How To Plan Your BC Adventure Elopement Timeline For Each Season

February 20, 2023

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couple getting married at a mountain top in Pitt Meadows BC

A British Columbia elopement is always perfect, no matter the time of the year. Our jagged mountains, beautiful forests and pristine beaches are inviting year-round, whether you’re planning an outdoor summer elopement or a cozy winter adventure. To help you get started, I’ve put together some ideas on how to plan your BC adventure elopement timeline for each season. A timeline is simply an outline of how your day will run in terms of timings and locations, helping you and your wedding stay organized! 

Since sunrise and sunset times vary greatly throughout the year, it’s worth thinking about what time of day you ideally want to elope and planning a season where your preferred timings would work best. With a mild climate, summers are never too hot, autumn and spring delight with vibrant fall foliage or wildflowers, and winter is a dream for skiers and snowboarders. Each season is uniquely different and stunning in its own way! 

Spring Elopement Timeline

Love is in the air, our beautiful spring wildflowers are in bloom and the chill of winter is melting away — spring is certainly one of the best times to elope in BC!

A few spring locations I love include the gorgeous beachfront town of Tofino, the romantic West Coast Wilderness Lodge and Manning Park filled with colorful wildflowers and forested trails — they’re all so lush and inviting in spring! A mid-afternoon ceremony can work well in spring, as you can enjoy the warmth of the outdoors before moving inside for a celebration as the night brings cooler weather. 

A spring timeline could look something like this:

  • 10am: Couple’s wildflower hike
  • 12 pm: Getting ready 
  • 2 pm: First look
  • 3 pm: Ceremony
  • 3:30 pm: Family portraits
  • 4 pm: Couple’s portraits
  • 6 pm: Whale watching* and sunset sail to toast the newlyweds!

Keep in mind that early spring in BC can still be snowy, so if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, late spring might be better if you want to avoid the cold. 

*Whale watching runs from March to October.

Summer Elopement Timeline

Long days, warm weather and that carefree summer feeling — I love a summer elopement! Summer is such a wonderful time to get married, especially if you desire an outdoor ceremony, surrounded by nature. A few ideal summer elopement destinations are Vancouver Island’s Sunshine Coast, Chesterman Beach or Hornby Island, known for its sparkling white beaches. 

If you want to elope on a busy trail or beach, sunrise is the best time to have the place to yourself and avoid crowds of tourists. However, if you’re not really morning people, a late afternoon elopement is also lovely, as you have the entire day to get ready or do a fun outdoor activity first. Here’s an example of how you can take advantage of the stunning sunrise and enjoy a full-day elopement with fun activities!

  • 6 am: Couple’s kayaking at sunrise followed by a picnic breakfast on the beach
  • 11 am: Getting ready 
  • 2 pm: First look
  • 3 pm: Ceremony
  • 3:30 pm: Family portraits
  • 4 pm: Couple’s portraits
  • 5 pm: Couple’s hike for amazing views and photo backdrops
  • 8 pm: Sunset swim together!

Summer is also such a wonderful time for a multi-day elopement, especially on Vancouver Island. Hire a beachfront cottage and have plenty of time to relax, soak up the sun and enjoy the beauty of the island. 

couple walking in front of cabin in the desert during their elopement

Fall Elopement Timeline

When planning your autumn elopement timeline, it’s all about the color! The beauty and vibrancy of autumn mean an outdoor ceremony or reception is so gorgeous for photography, so we’ll plan our shooting times to line up with the best possible lighting. With a late afternoon ceremony, we can make the most of the golden hour for your couples’ portraits. 

A few autumn elopement locations to consider are the Sea to Sky Gondola, The Kootenays and Grouse Mountain. These locations are stunning for fall foliage, immersing you both in a world of color for your elopement. 

Your sample timeline for a fall elopement could look something like this:

  • 11 am: Getting ready 
  • 1:30 pm First look
  • 2:30 pm: Ceremony
  • 3:30 pm: Family portraits
  • 4 pm: Couple’s portraits 
  • Meaningful activities to include in your elopement: apple picking, cycling, stargazing or hiking! 

Winter Elopement Timeline

Winter might be chilly, but it’s so beautifully romantic — and also one of the best times of year to visit BC! With world-class skiing and winter sports, winter is the perfect time for an adventure elopement. 

In winter, Whistler is always a great elopement destination (be sure to spend a day soaking and relaxing at the Scandinave Spa!), but Pemberton is also a gorgeous winter destination, as is Manning Park Resort — BC truly has so many amazing adventure elopement spots!

Sunset is early in the winter, so why not think about a morning ceremony, followed by a day of celebrations?

Here’s how to build an elopement timeline in the winter months: 

  • 6 am: Getting ready 
  • 9 am: First look
  • 10 am: Ceremony
  • 10:30 am: Family portraits
  • 11 am: Couple’s portraits 
  • Meaningful activities to include in your elopement: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sipping cider by a bonfire and hot springs! 

You can then spend the rest of the day hitting the slopes, plan a long lunch with friends and family, or just enjoy one another’s company. 

For all of the winter adventures you can have in BC, it’s also so lovely to just relax and stay inside, sip hot chocolate and watch the snowfall. In winter, you could both get ready together in your cozy cabin in the woods, then we can do the first look either indoors or outside — the photos will be gorgeous either way!

couple having a wedding ceremony at a mountain top in Whistler

What Are My Photography Needs When Planning An Elopement?

When deciding on photography for your elopement, it all comes down to your preferences. Some couples may be happy with just a few hours to cover the ceremony and celebrations after, while others might want someone along for the entire weekend to cover all of the various elopement activities and celebrations.

I firmly believe that elopements deserve just as much photography documentation as any other wedding! Even if your celebrations are smaller than a traditional wedding, every moment of your wedding day, from sun up to sun down, tells your unique story and should be treasured — so make it an experience you’ll never forget and document it all so that you can relive it together!

If you’re ready to start planning your BC elopement, I can’t wait to hear from you! I love helping to plan elopement timelines for every season, ensuring your big day is just perfect and just as you desired. 

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I find purpose in the art of creation — of truly seeing, and making people feel seen.



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I'm your photographer if you crave adventure, love spontaneity, and are passionate about finding beauty in the road less traveled. As a BC elopement and micro-wedding photographer who is constantly inspired by the outdoors and loves to travel all over the province (and the world!), I’m up for any adventure in the destination of your dreams!

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