How many hours do I need for my adventure elopement or intimate wedding?

A lot of my couples aren’t sure how many hours they need for their adventure elopement or intimate wedding, so I wanted to share some info to help all of my future couples! I think there is a misconception that you only need a couple of hours for smaller weddings and I don’t think that’s true. I believe small weddings deserve just as much time as bigger weddings and I’m going to explain why. The amount of time needed for elopements are always different and will vary depending on location, what kind of activity we’ll be doing, if you have guests, and so on. I will create your custom wedding day timeline based on your needs and what is most important to you!


heceta head lighthouse beach elopement with oregon wedding photographer naomi levit


I want to help you create an epic experience that will deepen your relationship with each other and the earth. A day that will change your life forever. I want to help you craft your perfect day together. What would you be doing? Imagine this…Making breakfast together in a cozy cabin, sipping on hot coffee, and dancing in the kitchen. You both get ready, write your vows, and then have a first look outside of the cabin. Then we head for the trailhead and go on a hike to a jaw dropping location to say your vows and commit the rest of your lives to each other. Then you head back to your cabin where a private chef is preparing a locally sourced meal for the two of you. Or would you be camping and getting ready in your cozy tent at a location that is special to you or somewhere you’ve never been before? Having a picnic overlooking the ocean and popping champagne to celebrate? Going on a helicopter ride? The options are endless and are totally up to you! I want to help you create an experience that is exactly what YOU want.



My minimum time for elopements and intimate weddings is four hours. I’ve found this is a great place to start and gives us time to capture getting ready (one of my fave parts of the day!), first look, ceremony, family and group portraits if you have less than 10 guests, an easy access location, and epic couple’s portraits! I believe it’s VERY important to have a relaxed wedding day and not feel rushed. This way you will have time to enjoy every little moment with your partner and your family and friends if they’ll be joining you. Your wedding day is meant to be enjoyed and I’ll help you create the perfect wedding timeline based on your needs and desires.


The next options are six, eight, and ten hours. These collections are best for those that want to do more intense hiking, multiple activities, if there is more driving involved, or if you have more guests with a reception. Something else to consider is the amount of time hiking. You can estimate one mile per hour for hiking and allowing time for photos along the way. So if we’re going on a 2 mile hike roundtrip then we’ll need 2 hours built into the timeline just for the hiking portion.


heceta head lighthouse beach elopement with oregon wedding photographer naomi levit


Here is an example timeline to help you wrap your mind around the idea of a full day elopement experience!


10:00am – Make brunch together in your pj’s. Drink coffee. Dance in the kitchen! Write your vows.
12:00pm – Getting Ready – hair, makeup, get dressed
2:00pm – First Look
3:00pm – Drive to trailhead and take photos along the way at a few spontaneous locations
3:30pm – Hike to ceremony location, say your vows, and take couple’s portraits
5:30pm – Hike back to trailhead
6:30pm – Drive back to cabin
7:00pm – Pop champagne, say a toast to each other, and enjoy your delish locally sourced meal prepared by a private chef
8:00pm – Photo coverage ends and you two enjoy a romantic evening together at your cabin


Creating a wedding timeline that gives you room to relax and really enjoy all of the in between moments is SO important. Things generally take more time than you realize. After many years working as a wedding photographer I’ve developed a solid understanding of how much time each event needs and I am here to help you create the wedding day of your dreams!


adventure elopement planning resource with hawaii wedding photographer naomi levit


Ready to book your full day elopement experience?
I’m based on Maui, Oregon, and worldwide!
Check out my 2020 travel schedule to see where I’ll be or get in touch to book!
I still have availability this year and am always down for spontaneous adventures!


The example timeline is such a great way to illustrate how a quick 1-2 hours is not enough to really celebrate a special day (and not feel rushed!). Great tips for anyone starting to plan an elopement!

So great to see a sample timeline! I know personally how hard it can be to figure out how to spend such a special day!

So much great information for couples planning an intimate wedding or elopement. Your sample timeline is perfect!

YES! I love this post, and your example timeline. Elopements and intimate weddings can be so much more than a quick ceremony.

yes! smaller weddings absolutely deserve full time lines

Now that’s a great elopement day timeline!

Thank you for doing this– I think a lot of couples have no idea how fast the day really can go!!

From the couple’s point of views seems that the more hours you spend with photographer more various photos you get in different locations, light, more prescious moments between you.

Awesome advice for couples who are new to the idea of eloping! I think it’s so helpful to see a sample timeline to be able to understand why a whole day goes by so fast!

Timelines like this can be super helpful in showing just what a full elopement day can look like!

This is such a helpful planning guide for elopements! I think this is something many couples have questions about and you’ve done an excellent job laying everything out in a way that makes sense and shows how fun a full day can be!

This is a great blog post for couples who are trying to decide how much time they should book with their photographer! The example timeline is great and your photos are so pretty

super great advice. This is a question I actually get asked a lot im so glad someone has some great advice. also your photos are stunning,

This is such a great guide for couples who want to elope! I think there is still a stigma that elopements are a quick 1 or 2 hour deal and this guide shows that it can (and should) be so much more than that! The example timeline is a perfect example to let you visualize an elopement day! Such a great post!!

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