Tea In Wonderland Styled Shoot – Photo Credit: Ariel Kaitlin Photography
When you look for elopement inspiration, you’ll typically find gorgeous photos of mountaintop or beachside ceremonies, saying their vows with stars in their eyes. You want those stunning, intimate photos as well, and you may spend a few hours with just your partner and photographer, but what about the rest of the day?
Without rules, traditions or expectations, your elopement day can be anything you want!
Design your perfect morning
You already know a great day starts with a great morning, and your best day ever is no different! We know you’ll have some exciting jitters, so plan to get a good nights’ sleep and wake up at a time that allows you to enjoy every part of your day. Plan for a healthy and delicious breakfast to give you a boost of energy.
If you and your partner are waking up together, give yourselves time to ease into the day. Cuddle, enjoy your morning coffee together and revel in the fact that it’s your wedding day. If you aren’t staying together the night before, think about if you want to spend your morning on your own, or if you want some close friends or family to hang out while you get ready.
Think about how you can start your day in a way that makes you feel happy, relaxed and totally like yourself. Maybe that means taking a bath or long hot shower, giving yourself a spa morning. If you love to stay active, go for your morning run or yoga practice. Spend the morning reading, listening to your favorite music, painting, writing a letter to your soon-to-be spouse – whatever brings joy.
And of course, make sure you have plenty of time to get all dolled up before making your way to the ceremony!
Shakori Hills Styled Shoot – Photo Credit: Arika Jordan Photography
Before the ceremony
Just because the ceremony is traditionally the first activity on a wedding day, doesn’t mean that’s the case here. If you’ll have a few guests at your ceremony, you might meet up beforehand for lunch or pre-ceremony drinks. Do a group activity that brings everyone together or enjoy a few private moments with your partner.
If you’re including a meal or activity beforehand, think about if you want your photographer to capture those moments – even if that means a super cute, in-home session while getting ready with your fur-babies.
Are there any places that are special to your relationship near your ceremony site? Consider taking a walk down memory lane with your partner, having a meal at the first restaurant you ate at together, visiting a park you went to on an early date. Think about anything you might want to do that highlights how incredible your love story is, and make it happen!
After the ceremony
Once you’ve had your first kiss as life-partners, it’s time to celebrate! Whether or not you had guests for your ceremony, you can continue to celebrate on your own or with others.
If you’ve booked a venue or ceremony site, you may have the opportunity to stay on location. Perhaps you want to follow up the ceremony with one of your favorite activites, like going on a hike to a higher peak. If you have different hobbies, you may want to take some quiet reflection time, while you each paint, read, or do any other activities that bring you peace and enjoyment.
For the wedding traditions that resonate with you, find ways to include them! Having a cake cutting and first dance can still be sweet and special, and a bottle of champagne is always encouraged. You’ll want to have a meal after your ceremony, which can be anything from a picnic meal for two to a catered meal with table and place settings for your intimate guest list.
You can always celebrate your marriage with a meal or activity at another location, as well. Whether they were at the ceremony or not, you can have an intimate group meet you at your favorite bar, a fancy restaurant, or even a bowling alley.
Want to go the excitement-and-adventure route instead? Take a trip white water rafting, jump out of a plane, or hit up a tattoo shop. Do a brewery tour or bar crawl, try something new together, explore your surroundings.
Whatever you choose to do on your wedding day, be true to your relationship as you dive into life’s greatest adventure together.