Elopement Ideas For Your Elopement Timeline

Claire Hunt Photography

October 30, 2020

Have you ever wondered how to plan an elopement timeline? Are you looking for elopement ideas for your big day? Like what in the world can you even do for an elopement? You are in the right place. Let’s dive into what eloping actually means, over 20 elopement ideas for activities to include in your all-day elopement, an example of an elopement timeline to use for inspiration, and I will answer the most frequently asked question when it comes to hiring an elopement photographer. Let’s get excited about all the possibilities we’re about to dig into! Are you ready?!


Let me ask you a question… when you think about eloping or elopements in general, is there a taboo that crosses your mind? Do you envision a rebellious couple heading to Vegas against the wishes of friends and family? Or maybe a couple who doesn’t care about including others to witness their union? If you see it that way even in the slightest bit, we’re about to bust some myths, my friend. You’re going to want to read this, no matter where you stand.

My definition of eloping is when you choose to have an intimate, personalized, unique wedding celebration where the focus of the day is about you two becoming one. You’re not choosing to elope because you don’t care about the significance of your marriage or wedding day… you’re choosing to elope because you want the events of your day to truly reflect who you are. These moments that you’re able to personalize become the perfect illustration of your love and connection!


One question I always ask my couples is this: If you and your lover could plan out the most special date day and do everything that you love together, what would that be?

Do you want to hike to a mountain’s summit at sunrise to share your vows? Are you wanting to pop champagne to celebrate with your lover? Or, maybe you’re envisioning getting married in a downtown city hall or going on an epic adventure? Are you planning on it being just you two? Or can you imagine having your closest 15 people there to witness your union? Above all, whatever it is you are envisioning, it’s totally up to you and that’s the beauty of choosing to elope. 

Many of the wedding traditions in the current culture are stress-filled and pressure-causing. There’s the pressure to deliver a fun event for everyone you’ve invited as a guest, but when you decide to keep it close to your inner circle, the focus becomes about you two and the union you have just made! Because of that, there’s little to no stress involved and it’s very joy evoking. Is there less planning involved with eloping? Not so much! Once you dive into planning your elopement, it can actually feel quite stressful for many couples because the world is at their fingertips. The possibilities become endless and there’s no actual formula to follow. That’s where I come in – I’m here to help you make these epic ideas the reality you will live out one of the most significant days of your life together – however it is that you envision.


So you may be thinking, I hear how great this can be, Claire, but what in the world do I incorporate in my own elopement timeline? To get you inspired about your own vision for your day, here is a list of 20+ ideas you can incorporate into your elopement timeline!

  1. Share your vows on a mountain’s summit after hiking to the top
  2. Have a first look with your lover
  3. Sight-see and explore. This could be going on a road trip to chosen photo destinations or your ceremony site if you’re not a fan of hiking, heading out to the city to go to a rooftop bar, taking a helicopter ride, getting on a boat, horseback riding, four-wheeling, etc)
  4. Have an intimate reception under string lights with all of your invited guests
  5. Cook your favorite meal together
  6. Make some music together or play some music throughout the day
  7. Have a cake cutting together
  8. Do a champagne pop once you’re married – when else will you get to spray champagne everywhere?!
  9. Go to a winery/brewery/distillery
  10. Picnic together for lunch
  11. Play your favorite game together
  12. Do your favorite water sport (kayaking, boating, canoeing, etc)
  13. Have a campfire and roast marshmallows
  14. Have a spa experience and get (or give each other) massages
  15. Go somewhere meaningful to your relationship (first date location, where he proposed, etc)
  16. Share a first dance
  17. Get your favorite ice cream at a closeby ice cream parlor
  18. End your night with stargazing
  19. Go camping
  20. Have an epic getaway (motorcycle, antique car, your camper van, sparklers, Chinese lantern, etc)



If you’re having a hard time envisioning what an all-day elopement can look like, here is some inspiration for you! Click on the Asheville timeline below to see what your all-day elopement could look like!

Asheville – Example of All-Day Elopement Timeline


From the example of the elopement in Asheville, are you able to see how an elopement day (aka: YOUR WEDDING DAY) coverage can last the entire day? Are you able to envision yourself in the shoes of J + E? Being able to take in the in-between moments making breakfast with your family, having the details that matter to you captured, sharing private time with your lover doing what you enjoy most, and still having your closest family and friends there to celebrate at the ceremony and intimate reception? Maybe this day doesn’t look exactly how you would plan your own. Maybe you would include more of a hike in your wedding attire and getting some epic pictures in a location that inspires you. That is the beauty of being able to plan your elopement timeline, every single detail, where it matches exactly what you envision. As your photographer, I do not believe in selling yourself short on photographs on one of the most special days of your life.


Consider these tips when planning your all-day elopement timeline:

  • Keep in mind travel times between locations. I will help with planning your timeline because the last thing I want is for you to feel rushed to get from location to location.
  • Make room for spontaneity! It is my hope you will take time to be fully present and enjoy the day as it comes without looking at your watch wanting to get on with the next thing. You get to choose every detail, and your timeline is meant to serve as a guide, but it’s your day. That’s what matters most!
  • Last but not least, DO WHATEVER YOUR HEART DESIRES. Your day should be 100% epic and true to you. Whether that is at a cityscape location, the most mountainous location we could find, or a mix of both! You deserve to make your wedding day reflect the two of you. These are the photos you’re going to look back on for every anniversary and when you have children. Display your love – just how it is in the most personalized way.


Find a unique event space for an intimate reception here: Peerspace, Airbnb, VRBO

Deciding on where to choose to elope: Adventure Instead Blog

Learn more about what Claire does for you and her elopement packages here: Elopement Packages

Learn more about Claire here: About Me


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  1. Liv says:

    Claire!! I LOVE these tips SOOOO much!!! All the ideas you gave are so awesome I want to do them all!!! Seriously don’t know how I’m supposed to decide what to do for my elopement because everything seems so awesome! I love how much help you offer your couples as well, so good!!

  2. Steph says:

    Aw wow! amazing guide, thank you so much.

    So many great tips in here to help us plan our elopement and ideas for our timeline . X

  3. Stacie Struble says:

    This is a great resource for anyone wanting to elope but not sure where to start! The included example timeline is AWESOME for helping to picture how my day could go!

  4. Lauren Han says:

    I LOVE all these ideas! I love how you show how personalized your elopement can and should be! This is an incredible resource, great job!!!

  5. Leo says:

    This is amazing! Love your ideas for ways to celebrate and the example timeline has really helped us shape our day. Thank you for sharing ?

  6. Dina says:

    OMG I love all the ideas to fit in an elopement and seeing the example of a timeline definitely helps!

  7. Lauren says:

    First off, I love this entire article! I think it speaks volumes as to how much experience you have with elopements! Second, that leather jacket in that last photo is amazing!!! haha so cool!

  8. Traci says:

    This is great info thank you for sharing!

  9. Andrea says:

    Amazing guide and tip for anyone looking for an elopement ideas and what to do.

  10. Kristen says:

    So many fun ideas for what to do on your elopement day! Definitely lots more to do than just say your vows and go home.

  11. Bernadeta says:

    Wow! So many helpful ideas! Love this guide