1. Define Your Vision: Start by discussing your vision for the elopement with your partner. Consider the type of location you want, whether it's a scenic outdoor spot, a cityscape, or a destination abroad. Determine the overall style and atmosphere you desire, whether it's romantic, adventurous, or something else entirely.
2. Set a Budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on your elopement, including professional services. This will help guide your decisions and ensure you allocate your resources effectively.
3. Research and Select a Location: Explore potential elopement destinations that align with your vision. Research locations, venues, and local regulations for elopements. Consider factors such as accessibility, weather, and any necessary permits. Your photographer and planner will be a great help with this, so you are not alone in the process!
4. Hire a Planner (Optional): If you prefer assistance with the logistics and coordination (I 100% recommend it), consider hiring an elopement planner. They can help with securing permits, finding vendors, and ensuring a smooth experience especially with the language barriers. Look for planners who specialize in elopements or intimate weddings and have experience planning extra activities. They don't have to be local, but it is a bonus if they know a bit about the area already. I know the perfect planner for you, and you can find her here.
5. Find a Photographer/Videographer: Look for photographers and videographers who have experience with elopements and capturing intimate moments. Browse through their websites/instagrams to ensure their style matches your vision. Consider their expertise in working with natural lighting and outdoor settings, because shooting in harsh sunlight is sometimes unavoidable and not everyone knows how to work with it. And make sure you guys jam together, if you're not on the same wavelength, the experience might not be as good.
6. Find the rest of your vendors: Depending on your preferences, you may want to consider hiring a florist, hair and makeup artist, or a musician. These people are sometimes best to hire locally, but most people within Europe are willing to travel to other parts of Europe since it's so easy to do. Your planner can help you with this.
7. Plan the Ceremony and Logistics: Decide on the details of your ceremony, such as the vows, any rituals or traditions you want to include, and the order of events. Maybe you only want vows and nothing more. Maybe you would like your best friend to marry the two of you (whether or not it be legit or because you couldn't imagine anyone else marrying you). Consider logistics such as transportation, accommodations, and any necessary permits or legal requirements. Again, your planner can help you with this, but often also your photographer will with certain aspects.
8. Activities: Think about what activities you want to do on your day. You literally have the whole day to yourselves to do whatever the heck you want in your wedding dress, and get some crazy photos doing it! You could spend the day hiking, doing a helicopter ride to a mountain peak, 4x4ing, horse back riding, the options are endless. Why not hire a private chef to cater your picnic at that amazing viewpoint in the Dolomites?
9. Enjoy the Experience: On the day of your elopement, relax and savour the moment. Trust your hired professionals to capture the special memories and focus on celebrating your love and commitment.
Whatever you do, have fun doing it. This is just a short guide for how to start and some of the bigger steps you need to take, and however your process goes, have an amazing time planning it!
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