Table of Contents:
- What Vendors Should You Hire for Your Adventure Elopement?
Today we’re talking about adventure elopement VENDORS! Traditional weddings typically involve a huge team of vendors all working together to bring a couple’s dream day to life: planners, decorators, caterers, venue coordinators, rental coordinators, & more. That can be super overwhelming – having to pay that many deposits at once and having to coordinate with sooo many people can get stressful af! But if you’re eloping, then you’re in luck – you won’t need to hire nearly as many vendors for your big day.
Since you’ve (probs) never eloped before, though, you might not have any idea of who you need to hire, and who you maybe don’t need to hire. So this blog will be taking you first through a giant list of every possible wedding/elopement vendor I could think of, just to cover all our bases. Then I’ll take you through what vendors you actually NEED for your elopement, what vendors you might want depending on your budget + vision, and what vendors you can maybe leave out.
Note that not all of these I mentioned are actual “vendors” – e.g. “guest favors” and “elopement dress” are not human “vendors,” obvi. But I wanted to include some important items that are often included in budget lists for traditional weddings, and let you know whether you need them, may want them, or absolutely don’t need them.
What Vendors Should You Hire for Your Adventure Elopement?
Adventure Elopement Vendors You NEED to Hire
Here are the vendors that you absolutely need to hire for your elopement:
Well that was easy!!
Technicallyyyy the only vendor you NEED for your elopement is an officiant! You could absolutely elope without any fluff, if you really wanted to – just you, your partner, and your officiant to make things legal. If you want to keep it super simple and maybe throw a party later on to celebrate with your friends + fam, then an elopement with just an officiant is a completely viable option.
So really, the only vendor you absolutely, 100% need for your adventure elopement is a certified officiant. That is, unless you’re getting married in Colorado, Maine, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, Kansas, or California – then you can actually self-solemnize and be your OWN officiant!
Just remember that depending on the state you’re in, you will probably also need witnesses to come along – so you won’t be able to have a fully private ceremony. Washington, for example, requires you to have at least two witnesses over the age of 18.
Adventure Elopement Vendors You’ll WANT to Hire
Alright, now here are the vendors that you’ll probably want to hire for your elopement:
Unless you want to have zero memories of your special day documented to look back on forever, and want to rely on the photos that your Uncle Kevin took on his old Android phone, then you’ll want to hire an adventure elopement photographer. Ok I mayyyy be biased but I truly believe that hiring the right photographer for your adventure elopement is SO important. As an elopement photographer myself, I want to EMPOWER you to make the brave decision to elope – and to find the right person to document it all for you! You’ll get your photos back and get to experience + relive the day all over again, and that is so so special. If you want to check “photographer” off your vendor list before anything else, then let’s chat – I want all the deetz!! 😉
Just as a photographer is sooo crucial to capturing the moments of your special day, both big & small, adding video into the mix is JUST as magical – and makes for an even more incredible story of your day for you to cherish after it’s over. The combination of a photographer & videographer who both know their shit, are committed to documenting your elopement in all its natural beauty, and who are skilled at storytelling, is sooo amazing! If you have the budget to hire a videographer to even create a highlight film of your day, I highly recommend it – video can capture certain parts of your day in a way that even the best of photos can’t. The sounds of the waves crashing behind you as you say your vows on a cliff, the laugh of your best friend as she helps you put your dress on, the clink of your glasses toasting after popping champagne.
Hiring an elopement planner will NEVER be something you regret!! Even though elopements are typically much less stressful to plan than traditional weddings, they still involve a lot of planning, hard work, and a lot of time. So if you have the money to hire a planner to take at least part of that planning off of your plate, you will have such a huge weight lifted off your shoulders!
Need some help planning on your own? I gotchuuu. Head on over to my guide to How to Plan Your Perfect Elopement in 18 Steps!!
Hair & makeup
Whether you want to keep your look super casual & minimalistic or want to go all-out-glam for your elopement, I def recommend hiring somebody to do your hair and makeup. Even if you’re bomb at doing your own makeup on a daily basis, cameras will capture the textures + tones of your skin in way more detail, and professional makeup artists know how to do your makeup to make sure it’s flawless in real life AND in your photos/videos!
Plus, if you’re eloping outdoors, chances are you’ll be hiking or exploring somewhere with unpredictable weather, so having a hairstylist who knows how to pin your hair & style it so that it stays *gorge* all day is super important. Be sure to let your hair & makeup artists know if you’ll be hiking/doing physical activity so they can create a look that’ll stay on all day. You don’t want to sweat your makeup off or have your braid fall down right before you say your vows!
P.S. If you’re looking for a makeup artist in the Seattle area, you HAVE to check out Elizabeth White!!
