Are you and your partner considering eloping and looking for guidance on how to start planning your elopement?

Well, look no further! In this blog post, we’ll give you useful tips and essential things to think about when organizing your very own dream elopement! 

As a seasoned wedding and elopement photographer/videographer duo based in Victoria, Australia, we’ve had the privilege of capturing countless extraordinary moments.

Drawing from our own experiences with our couples and their incredible love stories, we’ve curated a list of some of the most important factors to consider when crafting your ultimate elopement adventure. 

1. Plan Out Your Wedding Budget

Creating a realistic and well-planned budget is key when starting your wedding planning journey. Whilst it’s not necessarily the most fun or exciting, it allows you to make informed and responsible decisions when allocating your finances. Sit down with your partner and really consider your financial situation. It’s so important that you don’t spend beyond your means to avoid additional stress and heartache.

Bonus Tip: Always leave room within your budget in case there are any last-minute changes or emergencies that arise. Select an agreed amount and keep it aside at all times. It can be so tempting to spend, but trust me, you’ll be so happy to have it if something were to pop up! 

2. Choose Your Wedding Location

From your favourite date spot to an international wedding destination, the possibilities are endless for your elopement location! It’s an opportunity to embark on an adventure that truly reflects your love story and creates lasting memories.

You want your elopement day to perfectly reflect who you are as a couple, so take the time to research and discuss potential locations and how they align with your vision for your elopement! There are no right or wrong answers, so don’t hesitate to really explore all of your location options. 

3. Research the Legal Requirements

Once you’ve chosen your location or dwindled it down to a select few choices, it’s important to know of the legal requirements (if any) for getting married there. Different countries and different states can have a range of rules and specific documentation required before your wedding day. If you’re looking for more information regarding the legal side of getting married overseas, check out our blog here.

It’s also important to know whether your specific location requires any permission to hold your wedding ceremony as many national parks require permits to be completed in advance. 

4. Your Wedding Guest List

It’s important to have an idea in mind of the wedding guests you plan to invite to your elopement day. Whilst some couples might keep it simple and choose to have no guests in attendance, you might want to include a couple of your closest loved ones.  Have a discussion with your partner and together decide how many people, if any, you would like to include on your special day!

5. Will You Have a Celebrant?

The next thing to consider for your wedding day is whether you would like to get legally married on your actual wedding day or handle the legalities beforehand. A wedding celebrant can officiate your wedding both on the day or you can organise to have everything arranged prior so that you can simply focus on reading your own vows at your ceremony.

Alternatively, some couples opt to handle the legal paperwork before their day and will book in with their local courthouse and have a small, mini-legal ceremony there!

Bonus Tip: Celebrants can be a wealth of information, particularly if they’ve worked with elopement couples before and can provide valuable guidance and advice! 

6. Wedding Photography and Videography

If you haven’t already, start researching wedding photographers and/or videographers to get a feel for the style that you like. Wedding photography is an art form and it’s important that you feel like a photographer’s work aligns with your personal style and vision for your special day!

Start enquiring and having conversations with your potential photographers/videographers. It’s important to build a connection and feel comfortable with them! Elopements are very intimate and personal spaces, you want to ensure that whoever is capturing your magical day is someone that you trust wholeheartedly.

Bonus Tip: Your wedding photographer can also assist you with the breakdown of your wedding day! From timelines to location suggestions, don’t hesitate to utilize them when planning your elopement.

7. Finding the Perfect Accommodation

Start looking for your dream wedding accommodation as soon as possible, it’s never too early to start looking and booking! (Unless, of course, you haven’t decided on a location yet!) There is nothing worse than leaving your accommodation to the last-minute thinking that you’ll have plenty of options, only to realise that everything has been booked out.

Make sure your accommodation is in a convenient location for your day and that it’s a comfortable and relaxing space that is suitable for your needs. For example, do you both plan on getting ready there together? If so, is there enough space for the two of you? Will you need to travel far to get to your ceremony spot? Keep these things in mind when doing your research and if possible, always try to get accommodation that is refundable in case anything changes!

Bonus Tip: Coordinate with your photographer when searching for your accommodation. After all, we’re professionals when it comes to finding the best photography space and are happy to provide tips and advice to ensure your photos are perfect! 

8. Plan Your Wedding Attire

If you haven’t already, start researching your dream wedding outfits! This is arguably one of the most fun experiences of your wedding planning journey. Consider the weather and location of your elopement, and whether you want it to be a formal affair or more relaxed and casual. 

9. Organise Your Travel Logistics

Lastly, it’s important to ensure that you have all of your travel researched and organised in preparation for your elopement day. Book your travel from car hire to plane tickets and any necessary visas or permits that are needed for your day.

If you’re going overseas, triple-check that your passports are valid and ready to go! If you’re doing any tours or activities on your wedding day, ensure that they’re booked and confirmed for the correct date and time. It’s important that everything is correct in advance to ensure a smooth, easy process!

Remember that eloping is all about creating an intimate and meaningful experience for you and your partner on your wedding day. You can tailor your plans to reflect your unique relationship and style by doing whatever it is that your heart desires! It’s easy to get lost in it all, but enjoy the process and cherish the memories you create together before, during and after your magical day! 

If you’d like to take it one step further and add more sentimentality to your wedding day, check out our blog here on incorporating your own love languages into your wedding!



May 29, 2023

How to Start Planning an Elopement

Rochelle Hansen

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