Top 10 Elopement Planning Tips

Hey there, adventurous souls and free-spirited lovebirds! Victoria here! Your Los Angeles based elopement and couples photographer. Thinking of ditching the big white wedding and opting for an intimate elopement instead? You’re about to embark on a journey filled with spontaneity, romance, and a touch of magic. But fear not, because I have got your back when it comes to elopement planning. Grab your partner’s hand, and let’s dive into these ten early planning friendly tips that will make your elopement the stuff of legends!

1. Choose Your Epic Adventure:

First things first, decide on the jaw-dropping location that’s perfect for saying your “I do’s.” Whether it’s a secret forest glade, a stunning mountain vista, or a secluded beach at sunset, let your personalities shine through in the backdrop you choose. Remember, the world is your oyster, and your elopement is the pearl. If you need a few ideas to ponder, check out my blog posts on some of my favorite elopement locations in Southern California.

Joshua Tree Elopement Guide

Palm Springs Elopement Guide

A bride and groom kiss under a Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park during an elopement photographed by Los Angeles Photographer Photos By Victoria Smith

2. Embrace Your Inner Minimalist:

The beauty of eloping lies in its simplicity. Trade in seating charts for spontaneous hand-holding, and massive guest lists for an intimate ceremony with your closest companions. Keep it simple, stress-free, and about the two of you. Play off of simple themes, colors schemes, and a central vibe that will allow your guests to feel how special the day is to you. Small touches are always better than going overboard!

3. The Attire Adventure:

Elopements are all about being true to yourselves. If you want to rock a glittering gown and a tuxedo fit for James Bond, go for it! Or if you’d rather dance barefoot in boho-chic attire, that’s just as amazing. Your outfits should reflect your personalities and the vibe of your chosen location. Do not feel like you have to rock a ballgown on the beach! It is perfectly fine to throw on those hiking boots in a stunning dress and embrace the location you have selected.

4. Capture the Moments:

Even though it’s a small affair, elopements deserve to be captured beautifully. Hire a photographer or videographer who can freeze-frame those stolen glances, sweet smiles, and happy tears. After all, these memories are meant to be cherished forever. Consider what you want to think of and feel when you look back on these images. Do you want a clean and modern look? How about a documentary style feel that allows you to replay every moment in your head (my favorite!!!)? Pick a photo and video team that fits this mold. Look over portfolios, jump on the phone, do whatever it takes for you to determine if you have a connection with your vendors.

5. Write Your Vows from the Heart:

Your vows are your love story in words. Whether you are a pair of poetic wordsmiths or just really good at heartfelt honesty, writing your own vows will make the moment even more special. Feel free to sneak in a funny inside joke or two – laughter is the best elopement accessory!

6. Think Beyond Cake:

Who says elopements can’t have cake? But hey, why stop there? Consider unconventional treats like a gourmet picnic, a sundae bar, or a food truck feast. It’s your day, so let your culinary creativity run wild!

Photos by victoria smith styled elopement shoot

7. Get Your Adventure On:

Since you’re already in an adventurous spirit, why not take the excitement up a notch? Plan an activity you both adore, like hiking, hot air ballooning, or even a stroll down the beach. Think of an activity and location that you enjoy, and go from there! The couple below included a swim in the lake that surrounded their elopement spot. Talk about a unique gallery!

8. Spread the Love (From Afar):

Don’t forget to loop in your loved ones who couldn’t make it. Set up a live stream or share photos and videos after the elopement, so they can still feel like they were a part of your magical day.

9. Seize the Day (and the Laughs):

Elopements are perfect for spontaneity, so don’t be afraid to embrace the unexpected. If a sudden rain shower blesses your day, think of it as nature’s confetti. Cloudy weather? No worries, you will have great lighting! Windy? Oh well-your hair and dress will look stunning and full of movement.

10. Let Loose and Celebrate:

Lastly, once you’ve sealed the deal with a kiss and danced under the stars, remember to celebrate yourselves! Whether it’s with a romantic bonfire, a private concert under fairy lights, or simply cuddling under a blanket – relish in the intimacy and joy of your elopement.

So there you have it, elopement adventurers! Planning your intimate celebration is all about embracing your quirks, having a blast, and crafting a day that’s authentically and unapologetically you. Let your love shine bright, and let the magic of your elopement become a legendary tale you’ll tell for years to come.

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