Some vendors may need to be booked in advanced at least a year and a half before your elopement date, others can accommodate you within a couple of weeks. It’s always best to book your vendor as far in advance as you possibly can, especially if your elopement is during the peak season. However, if you’re flexible, try to compose a list of vendors that you like, see which one has an opening on your wedding date and book them. But in most cases, vendors usually like for you to book with them at least 3 months in advance.
If you and your partner do plan to elope but want to do it at a certain spot such as a lodge or vineyard, then you will need to contact the venue in order to see what dates they have available for elopement ceremonies. You may be surprised that there are a number of openings within a reasonable timeframe (1-2 weeks), but for venues that are extremely popular like Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World or the Eiffel Tower, you may be looking at a 6-12 month wait. That gives you more than enough time to purchase your ‘Wedding in a Box’ portable wedding kit so that you have it with you to take on your trip!
If you’re interested in booking a photographer to capture your intimate ceremony, then you may need to contact them at least 3 months in advance. I know that’s not an ideal timeframe for couples looking to elope, but professional photographers usually get booked quickly, especially during peak wedding season.
If the photographer you prefer is not available within a reasonable enough timeframe, try to find someone else with a similar shooting style and give them a call. You can even try freelance photographers or photography students who need to expand their portfolio. They’re not usually as busy as a professional photographer and will more than likely shuffle their schedule around to prioritize the date of your elopement.