How to plan an elopement in four weeks

Elopement Tips

Have you just been engaged? Keen to elope as soon as possible!?

First of all, congrats! That’s so exciting, we’re sure you have the most amazing life ahead of you. 

Planning an elopement at short notice is SUPER common, as often we want to celebrate our love in a casual and romantic way, but we also want to celebrate it ASAP! So, what better than an elopement at short notice?

That being said, it can be a bit daunting, especially when you’re not sure where to start. That’s A-OK though, because we’ve got your back – here’s our handy 8-step guide to plan your elopement in 4 weeks!

Pick a date 

First thing’s first, you need to find your date!

When choosing a date for your elopement, the first thing to consider is if there are any dates that are significant to you as a couple or are just cool dates to have an anniversary. One that springs to mind was 2/2/22!

When choosing a date, you need to make sure it is 4 weeks ahead in order for the marriage to be legal in Australia. This is because you must submit your Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), through your celebrant or the registry office this far in advance.

Find your vendors 

Next, do your best to touch base with your vendors as soon as you can. The earlier the better – not for us, but for YOU.

Why? Because we can HELP! 

Before you’ve planned anything, your vendors (like us) can guide you along each step of the way giving you the peace of mind that your day will be perfect, and you’re not wasting your time and money planning solo.

Choosing vendors who specialise in elopements is another big plus, as they can take the weight off your shoulders, providing experience, and unique understanding to ensure that you can foresee how everything will come together seamlessly!

Choose your vibe

The overall vibe and feel of your day will play a major part in what you do, and how you go about planning your elopement!

It will also help to determine how the day really looks and feels for you. It’s all about what you really want as a couple – how your vibe and personalities best mesh to create a day that is centred to what you love to do and feel together. 

A couple of examples of this would be…

Winter Elopement: Maybe you want to get married in the snow, with a fur coat over your dress, a warm mug of hot chocolate on the signing table. It might be a cozy dinner by the fire after and a morning on the slopes! Check out our blog “Top Tips For A Winter Elopement In Australia”

Non-traditional: You might want to do all of the things that are traditionally excluded from weddings, like spending the night before and morning of together; getting ready together. Maybe you don’t want a traditional wedding cake, but would instead rather a dessert stand, or some donuts!

Boho: This will definitely help to determine how you dress, how you style your ceremony and the rest  of your day. Maybe you want some super relaxed, yet chic decorations, and a flower-filled picnic in a grassy field by the beach! The world is your oyster.

There are SO many other potential options for the vibe of your elopement, so have a look out and think about what best aligns to you!

Everything from the type of vendors and environment, to the accommodation you choose to spend the night in.

Choose your locations 

The fun part about eloping is that you can make the most of more than one location in your day!

Maybe you’d like to get ready, have your ceremony, take portraits, and spend the evening all in different places. This allows you to really make the most of where you are, and enjoy the special things that your location has to offer. 

We also recommend chatting to your photographer as soon as you pick your location! We know where all of the most beautiful spots are, and can help you choose which places will fit seamlessly into your timeline. 

For more tips on how to choose your location, check our blog “How to choose your elopement location”.

Buy your attire 

The next step is to go out and buy your elopement attire! This will be determined by your unique style, as well as your vibe and location.

Remember, there’s definitely no wrong answer when it comes to attire! By no means do you HAVE to go with the traditional white dress, or suit. Maybe your day involves a hike, or a beach walk – get married in your hiking boots, or no shoes at all!

If you feel more comfortable in black, go for it. Or, maybe you love florals, or you’re a florist yourself – find yourself the most gorgeous flowery dress.

At the end of the day, an elopement is about expressing yourself and your love as a couple, so wear whatever makes you feel a million bucks!

Choose who you want to invite 

To legally marry in Australia, you need 2 witnesses to sign your marriage certificate. 

So, that means your elopement will feature you, your celebrant and at least 2 others. Maybe it’s two loved ones that understand and appreciate that you want to elope with – the type of people that will really add to the quality of your experience!

The other option is to have your vendors be your witnesses. If you don’t want any family or friends there, we know a pretty handy photographer-couple!!

Figure out what you will do for meals 

The first thing to determine here is what type of dining experience you want. We’ve got the blog just for that – 10 dining experiences for your elopement day!

Maybe you want to hit up a fast food joint, have a picnic, or set up a glam dining experience in the bush, a park, or your accommodation. 

From here, figure out whether you’ll need to make any bookings or organise extra vendors like stylists, caterers or a private chef.

Make a timeline 

Last but not least, your timeline will help you make sure your day runs PERFECTLY!

If your vendors specialise in elopements, they will definitely help you to do this – we love helping with creating your elopement timeline!

To do it yourself, start with when you want your main meal, and work around that! An important thing to factor in is transport time, as well as what time of day you want your ceremony. Maybe it’s a sunrise ceremony, to make the most of the beautiful, quiet morning, or a golden hour ceremony, with some sunset portraits. 

Elopements allow you to go with the flow, so don’t feel like you need to rush through the day with a packed schedule – you might even want a midday nap before you start getting ready!

Here’s a timeline example for a winter golden hour ceremony:

10am – Morning making breakfast together at airbnb, going for a dip in the ocean 
12pm – Brunch at a café
1:30pm – Head back to Airbnb
2pm – Start Getting ready 
3:30pm – Travel to ceremony location 
4pm – Golden Hour Ceremony 
4:30pm – Drinks/Celebratory Toast
5pm – Portraits
6pm – Travel to Dinner
6:30pm – Dinner 

Breaking down your day into these 8 things will help you to clearly understand all of the things you need to plan. All of this can easily be done within a month!

With your dream team, and a clear vision, your day will come to life effortlessly. 

*REMEMBER*… Make sure to organise your Notice of Intended Marriage form at least 4 weeks before your desired date! This is the most important factor in planning your elopement within 4 weeks. From there, the world is your oyster.

Looking for some help getting your elopement planned and organised quick-smart?