
Days Leading Up to Elopement
In the days or weeks leading up to your elopement you have probably been in touch with a lot of your vendors, or at least your planner! If you have a team doing everything for you, there likely isn’t much for you to do besides personal things. During this time you’ll want to do some confirmation and double checking of all your plans.
Things to confirm:
- Bookings for vendors
- Bookings for accommodations
- Confirm all invoices have been paid and/or up to date
- Marriage license is ready to go
- You have spoken with your officiant/celebrant about your ceremony plans
- Vows are done and ready
- Rings are ready to rock
Double check and do:
- If renting a car, make sure you have everything you’ll be needing ready to go. We suggest looking up maps of the areas you’ll be in advance to get use to the surroundings
- Hair cuts, trims, and care is up to date and done
- eyelashes, nails, and/or laser treatments are done
- Special note to partner is complete if applicable
- Think about when/if/how you will announce your elopement, consider sending out a card so there is no hurt feelings and just excitement
Night before elopement check list:
- Alarms set
- Confirm any meetings for vendors and what time theyll be at (beauty, hair, getting ready footage)
- No new products tonight!
- Check you have everything you’ll need for tmrw
- Get lots of sleep
P.S. Do not try any new products the day before your elopement, make sure to get lots of sleep and hydrate!
Day Of Elopement!
Woohoo, you’ve made it! There’s not much to do today besides get super excited!!!
Day of elopement check list:
- Have any and all photo references out for hair and make up
- Have attire out and ready to go, but awayfrom anywhere it could be damaged
- Have someone pick up floral arrangements if not being dropped off
- Have photographer and videohraphers numbers on hand
- Know the address of where your staying and instructions on how to get in
- Set alarms to stay on schedule if you do not have a planner/coordinator