The best way to get fantastic wedding or elopement photos is by truly living in the moment. When you aren’t focused on posing and cheesin,’ your big day won’t feel like an endless photoshoot. Instead, you’ll end up with amazing photos and unforgettable memories. All you need is a bit of inspiration to come up with some awesome wedding activities and elopement ideas.
As a traveling wedding and elopement photographer, I believe that the experiences shared with those you love is what makes the day so special. The shared laughs; the happy tears; the spontaneous adventure – those are the things that make your wedding day so wonderful. Whether you say “I do” on your favorite hiking trail or at a fun downtown venue, I’ll be there to capture your romantic love story as it unfolds.
As much as I love spontaneity, a little planning will ensure your day consists of activities you truly enjoy. This is your big day – do what you love! Your wedding or elopement activities could range from romantic and relaxing activities that let you savor the day to adrenaline-pumping experiences and new adventures! Whatever you choose, I’m down for it!
Check out these 101+ unique wedding activities and elopement ideas:
1. Get married in a place that is important to you.
2. Get married in an epic new place you can’t wait to explore.
3. Go hammocking between the trees.
4. Soak in hot springs.
5. Read letters from family.
6. Have a picnic – pack your own or order one from a caterer.
7. Have a wine blending ceremony (similar to mixing sand or a unity candle).
8. Bring your fur babies (bring someone to help out).
9. Trash your wedding attire.
10. Go roller skating or skateboarding.
11. Do a wine tasting tour.
12. Go snorkeling in a coral reef.
13. Incorporate special family jewelry or heirlooms into your wedding day.
14. Plan a zipline adventure.
15. Design or craft your wedding bands together.
16. Write your own personal vows to read to each other (at the ceremony or privately).
17. Hire a personal chef.
18. Read notes from loved ones.
19. Have a morning breakfast date.
20. Swim in your wedding attire. Hop in the pool or lake at the end of the night.
21. Celebrate with sparklers, ribbon sticks, or biodegradable confetti.
22. Visit a fair or carnival.
23. Change up the seating – sit in a circle or use floor pillows, rugs, bean bags, etc. Cozy couch arrangements are fun, too.
24. Hire a florist to create a floral arch for your ceremony, or rent an archway.
25. Hire a canyoneering or climbing guide for an awesome adventure.
26. Enjoy a campfire with s’mores.
27. Cook together.
28. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight.
29. Do a biodegradable lantern sendoff.
30. Get an oversized floatie and chill on a mountain lake.
31. Use lanterns during your morning or sunset hike.
32. Play beer pong.
33. Go cliff jumping (somewhere safe and approved).
34. Explore a waterfall or cave.
35. Wear a surprise intimate set.
36. Go on a safari adventure.
37. Walk down the aisle together.
38. Plant a tree together.
39. Hire a musician or live band.
40. Seal a wine box with future notes to each other for a later date.
41. Pray or meditate together.
42. Get your hair and makeup done.
43. Splurge on a spa day at the salon.
44. Hug it out and just be in the moment.
45. Do a gondola ride (super awesome in Colorado).
46. Go white water rafting.
47. Bring “just eloped” or “just married” signs for your hiking backpacks.
48. Visit a late-night food truck (street tacos are the BEST).
49. Bring a small Bluetooth speaker to hike with or dance to.
50. Elope at your Airbnb or VRBO.
51. Do a fancy dinner for two mountainside or somewhere gorgeous.
52. Go for a sleigh ride or horse and carriage ride.
53. Go skinny dipping.
54. Try paddle boarding.
55. Do a dove or butterfly ceremony release.
56. Do your first look with parents or children.
57. Decorate a reception/celebration space (even if it’s just for the two of you at dinner or a brewery).
58. Download a special song for your first dance.
59. Do something together that you love.
60. Exchange personalized gifts with each other.
61. Write letters to each other to read during the getting ready process (together or separate).
62. Go skydiving
63. Dance together (slow dance or twerk it out).
64. Go stargazing.
65. Grab drinks at your favorite brewery.
66. Bring a few close loved ones for the ceremony portion.
67. Choose an awesome Airbnb or VRBO to get ready in, OR stay in a cool lodge.
68. Go kayaking or canoeing.
69. Take scuba lessons or go on a scuba adventure.
70. Get tattoos.
71. Paint together and drink wine.
72. Go horseback riding.
73. Try snowshoeing.
74. Make a vacation out of your wedding or elopement – pick somewhere you loved, and explore together for a week or two.
75. Literally tie the knot – take two pieces of ribbon or rope and tie them during the ceremony as a symbol of union.
76. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
77. Rent an awesome car and ride off into the sunset in style.
78. Get ready together at the same place.
79. Get ready in different locations, and have a first look afterward.
80. Book a couple’s massage.
81. Take a surfing lesson.
82. Create a playlist to listen to all day.
83. Change your outfit – you don’t have to stay in your wedding attire all day; get comfy and have fun.
84. Go skiing or snowboarding.
85. Have your child be the flower girl/ring bearer.
86. Book a photobooth van.
87. Put a charm on your bouquet or in your jacket to remember a loved one.
88. Go on a long hike (keep the weather forecast and temperature in mind).
89. Bring a polaroid camera.
90. Do things that are on your bucket lists.
91. Have family and friends meet you after the elopement ceremony at your Airbnb or hotel.
92. Display a neon wedding sign.
93. Rent a Jeep or ATV and go exploring.
94. Take a helicopter ride/tour.
95. Mix classic wedding traditions with unique or modern activities.
96. Cut the cake – even if it’s just the two of you. Cut tiny cakes are delicious, too!
97. Video chat with loved ones.
98. Pack some snacks and water (super essential).
99. Pop some champagne or sparkling juice (careful to leave no trace if outdoors).
100. Go glamping (in some locations, you can rent glamping sites already set up – there are some great ones in Arizona)!
101. Cozy up by the fire and sip your favorite drinks.
102. Literally do anything you want! It’s YOUR elopement day!
Capture Your Next Romantic Adventure in Action with Mariah
Need some guidance in picking your wedding or elopement destination? I’ve love to help! Get in touch with your traveling wedding photographer here for more elopement ideas.