Week One: Three Actionable Steps when First Planning your Adventure Elopement.

Week One: Three Actionable Steps when First Planning your Adventure Elopement.

I Don’t Know How or Where to Start when Planning an Adventure Elopement. Does this sound like you? Does the idea of eloping sound incredible to you, but you’re unsure of where to even start? Here are a few ideas to narrow down the best elopement destination, based on your personality, hobbies, and the experience you and your partner want together on your wedding day and some additional actionable steps. Provided are free resources which help you narrow down the key questions you might have when initially planning your elopement.



This is your wedding day- do not limit yourself initially. You deserve an incredible and dream elopement day. Do not shy away from what you really are envisioning. Do you know what you want? GREAT! Then these resources are not for you. If you don’t know where and need help planning your adventure elopement, take the 2-question quiz below, which will give you an idea of what might be the best elopement day for you!

After you take the quiz, ask yourself or write down the answers to these questions.

What do We Want to Experience Together?

Do you love the mountains? Do you dream of exploring the island of Santorini, Greece? What do you want to experience- culture? hiking? stoke? Figure out what you envision for your wedding day. Even if you feel like you can’t have an adventure elopement as you live in the Midwest in the city- I promise, you are still worthy of an adventurous wedding day, if that’s what your heart REALLY wants.

Write down what comes to mind- this is important when you inevitably revert back to the notes while adding more plans for your elopement.

Here is a free and less than 8 minute guided visualization, guided by myself (Marie Vanderpool):


2.) Create a Budget

Once you have a rough idea of what you want, now it’s time to start building on that and gaining momentum. The average cost of a traditional wedding is about $30,000, but everyone’s budget will be different- it can easily go above or less that- depending on how much you want to invest in your special day. I do not believe that elopements are only for those looking for “cost effective” alternatives, I believe you should spend money for your elopement in a way that EXCITES you - on things like adventure and experience, not napkins and linens- because…. do those really matter at the end of the day? Plan that your Adventure Elopement Photographer will cost 30-50% of your entire budget as generally most reputable adventure elopement photographers are also basically adventure elopement planners. I know I do most if not all of the location scouting and also researching things like light, vacation rentals, flight costs etc. In addition I assist with the entire planning process in whatever way my clients need me.

If you’re interested in having me a part of your day: my packages start at $3000 and currently go up to $7500. You can inquire here, if that’s within your budget.

For an adventure elopement, these might be other costs you might need to take into consideration:

-Transportation: Airfare, rental car, and trains

-Hotel/Vacation Rental Accommodations: Campsite, hotel, cabin rentals

-Wedding Dress/Suit Cost

-Florals (if desired)

-Hair and Makeup Artist (iff desired)

-Excursions or Luxurious Inclusions of your Day (We have plenty of recommendations for these!)

Leave a little bit of wiggle room for additional items you might want to include- don’t max out your budget from the beginning.

3.) Book your Dream Adventure Elopement


Once you have an idea of WHERE and your budget- NOW is the time to book your dream adventure elopement photographer! You don’t want to wait, as I know I only take on a small number of weddings to truly help serve clients in the best possible way. My schedule fills up quickly!

If you STILL have no idea as to where, I want to let anyone reading this know that I’m truly a resource for my clients. I will help you as much as needed, as I make sure I have the time to truly give you the love and attention that you DESERVE. I’ve been known to just hop on the phone or video chat to talk about how you’re feeling and your concerns- I’m here for you; promise.

If you’re interested in hiring me to be a part of your day, please reach out! You can view our package, meet us, and also inquire here.

That concludes Part One of Actionable Steps to Planning Your Dream Adventure Elopement. Keep an Eye out for Part Two, which will be released next week!

Marie Vanderpool is a professional elopement photographer who specializes in Adventure Elopements & Intimate Weddings in National Parks in the United States. Based in the Pacific Northwest. Washington State, Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.

Helping clients elope in Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, Mount Baker National Forest, and Olympic National Park and Forest.