Crafting Your Dream Day: Tips on How to Make An Elopement Special

The bride leads the groom along the cliff side.

Picture this: a breathtaking mountain vista as your backdrop, the crisp air filling your lungs, and your hearts beating in tandem with the pulse of nature. This is the magic of an adventure elopement – a unique and intimate way to make your elopement truly reflect who you are as a couple.

If you’re considering eloping and want to make it an unforgettable wedding day experience, filled with adventure and personal touches, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore ideas for how to make your elopement into a day that is as special and individual as your love story.

As adventure elopement photographers, we will walk you through everything to make your elopement day special. From selecting the perfect location that speaks to your soul to incorporating meaningful rituals that celebrate your journey together, we’ll dive into the details that will elevate your big day from a simple ceremony to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and let’s embark on this exhilarating journey to make an elopement of your dreams.

A bride and groom walk down the side of a mountain in the morning light.

Choosing the Perfect Elopement Destination: How to Make Your Ceremony Special

When planning an elopement, choosing the perfect destination is crucial to creating a memorable and personalized experience that reflects your unique bond as a couple. By considering your shared passions and exploring off-the-beaten-path locations, you can find a setting that truly speaks to your love story.

Considering Your Shared Passions

Think about what activities bring you joy and what locations hold special meaning for both of you. Whether you both love hiking in the mountains, relaxing by the beach, or exploring quaint towns, incorporating these shared passions into your destination elopement can add a meaningful touch to your day. Consider how you can infuse elements of your hobbies and favorite pastimes into the location choice, creating a backdrop that resonates with your personality.

For example, when Bill and I ourselves eloped we chose Mt Rainier National Park because it is where Bill knew he wanted to marry Traci and where Traci had many personal connections. Together though, the park is home to what was a bucket list hike for us both – the wonderland trail.

Many of our couples also have made a location choice based on shared connections or interests. For example, one of our couples got engaged in Yosemite National Park on a big hike, something they go to the park to do yearly. So when it came to getting married they chose a new hike in the park, equally as challenging as the one they got engaged on!

Planning an Elopement: Researching Off-The-Beaten-Path Locations

To make your elopement truly unique and intimate, consider exploring lesser-known destinations or hidden gems. This will provide a ceremony location that aligns with your vision of a special and unique elopement. Look beyond the popular tourist spots and delve into places that offer a sense of adventure and seclusion. Research online resources, such as travel blogs, forums, and local recommendations, to uncover hidden treasures that match your criteria for a special elopement location. Embrace the journey of discovering off-the-beaten-path spots that will make it feel like your elopement is an unforgettable adventure.

For example, Horseshoe Bend is a very popular location for tourists to visit in Arizona. Often couples elope here, however, eloping here means no privacy. However, one of our couples decided to elope at the bottom of Horseshoe Bend on a multi-day kayaking experience. It was so much fun and immersive. Plus, it offered a private ceremony.

Need a few ideas on where to start in picking a location? Check out our list of the Best Places to Elope in the US and Worldwide.

Personalizing Your Elopement Experience: Best Elopement Ideas

Planning an elopement opens the door to a world of endless possibilities to craft a truly unique and personal celebration of love. Personal touches are what make your elopement day truly special and memorable. Here are some creative ideas to help you infuse your elopement with unique elements and heartfelt moments.

Make Your Elopement Extra Special: Crafting Personal Vows and Rituals

Writing your own vows is the absolute best way to personalize your elopement ceremony. Take the time to express your feelings and promises to each other in words that are meaningful and heartfelt. Consider incorporating personal anecdotes or memorable moments from your relationship to make your personalized vows even more special.

Additionally, creating unique rituals or ceremonies that symbolize your commitment can add a profound and personal touch to your elopement. Whether it’s a candle lighting ceremony, a handfasting ritual, a sand unity ceremony, or just sharing love letters on the top of a mountain, these meaningful gestures can make your day truly unforgettable.

There is no right or wrong way for an elopement ceremony to be done or even vows. We have seen couples tell stories through their vows, we have seen couples say a line then the next person says a line, and so on throughout their vow reading. We have seen couples read stories of the loved ones they invited instead of reading their vows publicly. Do it your way, do not shy away from being creative.

The couple shares a private ceremony with the bride's sister officiating.

Unique Elopement Ideas: Incorporate Personal Elements

Infusing your elopement with unique elements is a fantastic way to make your celebration one-of-a-kind. Consider incorporating themed decor that reflects your personality or interests. Whether it’s a bohemian-inspired setup, a vintage theme, or a modern twist, let your imagination run wild. 

