How to Plan Your Elopement: Research - Carrie Goldstein

Carrie is a photographer, blogger, and mama to two based in Illiois.

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How to Plan Your Elopement: Research

Elopements

This is the second blog post in the How To Plan An Elopement series. To read from the beginning click HERE.

Planning an elopement, just like a traditional wedding is a process. See step 2 to research vendors and locations and transform your dreams into reality.

Hooray! You and your fiance have decided that an elopement is the way to go for your wedding day. You’ve made a list of your dream locations and narrowed it down to maybe two or three dream elopement destinations. Now comes the research stage, where you get to transform your dreams into reality.

Destination Research

First and foremost, you are going to want to make sure that the location you have chosen is going to be ideal for the time of year you elope. Things you need to take into account: average weather, crowds, and sunrise and sunset times to start. 

Why? Let’s say you have always dreamed of saying ‘I do’ on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Arizona is mostly desert and Phoenix is pretty warm all year round, so you should be ok no matter what time of year you choose, right? Nope! Phoenix has pretty even  weather and stays warm(er) all year without much rain fall. However, once you start heading north, the weather is quite different in that part of the desert. The Grand Canyon and surrounding areas get cold in winter and snowfall well into spring some years. It is absolutely gorgeous in the snow, but not exactly ideal for an outdoor elopement planned for a warm day.

So, what do I suggest for researching your perfect location? Start with Google! I will head on over to WeatherBase.com and plug in the location. Weather Base will give you averages for each month for temperature(high and low), rainfall, snowfall, and even length of day. You can quickly narrow down which months are going to be most ideal for you. 

Next, we are going to figure out when a certain location is at peak tourist season. If at all possible, I recommend you avoid times of year when tourism is at a high. I will always do my best to get you those wide breathtaking portraits of you and the landscape, but if we are fighting a line of tourists, we may be pretty limited on portrait location options. My advice? Choose the shoulder season.

The shoulder season is typically the very end of peak season and the very beginning of low season. And how do you find that? Well, this is where one of my favorite websites comes to the rescue: Pinterest! Just type in your desired location with tourist seasons and you should be able to get a pretty good idea of when those tourist seasons are. 

Time To Find Your Favorites

So, you have done your location research and have figured out what month would be ideal for your elopement. Now, comes the vendor research! Go ahead and head on over to Google and start searching for ‘your location + vendor type’(e.g. Grand Canyon wedding florist). Look through the web pages and start taking notes of the vendors that speak to you. A few other places to look for amazing vendors are Pinterest and Instagram (#location+wedding+vendor type). 

Start contacting vendors and requesting a phone or skype consultation

You have scoured Google, Pinterest, and even Instagram and found the vendors that are just perfect and in your price range. Now we are going to head on over to their contact pages and fill out their contact forms or reach out to them directly if they have a phone number or email listed. 

Pro Tip: Try to fill in as many boxes as possible with as much detail as possible. We vendors LOVE to hear all about your day and how excited you are to work with us!

Since elopements are still a pretty new concept, don’t be disappointed if the first couple of vendors don’t turn out. You will find the perfect team to help you have the most amazing day! And don’t forget that these vendors KNOW their area and are friends with the other vendors, so if someone is not available for your date, ask them if they have anyone else they would recommend you reach out to. 

Let’s Recap:

  • Research your destination for average weather by month
  • Research your destination’s peak tourist seasons
  • Start compiling a list of vendors you would love to work with and start reaching out

Next week we are moving on to step three: Booking your Wedding Day! Are you researching your own elopement? I would LOVE to chat with you! Just head on over to my Contact Page and fill out the form and select your perfect day and time to schedule your FREE consultation call!

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