How to Create an Elopement Timeline

How to Create an Elopement Timeline for your Intimate Wedding.

As elopement photographers, one of the most common questions we get in the initial stages of elopement planning is: How do we create our elopement timeline? Now that you have decided that you want to elope it may seem a little daunting to start planning the day. Where do you begin when there are endless ideas and ways to structure your day? Since you are making this day about the two of you, anything is possible! But where do you start? We have put together this little guide to help you navigate the details of how your elopement day will flow.

How to Create an Elopement Timeline


What are Your Priorities and What do You Want to Experience?

Chances are, if you are planning to elope together, you think each other are pretty damn awesome and you don’t need anyone to tell you how you should celebrate your love. Think about what you love doing together the most and how can you incorporate this into your day. When you travel, what are your favourite memories? Is it hiking in the mountains, having a picnic by a lake or going for a long drive down a dirt road? What memories do you want to create for this special day together? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a crazy hike or adventure. You could simply love waking up and doing yoga together, watching the sunrise with a coffee or having a drink by a campfire. How can you incorporate these perfect moments into your elopement day?

Think about what you want to be included in your day. Is it important to get your makeup and hair done or do you want to do it yourself? Do you want to have a special dinner at a restaurant or is a picnic while you are hiking more you? Do you want a few family and friends at your ceremony or do you just want it to be just you two… maybe your dogs? These are all things to consider when creating your timeline.

How to Create an Elopement Timeline


Make a List of All the Things You Want to Do on the Day.

Now that you are starting to think more about what you want to experience, rather than the logistics, it will help you create a clearer vision for the day.  If you make a list of everything you want to in the day it will help you create a timeline that will be perfect for who you both are as a couple. 

We have created two sample timelines below that take advantage of the best time of day to take photos, sunrise and sunset:

Sunrise Timeline:

-Get an early night before and wake up before dawn to hike.

-Hike to an amazing view point by headlamp.

-Help each other get ready.

-Watch the sunrise together.

-Exchange our vows privately while the mountain peaks light up.

-Warm up with some coffee and Baileys.

-Have a small ceremony with a few family and friends after the hike if you wish to include loved ones.

-Set up a reception lunch on picnic tables in the mountains.

Sunset Timeline:

-Get ready in a little mountain cabin.

-Have a first look in the woods.

-Drive to an amazing intimate location in the mountains for a private ceremony.

-Pack a small picnic and go for a hike together to an amazing viewpoint.

-Share our vows privately as the sun sets over the mountains.

-Pop some champagne!


Now Try and Make It All Work Together in One Day!

Sunrise Timeline:

3-4am – Wake up! (We’re not morning people either… but it’s worth it!)

4-6am – Hike to an amazing lookout.

6-7am – Help each other get changed into your wedding clothes and watch the sun rise.

7-7.30am – Share your vows with each other privately.

7.30-8am – Have a coffee and Baileys and enjoy the view.

8 -10am – Take photos and hike down.

10 – 10.30am – Meet family and friends at the trail head for an official ceremony with commissioner ( if you wish to included others)

10.30-11.30am – Cake for breakfast and photos.

11.30-12noon – Portraits with family and friends.

12- 12.30pm – Set up a lunch picnic with your friends and family.

12.30-2pm – Lunch reception.

Sunset Timeline:

2-3pm – Get ready separately in a little mountain cabin.

3 – 3.30pm – Have a first look in the woods.

3.30 – 4pm – Drive to an amazing intimate location in the mountains for a private ceremony.

4 – 4.30pm – Ceremony.

4.30 – 7.30pm – Go for a hike together to an amazing viewpoint.

8- 8.30pm – Have a picnic dinner.

8.30- 9pm Share our vows privately as the sun sets over the mountains. Pop some champagne!

9.30pm – Hike down by headlamp.

Banff Winter Elopement


Can’t Seem to Make It Work? Maybe Add an Adventure Session.

Some of our couples find it hard to fit in the adventure that they want to do on the day and have their wedding day be relaxed. Getting sunrise or sunset portraits on a mountain is their top priority but making it work on the day is sometimes difficult. If this is you it might be worth adding on an adventure session to your elopement or wedding day and doing it the day after when there’s more time.

We are always here to help all of our couples plan their perfect day. There is no perfect way to set up your timeline but at the end of the day it has to reflect who you are as a couple and only include things that you are stoked for! Get in contact with us and we can help you plan your elopement timeline!