I'm a fine art wedding and portrait photographer — creating a space that welcomes creativity and inspiration. Based in Colorado, my work has taken me across the globe.


What to Pack for your Adventure Wedding or Elopement – The ultimate checklist

tips for couples

So, you’ve decided on an adventure wedding or elopement for your wedding day, and now there are some key things you may want to bring along. Your wedding day is one of those days where you don’t want to forget anything, but what if you don’t necessarily know what you should bring? I’m here to help and have made the ultimate checklist for your adventure wedding or elopement!

Wedding Attire

Probably one of the most important items needing to be packed for your adventure wedding or elopement is your outfits! Whether you’re packing a suit and dress, a jumpsuit, multiple outfits, etc., you’ll want to ensure there is plenty of room for these in your bag. Some choose to bring these separately in a garment bag to prevent more wrinkling. Of course, when traveling with any item of clothing, regardless of how it is packed, you will be prone to some wrinkling, and therefore you may want to pick up a handheld steamer to bring with you.

The Little Details

Now, just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you have to skip out on some of those traditional wedding day details. If you ask me, items like jewelry, family heirlooms, vow books, etc., all help the day come together. Here are some ideas for you to include:

  • Vow Books
  • Earrings, necklace, accessory rings, hair clips
  • Watch, tie, bowtie, lapel, boutonnière, pocket square
  • Veil
  • Custom Ring Boxes  
  • Family Heirlooms
  • Perfume/Cologne 

You get the point, details can add a fun little ‘pop’ to your day, AND I won’t lie, I absolutely love photographing these!

Vow Books

I mentioned these above, but they are so handy on your big day and are SO easy to bring with you. Vow books are also convenient for those self-solemnizing as it gives you space to write and read some sweet nothings to one another during your ceremony! Etsy is again one of my favorite places to find the perfect + custom vow book for you and your partner!


Another detail that I will always recommend getting, regardless of how low-key your day is, and that adds a little something special to your elopement, is florals! If you’re not wanting to hassle with having someone pick up or deliver wedding florals, or you don’t want to worry about keeping them alive and fresh before and throughout the day – one of my favorite recommendations is going with a dried floral set! This is personally what I did for my elopement, and I was so happy with it. If you like this idea, head on over to Etsy and browse the never-ending collection of talented dried florists! If you still want to go with a fresh floral arrangement, here are some of my favorite Colorado Florists:

  • A Secret Garden | Vail, CO
  • Bloom Flower Shop | Breckenridge, CO
  • Petal & Bean | Breckenridge, CO
  • Flower Franch | Aspen, CO
  • Misty Mountain Too | Crested Butte, CO
  • Nested Telluride | Telluride, CO

Marriage License

Let’s not even try to imagine getting to your elopement location, celebrating your big day, and when it comes time to sign your marriage license to make it official… You’ve realized you forgot to pack it!
In Colorado, you’ll have to apply for your license in person at any Colorado County Clerk and Recorder office. To make it a little easier, I’ve included a map of them all over the state! Here are some items you’ll need to remember to bring to the office when applying:

  1. Proof of ID with date of birth
    • (Birth Certificate, State-issued Driver’s License or ID, Military ID, Alien Registration Card, Passport, VISA, Certificate of Naturalization, Department of Corrections ID, and Inmate ID.)
    • All these forms of ID must be current/valid and include a date of birth to verify that the applicant is of legal age to enter a marriage.
  2. $30.00 fee for the license (check with the Clerk and Recorder’s office for acceptable payment types)

Once you get your license, it must be solemnized (signed + returned) within 35 days of your elopement! The moral of the story is just to make sure it’s packed away and not forgotten when you leave for your big day!


And not just any shoes, comfortable ones! Whether it’s a dressier shoe or a hiking boot, make sure that you’re choosing and packing a style that meshes with your adventure wedding or elopement atmosphere. If you’re opting for a jeep tour or hiking elopement, a hiking shoe may be a better choice over a fancy dress shoe or heel. Many of my brides and grooms choose to wear Blundstones (or a similar brand) and I think they are perfect. They don’t look too much like clunky hiking boots and still have that dressy look with a good and grippy sole! Keep in mind, you don’t have to choose just one pair of shoes! If your elopement is dual parts, where you may have a reception at an Airbnb in the evening, then pack your dressier set of shoes to change into later!

*Pro tip- if you do decide to snag a new pair of shoes/boots, make sure you wear them around to break them in a little bit before, so that you don’t get stuck with blisters on your wedding day!

