• Mikalynn Amos

How to Schedule a Full Day Elopement

How to fill your wedding day with adventures and memories even when it's just the two of you.

Brookings, Oregon Adventure Elopement

So you decide to elope. You need to have a ceremony and you want some photos. Now what? That's really not much of a wedding day. But what are you supposed to do with very few or no guests?


The answer is anything. That's the beauty of elopements. It disregards what weddings are supposed to be and creates the day you want. The first step is to narrow down what you would enjoy if you could plan your perfect day. What do you love to do? Hiking, exploring downtown, kayaking, eating at your favorite restaurant, trying something new? All of those are on the table if you chose to elope. Whatever makes you happy is an awesome option for your special day. Eloping gives you the opportunity to take on any adventure for your wedding day.


Let's chat about potential timelines and activities for your elopement day!


Picking Activities for your Elopement


Y'all, the options for how you fill your elopement are so cool. I see new ideas all the time that you wouldn't even imagine as an option. When you're considering activities, the first thing you should think about is what you enjoy. It doesn't have to be a stereotypical wedding day activity to enhance your experience. AirBNB experiences is also packed with unique activities based on the location you want to go to. Even if you don't book through them, it can give you some out-of-the-box ideas to get you started while you're searching. Here's some ideas just to get you started:


  1. Hiking of any length

  2. Kayaking or paddle boarding

  3. Snowboarding/skiing/snowmobiling/snowshoeing

  4. Swimming (you can even hike to a secluded water hole or waterfall for swimming for some extra adventure)

  5. Boating or jet skis (if you want an easier going recreation, rent a boat and enjoy the water; you can also break out skis, wakeboard, surf board, etc. if that's your jam)

  6. In-home style portraits before getting ready (make coffee together, eat breakfast, stick to your normal morning routine, etc.)

  7. Pre-elopement hike before getting ready (spend some quiet, relaxing time together before the bustle of the day; especially good if you're including family/friends)

  8. Go to a local coffee shop

  9. Stop by a local brewery

  10. Enjoy food at a favorite restaurant or local favorite

  11. Return to a location that has meaning. Maybe where you met, where you proposed, etc. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be special to you.

  12. Have a picnic in a beautiful place.

  13. Write letters to each other, keep a journal of the journey leading up to the elopement day to read each other

  14. Have family members/friends not present write letters or record videos to read/watch,

  15. Incorporate some kind of unity ceremony.

  16. Helicopter/airplane tour (you could even use this to get to a secluded ceremony spot)

  17. Go fishing, bird watching, whale watching, etc.

  18. White water rafting or easy-going floating

  19. Four-wheeling, side-by-side, or motorcycle

  20. Biking

  21. Take a Jeep or backcountry driving trip

  22. Get crafty (paint class, cooking class, woodworking class, pottery, glassblowing, etc.)

  23. Gondola or chairlift ride

  24. Rock climbing

  25. See some live music at a concert, festival, or hire a musician

  26. Bookstore crawl

  27. Horseback riding

  28. Visit a farm (great way to include kids)

  29. Sailing or easy going boat tour

  30. Visit a museum or art gallery

Save this list on Pinterest for later!


Potential Timelines


Once you sit down and start actually laying out a timeline, you'd be amazed how much time you'll need. You'll want to make sure you account for extra time for each item so you're not rushing. Creating a comfortable timeline that gives you space to experience your day is essential. I talk about this a lot more in my blog post about the importance of your day's timeline. You can check that out here!


Here's some timeline examples to help you visualize how various lengths of time can lay out day of:


Example 1: Actual Brookings, OR Elopement Schedule (9 Hours)

Brookings, Oregon Adventure Elopement

10:00 am - Morning hike in the Redwoods

  • This couple chose to bring family and friends for their elopement. They also chose their first look in wedding clothes to be down the aisle. This made a Redwood hike with just the two of them the perfect way to start their day. They exchanged gifts and letters and enjoyed a quiet stroll through the forest.

Redwood National Park Elopement Hike
Redwood National Park Elopement

12:00 pm - Arrive at the vacation rental for getting ready

Getting Ready Photos - Southern Oregon Coast Elopement

Getting Ready Photos - Southern Oregon Coast Elopement

2:00 pm - Arrive at venue for ceremony

Southern Oregon Coast Elopement Venue

3:00 pm - Arrive at local beach for snacks with the family

Oregon Coast Beach Elopement

Brookings, OR Beach Elopement

Brookings, OR Beach Elopement with Family

4:00 pm - First dance and couple photos

Southern Oregon Coast Beach Elopement

Oregon Coast Beach Elopement

Southern Oregon Coast Beach Elopement

5:30 pm - Arrive at vacation rental for dinner and games

Oregon Coast Beach Elopement Reception

Oregon Coast Beach Elopement Reception

Oregon Coast Beach Elopement Reception

7:00 pm - Photographer leaves


This couple's timeline is a great example of a timeline that prioritizes quality time with family, friends, and guests. It's a great way to structure your elopement if you have a special group you're celebrating with that you want to integrate into the day. If you want to see more from this elopement, check out the rest of the gallery in this blog post.



Example 2: Bend, Oregon, Packed with Adventure Timeline (10 hours)

Olympic National Park Adventure Elopement

10:00 am - Getting Ready Photos

  • AirBNB: There's a ton of gorgeous AirBNB's with a view of the ocean. It's a stunning view to have while getting ready.

Bend, OR Adventure Elopement

1:00 pm - First look at the base of Mt. Bachelor

  • Snowshoe through the area after the first look and spend some time together

Central Oregon Adventure Elopement

Mt. Bachelor Winter Elopement

3:00 pm - Ceremony at the base of a waterfall


5:00 pm - Picnic on the shore on the lake shore


6:00 pm - Watch the sunset over Smith Rock

  • Toasts, first dance, explore the area

Bend, OR Adventure Elopement

Bend, OR Adventure Elopement

8:00 pm - Couple photos as the sunsets, watch the sunset


This is a great timeline that can be filled in with any new traditions you want to create or sweet, intentional moments together. This can also be filled in with time with family. This is a timeline that definitely emphasizes exploring and adventuring. These two didn't use this exact timeline due to winter limitations but you can check out the rest of their photos here.



As you can see with these timelines and activities, there's so many options for crafting your day. You can land anywhere on the spectrum from basically a smaller scale traditional wedding to a day that's entirely unique to you. Elopements really can be anything you want. The whole point is to refocus on the people and things that truly matter to you.


Your elopement holds just as much value as any traditional wedding. It can be so much more than just a quick ceremony and photos. Make sure you're not selling your day short and you're creating an experience you will cherish the rest of your life. I hope this gets your brain going on what your perfect day looks like for you. There's freedom in eloping and you owe it to yourself to create the perfect day for you.


Want to learn more about elopements? Here's some more blogs and examples for you!


Eloping Frequently Asked Questions

Switching Your Traditional Wedding Plans Into an Elopement

Best Places to Elope in the West


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How to Plan an All Day Elopement Pin Cover