Elopement Packing List
One of the best parts of elopements is that you don’t have to worry about packing a bunch of stuff, right? Well, sort of. As a elopement photographer specializing in exploring with couples around the Rocky Mountains, I have the full list of everything you need to bring to your elopement day right here. Let’s get into it!
Your Suitcase Essentials
The things you must bring from home, these are the suitcase essentials for your elopement day:
- Accessories: another easily forgotten item, wedding day accessories are super important for absolutely nailing the fine details. Some of these accessories include:
- Fun socks
- Something old/new/borrowed/blue if you’re following the tradition
- Hair accessories like bobby pins, barrettes, hair ties, and your veil if you’re wearing one
- Fancy watch
A cute box to put it all in so it doesn’t get lost!
- Elopement attire: while you probably won’t forget your dress or suit, you might forget these things:
- Leggings/tights for under your dress if it’s going to be chilly
- Bra/sticky boobs/covers
- Getting-ready robe, pjs, or morning-of outfit
- Cute jacket for over your dress when it gets chilly
- Swimsuit: for steamy hot springs and spontaneous dips in the creek.
- Lots of layers: especially if you’re coming from the east coast, it can be hard to know what to pack for a Colorado or Montana elopement. Altitude is COLD, my friends, and nights get chilly. For example, even if your Colorado elopement is in August, you’ll want to bring some warm layers for that high mountain air.
- Hat and sunglasses: that alpine sun is strong!
- Make sure to bring sun protection if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside.
- Vow books: these are the most commonly forgotten item! To have the best-looking pictures, you don’t want your vows to be written on a scrap of paper from your airbnb, trust me! Bring some moleskin or leather-bound vow books to read your vows from. Your photos will thank you for it.
Your In-Town Shopping List
I wouldn’t recommend taking these items on the plane with you, but you should definitely snag them once you get into town:
- Bug spray: easily forgotten but often needed, especially if you’re eloping near a lake or in the forest. Tick-repellent is a good idea, too, if you’re going to be in any fields.
- Sunscreen: this is especially important for the days leading up to the elopement—you don’t want to be sunburnt in your elopement pictures!
- Champagne: I usually reccomend couples get two – a cheap one for popping and spraying for photos and a nicer one for enjoying and celebrating!
- Snacks: I always recommend bringing snacks, especially if you’re planning an all-day elopement. No one likes to feel hangry when you’re trying to enjoy the best day ever!
Your Hiking Bag List
If you’re doing any hiking, here’s what I recommend bringing:
- More than enough water: Especially in the west where the air is dry, be sure to have more than enough water when you head out on the trail. Nalgenes are lightweight and carry a ton of water. I also love my camelback water bladder. Water gets heavy, so if you’re going out for a long time bring a Katadyn BeFree or MSR water filter.
- Hiking boots or trail runners: Hiking in cute sneakers is a recipe for blisters. Make sure you bring hiking boots or trail runners with you, and it’s even better if you’ve broken them in before heading out. Check out Salomon, Altra, La Sportiva, Merrell, and Saucony—a quick browse through REI will show you all the best options.
- Bear spray: If you’re travelling in grizzly country, which includes parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, you should bring bear spray with you. Order it from REI or snag it at Costco. Be sure to watch some videos beforehand to learn how and when to use it. Bear spray in states with only black bears, such as Colorado and Utah, is not necessary but is always a good extra precaution.
- First aid kit with clotting gauze/sponge: A first aid kit is always a good addition to your hiking pack. I recommend adding some clotting gauze or sponge as an extra level of safety in case you fall and get a nasty cut.
- Toilet paper and small shovel: Leave no trace, my friends! Enough said.
- Rain jacket: Storms can roll in fast out west (looking at you, evening summer storms in Colorado). Bring a lightweight rain jacket so you’re ready for them!
Planning an elopement out west?
You’re in the right place. This post is one of many resources I have on my website to help you plan the elopement experience of your dreams! Here are a few of my favorite posts:
- Where to Elope in the Rocky Mountains
- How Much Do Elopements Cost?
- How to Write Heartfelt Wedding Vows
While informational blog posts are great, it doesn’t replace hiring an experienced elopement photographer to help guide you through everything and make the experience amazing!