What You Should Pack for Your Elopement

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We are a bit ~over the top~ when it comes to what we pack for elopements, but what can we say, we like to be prepared. The good thing is that since we bring almost everything imaginable to your elopement, there isn’t too much that you need to worry about. As your favvvv California elopement photographers doing this for as long as we have, we know how to make your lives easier and we’re here to make this day run as ~smooth~ as possible for you.

So, without further adieu, here is our simple elopement packing list to help you make sure you have everything you need to have the *best* elopement ever. 

Wedding Attire

Dresses, Suits, Sweatpants, Whatever Your Heart Desires

While we like to think that most people won’t forget their elopement clothing, this is something that is kindddaaaa important so it’s at the top of our list. While you may already have your wedding attire, consider the environment for your elopement! You may want to bring some underlayers just to be on the safe side and comfortable.

bride and groom packing shoes for wedding

Shoes

Again, we don’t think you’ll be showing up without shoes, but it is important to consider the environment again. Depending on the location, it may be worth wearing some comfortable sneakers and changing into your fancy footwear once we get to your elopement location or even switch between them for photos. Or just keep the sneakers on! It’s your day, you do whatever you want! Another tip: if you’re opting for said fancy footwear, pls pls break them in before your elopement (yes, we have GlacierGel™packed for blisters, but we do *not* want to have to use it!).

Rings

There is not much to add here or additional tips. We beg you - please don’t forget the rings. But also don’t be surprised if Nancy fashions one from some string if they are forgotten!

Two Rings Packed for Elopement

Marriage License 

Fortunately, this is the only important document you will need to bring to your elopement! Your officiant and witness will sign this after your ceremony. If there's one single thing you should pack for your elopement, this is the absolute most important one.

Here is some additional info on applying and obtaining your marriage license, because like we said, we like to make sure we are there for you through it all -  If you are eloping in California, you can get your marriage license at any County Clerk’s office. Most counties do have a place where you can apply online, but you will still have to go to the physical office to pick up the license. California’s marriage law requirements and the documents you will need to bring with you when you apply for the marriage license are as follows:

  • You must both be 18 years or older unless you have parental consent 
  • Both of you must be present to apply and sign your marriage license application 
  • After you’ve received your marriage license it is valid for 90 days (make sure your elopement is within these 90 days!)
  • There is no waiting period to get married in California
  • You do not need to be a resident of CA or the US to apply

Backpack of Personal Items

Vows

Handwritten vows are an amazing keepsake (even if you are reading traditional vows, it’s a great memento to have plus they look cute in photos). If you are writing your vows in books, do not forget to pack the books! Another option that is easy is having them on your phone (perhaps do this as a backup too in case you forget the books). Regardless, no matter what you will be reading your vows on, don't forget to bring them! If you’re looking for some vow books, we recommend supporting a small business owner - browse Etsy for some gorgeous hand-crafted vow books. 

Erin + Jesse's Elopement at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, CA

Makeup & Hair Products

You never know when you may need to touch up your hair and makeup. It’s a great idea to pack the products you love and will be using on your wedding day so that we can do any quick fixes! You may be crying, it may be windy… sometimes hair and makeup can’t stand up against these unstoppable forces. Additional recommended toiletries: perfume, cologne, tissues, handkerchief, medications… 

Electronics

Don’t forget your phones in case we need to get in touch with you! If you are going to be playing music from your phone during the ceremony, pack a speaker!

Picnic Items

Danielle + Jonathan's Elopement in Santa Cruz, CA

Extra Clothing

As we said earlier, consider the environment you’re eloping in and pack some underlayers in case you get cold. It’s also a good idea to bring a rain jacket/poncho or jacket for outerwear that you can easily take on and off between photos. 

Alrighty, those are the basics of what you’ll need to pack for your elopement! If there is anything you’re wondering if you should bring, do not hesitate to ask us - we are here for you.

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