The Only Elopement Checklist You’ll Need

Start planning your big day with this jam-packed elopement checklist. Save time, reduce stress, and let this elopement checklist pave your way.

Couple plans elopement at the Paint Mines in Colorado after completing elopement checklist

Updated: May 9, 2023

Planning an elopement can be tough, especially when you have no starting point and there are millions of thoughts racing through your mind. Getting ideas and timelines onto paper can not only be time consuming, but may also leave you worried whether your list is complete or missing that one detail you didn’t think of.

Luckily, there are tools to help people process big events and assist with laying out major milestones. 

This elopement checklist is that be-all-end-all guide and it will give you the necessary ideas to begin planning for your elopement. 

Months and weeks leading up to the elopement

Mountain elopement vow book and wedding rings

  • Set a budget
  • Brainstorm locations and ideas
  • Hire a photographer (Hint: I recommend hiring your photographer early in the process since most elopement photographers include location assistance + planning help in their services!)
  • Set your elopement date
  • Decide on an elopement location
  • Reserve your elopement location or apply for special use permits if needed
  • Determine if you need a witness or officiant according to the laws where you’re eloping
  • Figure out any necessary backup plans for locations
  • Create a website (if desired)
  • Buy your dress and/or suit/tux
  • Research and hire local vendors
    • Officiant (unless you’re self-solemnizing!)
    • Musician
    • Hair/makeup artist
    • Catering/Private Chef/Restaurant
    • Flowers
    • Videographer
  • Decide on a honeymoon location
  • Finalize guest list (if needed)
  • Plan your bachelor/bachelorette party (if desired)
  • Book your travel (if needed)
    • Flights
    • Accommodations
    • Car rental
  • Verify travel documents are up-to-date
    • Passport
    • International driver’s license
    • Vaccines
  • Get dress and/or suit/tux altered
  • Purchase wedding accessories
    • Shoes
    • Shawl
    • Jewelry
    • Tie/socks
    • Cufflinks
  • Purchase items for ceremony / elopement activities
  • Select wedding music and create any playlists
  • Purchase wedding rings
  • Create elopement day timeline
  • Make arrangements when you’re away
    • Pet boarding/sitting
    • House sitting
  • Write wedding vows
  • Purchase spouse’s gift (if giving one)
  • Obtain your marriage license
  • Pack for elopement/honeymoon (if needed)
  • Review backup plans (just in case)

Day of elopement

Couple kisses at their Estes Park Colorado elopement

Days after elopement

  • Announce your elopement
  • Plan a party if you want
  • Send thank you notes

No matter how big or how small, complex or simple, expensive or frugal, one thing should always hold true – this special day is yours and you should celebrate it your way. Make this elopement checklist your own and use it to make your dream day a reality.

Are you planning an elopement or microwedding?

I’m more than just a photographer. Helping couples create their dream day is what I do best!

Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!

Or check out more elopement planning resources…

Elopement Photographer Kim from Wild and Found Photography

Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!

Elopement Checklist cover photos


  1. Love your elopement checklist, it really is a perfect resource for couples planning their adventure elopement. Also love how that the first photo on the page perfectly compliments your brand colors. Keep up the great work Kim!

  2. Wow! This Loction in the first picture is so amazing. i love to see all those beautiful places teh world offers us. The checklist wonderfull and so helpful. Thank you so much

  3. This is such a useful post, filled with details and knowledge! I’ll be keeping it in mind for when my big day comes 🙂

  4. This is such an awesome resource for couples. I have noticed that there aren’t many checklists for elopements that couples can refer to so this is great!

  5. What an awesome post. Super cool that setting a budget is number one, because it really should be! They are lucky to have you guide them through this process.

  6. Wow Kim, this list is so insightful and amazing, you truly did not forget anything, Thank you so so much for all the precious info!

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