couple reading vows to each other on beach

Why You Deserve All-Day Elopement Photography Coverage

This is going to be an IMPORTANT read: today we’re talking about why you deserve all-day elopement photography coverage!

If you’re an engaged couple, you may be tempted to think that you only need a couple hours of photography coverage.

You’re not alone – most couples I meet, initially feel that way. The wedding industry has led couples to believe that elopements are “smaller” in size, so they don’t “need” as much coverage. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Your elopement day is one of (if not THE) most special days of your lives!! And because of that, it should be handled just like a wedding day, as far as photography coverage goes.

Whether your elopement looks like just the two of you and an officiant, you and a few of your closest loved ones, or you and 20-25 guests, you deserve all-day elopement photography coverage. So let’s get into why that is.

couple reading vows to each other on beach

What is all-day elopement photography coverage?


All-day elopement photography coverage could look a few different ways depending on how your photographer packages their offerings. It could be 8 hours, 10 hours, it could be 12 hours. Or, it could simply be all day, from beginning to end, no matter how long that ends up being!

bride and groom running on beach

Reasons to have all-day coverage vs. partial-day coverage


Your elopement day will always be the day you celebrate your anniversary. 

And you deserve to have more coverage than just a couple hours for this day that will be incredibly meaningful for the rest of your lives.


“Traditional” weddings typically have between 8-10 hours of coverage for a REASON. 

It’s not because it’ll take that long to photograph all 200 guests. No, it’s because that’s how long it’ll take for the photographer to capture the day as a whole! Your elopement day is no different. 

You and your partner likely opted to elope for a more meaningful and intimate wedding day experience. That full experience of the day can only be captured with all-day coverage!


All-day coverage gives you the time to celebrate however you want to. 

What does a snapshot of your IDEAL day together look like in normal life? Is it an early morning wake-up call with a hike? A beach walk and yoga? A slow morning with pancakes? An early morning, followed by afternoon hammock nap, then ending with a sunset hike? You can build any of these into your day with all-day coverage!!


You won’t have to worry about driving time taking up your allotted coverage time.

If you’re eloping, you might want to go to multiple locations throughout your day depending on the activities you choose to include! If you have coverage all day, you won’t have to worry about driving time eating away at your coverage time.


You’ve got plenty of time to let the day flow naturally, and to be flexible.

Traditional weddings usually don’t offer that! You spend time getting ready separately, and then see each other for the ceremony with all the eyes on you, and from there whisked into a crunched timeline of speeches, greeting lines, cake cutting, troubleshooting little snags that always come with any big detailed event, dances. Then, after a whirlwind day, it’s over, and you realize you didn’t get a chance to eat, or even look your partner in the eyes and reflect and soak in the time!

With an all-day elopement, you’ve got the whole day to choose what you want to do and to adapt to whatever may happen.

bride and groom jumping into ocean

You may be thinking, “what do we do to fill up a whole day of coverage for our elopement?” Trust me – the day will go by much quicker than you think it will!

Here are a few ideas of ways you can go about your elopement day & what kinds of activities you could include-


Getting ready ideas

  • Get ready separately
    • In separate rooms in a cozy Airbnb that you rent for a few days
    • In totally separate places
  • Get ready together
    • In a cozy Airbnb that you rent for a few days
    • At the location of your ceremony, in your car
    • At your home before you get to your location

First look ideas

  • Do your first look at getting ready location
  • Do your first look at/nearby your ceremony location
  • Drive to your location together, with one of you in the trunk/backseat while the other drives, not looking at each other – then do you first look
  • Give each other gifts
  • Read your vows during your first look
  • Read each other letters

Activities you could do at any point in the day

  • Read letters from family/friends who aren’t there
  • Zoom call/Facetime your family/friends who aren’t there
  • Have a picnic at your location
  • Soak in the view and take lots of couples portraits
  • Visit your favorite restaurant for a meal
  • Go to a bar to celebrate & get your favorite drinks
  • Get your favorite fast-food at a drive-thru
  • Go to a spot you love or that you often go on dates to – a bowling alley, coffee shop, store, downtown location, etc.
  • Hike to an amazing location
  • Do a fun activity-charter a boat, go kayaking, paddle boarding, zip-lining, ATVing
  • Go swimming, on a walk, biking, hammocking, any activities you enjoy doing together

couple dancing on the beach in the rain

There are COUNTLESS things you can do on your elopement day because, well, it’s your day. An all-day elopement provides you with the unique opportunity to literally create your dream day. You can create a day with all of your favorite things, like we all wanted to do when we were little kids, you know?

Say goodbye to the myth that you only need 3-4 hours of elopement photography coverage. Remember that your day deserves to be captured in its ENTIRETY.

Let me help you create a beautiful elopement day timeline full of locations and activities that are meaningful and completely catered to you and your partner!

Want to see an example of a fun elopement I photographed recently?

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden Elopement

(get more info on Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden here if you’re thinking about tying the knot there yourself!)

Hey friend!

Hi! I’m Emily, a couples, elopement and brand photographer based on Oahu, Hawaii.
You want a stress free, meaningful, and inspired approach to photography-something creative but still refined. Comfortable, but still elegant. I deeply value every couple that I get to create with, and can’t wait to hear your vision and collaborate with you!