Planning a dream elopement can look different to each individual and couple. As a full-time elopement and intimate wedding photographer based out of Montana, I’ve captured my fair share of elopements ranging from extravagant to understated. Whatever direction you and your honey decide to go in, I’m here to share with you how to elevate your elopement to create an epic experience that fits your vision.
A common misconception about elopements is that they just include a quick ceremony and that’s it. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The truth about an elopement is that it can be whatever you want. If you do want a quick ceremony, go for it. But just know that you can make you elopement an epic event!
As weddings and elopements have evolved over time, one of my favorite “trends” is that they have turned into weekend-long events. By planning an elopement weekend, you’re able to have the elopement of your dreams and go on on an epic adventure. Long weekends or 2-day elopements allow couples to spend one day together and the rest of the time with their family and friends. Talk about the best of both worlds! Check out this romantic Montana Adventure Elopement Weekend for some inspiration. This couple chose to have an intimate celebration with a few family members and friends, and then have an epic adventure on day 2 that included private vows, a hike, and a picnic.
Psst… your elopement doesn’t mean you can’t include those who are most important to you. One of the biggest deterrents to couples when considering an elopement is not being able to have their parents or friends alongside them. Similarly to a destination wedding, your people can come with you!
If you want your loved ones present, but don’t necessarily want to have a bridal party, there are other ways you can include your guests. Whether you have a meal with them before your ceremony or spend the next day at the beach, there’s plenty of options to spend time with your loved ones. Check out 9 Ways to Include Your Family on Your Elopement Day.
Is there anything more romantic than exchanging private vows?! This is a great time for you and your honey to have an intimate moment together, especially if you’re planning to have a small ceremony in front of your family and friends. Whether you exchange vows before or after your ceremony, make sure you have the tissues handy! (I know I always need them…) This sweet Duluth, Minnesota Fall elopement featured a unique twist to their vow exchange.
Having a lunchtime picnic is key to keeping your energy high, especially if you’re having an adventurous elopement. Luxury picnics are definitely all the rage lately, but I am a sucker for a simple lunch of meat and cheese. Not sure which one is right for you!? Swoon over this luxurious picnic along a reservoir in Bozeman, Montana. And check out this Glacier National Park sunrise elopement which included a sweet, simple picnic after hiking.
An elegant dinner surrounded by your family and friends is such a fun way to celebrate after a long day (or weekend). Whether you decide to go to a nearby restaurant or set up an incredible spread under some twinkle lights… there’s nothing sweeter! One of the most special family dinners I’ve had the honor of attending was Alexis and Chase’s adventure elopement weekend. Their dessert was cheesecake; ’nuff said, amiright!? Check out Alexis and Chase’s elegant dinner here.
It wouldn’t be an adventurous elopement without the adventure! From hiking to pack-rafting, there are an endless number of activities you and your honey can do together. Is fly-fishing more up your alley? Or maybe you’d rather hit up a few breweries and play some rounds of pool. There are seriously an endless number of elopement activities! Not sure where to begin!? Here are 50 Activities to Do On Your Elopement Day.
If you ultimately decide to keep your elopement more intimate, or there are some loved ones who aren’t able to attend… reading letters from them is such a sweet option. There’s something so special about feeling the love of your family and friends from miles away. I absolutely loved that Maddie and Reed decided to read their letters while on their lakeside picnic. I felt like a fly on the wall watching joy spread across their faces, and tears gathering in their eyes. See the photos here.
Ohhh man! I am a big fan of an epic rental. There are typically a ton of unique lodging options near national parks. If you’re looking to accommodate just you and your honey, Airbnb is usually the best option. But for large groups, check out VRBO for the most options! Looking to elope in Montana? Take a look at the Best Elopement Vacation Rentals in Montana here! Rentals don’t just have to be lodging, either. Consider renting a fun arch for your intimate ceremony, or a rug to stand on for vows. There are tons of ways to make your day fun and unique to you, including your stay and rentals!
Now that you know how to elevate your elopement, it’s just a matter of planning it! I might be biased, but if you’re still searching for the perfect elopement location, consider eloping in Montana 😉. Check out my list of resources down below to help you with your planning process. As always, let’s be friends on Instagram (@sydneybreannphoto).
Now, prepare to swoon over these dreaming Bozeman, Montana elopement photos featuring moody boho vibes. Are you ready to wander?