Another way to help you make your day feel more special is to think about including interactive experiences for you and your partner. From personalized scavenger hunts to surprise performances, interactive elements can create unforgettable moments on your special day.

Remember, your elopement is an opportunity to celebrate your love in a way that resonates with your unique relationship. Embrace creativity and personalization to make your elopement day as special as your love story and individuality.

Tailored Elopement Attire

Choosing the right attire for your elopement is not just about style; it’s about comfort and practicality, especially for adventurous elopements. Select outfits that not only reflect your personal style but also suit the location you’ve chosen. Whether it’s a majestic mountaintop or a serene forest setting, let your attire complement the surroundings while staying true to who you are as a couple.

Another way to celebrate your unique story is by expressing your personality in your attire. One of the best ways to look your best is to feel your best. Make sure you choose attire that reflects your individual style or opt for something with sentimental value.

We love seeing custom suits with a Milky Way pattern on the inside, We’ve even seen portraits of couples’ pets embroidered on a groom’s shoes, and we have seen bolo ties from passed down generations. It can be uniquely you, or sentimental to honor your loved ones! For our brides, we highly recommend checking our wedding dress guide for what is most functional and photographs best for an adventure elopement.

Let’s turn your elopement dreams into reality. Reach out now to discuss how we can create magical memories together. Talk to an elopement photographer.

A couple canoes on a lake on a foggy morning to start off their wedding day.

Best Practical Elopement Ideas

When planning an elopement, incorporating unique and personalized touches can make the day even more special. However, you also want things to be practical. Here are some practical elopement ideas to help couples create unforgettable memories:

Adventure Elopement Activities

Embrace the spirit of adventure by planning exhilarating activities for your epic elopement celebration. Consider hiking to a secluded mountaintop for your vows, kayaking in a serene lake, taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, or simply stargazing under a blanket of stars. Adding adventurous experiences to your elopement will not only create lasting memories but also infuse excitement and spontaneity into your whole day.

Some of our favorite adventures we have captured in the past were:

A couple plays tennis to start off their elopement day.

Intimate Dining Experiences

Set the mood for romance with intimate dining setups that cater to your preferences. Opt for a picnic-style meal in a picturesque meadow, indulge in a beachside dinner as the sun sets over the horizon, or elevate your dining experience and hire a private chef. These intimate dining experiences will enhance the atmosphere of your elopement celebration, allowing you to savor each moment together in a magical setting. Do not worry, we are here to help you connect with all the right people in the area you choose to elope in to offer you the best experience.

A private chef prepared meal for a special elopement dinner.

Personalized Keepsakes and Mementos

Capture the essence of your elopement day by incorporating personalized keepsakes and mementos. Consider exchanging custom-designed rings that reflect your unique bond, gifting engraved items that hold sentimental value, or exchanging handcrafted treasures that symbolize your love story. These personalized touches will serve as cherished reminders of your elopement day and the profound commitment you share. Some may opt for sharing these items during a first look to make the moment even more memorable.

When Bill and I got engaged I started a journal that I wrote in every single day just a line or two until the day we got married. I gave it to him that morning in the tent and we read through it after our ceremony. This was something so special to our life that we still look at every once and a while. We’ve seen other couples do something similar, exchange gifts or create something new together! One of the neatest things we’ve seen a couple do was create their own soil from where each of them are from in Canada. Then they planted a cactus in it, that they named after where they were eloping, during their ceremony.

Adventure awaits! Get in touch to discuss how we can document your unique elopement journey with stunning photography. Limited dates are available.

A couple plants a cacti during their ceremony.

Make Your Elopement Special: Capturing the Moments Forever

Embarking on the journey of elopement offers many couples the opportunity to craft a truly unique and intimate experience. One of the most treasured aspects of this momentous occasion is capturing the essence of each part of your day through photography. Here are essential steps to ensure you have everlasting memories to cherish and share.

Elopement Photography: Research and Connect with a Photographer

When planning your elopement, take the time to research and connect with photographers whose style resonates with your vision. Explore their portfolios to ensure their aesthetic aligns with the vibe you wish to capture on your special day. Once you identify potential photographers, reach out to discuss your expectations, share shot ideas, and pinpoint your preferred locations.

