12 things you need to plan Elopement Styled Shoots & Weddings


April 19, 2018

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12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

I don’t really watch TV but when I do, I watch HGTV. My favorite show is Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are talented individuals that go for what they want in life and they have a sweet family that they love. They inspire me to go for what I want. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend watching it! 

I should also tell you, I am a big DIY’er. Therefore, I read the HGTV magazines every month. My favorite section of the HGTV magazine is when they break down every item they purchased to make up the room. I LOVE this. It helps me see the individual pieces that make up the entire space. Seeing the entire space sometimes feels overwhelming but when they break it down, I can wrap my head around what to buy to help bring the room to life. 

I wanted to recreate this idea with an elopement styled shoot or wedding. So, I broke down it down into 12 essential parts that you need to pull together a great elopement styled shoot or wedding. Check out our photos gallery to see more photos from this styled shoot at Yale University that was in British Vogue and Lets Bee Together!

1. An Inspiration Board.

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

An inspiration board is the foundation for the design. It should show ideas, colors and textures that relate to the feeling your are trying to create for the day. Creating a inspiration board is necessary so you can send it to all the vendors involved in bringing the vision to life. Every vendor wants some form of direction so things will be cohesive when they come together for the day. 

I always bring on the best vendors that I know I can trust. With that, I send the inspiration board and I tell them to push limits and create whatever they desire that would pair well with the feeling I am going for. 

2. a Wedding Planner 

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

A wedding planner, well, they plan things. Hand the planning over to the professionals so you can focus on what you are good at! A planner will organize the day, pull the best vendors that match the style and vision for the shoot and create a timeline. They will pay attention to the details and jump in and help wherever they are needed (even if you need them to play the Justice of the Peace for a photo, LOL!).

3. Find a Location.

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Location, location, location! The location has a huge impact on the day. It dictates the environment you are surrounded by. Make sure you visit the space prior to the elopement styled shoot or wedding so you can ensure that the feeling you desire is already buzzing around the space.

Also, make sure you are allowed to photograph at the location you choose! Some places, especially historical locations, will have restrictions for photography.

4. a photographer! 

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Work with the best photographers that will accent the style that you envision! The photographer is SUPER important. If you don’t have a picture, did it ever even happen? In our world today, no. 

Make sure you have a good connection with the photographer so you both can collaborate, communicate and connect to bring this shoot to life. My girl Shaina Lee Photography is a gem (in case you were looking for a good photographer!).

5. cake or dessert designer

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Have you seen this cake by Cake Lore Co.? Amazing. Find yourself a talented individual that will take your idea and run marathons with it. I think I might have said “macaroons” to Samantha of Cake Lore Co. and she showed up with this masterpiece. 

Desserts are an important detail and can really help tell the story of the day! Remember, when you are planning a styled shoot you are doing so to inspire others’. So, pushing limits with styled shoots is not a problem. Give your future clients something to dream about. 

When you are creating for a couple’s elopement see if they will allow you to create something magical that has never been done before. They might love it!

6. Stationary/Calligraphy artists

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Written word is art. Never skimp on how it comes into your day. Even if it is just an elopement, come up with a creative way to incorporate the talented artists!

Putting words to a moment can be so helpful in telling your story in a different way. Words and art create a feeling just as powerful as a photo. 

Working with This Delightful Design you can come up with an idea that fits you!

7. Hair & Make up

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

When finding the perfect hair and make up team you want individuals that are positive and on time! Hair and make up is what starts the day. Have reliable vendors that do quality work and have a positive attitude. My girl Belle Noelle Beauty Salon helps make sure we are organized, on time and everyone is glowing! 

Hair and make up is a way to enhance the already established beauty on someone. Whether it is a styled shoot or an elopement everyone loves getting pampered!

8. Dress Designer & Suit 

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

You want the best quality for your clients, the same way you want the best quality representing you in your elopement styled shoot. Work with dress and suit companies that you would actually send your clients to!

No matter who you are, your outfit can make you feel a certain way. Match the outfit to the way you want to feel! 

Make it good. 

9. Florist

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

The florist is similar to the photographer. You want to call on the best florist that will match your style and vision. Every florist is different, just like photographers. Check out their Instagram and website and see if their style matches what you are going for! 

10. Details. Details. Details. 

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Details are so important and there are a lot of them.

I always make a list on a piece of paper (yes, I still use pen and paper. Watch my Instagram stories to find out more on my organization ideas) of everything you need for a wedding. As an example, I started a small list for you below. 

1. Rings. Engagement rings and wedding rings.

2. Is there food and drink or is no one eating?

3. How about all the furniture, plates, napkins, flatware, tables, chairs, linens, pillows, etc?

For really cool unique items you can contact our local specialty rental company, Gather and Lounge! They are the best specialty rental company for all those unique pieces of furniture that will make you stand out. You can contact them for any wedding or event! They are well worth it every time. 

That is only the start to the list. Make it before you go and check it off before you leave. Then check it again when you get to the location! Three times a charm. 🙂

11. Engaged Couple & Models!

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Engaged Couple: If you want to be a part of an elopement wedding, let it be known! There are tons of engaged couples out there that are looking for the perfect vendors for their elopement. Share your interest wherever you can, and the right couple with find you. 

Models: There are different varieties of models you can get for your styled shoot. You can get professional models by working through agencies and finding the perfect match to your elopement styled shoot. You can contact past couples that are married, in love and willing to do some photos to help build your portfolio. Or you can ask friends if they would like to help you out and maybe you will pair two individuals that are perfect for each other, or just amazing actors! 

12. Something that makes you stand out.

12 things you need to plan an Elopement Styled Shoot

Get super creative here! There are millions of other people in this industry pulling together elopement styled shoots and weddings every sing day.

What is going to make you stand out? Being you. There is no one else in the world like you! Do something that represents you. Now that can be scary, right? Of course it is scary! You are going outside the norm but that is exactly what people want. They want to see something different. Dig deep and come up with something neat! Try it out and see if it sticks. 

If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and try again!!

I hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about a elopement styled shoot or wedding! If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Happy creating loves. 


|| Photographer | Shaina Lee Photography  || Furniture & Rentals | Gather and Lounge || Stationary | This Delightful Design || Flowers | Fizz and Fluers || Hair & Make up | Belle Noelle Beauty || Dress Designer | Gypsy Bride || Cake | Cake Lore Co || Art | Studio Strata ||


Comments +

  1. Gail elansky says:

    It makes me want to renew my vows just to have our special day planned by Chelsea

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