Simple and Easy Packing List For Your Elopement and Adventures

bride wearing hiking backpack and text "packing list for your elopement"

You’ve planned your elopement and now it’s time to make your packing list for elopement! Don’t worry friend, we get it: even though you’re planning an elopement, we don’t want you to forget a thing! So this is why we’ve created this simple elopement packing list to help you make sure you’ve got all you need to have the most amazing day together because isn’t that what it’s all about?

Here your packing list for an elopement!

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Marriage License

Before you even start making your packing list for your elopement make sure you know how to get your marriage license as soon as you decide on where you’re going to elope. Different countries, states, and counties have different laws. The best way to find this out is to find the county you’re getting married in and find their Marriage LIcense office website or the county and clerk’s office and read about their specific rules.

Eloping In Colorado Tip: In most counties in the state of Colorado you can pick up or have your license mailed to you and marry anywhere in the state even if outside the county you picked your license up from. Make sure to give at least 14 days’ notice to do this in case it has to be mailed to you. Some locations may offer in-person pickup if you need to receive it in a shorter time.

Location Permit (if needed)

bride and groom smiling at the camera because they remembered everything on their packing list for elopement while getting married in the mountains

If you’re not getting married on private property with the owner’s permission, you may need a ceremony or photography permit.

Many photographers, like us, can help you through this process! 

Permits can range from $0 – $250+. Some permits may need anywhere from 5 – 7 days notice or be booked 6 – 12 months in advanced.

 

Officiant & Witnesses

bride and groom kissing after ceremony on the beach in front of wedding arch

Depending on where you get married, you may need a legal officiant and/or two witnesses in addition to your officiant.

Colorado TipYou don’t need any witnesses or an officiant! Learn more about how to elope in Colorado!

Travel IDs & Documents for License

If you’re traveling, don’t forget your ID’s and passports as well as any other documents you may need if you’re picking up your marriage license in person. Many times, this can include your social security card or birth certificate. Again, do your research ahead of time for what you’ll specifically need.

Vows & Rings

Vows are of course a must have item on your packing list for your elopements. Handwritten vows are such a wonderful keepsake. Even if you’re reading traditional vows, it can be a sweet memento to have. (Want to follow these vows? Check out our self solemnization script to guide you!)

There are also adorable vow books on Etsy we love!

couples vow books on a rock over looking the mountains

Rings

groom putting his brides ring on because he added it to his packing list for elopement

We love these handmade rings on Etsy too! We also love a good ring box to keep them safe until you wear them forever!

Wedding

Wedding Day Letters or Wedding Day Gifts

wedding details, brides shoes, her vows, her flowers and her ring

If you’re planning on not seeing each other before your elopement, you can handwrite a letter or give each other a gift. Some couples will buy each other jewelry to wear on the day of or just write a letter sharing how excited they are to bring their lives together as a married couple. 

Wedding Attire

While I think most people won’t forget their wedding clothes, it can be a good idea to think about the environment you’ll be in for your underlayers if needed!

Getting Ready attire

If you’d like to have a robe/shirt for the morning that says “Bride to Be” or “Groom to Be,” (or something along those lines), why not! It can be super cute to get dressed in.

Wedding Attire for You Both

Dress, suit, jumpsuits, skirts and tops, ties, suspenders, button-ups, under shirts, socks… you get the drift. 😉

Still looking for a dress? Check out our elopement wedding dress guide to help you figure out what dress is perfect for your elopement and adventuring!

Underlayers

Don’t forget to pack your underwear! Haha, well, unless you like that easy breeze feeling–you do you, friend.

Ok, jokes aside, it can be helpful to think about your environment. For example, in Colorado, even in the height of summer, at the gorgeous mountaintops, you’ll want a wool-based layer to keep nice and warm! (Trust us, wool is way better than cotton! If you don’t like wool, look for thermal base layers.)

We love these fleece nude leggings to keep you extra cozy. Don’t skip the layers! It’s always easier to strip layers than it is to get warm when you have none!

Socks and Shoes

bride holding grooms hand wearing snow boots following this elopement packing list

 If you’ll be adventuring, you won’t want to forget to add this to your elopement packing list: good pair of warm wool-based or thermal socks to keep your toesies warm. Or talk to your photographer or elopement guide about the best shoes for the environment you’ll be in.

Pro Tip: I personally love these wool-based handmade socks. They do ship internationally so make sure you have about a month before your wedding for them to come in. They don’t fit super snug but sure do keep my feet warm!

You can always change into those super cute heels for some photos vs trying to hike in the mountains or unsteady surfaces in them!

Hand or toe warmers are also a great idea if you’ll be in the mountains or any place it could be slightly cold.

Flowers, Accessories & Decor

Flowers

bride with silk florals
Bride holding silk flowers from Compass Rose Floral

If you haven’t considered silk flowers yet, they are a wonderful option to not have to worry about bringing new plant life into sensitive environments or having real flowers wilt before you’re ready. We love working with Compass Rose Floral in Denver! Or these Etsy artists!

ProsCons:
Wont ever die or wiltMay be a rental
Won’t introduce new plant life into wilernessDoesn’t have the same flower smell
Travels wellSome cheaper ones can look fake
Can be more affordable
Hypoallergenic
Won’t attract bugs

Ceremony and or Reception Decor

Make sure your environment is suitable for any arches or decor you’re going to add to your outdoor spaces. Some outdoor locations (such as certain national parks) do not allow you to bring anything but a bouquet.