A Drink or Snack of Choice

You’ve done the deed, now it’s time to celebrate! What better way to do so than to pop some bubbly, shotgun a beer, or toast whatever other drink you fancy! Craft beer lovers, grab your favorite six-pack and a set of these cute, custom can coolers. More of the bubbly type but still like the idea of something custom? Check out this fun photo wine label that you can stick onto your fav bottle! For those who may not drink- sparkling apple cider is a fun incorporation. 

Now this one isn’t as ‘fun’, but I have to mention, especially for those planning quite the adventure, don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water to help you stay hydrated throughout the day!

For snacks, maybe you want to pack a dessert, like a set of cupcakes from a local store or bakery! If you’re a cheese lover like me, maybe we plan to bring a little charcuterie board and have a picnic.


I think many people overlook how music can bring fun, romance, and intimacy into their adventure wedding or elopement day! Think about setting a date night or two, leading up to the big day, and create a playlist together. Maybe you add a soft song to play in the background of your vow reading, another few for when you’re enjoying the snacks/drink you’ve brought along… and who can forget about a first dance… Don’t worry, I’ll bring a portable speaker and be the DJ if you’d like!

Letters or Voice Notes

You may be thinking, what do you mean? Well, for those choosing to elope, just the two of you, a fun way to include your loved ones on your special day is to have them write you a handwritten note! If this feels like too much to bring with you, then you can opt for having them send you voice memos or emails that you can listen to/read together during your elopement day– and I’ll be there to candidly capture your sweet reactions for them to look back on. If you like this idea, here are a few prompts to send them:

  • How did you play a part in our love story/journey here today?
  • What are some memories we’ve had together that are meaningful to you?
  • What are a few unique traits that you’ve observed between us in our relationship?
  • What makes me and my partner perfect for one another?

The Fur Babe

I mean, do I need to say more? I am the biggest dog lover; I promise you that. If you are hesitant about including your pup in your special day, let’s chat. Between my husband and I helping handle/occupy them through the day or services like Pup Plus One, I promise you that we will find a way to include them and it won’t be stressful AT ALL. 


Can’t quite figure out what you want to do for your elopement? Check out my blog for 5 Unique Elopement Ideas to gain some inspiration. Find more intimate weddings and adventure elopements here!

Call it authentic, candid or genuine. Whatever the adjective, I want to create a wedding celebration that resembles you, from the big celebrations and the in-between moments to the images I deliver that help you relive the day for years to come. When it comes to your wedding day, the moments you want to remember aren't always perfect, staged or scripted, they are uncut, raw and true to you.


I believe in

Dorothea Lange

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still”

Words I Live by

Let's Connect


*Virtual Wave*

Hello! I feel beyond honored that you've made your way here! In order to give you the best representation of who you'll be spending your wedding day (one of the best days you'll live) with, here's a brief run down!

First and foremost, I'm a mountain gal through and through. I was born and raised in Vail, Colorado and unless it's another mountain town, my husband and I will always call this home. It's the tightly knit community, the fresh air (but really, it hits different here), the scenery and most importantly for us, the recreation + lifestyle. This is something that will always come through in my work, and what I believe sets me just a little bit apart - I am, and will forever be, inspired by the poetry of love in landscapes. 

I have a deep desire to be on the move, to see everything before I don't have the opportunity to, and are therefore happiest when traveling and exploring new places (which I feel so lucky is a part of my work!) 


Spending quality time hiking/biking/skiing/camping with my husband and our two border collies, clocking in some R&R at home or catching up with a friend over a glass of wine/craft beer are things that always sit at the top of the priority list.

If you're in to it- I'm a Libra, A Manifesting Generator (6-2) and an Enneagram 7 Wing 6/8. In short, I'm a people person, an optimist, and for lack of better terms- like to get shit done and make things happen. I'm a feeler, with a strong sense of empathy and sense of what people are experiencing, both when it comes to myself and others. I'm a bit of a goof, a tiny little thing packed with some sass, and ultimately just want to live a fun and adventurous life that's packed with new experiences and people. 

..I guess that's why I do what I do. I feel so grateful to be on this journey of having my own business where I have freedom to curate the life I want to live, where I get to connect with truly so many amazing humans, travel to some really beautiful places, and document that as a whole, as creatively and beautifully as I can for you.

Copyright 2024 WHITNEY RAE  |  Template Design by With Grace and Gold |