There’s a lot of planning to be done when it comes to your elopement. That includes figuring out what to pack when it’s time to go! Packing is always a little stressful, especially if you’re traveling by plane. Add to that the excited (and a little nervous) butterflies that come with knowing you’re about to experience the most incredible day of your life… and it can feel totally overwhelming! But, this guide includes an elopement packing checklist, along with everything you’ll need to bring for the big day.
Elopement Packing Checklist – Wedding Essentials
Your elopement packing checklist will have a lot of the basic travel necessities. However, the things you need to actually get married are probably new to you!
Here’s everything you need to bring for the ceremony.
This can include your elopement dress, veil, the suit, shoes, and anything else you’ll be wearing! Make a list of everything you plan to wear (including big stuff like the jacket and small stuff like the accessories), to ensure you have everything ready to go.
Writing your vows down on paper is so much more meaningful than reading off your phone during the ceremony. I recommend getting vow books! This will keep them safe, and will look better in your photos. It’ll also allow you to keep your vows after the big day!
Don’t forget your wedding bands – most couples exchange rings during the ceremony, so if you’re keeping this tradition, pack your rings safely and securely. Getting a personalized ring box is always a good idea!
Paperwork is often forgotten because it’s not quite as exciting as a shiny ring or a new dress. You’ll need this to get officially, legally married though. If you already have your marriage license (as opposed to picking it up when you get to your elopement location), make sure to pack it!
Florals + Decor
Talk to your florist about the best way to store and transport your elopement florals, whether it’s a bouquet, boutonniere, hair pieces, or other floral accessories. For most flowers, keeping them in water, or wrapped in a damp towel will help them stay fresh! I usually recommend using a local florist or flying someone into the area you’re traveling to. For decor like arches, rugs, tables, chairs etc. it can be easiest to rent furniture and have it delivered than trying to pack and transport these yourself.
If you want to pop some champagne to celebrate, be sure to put this on the elopement packing checklist too! You can also opt to pick this up when you arrive to the city you’re eloping in.
Elopement Packing Checklist – Travel Essentials
Depending on how you’re planning to get to your elopement location, here are some travel essentials that you may need to pack with you as well.
At least 6 months before your elopement, make sure your passports are up to date if you need them! These are some of the most important items you’ll need for destination elopements abroad.
Wallet & ID
You’ll need your wallet, and driver’s license or photo ID no matter where you’re going – so make sure you have this handy!
A Carry On
If you’re flying, I recommend keeping your most important elopement items, like the dress, and your marriage license, in a carry on. This is just in case anything happens to your luggage. It’s always good to hope for the best but prepare for the worst!
Elopement Packing Checklist – Adventure Gear
You probably have something amazing planned for your day, and you might need some gear. Here are some items you should consider bringing for the journey to that perfect ceremony spot and other day-of necessities.
If you’re hiking or spending time outside, bring a sturdy backpack that will fit everything you need! If you aren’t going too far from the car, it’s still good to have a bag for snacks, paperwork and other essentials.
You probably won’t be in your dress or suit the entire time you’re at your destination, so bring some regular clothes! But along with those outfits, be sure to pack some extra socks (always handy for hikes), layers (jackets or thermal base layers so you can stay warm) and a change of clothes if you plan to change on your hike or at your elopement location.
If there’s a chance of rain, be sure to bring some waterproof gear too!
When you’re traveling, you’ll still need the basics, like toothbrushes, deodorants, and shampoo. It can also be a good idea to get some travel sized items to bring with you on the elopement day! Sunscreen, hairspray, wrinkle spray, a small mirror, makeup, and a mini sewing kit can really save the day.
First Aid Kit
If you’re going outdoors, especially in the backcountry, always bring a first aid kit! Remember, it’s always better to be overprepared, so get a small travel kit to keep in your car or throw in your backpack.
Food and Water
Don’t forget the snacks! Put some granola bars or other easy-to-pack snacks on the elopement packing checklist. This will make sure we keep the hanger away. Bring some reusable water bottles so you can stay hydrated throughout the day! I promise, this will make a big difference in how you feel.
This might include hiking boots, a headlamp, a bathing suit, binoculars for birdwatching, an inflatable paddleboard, snorkeling gear… or whatever you need for the unique elopement activities you’ve got planned! You may also decide to rent gear once you get there instead of bringing your own.
If your location requires a permit, make sure to print it out and bring it with you. If you lose service you won’t be able to open your email, so it’s good to have a physical copy in case you need it.
Your Elopement Photographer!
Okay, this one probably won’t fit in your suitcase, and definitely won’t fit in your carry on. But, be sure to coordinate travel details with your elopement photographer and don’t hesitate to ask them for advice when it comes to your elopement packing checklist!
My job is to help every couple have the elopement day of their dreams, which means being there for advice, tips, and everything you need! Contact me if you’re ready to elope, and let’s come up with a customized checklist for your location, your adventure, and your wedding day.