Papers (Invites, announcements, postcards)

wedding invitation in the snow in the moutons next to flowers

You may feel like this is an odd item to add to your packing list for elopement, but it can be a cool photo to have!

If you sent out invites or any announcements, it can be fun for your photographer to include these in some detail photos along with your wedding accessories or rings.

Garment bag for wedding attire

Super helpful if you’re traveling or need to put your wedding attire in a hiking backpack. Want to know how to pack yours? Check out our guide on how to pack your elopement wedding dress!

Speaker for music

It can also help to have your music downloaded just in case where you’re getting married doesn’t have cell service or wifi.

Toiletries

All the other personal items: perfume, cologne, makeup, hair supplies, tissues, handkerchief, feminine hygiene products, medications, herbal supplements, etc.

Wedding

Drinks & Food

Snacks

You’re adrenals will be pumping, so it won’t be a surprise if you find it hard to eat, but make sure to get some fuel in your body even if you have an early start to your elopement! Hangry never looked good on anyone. 😉 

Champagne or sparkling water

Optional of course! Make sure to check your permit or consider if true champagne will be practicing Leave No Trace principles or if sparking water would be more fitting.

Pro Tip: We love plain sparkling water more because it doesn’t leave behind any sweet smells in the outdoor environments that may attract animals to the trails or be harmful to plant life.

Champagne flutes

couple cheering their champagne flutes together
Consider foldable plastic flutes to pack away in a hiking backpack if necessary. The last thing you want is to break the glass on a trail and cause an animal (wild or domestic) to get a cut.

Picnic Meal or Reception Meal

Many of our couples enjoy a romantic picnic either pre-packed or catered for them!

Dessert

couple eating cake on their wedding day
What is life without dessert?

Adventure Gear

Bug spray

We love making our own with different blends of essential oils! Lemon, lavender, tea tree, lemon and eucalyptus are great oils diluted with water in a spray bottle!

Sunscreen

If you’ll be taking a dip on your adventure elopement day, consider using coral reef safe sunscreen!

Sunglasses

couple standing in snow in the middle of trees with sunglasses on because they remembered to add it to their elopement packing list

Even in winter, you may need these, especially here in Colorado. The snow can reflect the sun intensely and can give you a sunburn or the brightness can be a strain on your eyes.

Water bottle and water

We love our camelbak reservoir, check out our review of it!

Don’t forget to empty your bottles before jumping on an airplane!

Backpack(s)

Rain jacket or poncho

Jacket (very warm and windproof)

Warm Layers

bride who added an over coat to her packing list for elopement over her dress standing in the mountains

As we mentioned earlier, a good thermal base layer is a must-have for Colorado elopements. You can always slip something off if you get too warm!

Hand/Body/Toe Warmers

We’ve done some crazy research and found this brand to be the most eco-friendly hand/body/toe warmers around!

Traction (cramp-ons, micro spikes and/or snowshoes)

A must-have if there’s snow or mud on the ground. No one wants to slip on ice on their wedding day!

Gloves/Mittens

If you’ll be considering Colorado or any cold areas, make sure your gloves are waterproof and insulated well. As an REI expert told me once, the thicker the layers, the warmer you’ll be. So go ahead and skip those $5 cotton gloves you see at big box stores and get some nice warm gloves. Promise me, your toasty hands will thank you later!

Headlamps

packing list for elopement couple who packed their headlamps to hike in the dark to catch the stars and alpine glow in the mountains

Umbrellas

First Aid Kit

You’ll want to make sure to add this to your packing list for elopement if you plan on being outside, especially if you’re adventuring!

Blanket to sit on

image from etsy.com

Especially if you’re planning on a picnic! We’re still obsessed with these letter blankets! You can have your vows or another message of your choice written on them!

Bathroom Supplies

Especially if you’re adventuring in the wilderness don’t forget to pack supplies if there won’t be a bathroom around. We’re HUGE fans of the Kula pee cloth for women. Its totally more adorable than stuffing a roll or tissues or toilet paper in your bag and having to pack it out to practice Leave No Trace Principles.

Photographer

Oh hey! We’d love to come alongside you to be your photographer if you haven’t already hired one!
Brittany and Emmy, Colorado and oregon elopement photographers in a beautiful location
We love making sure our couples have the most amazing experience above all else, which we know starts with prepping you well! We come alongside our couples one-on-one to help them have an epic elopement. Learn more about what we do as Colorado elopement photographers as available in Oregon and throughout the US!

Download Our Elopement Packing List as a PDF

Don't forget a think on your packing list for elopement
elopement packing list on a note pad

Want a quick printable check list so you don’t miss a thing? We’ve got you covered!

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COMMENTS

11 Responses

  1. My husband and I haven’t had our wedding ceremony/celebration/whatever you call it yet. After reading this article I just want to elope lol. Seems like a way better idea. No idea how this is gonna work for an already married couple though 😀 oooooor we would give us the yes again during a travel every 3 years 😀

  2. Amazing information and photos! I love all of the bonus tips– like you don’t need a witness in Colorado! I didn’t know that.

  3. Wow! That’s such a unique topic. I had never thought that someone could write one this one. But yeah, should be really helpful for those planning to elope 🙂

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emmy on mountain to laughing
Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.

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