Elopement Ideas For Your Elopement Timeline

Claire Hunt

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, do you simply envision a couple taking about an hour of photos and going on about their day? If you see it that way even in the slightest bit, we’re about to inspire you with what your elopement day could look like, my friend.

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. You want all of the little moments photographed instead of putting on a huge show for guests.


one question I always ask my couples is this: if you and your love 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 an elopement weekend overseas with your favorite people? 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-filled. 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. Help each other get ready for the day
  2. Have a first look with your love
  3. Share your vows with your dream backdrop
  4. Sight-see and explore. This could be going on a road trip to chosen photo destinations or your ceremony site, heading out to the city to go to a rooftop bar, taking a helicopter ride, getting on a boat, horseback riding along the coast, etc.
  5. Have an intimate reception under string lights with all of your invited guests
  6. Cook your favorite meal together
  7. Make some music together or play some music throughout the day
  8. Have a cake cutting together
  9. Do a champagne pop once you’re married – when else will you get to spray champagne everywhere?!
  10. Go to a winery/brewery/distillery
  11. Picnic together for lunch
  12. Play your favorite game together
  13. Go out on a boat, sightseeing all of the beauty surrounding you
  14. Canoe in a lake
  15. Have a campfire and roast marshmallows
  16. Go somewhere meaningful to your relationship (first date location, where he proposed, etc.)
  17. Share your first dance
  18. Get your favorite ice cream at a closeby ice cream parlor
  19. End your night with stargazing
  20. Have an epic getaway (antique car, your camper van, sparklers, Chinese lantern, etc.)


One of my couples, J + T opted for an all-day elopement in Olympic National Park. They split the day between just having time to them and also celebrating with their families.

9am | Detail photos (dress hanging, vow books, shoes, rings, etc.)

9:45am | J gets dressed 

10:15am | First look with J’s dad

10:30am | First look with J + T

10:45am | drive to Maple Glade Rainforest

  • 15 minute drive

11am | arrive at Maple Glade, portraits 

11:30am | leave Maple Glade, head to Rialto

  • 1 hour, 45 minute drive

1:15pm | arrive at Rialto Beach

1:30pm | J + T portraits along Rialto Beach 

  • walk along the beach 1.5 miles to Hole in the Wall

2:30pm | picnic for lunch at Hole in the Wall, portraits 

3:30pm | head back to trailhead

  • hike 1.5 miles

4:30pm | leave Rialto, drive to Ruby Beach

  • 1 hour drive to Ruby Beach

5:30pm | arrive at Ruby Beach, begin walk to beach, set up for ceremony

6pm | ceremony at Ruby Beach, vow reading

6:30pm | family photos, pop champagne

7pm | coverage concludes


Our elopement packages are a bit different because we believe in order to take in the in-between moments, no less than 4 hours of coverage is required. This is your wedding day, after all. If you want to enjoy a meal with your family, have the details that matter to you captured, share private time with your love doing what you enjoy most, and still have your closest family and friends there to celebrate at the ceremony and intimate reception – then you can easily fill 8 hours of coverage.


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 and 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% true to you and what you will actually enjoy doing. Don’t feel any pressure to hike if that’s not you (I know I’m not trying to hike over 3+ miles, and I doubt you are either). You deserve to make your wedding day reflect the two of you in every way so that you’re able to look back in 10 years and feel every moment just as you were there again.


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

Learn more about the experience of working with Claire 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