February 7, 2023
your vendors are the people who make or break your elopement. you can have everything planned out perfectly to the last detail, but if you haven’t hired the right vendors for your day, your vision may not come to life as planned.
there are some vendors that you absolutely can’t skip out on, and those who are more on the optional side. of course, every elopement day is different and the final decision lies with you, but here are my suggestions for which vendors you should hire, and when the best time to hire them is!
photographer. your photographer should be the very first person you hire for your elopement – you may even want to hire them before you even choose the date! this seems a bit counterintuitive, but let me explain: many photographers in the elopement world also help with planning and research. unless you already know exactly where you want to elope and when, your photographer will help you throughout the planning process. your photographer is a must have. who else will be there to capture one of the most important days of your life?
when to book your photographer: most couples book their photographer anywhere from 2 years to 12 months out. my rule of thumb: the earlier, the better!
officiant. you can’t actually get married without hiring an officiant in most cases! when hiring your officiant, you should be sure they are capable of making it to the ceremony location, especially if you are doing a hike up to the ceremony spot. if this is the case, you may want to start your search earlier than you think.
when to book your officiant: don’t hold off on this one! officiants can book up far in advance – i would suggest booking a year to a year and a half out.
hair and makeup artists. unless you are secretly a pro at hair and makeup, these are vendors you probably don’t want to skip out on. besides, how often do you get dress up like a princess and roam around in nature? (my guess is not often) hiring hair and makeup artists is not essential, but definitely vendors you should consider hiring to make your elopement that much more special.
when to book hair and makeup: 6 months to a year out.
florist. who doesn’t love flowers? flowers are an important part of the elopement and are a great way to bring out personality and personal taste to your elopement.
when to book florist: 6 to 8 months out.
catering. you’ll most likely want to eat on your elopement day. if you want to go all out, you should consider hiring catering for a meal, especially if you have guests at your elopement – they will appreciate it too!
when to book catering: 6 months to a year out.
videographer. photos are essential to your elope, but having a video of it on top of your photos is never a bad choice! it can bring your special moments to life in a way the photos can’t, and you can even have audio recording if you choose.
when to book videography: 2 years to 12 months out
there are no actual rules when it comes to booking your vendors for your elopement. while sooner is better, elopements can be planned in a short as a few days – and you can still find vendors who are willing to do it.
if there is a certain vendor you’ve had your eye on and know you want to book, then by all means go ahead and book them out as far as you can so you don’t miss out on them. but if you’re getting hitched last minute, you will still be able to find people to help with your elopement.
don’t be afraid to reach out to vendors whose work you love!
Planning an entire elopement can be an overwhelming and stressful process. I have so many other resources that can help you plan your perfect day.
Not sure what to do on your elopement day? My blog on Elopement Activities can help you find an activity you’re stoked about.
Not sure if you even want to elope? My blog Should I Elope will help you figure out what your ideal wedding day looks like and if an elopement is for you.