Elope in Upstate New York: Your Ultimate Guide to Planning

Elopement Tips

Planning an elopement can be an absolute breeze… if you have the right people on your team.  As a former bride, I completely understand how planning a big wedding, or any type of wedding, can quickly turn into a huge ball of stress. But guess what? That won’t be the case, ‘cause you’ve got me! In this blog, we’ll be talking about how to elope in Upstate New York so that you can feel confident as hell in planning your dream elopement. 

Set your budget // Elope in Upstate New York

Okay first thing’s first… you’ve gotta know how much you and your boo wanna spend. Even though elopements usually don’t cost as much as traditional weddings, you should still have a number in mind that you wanna stick to! Eloping in Upstate New York doesn’t have to be expensive. But here are a few costs that you should keep in mind when setting your budget:

Your photographer + videographer

Remember, documenting your elopement is one of, if not the most important part (other than having a fantastic time!) of the experience. If you’re gonna drop some cash on anything, let it be preserving memories with a photographer that you really vibe with!

Special permits + fees

Depending on where you’re eloping in Upstate New York, you may have to allocate funds for special use permits & entrance fees, especially if you’re planning to elope at a state or national park. Your photographer will definitely help you figure all the details out, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind early on. 

Lodging & accommodations

If you’re traveling from anywhere but Upstate New York, don’t forget that you’ll need somewhere to stay. I recommend planning for a minimum of 3 night stay so that you have a travel day, a rest day, an elopement day, and an exploring day. Of course this is optional, but from my experience, makes for the smoothest ride! 

Your elopement attire

Of course we want you and your boo lookin’ good for your elopement! Attire is usually one of the first things that couples getting married start looking for, since gowns can take quite a bit of time to arrive and be tailored. If you’re looking for cut costs, you can always find your attire at a bridal consignment store, or look on Facebook or Etsy for more affordable options! For suits, I recommend The Black Tux, where you can rent your tux or suit and send it right back to them. If you absolutely fall in love with it, they allow you to buy it instead of shipping it back!

Your elopement vendors 

One of the best things about eloping is that you don’t have to have all the traditional vendors. It’s up to you which vendors you want to invest in, but you will most likely need (aside from a photographer + videographer): a florist, a hair & makeup artist (or you can totally do it yourself if you’re comfortable with it), an elopement planner if you plan on having an elaborate setup at your ceremony site, and food options if you choose to have guests and a gathering/reception afterwards. 

Find your Upstate New York elopement photographer

Once you have your budget figured out, it’s time to book your Upstate New York elopement photographer. The reason you want to book this vendor first is because A) our availability goes quickly and B) we help out so much with the planning process, or at least I do! I have tons of experience helping couples plan their dream elopement, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the process of planning from start to finish. Not only do I have experience with planning, but I also know Upstate New York like the back of my hand. That means I can recommend all the best locations for you and your partner and help you decide which one will fit your vision the best!

Upstate New York elopement photography packages

When I say I include everything, I mean everything. My wedding and elopement photography packages give you a photographer that is there to photograph your elopement or wedding the entire freaking time. I’ve eliminated the stress of deciding which hourly package to choose from, because to be honest with you – I believe you need all of it. 

I’ve been asked “What if we only need an hour or two of photo coverage?” and what I say to that is, your day deserves to be remembered from start to finish. I’m not gonna half ass your day. With all-inclusive wedding and elopement packages you don’t have to worry about time constraints. We can plan to get up for sunrise vows in the Adirondack Mountains, a midday boat ride, and an evening firework send off.

Everything I’m gonna be talking about in the remainder of this blog is included in all of my elopement packages. So as you’re reading, just know that I’ll be there with you for each one of these steps! 

Have an elopement brainstorm session // Elope in Upstate New York

Let’s get to elopement planning with a personalized vision of your day for you. It’s time to throw tradition out the window and get married the way you want to! This is a great time to start browsing Pinterest for general ideas and a sense of direction. I share tons of my work on my Pinterest profile that will inspire the heck out of you if you wanna check it out!

