There’s something undeniably magic about an elopement. It’s a day that’s entirely about you and the love of your life—and what could be better than that? With an elopement, there are no distractions, no obligations, and no one to tell you what you can and can’t do. Whether you want to climb an alpine mountain or take in sunset on a deserted beach, an elopement can be as wild and free as you let it be. For my big day, I ran away to the coast of Ireland to get married on the Cliffs of Moher, so I may be a little biased, but eloping is still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and one of my most cherished memories.
One of my favorite things about elopements is that they’re completely customizable. If we’re being real, there’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding, from the big decisions like picking a venue and a dress to the smaller details like designing wedding invites and thinking of clever party gifts for your guests to take home. With an elopement, you can cut out the wedding planning fluff that doesn’t speak to your soul and instead focus on what really matters to you.
Love traveling? Choose an exotic locale. Want a memorable first-married meal? Hire a private chef. What you choose to spend time and money on is entirely up to you and your partner. Once you’ve fully envisioned your ideal day, it’s time to start filling in the blanks with vendors who can make all your wildest dreams come true. Here are seven of the most common vendors for elopements.
It’s no surprise that this tops my list of elopement vendors. You’ve dreamed about this day for months and maybe even years, so you want every second captured in an authentic way that reflects your love. You and your family will look back on these photos for years to come, so investing in a photographer who sees your vision and can capture your magic is an absolute must. Plus, having epic photos of you and your love running through a field of wildflowers or dancing in a slot canyon is incredibly badass.
This one kind of goes without saying, but you’ll need someone to marry you—even if you already *technically* got married at the courthouse or by filling out paperwork online. If you want to do the thing in real time, you’ll need to find someone who can legally pronounce you bound by the law. Otherwise, feel free to ask a close friend or family member who’s special to you as a couple and willing to make the journey.
You can’t beat the timeless romance of beautiful florals, and just because you’re not planning for a big wedding party or grand venue, that doesn’t mean that beautiful flowers have no place in your day. A gorgeous, free-flowing bouquet that utilizes some of your favorite blooms, can really bring your vision to life.
You want to look like (and be!) the best version of yourself on your wedding day, and a hair and makeup artist can help with both. With someone else to take charge of your hair and makeup, you’ll have one less thing to worry about and you can be confident that your look will last all day—no matter the adventure you have planned!
If music is important to you and your love, don’t skip out! Hire a musician to play a favorite song during your first look, as you say your vows, and for your very intimate first dance. While a 10-piece band might not be in the cards (or maybe it is—remember, this day is all about making your dreams come true), it’s pretty simple to hire a guitarist, keyboardist, or string player to create the soundtrack for your day.
Kind of like a teacher commanding a classroom or a talented conductor overseeing an orchestra, a planner can bring all the little details of your day together to create one unforgettable experience. Personally, I’m in awe of all a great planner can do. They’ll create a manageable timeline for your day, help with travel planning logistics, coordinate between all your vendors, and still have time to ask you how you’re doing and fill in any gaps that may arise on the day-of. All you have to do is show up and focus on your soon-to-be spouse—and that’s a gift that you can’t really put a price on.
When choosing a vendor, a couple factors play into making a dream partnership. First, you should have similar styles. Check out a vendor’s portfolio to ensure that the work they do is in line with what you’re envisioning. Do you want your pictures to be posed and bright or candid and dreamy? Having answers to questions like this will make it easier to pick the best vendors for your day.
And second, try to determine if your personalities will mesh. You’re going to be spending A LOT of time with your vendors, so finding someone who makes you feel comfortable, at ease, and totally free to be yourself is 100% necessary. Read reviews to see what past clients them, and if you’re seriously looking into a specific vendor, you can always ask them out to coffee to get to know them better!