The Elopement Checklist: How to Plan Your Adventure Elopement

Halie West Photography | Adventure Elopement Photographer


Your love feels right. So should your wedding day!

Are you planning your wedding day? Have you thought of eloping? The beauty of eloping is that they are completely unique to you and your partner. Get creative. Go on an adventure. There is no wrong way to elope, so get out and have fun with it. The day should reflect both of you, be just for you, and be created by you. Your wedding day should be about you and your love- not expectations. You can invite a few family members and friends, or elope just the two of you. Read on to see how you can get started on this elopement checklist.

Adventure Elopement Photographer:

The first thing on your elopement checklist should be finding a photographer. On your elopement day you will spend the most time with your photographer. Crazy right? That’s why it is so important to choose a photographer you enjoy. Find someone who’s works speaks to you, who’s soul you can vibe with, and who has the tools to make your day authentic and unique. A photographer who specializes as an adventure wedding photographer or elopement photographer can ensure to create the magic you are looking for. That is what us photographers are here for! We are your guides, moral boosters, and storytellers.

We will be with you every step of the way in planning your dream elopement, and you can rely on us to carry the stoke level high. If you enjoy my work and want to book me for your elopement please get in touch! LET’S DO THIS (stoke level high has been activated). I’m already super excited for the memories that we are going to create together. These are the photos you will look back on for years to come to remember your special day. As your elopement photographer I will tell the story that is true to your love. Get to know more about me here!

Adventure Elopement Location:

The next step of the elopement checklist is finding a location that speaks to you. If you are planning an adventure elopement than that means that you are going for a hike. Or climbing a wall. You could be hitting the slopes. Maybe you are backpacking to say “I do” on a mountain top at sunrise. Whatever your adventure, location is key. You should both decide on a location or two that speaks to you. Maybe it’s a place you always wanted to explore, a place where you first met or had your first date, or a place that you just truly love.

Getting to experience nature with your partner is such a treat, so you can’t really go wrong with any of the public land spaces that there are to choose from. Keep in mind that you will likely have to pay for a wedding permit to elope in your favorite State Park or National Park you’ve always wanted to visit. Don’t let that deter you. It’s a pretty easy process that your photographer or planner can help you with.

Check out some of my favorite National Parks to get inspired!

Adventure Elopement Date:

When choosing your elopement date you can decide whether you want to be flexible or not.

If you have a certain date in mind, say the anniversary of the day you both first met, you may want to contact you dream photographer 12-18 months in advance to ensure that they have this date open. Keep in mind that you may have to work with their travel schedule, but exceptions can always be made if you start planning early on.

If you have a month or season you want to get married in you may be able to get away with planning your elopement a few months out. You will likely have to work with your dream photographers travel schedule, but this will still lead to tons of options for adventures. When choosing the time of year you want to elope, and where you want to elope be sure to keep the weather in mind. Eloping in Moab in the Summer is doable but may be way more miserable than doing it in the Spring when temperatures are lower. Eloping and mountaineering to the top of Mt. Rainier is possible May through September, but would be way too dangerous in the Winter. Your photographer should be able to help you choose the best time for your dream location.



Officiants are here to help you officially tie the knot, make your marriage legal, and remind you of why you are vowing your love in the first place with personal anecdotes and funny jokes. They can be strangers who become friends, or even a friend or family member of your own. Friends or family can get ordained through the Universal Life Church through an easy process.


While you do not have to have flowers on your elopement day, (cus it’s your day and you do you) they can be a nice pop of color that can make you both smile. Floral artists are pretty incredible. They create these beautiful bouquets that can fit your style and location with an artistic flair.

I have really enjoyed working with AZK Bloom (California), and admire the work of The Potted Pansy (Utah), Beehive Floral CO. (Utah), and The Flower Method. Sarah from The Flower Method specializes in elopements and travels which is super rad!

Elopement Attire

Elopement attire is completely up to your own creativity on your elopement day. You can keep the tradition of wearing a white dress, or you can choose any color from the rainbow. You don’t even have to wear a dress. Hell, you could elope in your hiking clothes! It is completely up to you. If you do want to go for a dress, find one that compliments the environment you will be eloping in. Are you going to get wet? Find fabric that won’t weigh you down. Will there be wind? Find a dress that flows so you can have some fun. Are you going to get dirty? Yeah sorry that’s a given.

You can also decide to choose colors that compliment the area you are eloping in and help you stand out. Blues can be beautiful in the snow. A black suit is snazzy against orange sandstone. It is totally up to you so have fun with it!

Reclamation and BHLDN make some really beautiful dresses!

Hair + Makeup:

On your elopement day you can choose to either do your own hair + makeup, or hire a professional to do it for you. Let’s be real though, who doesn’t like being pampered a bit? You especially deserve in a day where you are going to vow your love to the person who matters most. You can choose to skip the added worry of getting your hair + makeup ready by a pro. This may be done at a crazy hour if you are starting at an epic location for sunrise. Makeup artists can even tag along on your adventure to keep your makeup + hair looking fresh after a long hike or surprise weather! You deserve to feel great on your day so your elopement photographer can capture your glow.

Elopement Planner:

Elopement planners are great at helping you both achieve your vision and inspiring you with new ideas. They can show you how to plan an elopement while keeping you on track. A planner can be a great option if you don’t really know where to start. Your elopement photographer is also a great resource to timeline creation.


Rings are also an important element of the elopement checklist. Elopements are all about making the day your own. Your rings should be a beautiful reflection of yourselves. They don’t have to be the typical stainless steel, gold, or diamond mix. However, if that’s what you are into the go for it! If you are looking for some non-traditional but beautiful rings check these out.

Roam silicone rings are pretty and simple. It’s as easy as that. Staghead Designs crafts beautiful and unique rings inspired by nature. Ash Hilton rings are simple, sleek, and have cute little trees on them.

Your elopement checklist ready! Now you are ready to start planning your elopement! Get in touch! Let’s go on your adventure together!

Looking for more inspiration?  Check out how to get married in a National Park!