Tips for Planning your BC Elopement

Rainy day elopement in Vancouver at Lighthouse Park

Congratulations!! You’re most likely here cause you’re planning your BC elopement or curious about doing so. Elopements are such an amazing way to focus on the two of you and perhaps the couple others you have invited along. While elopements don’t need to come with a long list of ‘to do’s’, here are a couple things to consider as you begin to plan!

The first things to think about are: Date, Location, Legal Stuff, and Photographer.

How to pick a date:

• Starting to narrow down a date begins with the season. Are you winter people and catching snowflakes on your tongue and warming up by the fire excites you? Do that! Want to finish your day by going for a swim in Lake Okanagan – you probably want to think summer. Pick a season that excites you the most!
• Once you have decided on season, it’s time to narrow down an actual date. My advice would be to look into weekdays. You will have more options to choose from when it comes to vendors and even ‘hot spot’ locations if you’re looking at one of those! Places like Knox Mountain in Kelowna or Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish are going to be less busy have more space for you to take in a quiet moment during the week. Most wedding vendors reserve their Saturdays during high season for full wedding days making it more difficult for you to reserve the company you’re after. However, a Saturday in February might be easier to book!

Chilly Fall Elopement by Lake Okanagan in Kelowna

Choosing a location:

• The first question for location is: sentimental or new experience?
• If you have always dreamt of saying vows on the top of Dog Mountain in Vancouver, where you had your first date – BOOM. Do it! One of the best things about planning your BC elopement is your ability to totally customize your day and make it what you want! If you are ski bums and your heart gets excited over a powder day, let’s head up to a snow ghost at Big White and take in the incredible mountain air! Live on a sailboat in Vancouver? Let’s go for an ocean adventure! There are so many opportunities at your finger tips! Let me help with the logistics here!
• Alternatively, are you looking to escape your everyday and create a new memory together? Totally rad! Maybe you have always wanted to go to Tofino (if you haven’t been – highly recommend this gorgeous place!). Make it a little getaway, stay somewhere cozy, adventure around and elope!

Morning Elopement on the Ocean in Vancouver

How to find an officiant/celebrant or commissioner:

• This is a confusing one for a lot of couples! What is the difference? Is it really a big deal who we choose? Yes! You want someone who you can feel totally comfortable with seeing as they are making this whole deal legal and will be with you for a chunk of the day! I’ll start off by explaining the difference: commissioners are appointed by the government (typically retirees) who preform non-religious ceremonies and are qualified to make your marriage legal. Officiants/celebrants preform religious and non-religious ceremonies alike and typically work with you to create a more personalized ceremony based on who you are as a couple.
• For commissioners you can search for the city of your choice in the government of BC’s website here and find a full list of individuals. The base rate for a commissioner is $78.75 including tax.
• If you’re looking for something a little more personalized and willing to spend a little more money on the ceremony (I do highly recommend looking at a few different officiants. They make the ceremony much more about you two then strictly the legal stuff) Feel free to ask here about my recommended officiants. Pricing for officiants range quite a bit depending on who you go with.
• Another great option is to do all the legalities with a commissioner before (or even after) and then on the day have a friend or family member say some some encouraging words and exchange your vows.

Winter Mountain Elopement in Kelowna BC

How to choose a photographer:

• Picking a photographer is so important! You want to be able to look back at these memories for the rest of your lifetime – and for generations to come! Not only is it important to look at the style of photography you want but also the individual you hire. They are with you for a large chunk of the day and feeling comfortable with them will help create more natural images.
• Start by deciding which style you would like your images to have. What draws you to an image the most? Is it candid moments? Is it the bright and airy editing?
• I highly suggest looking through photographers blog posts to see how they photograph a day. Instagram is a great starting place to view styles and a quick glance at their work but then take it another step further to view a blog post. You can see how they photograph an entire day and what they value in an image. It is so important to feel a connection to what the photographer values in their images as that is how they are going to see your day!
• For me, I put an emphasis on capturing candid moments and the feel of your love. And I love laughter, all the laughter!

Kelowna Spring Elopement at Bertram Creek Park

Other things to take into consideration:

A place to stay:

• Is your elopement location far away from home? Consider booking an Air BnB, guest house, or maybe a Luxe Tent for your BC elopement. Having a base camp for the morning before will allow for a relaxed morning whether you decide to get ready there or just want to sip coffee by the fireplace before you begin the days adventure.
• Keeping in mind where you are planning on going for the ceremony and if you are heading somewhere for dinner after. At the end of the day you will want to have a place to go back to and relax in.

Luxe Camp Tent during a winter elopement in Kelowna BC

Florals:

• Visiting a florist with a storefront will allow you to pick out some beautiful options with short notice.
• Otherwise, florist need roughly 4 weeks in advance to get something particular created for you.
• Just a little personal note: I have always loved the idea of picking some wild flowers or flowers from your garden the morning of and showing them off!

Vancouver Intimate Forest Elopement

Post Elopement Dinner:

• Since you probably don’t have a group of people waiting for you to walk into a reception space you might want to consider having a special dinner afterwards. Do you need a reservation? Did you want to invite your immediate family or a group of close friends to join in at the end?
• Perhaps you want to continue the intimate day with a private dinner overlooking the sunset. Planners alongside the help of decor and caterers are there to make that vision come alive!
• Need a recommendation on either option? I am here to assist! I am kinda big into food. Contact me here for planning your BC elopement!

Intimate Elopement Dinner with the Sunset at Bertram Creek Park Kelowna

Decide how you want to tell your family + friends:

• Did you want to plan a reveal party/reception/dance party for when you get home to celebrate with everyone? This is a great way for everyone to feel included while still keeping the vows intimate.
• You may want to ask if your photographer sends out any sneak peaks before you receive the entire gallery (typically 8-10 weeks) so you can put out an announcement!

Running by the Ocean after Eloping in Vancouver

Just enjoy!

Lastly, be present and just enjoy! This is the most important part of any wedding day, whether you end up eloping or having a traditional wedding. Your vendors are there to help everything run smoothly so that you can soak up every last minute of the day! I would love to assist you further in planning your BC elopement. Let’s chat about your unique day here!

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