HOW TO PLAN YOUR 2021 ELOPEMENT During the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

Whether eloping has always been your dream and plan, thanks to the awful Covid-19 Pandemic, it is now also considered totally acceptable and responsible even. It’s easier than ever to elope without hurting anyone’s feelings, making anyone feel left out, or creating any unnecessary family drama. Bonus! That’s on top of all the other benefits eloping can have over a traditional wedding. (Here’s a list of others in case you’re still on the fence.) However, while it has increased the amount of and acceptance of elopements, the Covid-19 Pandemic has also created its own obstacles to be considered. I’ve laid out a step by step guide to help your plan your elopement taking all things pandemic-related into account.


Step 1: Pick a location.


Consider locations with lots of outdoor activities and options. Indoor locations can still be closed, limited, or restricted, and the restrictions can change without warning. With Florida’s warm temperatures, 237 average days of sunshine per year, abundance of beaches, springs, rivers, and parks, I totally recommend giving it a consideration. Although, there are TONS of other great options depending on your personal preferences.


Step 2: Hire a photographer.


Bonus if your photographer also helps you plan the elopement day of your dreams.

This is high up on the list, because this is the part of your day you get to keep FOREVER. The memories, yes of course, you keep those too. But, without the photos to bring you back to those moments, even the memories can fade. Hire your photographer as soon as you’re ready to begin planning your elopement. Make sure you love their style and that you feel a connection with them. You want to make sure it’s someone you can trust and feel comfortable around. If you choose me, I’ll help you every step of the way with my VIP guides/ideas/vendor lists/and tips.


Step 3: Plan to have your own transportation.

Unfortunately, maintaining a safe distance means it makes better sense for us to have separate vehicles to travel from location to location. While, it’s not how I always like to travel on wedding days, it does allow for that private 1 on 1 time throughout the day and more storage for gear and food. So, it’s not all bad.


Step 4: Consider alternative ways to include family and friends.


One good thing the pandemic has created is people finding ways to be together even when separated by space. Zoom and online parties have become so normal, I don’t think they’ll be going anywhere even after the pandemic. We can find meaningful alternative ways to include your family, whether having them send videos or notes, or even broadcasting your ceremony live for your entire family/friend lists to watch from their own homes while you enjoy your intimate setting. It’s entirely up to you how private or public you want your elopement to be and how or if you want your family and friends included in some way. I have lots of ideas I include for my couples in my client guides.



Step 5: Stay updated on travel guidelines and restrictions.


With everything in a constant state of change, just be aware of any guidelines or restrictions that could affect your plans. Wear a mask, maintain a safe distance, and be ready to go with the flow. One of the greatest benefits of eloping is that there are fewer people and plans affected by changes. Just stay flexible, and focus on the goal…having a kickass day with the person of your dreams!



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@ Shaye Reilly Photography | Destination Elopement and Florida Small Wedding Photography