What is a two-day elopement | should you do a two-day elopement? | planning a two-day elopement | new england elopement photographer
This two-day elopement planning guide includes:
My definition of a two-day elopement from my experience as an elopement photographer
The benefits of two-day elopements
How to decide if you should consider a two-day elopement
A guide to planning a two-day elopement
A Sample two-day elopement timeline
A gallery for inspiration
First- what is a two-day elopement?
Before really benefitting from a two-day elopement planning guide, it’s important for us to back up and really explore what “two-day elopements” are. Apologies as brevity is not always a top trait of mine (oops), and I REALLY love this topic, so y lengthy definition of two day-elopements is as follows:
“intentionally planned marriage celebrations where couples spread out their adventure experiences beyond just a day, ensuring their priorities, relaxation, and experience are maximized.”
Basically: a two-day elopement invites people to say yes to each part of their celebration that makes their hearts joyful, without any of the time or logistical restraints. Ideally, two-day elopements are that perfect combination of any of the following:
Intimate family celebration time
Extensive adventure elopement experiences (think: beyond just a short, casual stroll around a scenic area)
Intentional, individualized ceremony
Non-rushed alone time in the great outdoors (!!)
What are the benefits of two-day elopements?
f you are drawn to eloping in the first place, it is likely because you value the following:
Listening to your hearts and breaking from conventional wedding traditions that don’t really…. do it for you
Quality time in the outdoors with your love (and maybe your pet / closest fam and friends)
Nontraditional celebrations that are true to your relationship, culture, familial dynamics, you name it
Nature, travel, and the outdoors
Intentional experiences that reflect your relationship (hiking, exploring, walking with your dog, making food together, etc.)
Knowing this about yourself, you may be struggling to visualize how to make all your priorities fit together in one day. Think: incorporating adventure time, family time, and alone time.
The benefits of two-day elopements are limitless:
celebration that you care most about while ALSO
Tossing in some rest, down time, travel time, and mental clarity to really bask in each part of your experience
If you’re “torn” between celebrating with people and alone, two-day elopements are perfect because each day can be designated for each parts
How to Decide if you Should Have a Two-Day Elopement
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re deciding whether or not to consider a two-day elopement:
Are you stuck on how to make all your ideas and visions come together smoothly?
Are you torn on maximizing adventure while also incorporating loved ones into your day?
Do you want a wide spectrum of celebration documented in your day: from getting up and getting ready together, to ceremony time, to fully enjoying the outdoors, to celebrating with family, to candid portraits?
Are you considering activities that will take some time to get to, from, and fully enjoy?
Are you considering multiple locations for your elopement (for example, different nature locations or activity spots like breweries, restaurants, ceremony spots, etc.)
Do you plan on making your adventure elopement an extended week or weekend trip for your partner and potentially loved ones?
If the answer these questions are a yes or MIGHT be a yes, it may be worth it to consider the option of planning a two-day elopement versus a one-day elopement
Need help deciding what type of elopement celebration is right for you? I’ve got you! Fill out a quick contact form, and we will personalize this whole experience. talk through ideas and I will guide you with my expertise as an elopement photographer!
When it comes to actually planning two-day elopements, I have some good news for you: it is a genuine blast 🙂 Your inner child can really come out in planning your elopement dream, and it is my greatest joy helping guide clients with my years of New England regional expertise and elopement photography passions.
My best piece of advice for JUST starting your two-day elopement planning is:
Intentionally carve out time together towrite down a list of your top prioritiesin celebrating your love as if “there were no limits.” This is an opportunity to freely write all ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., without worrying about the details. Don’t worry about this writing exercise being your final draft- but just invite yourself to let things flow!
In your list of priorities, also write down your favorite activities you enjoy doing together. Again, don’t worry about logistics or what activities seam “feasible” on your elopement day: just write it out and enjoy this night together 🙂
If you’re really getting into your flow, let the brainstorming continue and consider writing down:
Favorite regions together or places you’ve always wanted to explore together
Favorite foods you enjoy
Who, if anyone, you feel you NEED around you when you close your eyes and picture what your day might like
Vendors you feel are a must: photography, catering, boat tours, kayaking services, etc.
When you’re done, read through this, see what thoughts, feelings, and ideas are popping up for you, and you’re one step closer to feeling out WHAT will be included in your two-day elopement.
From there, your elopement photographer is there to guide you through how to best split up your two-days. I guide couples through every single part of their timelines, so don’t sweat this part of this process! It’s a partnership, and a fun one at that!
