How to create an elopement timeline

Elopement Tips

If you are starting to plan your elopement timeline, you’re probably wondering how this is all going to come together seamlessly. There’s so much advice out there for traditional weddings, but that route is just not for you. You know you want to exchange vows, and create an experience thats true to you, but maybe you’re just unsure how it’s all going to pan out. As your photographers, we are here to assist you in planning the most epic elopement day that feels just like you. We will ensure your elopement runs smoothly, and you don’t miss out on doing anything that you would love to do. Let’s bring your dream to life, for you! Read more to find out how to create the ultimate elopement timeline!

it’s all about creating an experience

Above all else, your elopement day should be focused around the experience you want to have, over the logistics of the day.

think about your dream day together…

How would you want to spend it? What activities do you love to do together? When you are on holidays, what types of experiences do you love to share? Do you partake in any meaningful rituals together on a regular basis?

this could be anything from…

  • waking up in the morning and cooking your favourite breakfast together
  • going for a scenic bike ride through the hills
  • a sunrise paddle board in the bay
  • morning yoga practice together at your airbnb
  • a soak in the hot springs
  • visiting your favourite ice cream shop
  • a hike to your favourite waterfall


The possibilities are endless, and there is so many ways you can incorporate the things you love doing into your elopement timeline. This is the best day of your life, from sunrise to sundown, let’s celebrate you and make this a day all about you. Consider ways that you can nurture your love story, and bring that connection along with you on your special day.

how long does an elopement day last?

Although it is common in the wedding industry for vendors to put elopements in the category of “less coverage” and make it all about a quick ceremony and a few portraits. Here at Coast & Pines, we do not do things that way. Majority of couples who hire us to photograph their elopement day, actually hire us for a full day.

Now you may be thinking a full day elopement? I’ve never heard of that! But let’s go back to the idea we just discussed of incorporating activities you love to do. By creating an experience out of your elopement rather than, only the logistics of saying vows, getting portraits, etc. you will ultimately be making your day all that more special and more true to who you are. After all, you are probably eloping because you’re craving an experience that is more authentic to you.

Now, you are most likely realizing that a day focused around you and what you love to do, probably won’t fit into a 2 hour photo session. That’s why we don’t offer anything less than 4 hours, and give you package options that extend all the way to two days. Your elopement day is a once in a life time celebration, your full story deserves to be told, and documented every step of the way.

Just because you are having less guests, does not mean your wedding is any less worthy of being celebrated all day. Most traditional weddings are celebrated all day, so what makes an intimate wedding different? Let me tell you – nothing at all. You deserve to have a day that feels like you and you deserve to celebrate all day too. This is your love story, your one wedding day, the one day of your life all about celebrating your relationship.

So in short answer, your elopement day can last as long as you desire but we strongly encourage you to consider living it up to its full potential and celebrating for a full day or even two! Let’s make it an epic adventure all about you!

things to consider when creating your elopement timeline

01. value this experience

You only get one wedding day, and most likely the reason you are eloping is because you want it to feel authentic to who you two are as a couple. You should value this day to the point that you whole heartedly believe it deserves to be everything you both want, incorporated into the best day of your lives. Be selfish, break traditions, do things your way. But most of all, document it so that you can relive it over and over again. Just because you are having a small wedding, doesn’t mean it has to be anything less than incredible. Let’s tell your story, and make the most epic elopement timeline for your day!

02. allow space to truly enjoy your day

While it is very important to have some structure to your day, so that we can ensure we fit in everything you are envisioning. It’s also equally important to allow space within that timeline. You deserve to have a stress free day, full of spontaneity, and endless adventures. Nobody wants to feel like their day is rushed by and flying past them. While the whole day they’re looking at the time, wondering how much longer they get with their photographer. You deserve the freedom to have all the time you could ever need. To just be in the moment with your significant other and enjoy every moment of the day. You also deserve to have every moment documented, so you can relive it and not worry about time restricted photography.

Something you may want to consider leaving an hour or two in the elopement timeline to allow for transitions between activities. Things sometimes take longer than expected, or you may just want to live in the moment and not feel constricted. An hour or two would allow you to can jump out of the car at any scenic view, run barefoot on the beach, or head out to a nearby destination for some extra epic photos. Whatever your adventure may be, it’s always a good idea to consider the journey and the space in between. You deserve to live in the moment and enjoy every part of your elopement day.

03. don’t let anybody tell you how to celebrate your day

Don’t ever let anyone convince you that your elopement is anything less than the greatest day of your life. No more talk of 1 hour elopement photoshoots or a quick ceremony followed by a couple portraits of you. It’s time to put yourselves first and celebrate your day in a way that feels true to you, doing the things you love to do, with the love of your life. Unfortunately your memories will fade, and you deserve to relive every moment of the most special day of your life. Let’s stop believing all the elopement myths and listening to the industries standards of what your day should look like.

I am here to tell you, to celebrate this day in whatever way feels most true to you. Let’s document every moment so you can relive it for the rest of your days. But above all else, you are getting married because you love each other, can’t imagine your life with anyone other and are ready to embark on a lifetime of beautiful memories together. So let’s put that at the forefront and create an experience of a lifetime for you.

identify the key elements of your day

Now that we’ve talked all about the experience, timeframes, and how you can create the most epic elopement day for the two of you. Let’s talk the logistics of the day. What is it that you are actually going to do? Once your vision for your day starts to take place, I recommend sitting down with your significant other and making a list of all the special elements you’d love to include within your day.

some common elopement timelines include:

  • getting ready photos
  • a first look
  • some type of epic adventure activity – ie. hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, off roading, etc!
  • ceremony + vows
  • family portraits and/or couple portraits
  • champaign toast
  • reception/celebration dinner

let’s put it all together and create your elopement timeline

Now that you know how you want to spend the best day of your life. It’s time to build it into a timeline and make it come to life! But don’t worry, this is where I help. I’ll work with you to ensure we cover everything you envision for your day. While leaving extra time for you to relax, and be present. And ensuring you have ample time to do everything that will make this day feel true to you. We will assist with any logistics, such as recommending how long your hike will take, how much time it will take to drive to your ceremony spot, best times of the day to avoid crowds, times of the day for best lighting, how long it will take you to get ready, etc.

We will work together to create a timeline that will leave you feeling stress free ,and ready to celebrate the best day of your life!

an example of what a full day elopement timeline looks like:

10AM-11:30AM : morning paddle board in the bay
12PM-1PM : cook brunch together at the airbnb
(this is where we can capture those candid memories from the day)
2PM-3:30PM : getting ready
4PM : drive to ceremony
4:30PM : ceremony, vows, champaign toast
5:30PM-7PM : couple portraits (explore nearby locations)
7:30PM : drive back to airbnb
8PM-10PM : celebrate with private dinner back at airbnb with family
(dinner, drinks, music, games)

now you’re ready for your most epic elopement day!

I hope these tips were able to better help you prepare your elopement timeline for your special day. If you’re still unsure of where to start, get in touch below! I not only photograph your special day I assist you with planning every step of the way. Allow me to help guide you through this intimate wedding experience and make the most out of your elopement day!

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