Outshined Photography helps you understand what you should pack for your elopement

What should I bring for my Elopement Wedding?

The Ultimate Destination Elopement Packing List

The flights are booked, the outfits purchased, the photographer is eager to meet you for an epic adventure. It sounds like you are just about ready for your elopement! Before you kick up your feet and cozy up by the fire, ensuring you have everything you need for your celebration is a critical part of preparing for the big day. 

So pull out your backpack, turn on some wedding tunes, and let’s get ready to pack! Here you will find a printable version of the ULTIMATE Destination Elopement Packing List to ensure nothing you need for your special day slips through the cracks.  

In the meantime, read on for tips and tricks to make sure you know how to answer the question, “What should I bring for my elopement wedding?”

The ULTIMATE Destination Elopement Packing List

There are few things I love more than adventure elopements and checklists. That’s why I love any opportunity to provide my couples with the details to make sure you have everything you need to prepare for the big day.

Elopement Must Haves: Clothing

Whether your wedding attire is traditionally magical or is reflection of your unique style, your attire is an important part of any wedding day! But the dress or suit isn’t the only thing you will need to pack! Veil, bow tie, and weather-appropriate shoes (with cute ones for photos!) must also be considered.

If you are eloping during the winter months, weather-appropriate clothing is an elopement must-have! Extra base layers, wool socks, hats, and scarves not only keep you comfortable but provide some cute accessories for photos.


  • Wedding attire 
  • Tie/bowtie
  • Veil or headpiece/hat/crown
  • Socks (+extra wool socks)
  • Shoes (something with a good grip and waterproof (if rainy/snowy time of year)) 
  • Cute shoes, if you choose to change for photos

If eloping in a cold climate or at high altitudes

  • Wool base layers
  • Leggings
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Coats/Jackets that you wouldn’t mind in photos

Accessories and Essentials to Bring to Your Adventure Elopement

It is easy to forget the essentials when planning for your big day, so take a look at the list to make sure you have all of the necessities!

When it comes to the accessories for your destination elopement packing list, there are no rules! Consider anything that would be fun to photograph, or is sentimental for celebrating your special day. Feel free to bring your shawls, blankets, or other items to keep you cozy – or even some fun decor that is authentic to you and your partner.

Remember – when you are creating a day that combines your traditions and values, anything goes! If you love it and your partner agrees, then it goes on the packing list. 

Elopement Essentials

  • Identification
  • Wedding License
  • Money
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hand/Toe/Bodywarmers

Elopement Accessories

  • Blanket to wrap up in or use for picnic
  • Picnic basket
  • Jewelry (in addition to rings)
  • Umbrellas
  • Flowers (if dried or fake)

What to Bring to My Elopement: Ceremony Items

Am I allowed to have a favorite part of a destination elopement packing list? Because this is it! First things first… don’t forget the rings. Make sure you have a special place to store them, so they don’t get lost while you hike and adventure. Other items that would make your ceremony special, such as a family Bible or other religious books, or supplies for wedding rituals such as handfasting, must also make it onto our packing list.

Pro tip: Get a vow book! This is a simple, stylish way to share your vows, without them getting lost in the depths of your backpack.

For Elopement Ceremony

  • RINGS!
  • Vow books
  • Music and portable speaker for First Dance and car ride
  • Marriage license
  • Champagne or Beverage of choice for toasting
  • Champagne Glasses (2) or Mugs
  • Unity Candle (if using)
  • Ropes for Handfasting (if using)
  • Family Bible (if using)
Couple elopes on Pinnacle Peak trail in Mount Rainier National Park

For the Adventure Elopement: Hiking Pack List

Chances are if you are planning an elopement in the Pacific Northwest, you love the element of adventure it provides! So when asking yourself “What should I bring for my elopement wedding?” don’t forget the adventuring essentials. You never know when a granola bar or headlamp can come in handy.

