As a BC-based intimate wedding and adventurous elopement photographer with nearly a decade of experience shooting elopements & micro weddings in Tofino, I’m SO excited to guide you through 6 easy and FUN steps to crafting your own dream elopement day in Tofino!

1. Get clear on what’s most meaningful to you two. 

This is often an overlooked step, but it’s the MOST IMPORTANT part of the process.
Ground yourself in what is most meaningful to you, before you get swept up in Pinterest ideas, your families expectations, or comparing your own wedding to your friend’s wedding last summer.

The following little activity will create clear communication & support you and your partner in remaining deeply connected throughout the planning process, for an easy & stress-free engagement. PLUS it’s super fun!! Here’s one of my favourite ways to cut through the outside noise, and get clear on what it is that is most important to you and your partner: 

  • Grab a pen and paper, and put on your favourite playlist. Close your eyes, and walk yourself through your wedding day. 
  • Really embody that vision. What does it look like? Taste like? Smell like? Sound like? FEEL like? Where are you? Who is there? Allow yourself to feel the excitement, anticipation, and EMOTION. 
  • Open your eyes, and jot down everything you noticed. Drop back in if you need to gather more details.
  • Then ask yourself: What do I want to remember most about my wedding day? 
    This will help you to make a list of what is most important to you. 
  • Invite your partner to do the same. After you’ve made your individual lists, come together to share them, and see what points you align on – this gives you a great place to start, and provides clarity on what to prioritize your wedding budget on. It also opens the conversation for understanding of what is important to your partner, and how you can come to an aligned compromise in areas where you may have different visions.

I’ve seen it ALL – from surf lessons at sunrise, to brewery pizza dates mid-day, to hopping in a helicopter to read your handwritten vows on a mountaintop, to first dances in ancient old growth forest, to chasing the sunset barefoot on the beach – THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with narrowing down your vision, reach out here & I’d be happy to schedule a call to go over your ideas, helping you flush out a more detailed vision, and have the opportunity to get to know each other & see if I’m the right fit for what you’re looking for!
Once you’re booked in, I create a personalized in-depth digital elopement guide specific to you two, with my personal suggestions on locations, vendors, and a timeline for your day, all in one beautifully organized place!

  1. Narrow down your elopement date (OR if you’re flexible on dates, move along to step 3!)
  2. Find vendors that align with your vision. ALL vendors are optional, and you have full creative control over which vendors feel important to you!

    Consider, does it feel important to you and your partner to invest in a:
    – Photographer? (Do you want someone there to document and tell the story of your day? Another perk, if you choose to have a photographer that is familiar with Tofino area, is that they can help you narrow down locations that align with your vision! I’ve been shooting weddings and elopements in Tofino for nearly a decade, and love helping my couples find hidden gems that perfectly fit their vision.)
    – Videographer? (Do you want someone there to capture your emotion in motion?)
    – Officiant? (Do you want an officiant at your ceremony, or would you rather sign the paperwork ahead of time and just read personalized vows to each other, keeping your ceremony even more intimate? Some couples even choose to sign the paperwork ahead of time and then have one of their best friends, or a family member lead the ceremony for them. Or your photographer may also be able to officiate or guide you through this part!)
    – Florals? (Bouquet? Boutonnière?)
    – Hair and Makeup? (OR do you feel more like yourself when you do your own?)
    – Wedding planner? (Do you want a planner to help coordinate your day, OR do you want to keep it simple & plan the details yourselves, or with the help of your photographer?)

    If this step feels overwhelming to you, simply choose ONE vendor you feel you really connect with and trust, and ask them for their personal recommendations for other vendors! I love putting my couples in touch with any vendors they like, building a DREAM TEAM that’s perfect for them.
    After securing your date with me, I create a personalized in-depth digital elopement guide specific to you two, with my personal suggestions on locations, vendors, and a timeline for your day, all in one beautifully organized place!

4. Book your vendors & secure your date. Most vendors require a booking retainer and a signed contract, and then you’re OFFICIALLY BOOKED IN!

5. Book your accommodations. Pro tip, plan to arrive a few days before your elopement and stay a few days afterwards to celebrate! (Your vendors can also give you suggestions for adorable airbnbs in the area!)

6. HIGH FIVING YOU for making it this far. All that’s left is to DO A HAPPY DANCE & COUNT DOWN THE SLEEPS!

If you have any questions at all, or need guidance with planning your day, shoot me an email here, and I’d be OVER THE FREAKING MOON to chat with you both and hear more about your love story and elopement plans!

xx, Kaylyn

Kaylyn West is an international photographer and adventure expert based on the Sunshine Coast of BC, Canada. She guides her couples in planning heart-centred wedding days with an intentional focus on what really matters: celebrating your love and connection in a way that’s most meaningful to you.

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copyright Kaylyn West, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada