Which Vendors Do You Need for Your Elopement?

For an elopement or micro wedding, you may not need as many vendors as you would for a traditional wedding. However, there are still some key vendors you may consider hiring to enhance your elopement experience. Here are a few vendors to consider:

It's very important to consider vendors, even for an elopement.

Updated March 12, 2024

1. Photographer:

Hiring a photographer is pretty much a MUST to capture the special moments of your elopement. They provide the thing that you really need, the thing that will eternalize your day and let you relive those moments again and again. But there is so much more to know about hiring a photographer, that just choosing someone who shows up with a fancy camera.

If you hire the right person, hours will be spent before and after your elopement day, working on things like location scouting, communication, packing lists, editing, and final delivery. Choosing who to hire is very difficult, but let me help you out with a few tips:

  • What will your end product be? (Just an online gallery, or also albums, prints, canvases, etc.)
  • Do they edit all the photos they deliver?
  • Do they help with any form of planning?
  • Are they shooting with gear that is still relevant to what's out there today?
  • Do they know how to capture images in poor lighting situations? (Check to see if they've got content from after sunset, or during indoor ceremonies/receptions)
  • Do you vibe with their personality after speaking with them on the phone/video call?
  • Do you trust them to capture your day?
  • Are they seasoned in shooting elopements?
  • Do they seem, overall, helpful? 
  • Are they responsive to your messages?

2. Videographer:

If you want to really feel like a movie star for a day, getting a videographer will help you be the star of your own show. They can create a beautiful cinematic keepsake of your elopement day, from the ceremony to the photo session to whatever adventures you embark on. Similar to photographers, find a videographer who specializes in elopements and has a style that speaks to you. You can find videographers that are more epic/cinematic, emotional, or fun/quirky. The photographer's checklist can really apply here too, so look that over when you're choosing who to hire.

3. Officiant/celebrant:

If you're having a legal ceremony, you'll need an officiant to perform the wedding ceremony and oversee the exchange of vows and rings. Depending on your preferences, you can hire a professional officiant or ask a close friend or family member to become ordained and officiate your wedding. If it's fully symbolic, you can have a goat officiate you, if you wish (you will find a lot of them over here in the Dolomites). 

Jokes aside, you can read your vows in private, or you can have someone marry (or "marry") you, as you wish. If you're getting married abroad, I highly recommend dealing with the paperwork at home and saving yourselves a lot of extra paperwork and headaches! 

4. Florist:

If you desire floral arrangements for your elopement, hiring a floral designer can help bring your vision to life. They can make you a little as one bouquet, or as much as a full design for your arch. They are happy to work with whatever you need them for.

Pro tip: if you're wanting a more sustainable (and cheaper) bouquet, ask to have only locally grown flowers!

5. Hair and Makeup Artist:

If you're not so good with your own hair and makeup (guilty over here), or you just want to be pampered for a couple of hours, consider hiring a hair and makeup artist. They can help you achieve the desired look and ensure you feel freaking awesome on your special day.

It is generally cheaper to hire someone who can do both jobs, but if you are pressed for time, you can hire hair and makeup artists separately. The vendors should be able to advise you on what's best for your day, and perhaps often work with another person. Generally, makeup takes about an hour, and hair an hour and a half, though it really depends on what you want and how experienced the person is that you hire.

6. Planner/Coordinator:

Hiring a planner or coordinator can alleviate stress and handle logistics, especially if you're eloping in a destination or unfamiliar location. You might think that you won't need one since you're "just eloping", but if it's in the budget, I recommend it to help things go smooth

 They can assist with permits, recommend vendors, help with (and even book for you) accommodation/travel, activities (helicopters, ski rentals, etc), coordinate the timeline with the photographer, and provide valuable guidance throughout the planning process. If you're getting married in the Dolomites, I recommend Jlenia

7. Private chef/caterer:

Depending on your situation, you can have either or. If you're getting married on a mountain top and want to enjoy a freshly made pizza straight out of the oven, then you will definitely need a private chef. Otherwise, catering/even takeout may suffice. But the options are out there, just dream and start googling, and you will find whatever you're after.

8. Cake designer/baker

You can certainly still have a beautiful cake make for your day, because why on earth wouldn't you?! What better excuse. But, if cake isn't your thing, you can have whatever desserts you want. Just make sure you find a good bakery, someone who does the thing that you want, and try it out first if you can! 

If you're eloping in the Dolomites or in Como, I can recommend Lisa's Bakery for a delicious, plant-based cake!

It is pretty much essential that you hire a photographer. Everything else is an added bonus, though I do recommend hiring whoever is in your budget. That being said, if you can do your own hair and makeup, buy a bouquet the morning of from a local flower shop, and have the time to book everything you need for the day, then that's all you need!

What's the most important vendor for on your wedding or elopement?

As a wedding & elopement photographer, I am very happy to share my years of expertise with you and give you more tips and tricks to help you make your dream wedding come true.

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