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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Shuhyta

Planning your Elopement Timeline

We never miss an opportunity to talk about eloping on the blog. Fly Free Photography is one of those crazy husband and wife teams (seriously - if you had asked me if I could have ever pictured working with my husband, I would have said no before I met Mike) that is obsessed with eloping. As Calgary elopement photographers, we eloped ourselves, and you can read all about that here.

Today, we want to keep it really focused on planning the actual day, to answer some frequently asked questions we get like:

  • How many hours do I need to book my photographer for?

  • What time of day is the lighting best for wedding photos?

  • Should we still have getting ready photos?

  • How is an elopement timeline different from that of a traditional wedding?

If you haven't hired a wedding photographer for your elopement yet, rest assured that you don't have to have all the answers before you book. In fact, your elopement photographer can provide personal recommendations. If you are looking for someone to guide you through the process, you can contact our team of photographers and videographers here.

Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding Elopement

The First Step to Creating your Elopement Timeline

Before you can even start to think about hours of coverage, you really should think about what elements of a traditional wedding you want included in your day. Do you want getting ready photos? There are literally no rules. Some of our couples even choose to still get ready with their closest family and friends before they elope! Do you want a first look? Or to walk down an aisle? Both? Do you want to have a formal dinner or create a reception for just the two of you? Whatever you want, we can make happen.

Costa Rica Wedding Planning Timeline

Getting to your Elopement Location or Venue

Now that you have at least a general idea of what you want the day to look like, you can start to map out the time between elopement locations. As Calgary elopement photographers, often our couples decide to travel to Rocky Mountain National Park to elope (about a 2 hours drive - depending where in the mountains you want go!). You can choose to splurge and book a hotel nearby or make it the best day trip ever. The choice is yours and that's one of the reasons we love Calgary so much.

More than just factoring in drive time, you also want to think about the time it takes to get to "the spot" where you will exchange vows. We know a lot of hidden gem locations in the mountains (we are always scouting new locations out!) but sometimes they are a 30 minute-1 hour hike away. Factor that in, and you should have at least some idea on how many hours the day will last! We also created a free guide with sample timelines so you can see what 6, 8, or 10 hours of photography really look like. You can download it here!

Adventure Elopement Wedding Dress Photos

Choosing what time of day to get married

Whether your elopement will need photography for four hours or twelve hours, the next step is deciding when to start. As a unique option - check out this post on why we love sunrise elopements. Another great time of day for photos is around an hour before sunset - typically called "golden hour" in the wedding photography world. I know timelines can get messy, and sometimes it easier to see it in example timelines. Make SURE to download our free guide with sample elopement timelines to put this into perspective.

Sunrise Costa Rica Elopement

Planning your Wedding Day Timeline if you are Eloping

At Fly Free Photography, we aren't going to show up and just be your photographers. One of the reasons our couples love about working with us is that we help guide them in the planning process and map out the logistics. We can create the perfect elopement timeline for you and provide a ton of unique elopement location options. Contact us here if you are ready to save your date and get started. If you need time to think about your timeline a little more, make sure to download our free elopement timeline guide here.



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