HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING

GET READY TO GO & WHAT HAPPENS AFTER

GATHER EVERYTHING YOU NEED & PACK

Whether you've been planning your wedding for one  year or one month, it's probably felt like forever to get to this point, but you're finally getting married! It's time to pack! Use this checklist to pull together everything you need for your day. The sooner you begin to set things aside, the less stressed you'll be when the time comes to travel to your wedding destination.

NECESSITIES

  • Permit (if needed)

  • All important travel IDs & documents

  • Marriage license

  • Water bottle & water

  • Snacks

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

  • Bug spray

  • Extra socks

  • Shoes with good tread/boots if hiking

WEDDING ATTIRE & CEREMONY THINGS

  • Vows

  • Rings

  • Ring box

  • Paper invites, announcements, or postcards

  • Flowers

  • Wedding attire for Partner One (dress, suit, jumpsuit, skirt, undergarments, etc)

  • Wedding attire for Partner Two (dress, suit, jumpsuit, skirt, undergarments, etc)

  • Accessories for Partner One (jewelry, veil, cape, watch, cufflinks, tie, bowtie, socks, pocket square, lapel pin, hair piece, etc.)

  • Accessories for Partner Two (jewelry, veil, cape, watch, cufflinks, tie, bowtie, socks, pocket square, lapel pin, hair piece, etc.)

  • Perfume or cologne

  • Makeup & Hair supplies

  • Garment bags for wedding attire during travel

  • Champagne or sparkling water

  • Plastic champagne flutes

  • Tissues or a hanky 

  • Speaker for music

ADVENTURE GEAR

  • Backpack(s)

  • Rain jacket

  • Jacket (very warm & wind-proof)

  • Warm layers (skin-toned fleece leggings if you're wearing a dress or skirt)

  • Hand warmers, body warmers, toe warmers

  • Traction (Microspikes, crampons, or snowshoes)

  • Gloves/mittens

  • Headlamps

  • Umbrellas

  • Blanket to sit on

BUT SERIOUSLY,

DO NOT FORGET YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE!

You will need to obtain your marriage license in advance. Even if you hare having me or another officiant sign, you are required to apply for your marriage license yourself. Marriage license requirements vary state-by-state and country-by-country, so it's always important to research your elopement locations requirements ahead of time.

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR GUESTS

GUEST PREPAREDNESS

In order to have your guests be as prepared as possible for your wedding day and to avoid any awkward situations that could arise from miscommunications, you should consider sending your guests a pre-wedding email that preps them on the following:

  • What to bring, including what sort of attire they might need to be comfortable in the climate, season, and time of day at your chosen location.
     

  • What not to bring, such as pets (if your location is not pet-friendly) or distracting electronics.
     

  • Timeline information of your day and when they need to be ready and when they need to arrive at certain locations.
     

  • Directions and location information including any maps, GPS coordinates they might need, and a description of the accessibility and terrain of the spot that you've chosen.
     

  • Whether or not the area you picked has cell phone reception (and if they will need to download any maps onto their phone ahead of time because of it).

  • Parking instructions, especially if there is not a designated lot.
     

  • Safety information, including any wildlife that might be nearby, difficult travel conditions, or potentially unfavorable weather.
     

  • What restroom facilities are around, or especially let them know if there aren't any nearby!
     

  • Leave No Trace considerations, such as what materials you absolutely cannot have at your location (such as rice or confetti), any place that you might not be able to go because it would violate Leave No Trace ethics, and what you need to make sure is packed out after the ceremony.

By being upfront about these topics beforehand, you set expectations with your guests and help them also enjoy your wedding day as much as possible!

UNPLUGGED WEDDINGS

For many reasons, I highly recommend asking guests to "unplug" and be fully present for your wedding day, especially when it comes to your ceremony.

When your guests are distracted by taking photos or recording videos, it's difficult for them to also be focused on what is going on around them, you know...the little you getting married bit.

Cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices will stand out and be a distraction in your photos. It also makes it very difficult for me to get candid photos of your guests' reactions and emotions.

I've found it's most effective to give your guests a heads up that this will be an unplugged experience in the days or weeks leading up to your wedding day. There are numerous gentle and kind ways to tell them this. Consider also reminding them just before your ceremony begins. Let them know that you would like them to be fully present with you, and that your photographer will do all the work to capture beautiful photos which they will be able to access through an online photo gallery Remind them that they will have a sneak peek of beautiful and professional photos to enjoy very soon.

FINAL TIPS

For the flight, for the trek, for the day before too, these last-minute tips are here to help you have the best wedding experience ever!

  • Start packing early and pack over a few days, so as you remember items you want to bring, you'll have plenty of time to add them to your bag and are less likely to forget anything important!
     

  • If you're flying, make sure you carry on the most important details of your wedding day, like your attire, ceremony details, rings, marriage license, etc. Of course, what really matters is that you're getting married, not what you're wearing. But still, I'd love for you to have the day you've dreamed up in the attire you've dreamed of -- so let's not leave it up to chance!

