"All I ever wanted was to run away and get married under waterfall, and then we did."

Your Guide to a Stress Free Elopement

Eloping gives you so much flexibility to do what you want on your wedding day that really reflects your love. Although an elopement doesn’t have as much planning as a fully orchestrated wedding, there are still things you don’t want to miss.

There are endless ways to plan an elopement, it can be as simple as a courthouse wedding or as breathtaking as a helicopter drop off to your ceremony on a mountain top. No two elopements are the same. However, we find that having a structure to follow helps tremendously to keep your ducks in a row. We have streamlined the process for you and organized it in to a list of 5 important items.

  • First, get your dream together! Lay down and picture how you see your elopement. Can you picture both of sky diving and pumped with adrenaline? Or maybe you picture the wind blowing through your hair while a Scottish castle sits abandoned in the background. Will you be at home or will it be a destination elopement? Who do you want there? Do you have a photographer you want to take with you and to help you plan?
  • Secondly, where is the money honey? While you are kicked back dreaming of the adventures, consider what your top 3 priorities are, get your budget in order so you can realistically plan everything around your top 3.
  • Third, Research traveling photographers, places you can elope and look for officiants local to the spot you want to make it official. Consider the area, the weather, and the type of clothes you want to wear.
  • Next, Finalize airline tickets, rentals for car and hotels, for not only you & your babe, but also for your photographer. Consider making reservations at restaurants, etc.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, make this an EPIC day that you can show beautiful images from for the rest of your lives.

Jennifer & Jerry eloped in Jamaica, where will you go?

"All we wanted was to fall in love under waterfalls and run away & get married, so we did."

Let's get together, yeah yeah Get your honey and write a few ideas down that you both agree on, if you can't agree, do a pro / con list and work it out!
Don't set a cap on your dream elopement. If you know what you want or get to the point that your heart longs for a certain location or vibe, don't talk yourself out of it. You only get to elope once. Make it incredible. Take advantage of Pinterest & get with your photographer to help you plan! Go on instagram or Pinterest and just start creating and daydreaming. You are the artist, the world is your tapestry. It's okay to ask for help and who better than a photographer you know and plan and trust to document the day with you?

waterfall-Elopement-Engagement-Photographer-Rutledge-Falls-Manchester-TN-wedding-nashville waterfall-Elopement-Engagement-Photographer-Rutledge-Falls-Manchester-TN-wedding-nashville

After we agree on our dream elopement, what should we be doing?

Make a list of everything that will cost money and place them in prioritized order: Destination, Photographer, Flights, Hotels, Cars, Outfits, Rings, Food.

Now, once you have your priorities in order, establish the max that you are wanting to spend on the entire elopement from leaving home to returning. Divide based on your top 3. Get those items in order, necessities, and build the rest around them in your budget. So if you wanted to spend the bulk of your money on a dress, then you would plan accordingly. Some things to consider to save money:

Rent a suit.Look for second hand dresses.Get married on a weekday.Do an all inclusive cruise. Ask a friend to borrow their boat, nice car, or cabin. Barter services or products. See if you can find a bucket list photographer willing to document your elopement for travel expenses + improved pricing, while it does not happen often, sometimes you can find incredible artists who just want a reason to go to certain spots.

After you have established your dream and budget, you are ready to start researching the facts to make this a reality. This is where you need to check logistical issues such as time allowed, rules/ permits/ travel /visas or permits required of the country or venue. Some times this can be the most stressful time, so don’t be scared to delegate the duties to your love or a friend, or if you have booked your photographer already, see if they offer an all inclusive planning deal, some will charge a consulting fee that is worth the relaxation. Just because you don’t have a bridal party does not mean you can’t ask your loved ones for help, nor does it mean you can’t utilize a wedding day planner or elopement photographer!

Now that you have started your digging, it might be necessary to do some extra research. Check out websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and read reviews. Check out Airbnb, hotels.com, and Hotel tonight to find some steals. Also,  check out google maps to be sure your location is safe and has plenty of activities to keep you busy in sun, rain, or snow.

Keep all receipts, call in advance to double check bookings!

You are almost there! Last is a checklist of all the booking and reservations, etc to make sure your trip goes smoothly.

0 Venue Decide on your dream spot to exchange your vows
0 Photographer Find someone you connect with and who can help you with the elopement
0 Outfits Dress as aesthetically pleasing as you want to but remember the environment, where and how you are eloping matters, make sure your undergarments and shoes are practical for the occasion or make efforts to pack easily transportable bags.
0 Vendors Get with your venue / photographer to help connect you with a local officiant, HMUA, florist, musician, etc to make sure which ever you decide to use for your elopement has you taken care of.
0 Reservations Make sure all of your flights, marriage certificates, passports/new licenses to fly, lodging, transportation, pet/kid arrangements, and any festivities you plan to partake in are booked at least 6 months in advance if possible.
0 Finalize ceremony Details Ceremony traditions/Vows, Music, Wedding Day timeline