Tips for Planning Your Elopement

Tips for planning an intimate outdoor elopement

Muskoka and surrounding Northern Ontario is a beautiful backdrop for couples looking to elope.  It also just so happens to be right in my backyard so I’m a little biased.

Like small weddings, eloping is a huge opportunity to toss the bloated guests lists and potentially enormous price tag associated with a typical wedding day. But even when scaled down, it deserves some planning and consideration.

There are many things to consider when planning your elopement and in the beginning stages things can feel pretty daunting.  No worries though, I’m here to clear the decks and help dial in your focus.  Here are my key tips for planning an elopement:

1. Pick Your Season
Summer and Fall are the more popular seasons however the past few years I’ve noticed an uptick in winter weddings and elopements.  While winter is chilly, Muskoka and surrounding region looks spectacular with all that snow… not to mention that many venues have reduced rates for off-peak season.

Elopement Sherwood Inn

2. With or Without Guests
Do you plan on having some family and friends with you or would you prefer a small, intimate ceremony with just the two of you?  There’s no right or wrong, it’s just a matter of your own preference.  I’ve seen elopements with 30 guests right down to just the couples themselves.

Elopement Northridge Inn


3. Narrow the Field
Great venues and great vendors book up fast so once you’ve done your due diligence and narrowed the field, pull the trigger and lock up your date with them.  Be sure to speak with your vendors ahead of time with a video chat or phone call – or better yet in person. This allows you to get a feel for them and to make sure you’re a match for one another.  One last thing with venues and vendors, ask if they have special elopement rates – many will since couples tend to elope during the week.  Here are some great vendors I have worked with in the Muskoka area.

Small Elopement Ideas

4. Book a Photographer
It goes without saying that documenting such an important day in your lives is a no-brainer – however even moreso with an elopement.  Having great photos will let your family and friends feel like they were there.  Not to mention, those photos are like your return ticket to that amazing moment in your lives.

Elope Destination Wedding

5. Announcement Party
Instead of people finding out through the grapevine or on facebook, you might want to throw a little shindig shortly after the big day. When it comes to family and close friends it’s important they hear the news from you. So have some fun and let those closest to you join in.

If you’re looking for a photographer for your elopement, contact me here.  Happy planning!




Vaughn Barry Photography logo

1866 Elana Drive, Orillia, Ontario Canada

(705) 627-9376