  • If you're traveling somewhere that's a drier climate than you're used to or a higher elevation, be sure to drink tons of water and take care of yourself and get acclimated.
     

  • In the days leading up to your wedding, make sure you eat, hydrate well, relax, and get plenty of sleep. You'll want plenty of energy on your day!
     

  • Most of all, RELAX -- you're about to have the best wedding day ever. You've planned a day that's a true reflection of the two of you and it's going to be amazing.

HAVE THE BEST DAY

BE PRESENT, BE YOU, AND LET YOUR AUTHENTIC EMOTIONS SOAR.

SOAK IN EVERY MOMENT AND ENJOY YOUR INTENTIONAL, MEANINGFUL,

PERFECT-FOR-YOU DAY TOGETHER.

Remember, your day might not go exactly according to plan, but that's half the adventure!

I will do everything I can to make your wedding dreams come true, but if you're willing to roll with the punches

and embrace what comes your way, you're bound to have an amazing wedding experience (no matter what!).

RELAX, BREATHE, AND DON'T STRESS ABOUT ANYTHING -- INCLUDING PHOTOS.

If you have a beautiful experience together and feel alive throughout your day, great photos will follow.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You've done it! You've had an incredible wedding day and I've taken photos of it all so you can remember every bit of it. Your next step is to sit back and relax while I carefully curate and edit your full gallery of photos from your day. This usually takes between 6-8 weeks for completion, but I will make sure you two have a sneak peek of 3-5 images within 1 week of your wedding day so you can make any announcements and begin to share glimpses of your day with your family and friends -- woohoo!

The images will be delivered as high-resolution jpegs via an online gallery. That way, you'll have access to them wherever you are. You'll be able to easily print, share, and relive the awesomeness over and over. Feel free to share your gallery link with family and friends too! Anyone with the link and download PIN will be able to access the gallery, make prints, order products, and download the images for themselves.

It's important to make sure you download your full gallery and back up the images in multiple safe places. I recommend using both external hard drives and online cloud storage to make sure the files stay safe and sound for years to come.

PRINTS & ALBUMS

"AN IMAGE ISN'T A PHOTOGRAPH UNTIL IT'S PRINTED." 

-- ANDREW FUNDERBURG

The long awaited grand finale is here! It's time for you to print your photos and get your very own wedding album. I know you're not going to just let your photos sit on a computer, right? Right. 

There are so many awesome ways to share and display your photos, and prints and albums are two of my favorites. There's nothing quite like picking up your wedding album and thumbing through the pages together or grabbing a stack of prints to pass around at your next gathering. It's the best way to reminisce, share your story, and experience those wedding-day-feels

all over again.
 

I strongly believe that your photos deserve a special place in your home, a special spot where you'll see them often. After you have received your online photo gallery, I will help you design the wedding album that's just right for you, and you'll easily be able to order products and prints of all sizes. You can expect albums within 8 weeks of ordering, and prints within 2 weeks.

If you're interested in ordering a wedding album through me, click here to check out your options!

CREATIVE WAYS TO SHARE AND DISPLAY YOUR PHOTOS

  • "We eloped/got married/etc" announcements, postcards, and thank you cards
     

  • A wedding album for the two of you
     

  • A "parent album" for family and friends
     

  • Unique prints on wood, canvas, or metal

  • Framed leaning prints displayed on a mantel, bookshelf, or picture frame shelf
     

  • Photo gallery accent wall
     

  • Panoramic prints

THANK YOU!

Congratulations -- you made it to the end!

Remember, this guide isn't a rulebook and you don't have to memorize it (I promise there won't be a test). Instead, let this guide be here for you to come back to as you need it, for guidance, for inspiration, for reminders, for next steps.

And I know that this information might feel like a lot all at once, but trust me, at the end of the day, getting married is all about enjoying the process and making decisions that are most "you." Your day is going to be amazing, so take a deep breath and just dedicate some time to being honest with yourself about what you actually want your wedding day to look like -- a day dedicated to celebrating your relationship with your partner, free of the burden of traditions, expectations, obligations, and the freedom to just be yourselves.

You and your partner deserve to ditch all pressure and stress and instead honor who you are with a wedding that speaks to you.

I'm so excited to be part of helping you create this day. There's truly no better job in the whole wide world, and it's because of incredible couples like you who aren't afraid to abandon expectations that don't fit who you are, who decided to instead seek out an experience that is authentic and honest to the special relationship that you share, that I get to live this dream.

I can't wait to meet you in person, and, in the meantime, I'll be right here to answer any questions you have and help you plan your wedding every single step of the way.

You're a badass couple doing something awesome, and your wedding day is going to be unforgettable, meaningful, and perfect. It will be an unforgettable beginning to all of the other adventures that will follow in your marriage.

Cheers to that.