The Elopement & Intimate Wedding Client Guide Template - by Adventure Instead - Adventure Instead Academy

Book more valuable elopements by providing unparalleled guidance to your couples who will *RAVE* about your expertise

One of the biggest things that has helped Adventure Instead provide an industry-leading elopement experience to our couples, is our comprehensive client guide. Over the past 5 years, this guide has evolved from emails with tips I used to send as a solo photographer, to a massive google doc that Amber & Tori and I created and continually added to as we learned from photographing over 300 elopements, to its current form of a beautifully designed, helpful & thorough client guide that helps couples having intimate weddings & elopements plan their entire experience from A-Z.

We are honestly so proud of this guide and so fulfilled by how it guides our couples to having the absolute best elopement experience they could possibly have—and we couldn’t be more excited to share it as a template so that you can use it to elevate your clients experience too!

Amber, Tori & I have put a combined hundreds of hours into this guide—and it is the perfect thing to send to couples right after they book you to come out swinging to show that you truly are an expert that is going to help guide them every step of the way. 

Here’s everything you get:

  • 100+ pages of beautifully designed, professionally written content (all text included)
  • 30+ included elopement & intimate wedding planning topics
  • 100% inclusive language for all couples <3
  • Adobe InDesign 2021 (.indd) file template (U.S. Standard Letter)
  • Adobe InDesign 2021 (.indd) file template (European A4)
  • 3 different cover options to choose from
  • Font files used in the design with commercial use included
  • Canva template
  • Copy-only Word document (.doc)
  • Fully complete PDF example (.pdf) from Adventure Instead
  • A “Guide to the Guide” PDF on how to get the most out of your guide


30+ Planning Topics, including:

  • How to dream up your best experience
  • How to decide who to invite, how to involve them, and how to tell them
  • How to pick the right location, backup location, and get a permit
  • How to book travel, lodging, choose vendors, activities, wedding attire, footwear, layering, extra gear, etc.
  • Timeline tips: How much coverage time they need, sunrise vs. sunset considerations, getting ready, first look, ceremony ideas & legalities, portrait tips, and timeline examples
  • How to get ready to go and final pre-wedding considerations
  • How to have the best day & what happens next

What’s it look like inside?

Customized Adventure Instead Example
InDesign Template
Canva Template

I’ve got questions!

What file formats does the template come in?

Does it only apply to adventurous, mountaintop elopements?

The guide comes in both US & European sizes in Adobe InDesign 2021 (.indd file type) and also Canva—a free online graphic design platform. If you plan to use the InDesign templates, make sure you have Adobe InDesign CC or the latest 2021 version before purchasing. The InDesign template requires at least version 16.0, which was released in October 2020—16.1 is the current latest version. Check your InDesign version by clicking “InDesign”>”About InDesign.” There’s also a Word Document (.doc) version included that is text-only. And you’ll be able to view a fully completed example PDF (.pdf) that we created for Adventure Instead.

Definitely not—while Adventure Instead specializes in pretty adventurous elopements with lots of hiking that often involve mountains, this template guide is written to be as broadly applicable to all types of elopements & intimate weddings. There are a few pages (like the activity ideas & adventure gear section) that you may want to customize a bit if you only do urban elopements or 1-hour beach elopements—but the vast majority of the guide will be completely relevant and shouldn’t require tweaking if you photograph elopements & intimate weddings of any style & location.

How easy is it to use & how much time will it take me to get it ready to send to couples?

I’ll be honest, I’ve seen a lot of disappointing “templates” out there that have basically blank pages, or “Lorem Ipsum” text, that make it seem like you’re getting all of the words, but really you basically have to re-write yourself. I personally thought that was rubbish—so that’s not how this guide is designed. 

I designed this template to be as easy and quick to get ready to send to your couples as possible. All you have to is to put in your own images, fill in a small handful of things specific to your business (like your “about” section, your vendor and brand recommendations, etc.), and you may want to delete or tweak any pages or sections that aren’t relevant to your brand—and boom, it’s done. I’d say for most elopement & intimate wedding photographers, it should take less than an hour to get ready to send to clients.

It’s also super easy to customize to be an aesthetic match for your brand if you want to change the colors, fonts, etc.

When should I send this guide to clients?

First off, it’s important to note that this guide is not something you should be putting out there for free on your website, or sending to people who just inquire with you. This is specifically a VIP guide for your booked clients. If you’ve seen my “Free Elopement Planning Guide” on Adventure Instead’s site before—that’s not at all what this Client Guide is. This client guide is really only applicable to & appropriate for clients who have signed your contract & paid you and are officially booked—it’s step-by-step advice on planning their day, your personal vendor recommendations, advice about locations (and much more)—is so valuable—that it’s something that will really “WOW” clients as soon as they book you & make them feel special. 

I suggest sending this guide to clients as soon as they book you. Psychologically, “buyer’s remorse” is highest right after someone makes a purchase—so sending your couples this incredible, thoughtful, and super valuable guide right after they’ve booked, will immediately relieve any feelings of regret and get them excited for planning!

Are there any rules about how to use the guide?

In order to keep this guide as valuable as possible for you and your clients—this guide is for your *BOOKED* clients only— it’s not something you should be putting up as a free guide on your site.

You ARE ALLOWED to use this template and it’s text in part or whole and can modify it in any way for printed or digital guide products for yourself or your contracted clients.

You AREN’T ALLOWED to redistribute or share these templates or their included text in whole or in part for any reason or claim these designs as your own. You’re also not allowed to reproduce the template in whole or in part in any way that is freely accessible to the general public and non-contracted clients (for example, blog post, social media post, website page, or free guide).

In short, you can use it however you want for printed or digital use for your contracted clients (only), but don’t sell it, redistribute it, or share it publicly in any form (like on your website or social media).