After the beginning phase of your two-day elopement planning, you’re reading for:
Picking a date 🙂 Your date is what you’ll build the rest of your elopement around, from vendors, to activities, to timeline organization.
Inquire with elopement photographers with your date! If you are totally open to a date and really have no preference, your photographer can help nail this down with you. Make sure they have photographer two-day elopements. *Note: there have been plenty of clients who reach out to me BEFORE they even know they want a two-day elopement, and that is TOTALLY fine! If you’re reaching out to photographers before you have a direction you want to go in, that’s all good, too. Once clients book with me, I often help guide them in planning approaches from scratch. This is where elopement guides come in handy, and my clients get a full 80+ elopement guide which breaks down EVERY part of the planning process for them in digital form 🙂
(Rough) outline of your day. This will help know which vendors you want and for when.
Say you’ve decided on a two-day elopement in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You know you want the following:
Day one to include getting ready images, a private first look, an intimate ceremony with family, followed by a candlelit dinner at your aribnb
Day two to include an epic adventure at a scenic location, followed by kayaking, desserts by a waterfall, and cozying up with your dog before calling it a night
Now you know that you want to reach out to catering / food options for day one of your elopement, and you want to start exploring some activities (like kayaking companies) for day two. You’re ready to start researching online and reaching out!
Planning tips. I recommend the following to couples planning a two-day elopement (if this doesn’t apply to you, no worries (if these don’t apply to you and your vibe, no worries! These are just suggestions):
Consider having your day one be your ceremony / family time, so that day two can be a private, relaxed, adventure experience for you two privately celebrate together
Consider accommodations and the dynamic you want: for instance, do you want to be in the same house as your family, or do you want the option to have some privacy and space? I recommend considering separate accommodations (even houses that are next door to each other!) to ensure you have that perfect balance of celebration AND intimacy / privacy
Always ALWAYS mentally allot more time for each part of your day than expected- couples are often surprised when we first build a timeline together than different parts of the day are given more time than mentally estimated beforehand…and I totally get it! However, after elopements, couples understand and GREATLY appreciate the relaxation they felt at each stage and how surprised they are when they realize that things tend to take longer than expected (getting ready, heading from one spot to the next, family portraits, you name it). Think: optimal relaxation and being in the present are achieved by planning enough time for it 🙂
Elopements are meant to be less rigid plans, but don’t plan NOTHING- if you spend your whole elopement day without any “pulse” or “activity,” your day could easily feel like one big photo op, and that is NOT what you are here for. You want to feel free, at ease, in the moment, and embracing each part of your day to the fullest. This is why I always share with couples the importance of picking at least one (ideally more) activities to do together. And no, these don’t need to be wild. They can be as simple as:
Making pizza together
Walking the dog and snuggling up with some sweet portraits
Playing a favorite board game
An Example of Planning a Two-Day Elopement
Who better to get inspiration from than clients themselves? This sweet couple followed the elopement planning stages above this way:
PART ONE: PRIORITIES
Family time (and accessibility for older family members)
Exploring new regions of New Hampshire they’ve never visited
Their dog 🙂 all things dog-friendly
Local vendors from where they grew up
Activities: totally open to the regional expertise of their photographer
PART TWO: PICKING A DATE
They chose August (a glorious time to elope in New Hampshire), with day 1 to be local to their families, and day 2 to be up in the Whites with a cozy yurt and plenty of activities for the day. We worked on nailing this down together
PART THREE: REACHING OUT TO PHOTOGRAPHERS AND OTHER VENDORS
In this case, we had already booked and at that point I gave vendor recommendations for:
Hair and make up
Others that were most important to them
PART FOUR: OUTLINING THE DAY
These angelic people were super organized and their timeline fell together super smoothly because of how open they were to suggestions and how on top of it they were, so their timeline really only went through one major round. Usually, I send an initial draft based on our conversations together, and we go from these. HOwever, after round one these two were ready to rock and roll, loved all the regional recommendations, and they were antsy to pack up, head to the m mountains with their dog, and enjoy their adventure elopement
A Sample Two-Day Elopement Timeline
Here is their two-day elopement timeline, condensed. Couples get a comprehensive timeline with tips, suggestions, and pertinent details that apply to them and their families.
Ready to embrace adventure and quality time for your elopement? I can’t wait to meet you and get to partnering together.