When it comes to planning an elopement, one of the best parts of planning it is the flexibility that comes with your day. There are SO many possibilities when it comes to planning your elopement and though this is a super freeing feeling, it can be a bit overwhelming to start. Because an elopement is so intimate and there are so few people involved, it is SUPER important to make sure you have a top-tier team of vendors you’re working with on the day of your elopement to be sure you have the best experience possible.
Because of all the flexibility that comes with an elopement day, there isn’t really a one size fits all answer when it comes to deciding what kind of vendors you would like to be a part of your elopement. When it comes to deciding what vendors you need for your elopement you and your partner will want to work together to answer a handful of questions about your day.
When it comes to elopement planning, you will want to sit down with your partner and put together a vision for your elopement. In this part of the elopement planning, the sky is really the limit. Brainstorm what your dream elopement day might look like. What kind of a location would you like to elope in, a restaurant? On a mountain? In your backyard? Then go over who you would like to have at your elopement. Then last but not least, think through what you would like your experience to be like on your elopement day. What kind of things would you and your partner like to do together, where would you like to go, and what would you like to eat? These are all super important things to think about before deciding what elopement vendors you will need for your day.
Now that you have your dream elopement day in mind, you will want to put together a plan for what you would like vendors to handle on your wedding day. If the idea of putting together your dream wedding hairstyle stresses you out, opt to hire a hair and makeup artist! On the other hand, if you LOVE making bouquets and have your own garden close to where you plan to have your elopement, you might opt to make your own wedding bouquet. You and your partner more than likely won’t want to cook your own meals, throughout the day, so plan to order takeout, and have your dinner out or catered.
These are the most common and popular vendors for elopements that I have been a part of in the past.
Having a hair and makeup artist on your elopement day allows you to relax the morning of your elopement. They will work with you prior to your day starting to help you put together a look that fits your vision, and if you book a consultation session with them, you can even test out everything so you know exactly what you’ll look like on your elopement day.
Arguably the second most popular vendor to have on your elopement day is a florist. One of the greatest perks to planning an elopement is that you are able to spend significantly less funds on guests, and really go to town on the things you’re super excited about such as your elopement day florals! Whether you just want bouquet(s) and boutonniere(s) or you want to plan out an extravagant tablescape or a ceremony set up, wedding florals are a MUST-have in my book for your elopement.
I may be a little biased when it comes to this one, but really, photography is arguably one of the most important vendors to have with you on your elopement day. Elopement photographers document your day so that you can look back on your day for the rest of your life. Many elopement photographers also help you and guide you throughout your planning process as well. They’re often times the only person present with you on your elopement day, so when planning your elopement, it’s important to think through exactly what you’re looking for in terms of photos along with your elopement day experience.
Though when eloping a venue isn’t always an official venue like traditional weddings, you still need to do your research when deciding where to host different parts of your elopement. These days, you really cannot elope anywhere without paying a fee outside of your backyard. If you’re eloping in a public park, national park, or state park, you will want to do your research when planning to find out what kind of permits you need for your elopement. Along with the location you plan to have your ceremony, you will want to plan for any other reservations you might need throughout your day, such as dinner or lunch reservations if applicable. And if you do decide to book an intimate venue, you will want to start your planning at least a couple of months before your wedding day.
Last but not least, you will need someone to perform your ceremony for you! Depending on the experience you hope to have for your elopement your officiant can take on a few different shapes! You can hire an officiant to give your elopement a more traditional wedding day feel to it, you can have a friend or family member get ordained and become your officiant, or you can take care of the legalities ahead of time before you head out for your elopement.
Though a wedding videographer isn’t the most important thing to all people, having footage from your elopement day is honestly priceless. Photos document a lot, but they miss out on things like table toasts, you reading your vows to one another for the first time and so much more. Consider a videographer when planning your elopement day and decide whether hiring one would fit your particular vision!
If you’re planning to go on an extravagant hike for your elopement, or planning an experience that you haven’t done before you will want to make sure that you hire a guide for your elopement. This will keep things much less chaotic for you as well as ensure your safety for those more adventurous elopements.
If you are having some guests present, or if the moving parts that makeup your elopement day become too much when planning, hiring a planner or day of coordinator to manage your elopement day might be a great option for you and your partner.
Last but not least, you’re not going to want to be cooking on your wedding day, so if you have somewhere specific in mind for your day, opt to cater your elopement or plan for a chef to come to your Airbnb to give you the ultimate experience for your wedding day.
Planning your elopement is such a fun experience and has so much flexibility and room for creativity. Building a vendor team for your elopement day is BEYOND important so think through your vendor options with your partner and get excited to start planning your day! If you’re still looking for a photographer for your elopement day I’d love to hear from you. Send me an inquiry and we can start planning your elopement day together!
If you’re looking for inspiration for planning your elopement, check out all my elopement planning tips and past elopements here.