If you have no idea where to start, that’s where the first elopement & intimate wedding planning session will guide you in the right direction. We will go through your wedding day from start to finish, and solidify an outline for anything and everything you might want to include. I’ll then come up with a list of detailed options for you to choose from. 

I also recommend planning a date night of sorts to get both you and your partner involved in creating your elopement day vision! Have some wine, put on your favorite playlist, and start dreaming about how you want to start the rest of your lives together. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but it’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing and get excited about your elopement. 

If you want some of my favorite ideas, I have an entire blog post dedicated to unique Upstate New York elopement ideas!

Choose a location // Elope in Upstate New York

If you’re thinking “Rachel, I don’t know the first thing about choosing an Upstate New York elopement location,” don’t you worry ‘bout a thang. We have a dedicated location planning call to nail down exactly where you want to elope in Upstate New York. 

If you want to get married in a quaint area of Upstate New York , I’m down to map out a plan on how we will make the journey. If you’re more of a backyard, party-with-my-family type of couple, I’ll help you find the coolest airbnb you’ve ever been to. Wherever you decide you want your intimate wedding or elopement to be, I’m going to find a location that is perfect for you. 

I do have a full blog on the top 7 Upstate New York elopement locations that you can check out here whenever you’re ready. As an overview, here are some of my favorites!

Whiteface Mountain

This location is in the Adirondack Mountains, one of my absolute favorite places in the region. Whiteface Mountain is one of New York’s top ski resorts and would be the perfect location for couples who prefer no hike, but still want breathtaking views. 

Keene Valley

Lakes, mountains, and waterfalls? I’m telling you, Keene Valley has it all. This is another location in the Adirondacks, but the valley is home to the Tri-Lakes communities that consist of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake. Any one of those would be beautiful elopement locations in themselves, so let’s get to chatting about which one would be best for you and your boo!

Indian Head Trail

If you’re planning your elopement between the months of April & October, you bet I’ll be suggesting this spot. Sunrise and sunset elopements are the BEST here, no lie. The fall colors seriously outdo themselves in the fall, so that would be the best time to visit. 

Rocky Mountain Trail

This is a quick, easy (but somewhat steep!) hiking trail with crazy beautiful views when you get to the top. The hike itself only takes 20-25 minutes, so this is a great option if you want to keep that part of your day short and sweet and spend time doing other things afterwards. 

Book your Upstate New York elopement vendors

Now that we’ve got your location nailed down, it would be a good time to start booking your other Upstate New York elopement vendors. By now we’ll have already gotten most of your day planned out and you should know exactly what vendors you’ll need for your wedding. I will usually have some fantastic recommendations for vendors that I’ve worked with in the past and that I think would be the perfect fit for you! 

Create a timeline

As your elopement approaches, you might start getting the pre-wedding jitters, which is totally normal. Creating a timeline together will ease all those nerves because you’ll be able to visualize your day from start to finish. Seeing exactly how your day is gonna come together will make you (and me!) that much more excited for it. Whether we have a jam-packed day or we’re takin’ it easy, you know I’ve got your back.

Don’t forget the final details!

Did you really think I’d just leave you hangin’?! Never! Before your elopement day, I’ll send over a final checklist of everything you might need. The last thing you want to forget are your hiking boots when you’ve got an early morning alarm for vows at sunrise in the Adirondacks. We’ll be in consistent communication leading up to your elopement as well, so you’ll be at ease and not worried about a damn thing. Let’s do this!! 

Elope in Upstate New York – let’s get to planning!

If you’re ready to start planning your Upstate New York elopement, let’s go! To get in touch with me, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to ya as soon as I can. In the meantime, let’s be friends on Instagram! Feel free to shoot me a DM to let me know you inquired, and we can start celebrating together!! 

with love,
Rachel Barbato

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