Florists are a GODSEND to the world of adventure elopements. Simply put, the way they can create gorgeous pieces that help bring out the natural beauty of the scenery and to add sooo much beauty to even the simplest of elopements is INCREDIBLE. Whether you hire a florist to create a minimalist bouquet or a whole array of floral arrangements for your ceremony, I highly recommend investing in a super talented one for your big day!
You can totes elope in your normal clothes or your fave “fancy” outfits if that’s what feels good to you! But if you want to level it up a bit, you’ll want to invest in elopement outfits that match your style, vibes, and vision for your day. If you’ll be hiking for your elopement, it’s important to choose a dress that will allow you to move freely & comfortably! To give you some more guidance, I created a whole Guide to Picking Your Perfect Elopement Outfits, plus a whole separate Hiking Elopement Dress Guide for the gals.
This is a no-brainer! If you’re eloping outside of your hometown, you’ll need to book some sort of overnight accommodations. I love encouraging couples to find a romantic, cozy Airbnb or cabin somewhere beautiful to help them really escape from real life for a bit. If you’re eloping in WA, check out my blog with the 5 Best Airbnbs in Washington State for Airbnb Elopements!
Adventure Elopement Vendors You COULD Hire
Nowwww here are some vendors that you COULD hire for your elopement, but might not be top priority:
If you really value beautiful invitations to send to your guests, menus for your meal, or elopement itineraries, hire a professional stationery designer!! I personally looove gorgeous paper stationery and it’s very easy to tell the difference between cards from Costco vs. cards created by a pro. If it’s not in your budget or important to you & you’d rather print cards from Costco, hell yeah – go for it!
If you don’t feel confident in your design or decor skills, and your planner (if you hire one) doesn’t offer help with the actual design of your elopement, you can hire a separate designer/decorator! These people are ARTISTS and just have an eye that can envision things in a way that you would probably never think of. So if you want to put the theme, the look, the vibes of your elopement into the hands of a pro who can create an absolute masterpiece out of your day, then hire a designer.
If you want to have any sort of equipment (e.g. chairs, tables, a ceremony arbor/arch, etc.) at your elopement, you’ll obviously have to source them from somewhere – and I recommend renting over buying! You probably won’t use any of these things again, so find either a rental company to rent through, or hire somebody who specializes in providing elopement rentals to couples. Neon signs, grass walls, asymmetric arbors, tablescapes, you name it – there are sooo many options of fun things that you can rent to personalize your day!
This one is totallyyyy up to every couple. Want to enjoy a delish cake on your elopement day? Or maybe some homemade donuts, cookies, cupcakes, or pie? Hire a baker!! If you’re partial to savory snacks or would rather just grab some snack foods at Trader Joe’s on the way to your elopement, then no need to hire a pro. But they can seriously do some AMAZING stuff, especially if you want any sort of custom, personalized dessert to match the theme of your elopement!
Finally, if you want to hire somebody to put food together for your elopement (be it meals, snacks, picnics, etc.), I definitely recommend hiring an expert. Having delish food on your big day will add SO much to your celebration, and there are so many options nowadays! Food trucks, late night snack menus, private chefs, charcuterie board artists, you name it. I always love having a post-ceremony picnic with finger foods, charcuterie boards, and a bottle of somethin’ bubbly!
Adventure Elopement Vendors You DON’T Need to Hire
Finally, here are some vendors that you can probably leave out of your elopement:
If you’re having an adventure elopement, I’m guessing you will NOT be needing to book a venue!! You’re probably heading somewhere into the mountains instead, or having your ceremony on a sandy beach, or in the rainforest. Save your money by eloping outdoors or at a cozy Airbnb instead of having to rent a big venue space for all your guests!
If you’re not having a big guest list, no need to hire a caterer to feed everyone. Just book a food truck to bring ya snacks partway through the day, cook a meal together at your Airbnb, or even hire a private chef if you wanna be a little bougie!
No big venue and no dance floor? No need for a DJ!
If you can fit both of you & your guests in a couple of cars, opt for that over booking some sort of group transportation – it’ll be muchhh cheaper.
And finally, you can skip the traditional wedding favors – instead of buying little trinkets that your guests probably won’t ever touch again, put that money toward creating an amazing, unforgettable experience for you + them instead. Or at least give them cute little favors that have some meaning to them/that they can use for something!
There ya have it – all the adventure elopement vendors you need, might want, could hire, and just don’t need to hire! I hope that helped you figure out what vendors to prioritize in your budget and realize that you definitely don’t need all the vendors that traditional weddings typically come with. If ya want some more helpful elopement resources + blogs like this one, check out a few of my other recent faves I’ve put together for you!!