Establishing a rapport with your chosen photographer is key to ensuring a seamless experience and authentic results. Building a comfortable relationship will create an atmosphere of trust and collaboration, allowing them to capture the raw emotions and special moments that unfold during your elopement.

When looking for the right elopement photographer we recommend looking at their:

  • Google reviews (See what past clients are saying!)
  • Look at their photography! Make sure you like the style and moments they capture
  • Check out their IG captions + posts to get an idea of their personalities and what is important to them in their work.

Hi! You can get to know us here 🙂

Planning for Intimate Photoshoots

To make the most of your intimate elopement photoshoots, consider planning beforehand to outline your preferences and ideas. Communicate openly with your elopement photographer about the elements that are meaningful to you and the moments you want to immortalize through their lens.

Discussing logistics such as timing, lighting, and potential details can help set the stage for a personalized and memorable photo session. Whether it’s a post-ceremony shoot at golden hour or a candid capture of your adventurous spirit, expressing your desires can lead to a more tailored and authentic collection of images that reflect your unique love story.

By selecting a skilled photographer who understands your vision and values, you can entrust them to document the essence of your elopement day. Choose a professional who excels in capturing the adventure and intimacy of your journey, allowing you to relive the magic of this significant milestone for years to come.

Here at Adventure and Vow we do not treat your elopement day like a photoshoot, but as an intimate experience we are telling the story of. We want you to look back and feel the day, relive it, and be proud that it is a reflection of how you two are. Through getting to know each other in the planning stages we achieve a flawless, meaningful time in front of the camera.

Start your elopement journey today. Get in touch with an elopement photographer. 

A couple stands in the sunlight in death valley for a portrait on their elopement day.

Embracing Excitement: Make Your Elopement An Adventure Elopement

Elopements are an opportunity to infuse your special day with a sense of adventure, creating unforgettable memories that reflect your shared love for excitement and exploration. By choosing adventure-friendly destinations and incorporating thrilling elements into your ceremony, you can craft a truly unique and remarkable elopement experience that resonates with your individuality as a couple.

Choosing Adventure-Friendly Destinations

When planning an adventurous elopement, selecting a destination that offers a range of outdoor activities can elevate your experience to new heights. Consider destinations known for opportunities like hiking through majestic landscapes, kayaking on tranquil waters, or soaring above scenic views in a hot air balloon. Research safety precautions, local regulations, and reputable resources to ensure a smooth and secure adventure.

Some of our absolute favorite places that leave lasting impressions + offer epic adventures are:

A couple drives to their wedding location in Sedona through the red rocks.

Ceremony Ideas: Adding a Touch of Excitement to the Ceremony

To add an element of surprise and excitement to your elopement ceremony, think outside the traditional wedding box and embrace unconventional experiences. Imagine exchanging vows during a scenic helicopter ride over breathtaking vistas, embarking on a sunset hiking elopement to a secluded spot for an intimate ceremony, or sailing into the horizon on a private boat tour. These adventurous additions can infuse your elopement day with an extra dose of magic and create lasting memories that truly reflect your shared spirit of adventure.

As you plan your adventurous elopement, remember that the key is to tailor the experience to suit your comfort levels and preferences as a couple. Whether you prefer adrenaline-pumping activities or serene nature escapes, there are endless ways to customize your elopement day to reflect your unique love story and sense of adventure. Dare to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the thrill of the unknown as you embark on this extraordinary journey together.

A couple stands together in the mountains overlooking a lake.
A portrait of a husband and wife elopement photography team.

Let us help you make your elopement day special!

Hi there! We are Traci and Bill, a husband and wife elopement photography team. We believe your elopement day should feel like you, it should be free of judgment and stress. We are here to help you every step of the way when it comes to bringing the vision to life.

Day of? We are there capturing all the magic happening from the adventures to the tender moments.

We can not wait to connect with you both and hear your story!

Our elopement day came and we had zero stress or anxiety because I knew they would help us have the best elopement day ever! They helped us navigate the busy area in the morning for our first look photos, and gave us more private areas for our vows and sunset/star photos. We received our sneak peaks that evening and were completely in love with them! Now that we have our full album, I find myself looking through them so often, and our friends and families are always speechless looking at them!

Traci and Bill, we can’t thank you enough! We could write an entire book of a review to say how thankful we are to have worked with you on our elopement day. We hope to be in your area in the future to meet up again for some fun and anniversary photos!

Taylor + Clayton | Flagstaff, AZ Elopement
A couple on the edge of an overlook at sunset in Flagstaff.