It’s a common question I hear all the time: “How much time do we really need for our elopement?” The answer always is more than you might think.
While sometimes people think an elopement is just saying your vows and taking an hour or two to take some portraits, the reality is that the day that you get married is so much more than that. Your wedding day is still going to be the day that you remember every year as your anniversary for the rest of your life together; Everything that happened that day, from sun up to sun down, is a part of your experience. Couples who have more traditional wedding days get the whole day documented — so why shouldn’t you?
How much time you need depends on so many different things. Will you be documenting your quiet morning together, making coffee, putting on some tunes, and soaking in the tub? How much hiking do you feel like doing that day? What sort of activities will you incorporate into your elopement?
And what’s important to remember is that just because I’m going to be there doesn’t mean that it’s going to feel like an all-day photoshoot. I’m there to melt into the background, make sure you have the best experience possible, and to just document you two having the time of your life.
Below are a few timeline examples to help give you a sense of how you can spend your elopement day. As you dive into planning your elopement, remember that the essence of the day lies not just in the stunning landscapes or the carefully chosen details, but in the authentic connection you share. This is your chance to craft an entire experience together, from start to finish, that is as much fun and representative of you two as possible.
FULL DAY – 12 HOURS
9:30 am — Getting ready at a cozy cabin
10:30 am — First look
11:00 am — Drive up to a mountain pass in your jeep
12:30 pm — Pick the perfect spot to say your vows
1:00 pm — Champagne and picnic lunch
1:45 pm — Adventure around for epic photos
3:30 pm — Start heading back to your cabin
5:30 pm — Ceremony with your friends & family
6:00 pm — Group photos
7:30 pm — Sneak outside for sunset portraits
8:30 pm — Whiskey and toasts by the campfire
9:30 pm — Monica’s coverage wraps up
HALF DAY – 8 HOURS
1:00 pm — Getting ready together at your airbnb
2:00 pm — Travel to your ceremony location
3:00 pm — Ceremony with your closest loved ones
3:30 pm — Celebration and group portraits
4:00 pm — Go on an epic hike for your couples portraits
7:00 pm — Meet back with your guests at the tavern
7:30 pm — First dance under the setting sun
8:00 pm — Private dinner with your guests
9:00 pm — Monica’s coverage wraps up
MINI – 3 HOURS
5:00 pm — Meet at trailhead to begin hike out to the epic views
5:30 pm — Getting ready together at location
6:00 pm — Ceremony with the setting sun
6:15 pm — Adventure around for epic photos
6:45 pm — Champagne celebration
7:00 pm — Blue hour photos with lanterns
7:30 pm — Begin hike with headlamps back to trailhead
8:00 pm — Monica’s coverage wraps up