"... We only need a couple of hours."

"... What would we even do all day?"

"... an Elopement isn't worth the same as a Wedding."

Let's start with the first and most important fallacy. Elopements are not less-than, unimportant, non-days unworthy of celebration. They are not consolation prizes. They are still YOUR WEDDING DAY. Is it any less so because of the number of guests? Does guest count impact the legality of it? Are people with more guests more deserving of it? Of a more special day? Suddenly when put that way it starts to sound silly doesn't it. That's because it's not ANY LESS of a wedding day than a traditional wedding day is, it just has a different format and focus if you will, and is made for different people. So what does it actually look like? Exactly what it should. An entire day spent celebration YOU, your love, your story, and the fact that you're getting MARRIED, guys! This is HUGE! It's the day you say vows to each other, commit your lives to each other. Whatever you do today is the memory you will have every year on your anniversary, I want it to make you SMILE. Live it UP! Make it AMAZING! Do you deserve anything different because you're not having a big party? Because you're having fewer people there? I don't believe that!

"An Elopement is an intimate wedding day with the intentional focus on you as a couple, and the freedom to make it anything in the world you want."

Sample Elopement Timeline

Sometimes seeing is believing. Not for nothing but, I've done this before 😉
It never feels like you'll need this much time, but here are a few things to think about in order to have the best day:

1. Don't rush. Always buffer a little. A day running around isn't a fun day.
2. Account for travel time & traffic (you'll get every red light that day, trust me.)
3. Don't skip anything! This isn't your office mate's farewell party! What are you doing? It's your WEDDING DAY! You're not SKIPPING any portion of it! You're getting GORGEOUS photos of the WHOLE-THING!! Remember what your mother told you? You don't skimp on linens and she was right. Well your wedding memories, that's not where you skimp either.

The example below is of a Downtown "Chicago Fan" Elopement Day. It's very close to an actual elopement I've documented (Check out the gorgeous Dani + Phil !) I chose to stick with the Bride/Groom scenario (opposite sex is more challenging than same-sex as they have different needs.) Travel times are according to Google Maps, rounded up slightly (I always buffer to account for traffic.) This is about what you can expect!

Downtown Chicago Elopement

9:00 - 10:30 am


Candid prep photos
+ shots of bridal details

Downtown Chicago Elopement

10:30-11:15 Am


Candids prep photos
+ solo portraits

Downtown Chicago Elopement

11:15 - 11:45 Am


Bride gets in dress
+ solo portraits

Chicago Destination Wedding Elopement Photographer

Thinking about a Chicago courthouse elopement? Getting ready together? Go over to Eva & Andrew's day for some romantic & rainy downtown vibes.

Ever dreamt of flying to Fiji & getting married just the two of you on top a peaceful mount & watch the sunset? Yup, some people do that! Dream!

From Wrigley Field to the Wrigley Building, check out this full Chicago-fan day for inspiration on how to celebrate with a chic downtown feel.




Laëtitia Donaghy Photography Chicago Wedding Elopement Travel Photographer

Let's Start Planning Your Elopement!

Now it's your turn! Tell me about your dream day, let's make a plan and let's turn those thoughts into the BEST DAY EVER, the most awesome memories and the most beautiful photographs.