Donna Marie


Hello there!

I'm Donna Marie

An inclusive adventurous destination wedding and elopement photographer livin' in upstate New York. I'm here to empower all couples to create an intentional wedding day that focuses on the experience and the feels.







When it comes to elopement planning, there aren’t quite as many details to stress over versus a traditional wedding. BUT that doesn’t mean an elopement plans itself. There are still a few things that you will need to figure out before your celebration day. From ceremony location, to accommodations, to the details that you want to include, and the documents needed to make your marriage legal. I’ve put together this elopement checklist to help you through it all.

  1. Determine your budget: Before you start planning, decide on a budget for your elopement. This will help guide your decisions on the location, vendors, and other details.

  2. Choose your location: Decide on the location for your elopement. Consider factors such as the scenery, accessibility, and any necessary permits or reservations.

  3. Book your accommodations and travel (if needed). Make sure to secure your travel and where you’d like to stay for your elopement experience. Popular destinations during popular times of the year may mean booking a year or more in advance for lodging. Flights are typically best priced roughly 6-8 months prior to your desired travel date.

  4. Book vendors: Book any necessary vendors, such as a photographer, officiant, and florist. Make sure to communicate any special requests or requirements.

  5. Obtain any necessary permits or licenses: Depending on your location and plans, you may need to obtain permits or licenses. Research the requirements and make sure to obtain any necessary documentation.

  6. Choose your attire: Decide on your elopement attire, including any necessary accessories such as shoes and jewelry.

  7. Plan transportation: Determine how you will get to and from the location. If necessary, arrange for transportation for you and any guests.

  8. Create a timeline: Create a timeline for your elopement day, including any necessary preparations, the ceremony, and any post-ceremony activities.

  9. Make accommodation arrangements: If you will be staying overnight, make accommodation arrangements in advance.

  10. Plan your meals: Decide on any necessary meals, such as a pre-ceremony breakfast or a post-ceremony dinner. Research local restaurants or caterers if necessary.

  11. Consider any additional details: Consider any additional details, such as music, decorations, or special readings or vows.

One Week Before…

Make sure to:

  1. Pack all your wedding attire/gear
  2. Keep tabs on the weather
  3. Pick up your marriage license
  4. Finalize your day-of schedule/timeline

If you’re wanting some help building your dream elopement experience, get in touch! Let’s start planning your elopement together!

Here are some other elopement planning resources you may enjoy!
How to Write Your Own Vows
10+ Dinner Ideas for Elopements and Intimate Weddings

Elopement Planning


The Elopement Planning Checklist

"The moment I spoke to donna I knew we'd made the right choice by reaching out—she was instantly so invested in capturing our lovestory and couldn't be more pleasant to work with."

Claire + Justin