Are you thinking about eloping, but not sure how much time you’ll need to make your day special? You’re in luck, this blog goes over all the ways to structure your elopement timeline! Whether you’re looking for a quick and simple ceremony or a full day of adventure, there’s an elopement timeline that will fit your needs. In this blog, we’ll explore the different activities you can add into your elopement timeline to choose the perfect adventure for you.


Your Elopement Timeline: Choosing the Perfect Adventure for You


Elopement Vs. Intimate Wedding

First, let’s take a look at what differentiates an intimate wedding from an elopement. An elopement typically has a maximum of 2-5 guests, while an intimate wedding can have anywhere from 10-50 guests. An intimate wedding usually takes place at a venue and includes a ceremony, meal, cake, and small reception with a golden hour photo session. On the other hand, an elopement is more of an adventure, and the timeline can be tailored to you as a couple. You have so many activities to choose from. Whether you want a simple couple of hours or a full day of exploring, there is no right way to do it.

Both elopements & intimate weddings include vows and an officiant, but for an elopement, I’ll typically be the officiant, although that’s entirely up to you. An intimate wedding is typically catered, but for an elopement, we can bring whatever, your favorite meal OR just your favorite donut place. You choose the exact adventure you want for your day! Whether you choose to have an intimate wedding or an elopement, there is no right answer. Your day is all about you, your lover, and celebrating that love. This day starts off the rest of your love story together, so let’s make it all about you! That being said, if you decided an intimate wedding sounds best for you, this might not be the blog for you. BUT if you’ve decided eloping is your dream, let’s chat what elopement timeline might be the best fit for your adventure!




2-Hour Elopement: The Golden Hour Session

This is the perfect choice for couples who just want to exchange vows and capture beautiful photos at sunset/sunrise. You and your partner can arrive separately for a stunning first look. Then, it’s time for your vows and a sunset photo session with a glass of champagne or sparkling cider in hand. This option is all about simplicity and taking in the breathtaking scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, we can even add an activity, but everything will be at one location.


Example 2-Hour elopement timeline:

  • Arrive at the location
  • First Look
  • Vows
  • Explore + Sunrise/Sunset Session


Your Elopement Timeline: Choosing the Perfect Adventure for You


4-Hour Elopement: The Best of Both Worlds

This option is a mix of the 2-hour and 6-hour elopements and allows you to choose what’s most important to you. You and your partner can decide how you’d like to structure your day, but typically, you’ll have time for getting ready, a first look, vows, cake, and a sunset finish. This option gives you a little bit of everything and can involves two locations.


Example 4-Hour elopement timeline:

  • Getting ready in one location
  • First look
  • Vows in another location
  • Cake
  • Stunning golden hour photos



6-Hour Elopement: The Whole Shebang

If you want the full day experience, this is the option for you! This elopement timeline has room for everything you’d want in a wedding, but without the guests, family dynamics, and other distractions. You’ll have the option to have everything from a full ceremony/vows, flowers, cake, multiple locations, multiple dresses, a full meal/picnic, and maybe even a little dance party/reception action. The day would start with getting ready at the location of your choice (including your home), followed by a first look, ceremony/vows at one location, an activity at another location, cake, a meal/picnic (on the beach, in a field, or even in the back of your Jeep!), and photos at sunset with champagne or sparkling cider. This option allows you to fully immerse yourselves in your love and make memories that will last a lifetime.


Example 6-Hour elopement timeline:

  • Getting ready
  • First look
  • Vows at one location
  • Move to another location for exploration and activities
  • Cake & meal
  • Finish the day with photos, champagne, and a picnic at sunset



Eloping or Not, Make It an Adventure!

Whether you’re looking for a quick elopement photoshoot or a full-day experience, there’s an option for every couple. Pick and choose the elements that are most important to you and make your day truly special. Your elopement timeline is your opportunity to create the elopement day of your dreams. So, create your dream elopement timeline, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I need to find an elopement location ASAP!”, “I don’t even know how to elope!?”, “Who is this woman to tell me about elopement timelines?!” OR “I have no clue what elopement timeline I need!”. Hey, I’m Katie, nice to meet you! I’m a southern California elopement photographer, so I know a few things about elopements & how to have the best day for your elopement. My blog is packed full of elopement education! Whether you’re looking to figure out how to elope, where to elope, or just want more info about my journey as a southern California elopement photographer, you’ll find it all over there! I hope you find everything you’re looking for there and more.

If you’re ready to book your southern California elopement photographer, reach out! It’s my promise to you that I’ll capture your day in a way that will leave you in awe of your beauty and the love you share. I want you to always remember that life is magical, and that love always surrounds you.



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