How to Plan a Relaxing Elopement Day

Although many couples are discovering all the amazing ways you can combine love of adventure with marrying the love of your life, these activities aren’t for everyone. Every year, we hear several couples mention the importance of feeling relaxed and calm on the elopement day. After all, doing away with things that stress them out is one of the biggest reasons people elope in the first place. 

So, what if all you want to do for your elopement is to feel completely at ease? 

We’ve compiled some great ways to soothe your souls while celebrating the start to your marriage, and honestly, it calms us down just even thinking about them. Here are our favorite ideas for planning the ultimate relaxing elopement day for you and your partner:  

Wake Up by a Fireplace with Coffee, Tea, or a Hot Toddy

Many couples on traditional wedding days wake up feeling rushed to get to their venue, set up decor, or start getting dressed up with hair and makeup. When you elope, a lot of that last-minute prep and anxiety can disappear, especially if you start the morning by a nice, warm fireplace and your favorite hot beverage. This is even better if you’re eloping in the winter, or in places with cold nights/mornings, like Washington or Colorado. 

Find Lodging in a Place that Feels Serene

Whether you are most at peace in a forest, along the coast where you can hear the waves crashing, or somewhere with expansive mountain views, go there. Look for a lodge, cabin, oceanside cottage – anything – that you know will put you most at ease. This also allows you to spend some time before (and after!) your elopement day in a setting you love. 

To kick start your elopement location inspiration, check out this list of most relaxing destinations to visit.

Meditate and/or Practice Yoga

It’s pretty hard to not feel pretty rested and restored after a morning or midday meditation or yoga session. This can either be done separately if you want a little time apart before you two celebrate your elopement together, or you can begin your marriage with a set of mantras you want your future to look and feel like and say them together aloud. 

Schedule a Massage 

If you plan ahead in advance, having a massage the day before or morning of your elopement day can be one of the most relaxing ways to celebrate. Many resorts offer couples massages (complete with fluffy robes and access to their spa), or you can go somewhere local in the town you plan to elope. Some massage therapists will even travel to your vacation rental, giving you one less thing to worry about. 

Drink Your Favorite Beverage

Love a nice warm tea and honey in the morning? Or do some bubbly mimosas boost your spirits when getting dressed? Sipping on whatever makes you happy, cozy, or calm is totally recommended. In the past, we’ve had couples bring their favorite coffee in mugs on the hiking trail, sip some bourbon or tequila while a private chef cooks them dinner, or bring it back to childhood memories with some good ol’ hot cocoa.

Allow Room in Your Timeline for Relaxing Outdoors

“Forest bathing” isn’t just a trend – there’s real science behind the benefits of surrounding yourself with natural scenery. Being outside not only boosts feelings of happiness in as little as 5-10 minutes, but also reduces stress hormone production, and lowers heart rate and blood pressure.

So when it comes to having an elopement outside, don’t feel pressured to do an all-day hike, paddle down a river, or do some other physically demanding task if that’s either not who you are, or not how you want to spend your wedding day. Instead, think of ways to simply soak in the moment, like chilling in a hammock, having a picnic, or sitting by a campfire and stargazing. 

What matters most is how you feel, not what everyone else is doing these days on Pinterest or Instagram. 

Spend the Day Doing Something You Love 

What activities (if any) would you want to do on your big day? The great thing about elopements is that pretty much nothing is off limits. Although you’ll probably want to have a shared experience doing something you two love to do together. 

Anything from hiking, kayaking, and paddling on an SUP, to visiting wineries or distilleries, eating pizza or tacos, playing music, or dancing is all fair game. Because seriously: how can you not be relaxed when you’re doing something you actually enjoy?

Better yet: spend one day filled with your favorite activities, and the next day intentionally doing nothing but sleeping in and relaxing.

Keep Your Guest Count Small (or Have No Guests at All)

The fewer people involved in your elopement day, the “lighter” and often happier you both will be. To have the ultimate relaxing elopement, we recommend doing a portion (or all) of your celebration just the two of you. If you really value having others there to celebrate with, here are a few tips to limit the stress and optimize your comfort: 

  • Stay in your own place (hotel room / Airbnb / VRBO rental) to give yourself a separate space to relax and unwind. You can always help them find places to stay if you want, or you can let your family/friends fend for themselves like the adults they are. 
  • Consider having a private first look and/or vow reading. You might find that having these intimate moments with other onlookers isn’t for you, so if you need help coordinating this time away from your guests, our photo and video team can help guide you in making a timeline that fits this goal. 
  • Limit your invites to the people who are “must have” guests – the people you know will be the most supportive, flexible, and uplifting kind of energy you need during your elopement. 

Take a Ride Somewhere

Land, sea, or air! Depending on your elopement location, the type of day-ride might vary. But the essential ideas include: cruising down a highway in your car, taking a boat out onto open waters, or taking to the sky with a helicopter, seaplane, or hot air balloon ride.  

Relax in a Hot Spring or Hot Tub

Soak up those “just married” vibes with a dip in some steamy waters. A lot of vacation home rentals have hot tubs these days, so don’t be afraid to search for that filter before booking. Or if you’re eloping somewhere out West, find an outdoor natural hot spring in places like Washington, Arizona, or Nevada (the state with the most, totaling over 300 natural hot springs!). 

No hot tub? Try a warm bubble bath!

Include Your Pet(s)

Sometimes what we really need to feel completely relaxed are our pets. If you choose a dog-friendly elopement location for your big day, you get to enjoy walking with them and snuggling with them as part of your celebration.

Light Some Candles

Eloping by candlelight just might be one of the most romantic ideas you need to keep you calm on the wedding day. This is best for places like a rustic cabin in the rainforest or on the beach at twilight. Be sure to pay attention to any local fire bans and restrictions for your elopement location.

Avoid the Crowds

Being around too many people can often cause anxiety or unneeded stress on your elopement day. Some great ways to have more seclusion and privacy for your elopement include things like eloping on a weekday and choosing an underrated place to elope (like the least visited national parks). For more inspiration, head on over to our post about avoiding crowds for your elopement day.

Hire the Right Elopement Vendor Team

If you really don’t want to feel rushed, it’s key to find vendors you know who want the same for you. When searching for professionals like officiants or hair/makeup artists, it might be helpful to ask if they can show up a little earlier than they need to so that your plans don’t get delayed. Or check to see that they don’t book back-to-back events on the same day, so you know you have a little flexibility if need be. 

It’s especially helpful to hire an elopement photo + video team like us. We guide all of our couples to tailor the day-of timeline to suit their unique needs and wants with plenty of cushion time to avoid feeling rushed. We also have been told dozens of times that we are a calming and positive presence to be around. 

And Finally: Make the Choice to Be Relaxed 

That’s right: oftentimes finding that ultimate “relaxation” vibe for your elopement day comes from you. You both can choose to have the right mindset for the day, even if the weather isn’t cooperating or not everything goes according to plan. Flexibility and having an open mind is super helpful in creating a peaceful and happy elopement day. 

In our experience, the couples who set out to have fun no matter what, rather than choosing to be stressed by factors outside of their control, are really the ones to enjoy their elopement day the most. 

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