10 Things You Need for an Unforgettable Elopement

Intimate Desert Elopement

So you’ve decided to elope! Congratulations! Now a flood of questions are probably running through your mind. What do I need and what should I wear? What will the day look like? Will it still be as special as a “real wedding” would be? First, let’s tackle that last question. Any ceremony where you promise forever to the love of your life is a REAL wedding. It doesn’t matter where, when, or how! You’re elopement day will be perfect, meaningful, and it can be 100% you!

Now, let’s tackle the rest. Planning an elopement can be fun and exciting! Today’s elopements aren’t the kind of events they were in the past. Couples are flipping the script on what is means to elope and they’re doing it in style. Think fun colors, unique details, special and intimate moments! So whether you’ve wanted to elope from the start, or, you’re looking at a recent change of plans, this checklist will help you make sure the day is amazing and unforgettable!

The adorable picture above was taken by Aimlee Photography and comes from This beautiful elopement in the Nevada desert.

1. A Location with Meaning

Lupine Field California Elopement

photo: Arina B Photography | via Elopement in Purple Fields of Lupine

First up is deciding where you want to elope! (Psst… Vegas isn’t the only option!) The important thing is choosing a place that holds special meaning to both of you. If that’s where you went on your first vacation, plan a destination elopement! If you feel most comfortable when you’re home, why not plan a backyard ceremony? There isn’t a “wrong” place to get married! The couple above got married in a field of lupines because they met in the Spring, got engaged in the Spring, and wanted to marry in the Spring!

If you’re looking for somewhere striking and inspirational, check out these 25 Jaw Dropping Places to Elope!

2. The Perfect Attire

pink wedding dress

photo: Mary Costa Photography | florals: Shindig Chic | bride: Sophie via Mid-Century Modern Joshua Tree Elopement

Choosing elopement attire should be fun. Don’t get too tied down to your dress or his suit matching the venue or the wedding style. This is your chance to go wild and crazy! Has he been dreaming of a floral velvet suit jacket? Do it!! Have you always dreamt of getting married in sequins? It will be stunning! When it comes to elopement attire, you don’t have to settle on something “simple or casual”. Play with color, texture and fabrics and make it memorable!

Shop some unconventional dresses below:

3. Fun Florals

Rainbow Tuscany Elopement Inspiration

photo: Silvia Galora Photography | via Vibrant Elopement Inspiration in Florence, Italy

Did you think you couldn’t spice up your elopement day with jaw-dropping decor?? Think again! A smaller wedding means more budget for the visual details! No matter where you choose to share your vows, you can have that amazing bridal bouquet or floral arch you’ve always wanted. Plus- you can throw out those wedding flower stereotypes of what your blooms are supposed to look like. Neon flowers, a pampas grass bouquet, a colorful hanging installation… choose something that really speaks to your personality!

4. Personal Details

death star ring box

photo: Gina Paulson Photography | via A Woodsy Forest Elopement in Mt. Ranier National Park

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of planning an elopement day is infusing every moment with personalized details. Really concentrate on what makes the two of you unique. Your favorite memories, your inside jokes, your favorite things- all of these can be incorporated into your day! We love this little nod to Star Wars that this couple used to feature their wedding rings. Now’s your chance to get creative and break out the DIY ideas! Adding these special touches will really make the day 100% you.

5. Intimate Vows

Lofoten Norway Winter Elopement

photo: Wild Connections Photography | via A Winter Elopement in Lofoten, Norway

Our favorite part of elopements? When couples get to share their vows between just the two of them. Can you imagine anything more romantic? So often the true meaning behind a wedding can get lost in the craziness of the day. After all, the whole point of a wedding ceremony is two people in love, promising forever! Make sure to have a special moment when the two of you can really share your love, hopes and dreams with each other.

6. A Newlywed Photoshoot

Elopement under a waterfall photo: Khoa Photography | florals: Fleurie & Co | planning+design: Nicole Burbank Events | hair+makeup: Blossom and Beauty and Karina Talaro | dress: Christina Sfez

Another great thing about eloping? No time crunch or schedule stress! When you elope, you’re not trying to go here and there, do this and that. You’re really able to take your time and soak up the day. That means an EPIC newlywed photoshoot! Take some time and talk to your photographer about some creative shots you can get and other fun things you can incorporate. So many couples find that they run out of time on wedding day to get the pictures they really want. So grab your smoke bombs, your confetti, your pet, or your favorite cocktails and go all out!

And speaking of photos, we HIGHLY recommend hiring a videographer as well. One of the biggest regrets we hear from couples was not hiring a videographer of their day…if you are debating whether you need one, this dreamy film by Cinema of Poetry from an elopement in Santorini might just change your mind….I mean how good are their vows!!??

7. Dinner for Two

Santorini Pampas Grass Elopement

photo: Lighthouse | via Romantic Santorini Elopement

You’ve shared vows, but don’t forget to celebrate! On elopement day, plan to have an intimate meal together. You can have a picnic set up nearby the ceremony site, or you can make reservations at your favorite restaurant. No matter what you do, this moment deserves to be enjoyed. Part of making a memorable elopement day is really soaking up every moment and opportunity. We’ve seen couples set up adorable bohemian tablescapes, blankets and champagne on the beach, brunch on the hotel balcony… There are so many options, but make sure you set aside a time to wine, dine, and bask in the newlywed glow!

8. A Cutting Cake

California Redwoods Elopement

photo: The Foxes Photography | via An Intimate Elopement in the Redwoods

Just because you’re skipping the big wedding doesn’t mean you have to pass on the fun little traditions of wedding day. Buy an elopement cake and share some sweets together. You could even do donuts, ice cream, or pie! It doesn’t matter, but having that special moment of “cutting the cake” and having a toast to the day can be really special and make you feel like you’ve really sealed the deal.

9. A Celebratory Pic

Yosemite Winter Wonderland Elopement

photo: Priscila Valentina Photography | via The Bride Wore Yoga Pants in this Yosemite Elopement

You did it! You’re married! It’s time to celebrate and tell the world! We LOVE seeing fun pictures of a couple celebrating their elopement! There are so many adorable ways to do it too. Explode the champagne, pop the confetti poppers, throw some streamers… whatever you choose, make sure to get an adorable picture of the celebration! You’re loved ones will want to see it, and it’s a great thing to share as an elopement announcement!

10. A Fun Getaway

skateboard couple

photo: Chrissy Gilmartin | A Last Minute Elopement During Covid-19

Ride off into the sunset in the front seat of a convertible, or skateboard hand-in-hand like the too cuties above. A shot like this is another must-have and a perfect way to cap off the magical elopement day! Get that classic “just married” shot as you start off on a lifelong adventure! Congratulations!!

Are you planning to elope? What are you most excited for?