How to Make an Elopement Special

A couple who had a special elopement by hiking to their ceremony spot.

A guide for how to make an elopement feel extra special!

If you are seeking out how to make an elopement special, odds are you are wanting an elopement day that feels unique and (most importantly) truly feels like you! From location, to lodging, to activities, to meals, and beyond – there are countless ways you can make your elopement day feel extra special. Want to know the best ones? I’ve got you covered!

A guide for how to make an elopement special

Top 15 ideas for how to make an elopement special

1. Pick an epic landscape you’ve always dreamed of

When you close your eyes and imagine yourself saying your vows, what is the environment you dream of being in? Alpine lakes, lush forests, rugged coastline, endless desert – the options are endless. Your elopement day is a once in a lifetime experience, why not do it somewhere unbelievably epic!

2. Get married in your very favorite season

Say your vows on a warm summer day high up in the mountains surrounded by wildflowers. Get married surrounded by orange leaves on a crisp fall day. Catch snowflakes in the middle of a total winter wonderland. In summary, pick the season that makes you happiest!

3. Get creative with where you stay for your elopement

Instead of a standard hotel room, you can go all out! That could mean an A-Frame cabin in the mountains, a treehouse in the forest (yes for real!), or a cute little adobe AirBnB in the desert. Wake up and get ready somewhere that inspires you.

4. Make your elopement extra special with a full day adventure

Again, your elopement day is a once in a lifetime experience, don’t crunch that down into just a few short hours! Start the day catching the sunrise and end it dancing beneath the stars. You might be thinking, “Well what the heck are we going to do all day?!” Short answer: whatever the heck you want!

For instance, the two of you can get up before the sun to catch the sunrise, have coffee and a breakfast picnic at a nearby lake, get on the water with a paddleboard, meet with your closest friends and family to get ready, have your first look in a forest, follow a trail to say your vows in the mountains, hop in a 4×4 vehicle to have an off road adventure as newlyweds, have your first dance in the wild, head to a brewery for dinner and brews, and finish the evening around a campfire with your closest people dancing under the stars. The options are endless!

5. Wear whatever the heck you want

If you want to wear a traditional white lace wedding dress with a long vail or a classic black tux, then that is exactly what you should wear!!! But, if that’s not exactly your style, wear what makes you feel your best! If a floral dress with pockets (heck yes to dresses with pockets!), a sleek pantsuit, a sage green suit jacket, or a black tule is more your style – you do you!

6. Have a private vow reading with personalized vows

If you are having a small ceremony with your closest family and friends, you can still carve out time to have a private vow reading with just the two of you! Instead of following a script, personalize your vows and allow yourselves to be fully vulnerable with eachother.

Click here to learn more about having a private vow reading before your ceremony

7. Have a first look for a special elopement moment

Just because you aren’t having a big wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t share that special first look moment! A first look is a private moment where you and your partner see each other in your wedding attire for the first time. Having a first look on your elopement day gives you more time to spend together before the ceremony. It’s also a great option if you are having a few guests to have a private moment together seeing each other for the first time in your wedding gear before joining your most cherished people! If you are reading private vows before the ceremony, this is also a great time for that to keep those emotions that come with the first look going.

8. Have your first dance in the wild

A bluetooth speaker lets you bring your special song to where ever you are! Or put a couple air pods in your ears and escape into your favorite song as newlyweds in the wild. Wether you are in the mountains, the desert, along the ocean, deep in the forest, or in your cozy AirBnB – take some time to share a first dance together.

9. Pop some champagne!

Right after the ceremony, when the stoke is at it’s highest, pop some champagne and yell, “WE DID IT!” If beer is more your style, grab a local brew and cheers!

10. Have a fun meal experience

Have a slice of pizza at a picnic table in the woods. Stop by a food truck in a cute little ski resort town. Reserve a table at a local favorite restaurant with your favorite people. Taste a few local brews at the brewery. Hire a private chef to make you a five course meal at your AirBnB. Have a picnic on the shores of a lake. Whatever makes you the most excited!

11. Add an adrenaline pumping activity

If you want to do something extra exciting on your elopement day, get after it! Hit the slopes and go snowboarding or skiing in your wedding gear. Rent a 4×4 to go off roading to the most epic ceremony spot in the mountains. Hit the trails on a mountain bike. Jump in a lake and go swimming. Go backpacking and get married outside your tent at sunrise on the top of a mountain. Zip lining, bunjee jumping, a helicopter ride, if you can dream it you can do it!

12. Enjoy a chill activity

Take some time to chill together in a hammock. Hop on a gondola to take in some mountain views. Go for a scenic walk to your ceremony spot. Hop on a paddle board and explore a lake. Grab a fishing pole. Take the time on your elopement day to do the things that you love and feel like you!

13. Bring your pup!

There is nothing better than happy pups on their parents’ elopement day!! I know how much joy your doggo brings you, so bring that joy to your elopement day! Fun fact: in Colorado your dog can sign as the witness on your marriage license (yes for real!).

14. Have a day after adventure session

You don’t have to let the momentum stop with your elopement day! The day after your elopement day, head out for another adventure together. This is an especially great option for those who are eloping with guests to take time together the day after for just the two of you. You can do this in your wedding gear or keep it casual. What better way to start your first full day as a married couple than with an adventure!

15. Most importantly to make an elopement special – BE YOU!

The best thing about elopements and small weddings is that they give you more freedom to craft a day that truly represents the two of you. Above all else, do whatever makes you happiest!

Looking for your elopement photographer?

Work with Alex of Roaming Pine

If you are looking for an elopement photographer for the day you say, “I Do” in the great outdoors, I’m your girl. Head on over to my contact page so we can bring your special elopement day to life!

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  1. So many fun ideas! What a great guide!

  2. Sanne says:

    These are some great tips to make every elopement different and special!

  3. Kayla says:

    This post is so awesome!! We ended up having a first look right at sunrise for our elopement, and it was the best ever! I totally agree that you can still adopt some moments from a bigger, more traditional wedding and use them for elopements! I think first looks helps so much with the jitters! Haha.

    • Alex Celani says:

      That must have been so magical, I love that! And I totally agree it helps so much with the jitters! Thanks so much!

  4. These are such great tips for eloping couples! I love how they are so centered around being able to truly be yourself on your wedding day!

  5. Afton says:

    Yes yes yes, especially to all-day elopements! Sometimes it feels like your elopement ends too soon, but a longer adventure is perfect to feel fulfilled to the max.

  6. This post makes me want to elope all over again! All these ideas are so perfect for finding ways to make your elopement day the best it can be!

  7. Krystal says:

    I love all of these ideas and like Jessica said, it makes me want to elope again! So many people think that eloping just has to be a photoshoot that lasts an hour or two and don’t realize how much they can personalize it. This is a great resource!

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Alex Celani : : Vail, Colorado

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