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elopement checklist

Not sure where to start in your elopement planning? Download our free checklist to get organized and breathe easy.



Positano, Italy

Congratulations! Engagement season is here and we are so excited for you to start dreaming and planning your special day filled with joy, laughter, and love. This is your guide to set you up for success while you plan your 2023 wedding of your dreams.

Amalfi Coast, Italy


This might be a bit of a mood killer at first but trust me when I say it’s important that the two of you get off on the same footing. Spend an evening chatting about what your goals are. What would be your ideal type of venue? What are the top 3 things important to you on your wedding day? Which season makes the most sense for your venue especially if you are traveling? When it comes to budget, this all plays a role. If you don’t know your exact numbers yet, you should have at least a ballpark as vendors will need this information to have an idea on how to quote you and what services they can offer.

Destination weddings also incurs additional expenses sometimes such as flights, hotels, welcome dinner for travelers, welcome gift bags, additional outfits for the trip, etc.

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


Typically the top vendors you want to book for your wedding, and that book up fast, is your venue, wedding photographer, and planner. Venues can book out up to 2 year in advance especially for popular ones. Once you determine your date and venue you can start looking at other vendors such as photographers and planners.

A planner is pretty essential especially when your wedding is abroad. They have great connections with local vendors and can help make the process run smooth. We recommend at least a month of planner if you don’t opt for a 6-12 month planner. Your planner will likely do additional research but make sure to check if you are traveling during a rainy season, hurricane season, festival or regional holiday timeline, as this can hike up prices and/or impact your travel.

Photographers usually book a year to eighteen months out depending on the venue selection. Find a photographer with a style you love, book a call to get to know them personally as you will be spending a lot of time with them and you want to be comfortable with how they work.

Napa, California


Many venues will have in-house catering available otherwise preferred vendors for catering and bartending. Now is a great time to chat about the type of meal you’d like to include. Whether that is plated vs. buffet (We suggest plated) and if you’d like passed hors d’oeuvres¬†or a grazing table during cocktail hour.

When it comes to beverages many couples opt for beer, wine, soft drinks, and usually 2 cocktails that are the couple’s favorites. This makes it easy for mixing and a lovely personalization. Otherwise you can do a full bar but if you’re doing this we recommend at least two bar stations so lines aren’t too crowded.

Napa, California


Everyone remembers how your wedding looks and the overall vibe. Florals truly bring your event to life and finding the right floral artist to craft your vision is important. You can book yours between 6-9 months so they can prepare orders in enough time to get your desired colors and quality of flowers and greenery.

For entertainment, DJs are booked six months to a year out and bands at least 11 months out depending on popularity. We love DJs that also offer lighting, fog, and sparkling effects for a stand out display. Remember to ask if they have mics so you can have clear audio for your ceremony and speeches.

Napa, California

We hope these tips helps you start your planning journey. Iann Ivy Photography currently has open dates available for 2023 and 2024 and we would love to start your consultation to learn more about your vision and photography needs. Inquire now at contact@iannivy.com or on our Contact Form.

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I'm Iann and I'm so happy you're here. This journal is about love stories, travels, advice, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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Not sure where to start in your elopement planning? Download our free checklist to get organized and breathe easy.



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