May 6, 2020


Elopement Packages – Planning Your Elopement

Why You Should Have Full Day Elopement Coverage

One common misconception about elopement packages is that you’ll only need a couple hours of coverage.

Yes, you’ll be able to find a photographer who’s willing snap a few portraits and the ceremony in that amount of time. I want you to consider what you’re missing though.

You’re losing the story that surrounds your day, the emotions leading up to your wedding and tricking yourself into thinking that an elopement isn’t worth documenting just as fully as a traditional wedding. This is why I believe that hiring an elopement photographer for just a 2 hour elopement package is doing yourself a disservice.

Those couple hours will be spent trying to cross as much off of a checklist as possible. This can make you feel rushed and to not fully be able to enjoy the time and freedom that having an elopement provides.

In addition, you could argue that it’s more important to have coverage from an elopement. Since most of your family and friends will not be there, you can relive the day with them through photos and video.

Your Core Values

How do you want to feel on your elopement day?

Take some time to answer these questions together, then build your elopement timeline based on those answers.

Do you really frickin’ love coffee and want to incorporate an afternoon latte stop into your timeline? Um… heck yeah (me too, girl)!

The beauty of an elopement is you’re free to do whatever you want with your day. If you don’t care for wedding rules or traditions, don’t bother with them.

For example, if one of your core values is spending as much of your day with the person you’re marrying, try helping each other get ready! By doing this, you’ve created an opportunity for some beautiful moments that are true to your core values.

What Do You Love?

On any other day, what do you imagine your perfect day would look like?

For me, I’d be somewhere scenic, like a National Park taking in all of the epic mountain views. I’d also want to be glamping or sitting around a fire at the end of the night. In addition, I want to be sure we’re celebrating the fact that we JUST GOT MARRIED, so a few of my closest people should be there.

My fiancé, on the other hand, loves fishing and doing extreme activities.

We could roll all of these together by eloping in California, renting dune buggies and having a beach bonfire with a small group of immediate family and friends. I don’t love fishing, so he could head out on the water with his buddies the day before our elopement and make it part of his overall wedding experience.

“Just the 2 of Us” 6 hr Elopement Package Timeline:

1-1:30 – Detail Shots
1:30-2- Partner 1 Getting Ready
2-2:30 – Partner 2 Getting Ready
2:30-3 – Open Letters + Gifts from Each Other
3-3:20 – Putting on the Dress
3:20-3:30 – Get to First Look Spot
3:30-3:45 – First Look
3:45-4:15 – Couple’s Wedding Portraits
4:15-4:30 – Photog Get Set Up for Ceremony
4:30-5 – Ceremony
5-5:30 – Celebratory Champagne Popping, Cocktails + Candids
5:30-6 – Dinner
6-6:30 – “Golden Hour” Couple’s Portraits
6:30-7 – Share Dessert + Sunset First Dances

Intimate Wedding 8 hr Elopement Package Timeline:

11:15-12:15 – Detail Shots
12:15-12:45- Partner 1’s Side Getting Ready
12:45-1:15 – Partner 2’s Side Getting Ready
1:15-1:45 – Open Letters + Gifts from Each Other
1:45-2:15 – Putting on the Dress
2:15-2:45 – First Look w/ Dad
2:45-3 – Get to First Look Spot
3-3:15 – First Look
3:15-3:45 – Couple’s Wedding Portraits
3:45-4 – Photog Get Set Up for Ceremony
4-4:20 – Ceremony
4:20-4:40 – Family/Guest Portraits
4:40-5 – Celebratory Champagne Popping, Cocktails + Candids
5-5:30 – Dinner
5:30-6 – Speeches + Cake Cutting
6-6:15 – Get to Location for “Golden Hour” Portraits
6:15-6:45 – “Golden Hour” Couple’s Portraits
6:45-7 – Private First Dance at Sunset
7-7:15 – Getaway Photos

Adventurous 10 hr Elopement Package Timeline:

10:30-11:30 – Candids of Couple Sharing Coffee + Cooking Brunch in PJ’s
11:30-12:20 – Detail Shots
12:20-12:50 – Helping Each Other Get Ready
12:50-1:10 – Partner 1 Getting Dressed
1:10-1:30 – Partner 2 Getting Dressed
1:30-2 – Drive/Hike to First Look Spot
2-2:30 – First Look + A Minute to Enjoy the Views Alone
2:30-3 – Couple’s Wedding Portraits
3-3:20 – Photog Get Set Up for Ceremony
3:20-3:45 – Ceremony
3:45-4 – Celebratory Champagne Popping
4-5 – Picnic Dinner w/ Cocktails + Dessert
5-6 – Drive/Hike to Location for “Golden Hour” Portraits
6-6:30 – “Golden Hour” Couple’s Portraits
6:30-7 – Private First Dance and Watch the Sunset Together
7-8 – S’mores, Drinks, Dancing Around a Campfire
8-8:30 – Astrophotography

Day Before or Day After Adventure Session Ideas:

Try exploring the city if you were in nature for your elopement, going on a sailboat, doing an astrophotography session or taking in the views at a National Park you’ve never been to before.

Other Elopement Package Info

Now that you’ve seen some elopement package timelines, keep in mind that the sunset, drive times and activities of the day are going to vary for everybody!

You can find out what time the sun sets on your date by Google searching “sunset [date] [city, state].” So for a 10/10/20 wedding at horseshoe bend, your Google search would say “sunset 10/10/20 Page, AZ.”

Similarly, you can choose to take advantage of gorgeous light during the sunrise as well!

The possibilities are really endless when it comes to planning out your elopement coverage.

Ultimately, your photographer should be able to set up a photography elopement timeline for you. However, I hope this blog post gave you some ideas to make your elopement coverage truly represent your ideal wedding day.

Next, click here to learn more about planning your elopement in Joshua Tree!

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I’ll capture all of the precious memories while you indulge on all of the love and champagne.


Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Hitesh Patel says:

    Love reading the details timeline. I had no idea that elopement should be longer than 2 hours :P.. I am just getting to elopement photography so this was definitely helpful.