How To Plan A Destination Elopement From A Montana Elopement Photographer

May 30, 2024

Planning a destination elopement can be both exciting and overwhelming! Eloping allows you to create a truly personal and memorable experience in a location that holds special meaning for you and your partner. Whether you dream of exchanging vows on a beach, a European city, or on a mountain, planning is key to ensuring everything goes smoothly. Here are 10 steps on how to plan a destination elopement and go through the process smoothly! 


Choose Your Destination

Discuss with your partner the type of location you both envision for your elopement. Whether it’s a tropical beach, a charming European city, or a serene mountain hideaway, pick a destination that resonates with both of you. If you’re thinking about having a destination elopement at a national park, check out my blog for more inspiration!

Vision up Your Elopement

I highly suggest using Canva or Milanote to vision up your day! Add inspo from Pinterest, Google, or Instagram and create a small vision board! Collecting all of your ideas will help you see what vision you are going for! You’ll then be able to send your inspo to your elopement vendors so the entire vision for your day is cohesive.

Set a Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your elopement. Consider expenses such as travel, accommodation, ceremony arrangements, attire, photography, and any other special touches you desire. Having a clear budget will help you make informed decisions throughout the planning process. Prioritize the things that are most important to you and your partner! If location and a photographer are the most important to you, then make these two things a priority in your budget, as you can move around the little things such as florals, and accessories.

Plan Your Guest List

Go through and see how many people you will be inviting (if any). One way to determine who to invite to your elopement is by thinking about the people you cannot imagine getting married without. Since there is a limit most of the time (specifically national parks) on how many people can attend your elopement, I suggest choosing your dream elopement location, figuring out the limit of people who are able to attend and make your list from there! Also, don’t forget you will need a witness (in some places).

Plan Your Date/Time

This is so important because it will determine what locations you will have access to! Think about your top destination elopement locations and do research on what times of the year it is best to elope there! Narrow down the best times that work for you and also think about how the weather will effect the vision you have your elopement! Additionally, I highly recommend planning for a weekday. It won’t be as busy and your top vendors will more likely be available! 

Hire a Destination or Local Photographer

Take your time booking your photographer! Make sure that the photographer you choose is familiar with that area or specializes in that area! PRO TIP: They usually can help plan the elopement with you! They’ll go over locations, requirements and different reasons why that specific location will be a good fit! Here are some factors included in my elopement package!

  • Wedding bouquet + boutonniere 
  • Location planning + permit assistance
  • Curated timeline + trusted vendors list

Hire Vendors

If you’re enlisting the help of vendors such as a florist, hair stylist, or officiant, start reaching out to them early. Look for professionals who have experience with destination weddings and can accommodate your specific needs. Usually your photographer will be able to give you a list of vendors in the area that you are eloping at! If you searching for vendors on your own start by making a Pinterest board of the vibe you envision for your elopement. Once you have an idea start looking for vendors on Pinterest and Instagram that fit the vibe of your elopement! Make sure to read reviews and talk to your potential vendors before hiring them!

Consider Logistics

Planning out the logistical details of your elopement is important! This ensures everything including travel arrangements, transportation to the destination, and any necessary permits or permissions are planned out ahead of time! As well, creating a timeline for the day to ensure everything runs smoothly is super important! This is something your photographer should help you with, as they can provide valuable input on timing for photos, key moments, and the overall flow of the day.

Research how to Obtain Your Marriage License

Some places will allow you to apply for your Marriage License ahead of time. However depending where you decide to elope, it could be different! That is why it is important to research this! Additionally, this is something the photographer/officiant will have more information on! 

Personalize Your Day and GET MARRIED!!!!!

Infuse your personalities into every aspect of your elopement, from your attire and vows to the music. And then let’s get you married!!!! Hell yeah!!!! This day is all about the two of you, make it your dream destination elopement!

Planning a Destination Elopement? Looking for a Photographer?

I hope this blog on how to plan your destination elopement was helpful! Are you ready for your destination elopement? Looking for a photographer? I’m your girl! I would LOVE to be a part of your big day! You can learn more about me here. If I sound like the perfect destination elopement photographer for you, then inquire with me here! I can’t wait to hear from you! LET’S GET YOU MARRIED!!!

You’re in incredible hands, so leave the rest to me!