If Hiking or Backpacking on your Elopement

  • Hiking poles
  • Backpack
  • Water bladder or water bottles that you can refill
  • Water (electrolyte tablets)
  • Snacks
  • Picnic food
  • Head Lamps (1 for each person)
  • Thermos w/ hot liquids (to keep you toasty)
  • Bag to dispose of waste

Special Touches: Make your Elopement Truly Sparkle

The truth is, there is no wrong answer when it comes to your elopement. Including fun personal touches, such as a special announcement sign is your style, can add even more personality to your celebration.

Letters from grandparents or family can also be special to have on hand. This is an excellent way to incorporate people into your elopement, even if the ceremony only includes you and your partner.

Special Touches

  • Photos of Grandparents
  • Framed photos of family members
  • Letters from loved ones
  • Wooden signs for backpacks (if using)

Final Elopement Packing Tips

You have your packing list ready and butterflies are starting to flutter in your stomach – it’s almost time for your adventure elopement! Now that we have answered the question “What should I bring for my elopement day?” we can get into tips and tricks that will ensure you have everything you need to celebrate your special day comfortably and authentically.

Pack Early!

I know there are two types of people out there: those who pack a week before a trip and those who pack the morning of. No matter which category you fall into – pack well in advance of your wedding elopement! This ensures nothing gets left behind in the rush of last-minute packing. 

Finalize Your Timeline

Review and finalize your elopement day timeline with your partner, photographer, and your vendors. (Need help creating a timeline? This is the blog post for you.)  Make sure you finalize all payments to your vendors and that everyone is familiar with the plan for the big day!

Pick Up Your Marriage License

Don’t forget to make it official!  Make sure you have your marriage license and any other legal paperwork, including IDs, somewhere safe and easily accessible. All the details for getting married in Washington state can be found HERE.

Check The Weather

Check the weather the week before you leave for your trip and make any necessary adjustments to elopement must-haves when reviewing the forecast. Review your backup plan options for locations, and consider bringing weather-appropriate accessories (just in case!). I am always checking the weather and will also give you an update and alert you if we need to switch to Plan B.


I saved the best and most important for last… don’t forget to relax! Take it easy, stay hydrated, and make sure you go to bed early. This adventure elopement is going to be perfect – because it was created with authenticity in mind. So squeeze your partner extra tight, drink an extra glass of water, and get ready for one of the most epic days of your life!

Washington Elopement Photographer

Final Thoughts and Details

Whether you have dreamed of your special day for your entire life, or are just beginning to envision what the ideal ceremony looks like to you and your partner, you are welcome to reach out with any questions surrounding your big day. From creating timelines to finalizing packing lists, to ensure that the jitters are out before you say “I do,” Outshined Photography provides elopement planning and photography so your elopement is as unique as you!

Stacy Garfield of Outshined Photography is a Seattle-based elopement photographer. Stacy specializes in elopements, small weddings, couples, proposals and engagement sessions. The Pacific Northwest elopement package includes planning and photography in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Also, Stacy photographs often in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and international countries. Her focus is on making your day special and unique for you and most importantly…FUN and Stress-free!

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  1. These tips are so helpful. I would 100% forget sunscreen and bug spray, but those are probably the most important things when you’re having a hiking elopement. Thank you so much for all of the fabulous info. Lovely photos as well 🙂

    1. And if they did forget those things, I’ve got plenty of extra sunscreen and bug spray to share. 😉
      Thanks for reading this resource. I’m glad you like the photos, we well.

  2. This is a great resource for couples wishing to elope who don’t know where to start. Very helpful as a reference, and from there they can think more and personalize the list of what to take on an elopement wedding.

  3. SUCH a great resource!! Every single thing on here is so helpful, this will help couples prepare so well.

  4. So much to remember to bring for an elopement so having a list like this is very helpful! I’d also add a mini sewing kit with safety pins and bobby pins as it’s always good to be prepared for wind or wardrobe issues!

    1. That’s a great addition! I always carry a sewing kit & extra pins in my backpack for my couples. Thank you for checking out this resource on what to bring to your elopement.