Elope /əˈlōp/ verb
- to choose a wedding laser focused on you as a couple, your relationship, and your commitment to each other. Can be with or without close friends and family who are integral parties to the success of your marriage. “They chose to elope and begin their marriage intentionally strengthening their bond by doing something special together.”
So… what exactly is an Elopement?
An elopement is an intentional wedding day focused specifically on the couple’s relationship and building their bond.
The definition of elopements has grown to encompass many of the intimate ceremonies that people who prefer privacy and small gatherings over large parties tend to prefer.
*With the changing limits on outdoor spaces, elopements on public lands are generally limited in size to be between just the two of you, and up to 15 guests according to most land managers. More than this usually requires a space rental of some sort- even if it is a dedicated outdoor area.
and what it is not…
The old answer of a couple running away in secret to the local courthouse is on the way out. We are working to de-stigmatize the term as we move back towards a culture more accepting of small, intentional unions without all the added party planning obligations that cause stress for more private couples.
An elopement is also not couple’s portrait shoot. Yes we will get gorgeous pictures of your day, but no, an elopement is not a 4- 8+ hour photoshoot. That sounds like the absolute worst day ever to me, and I’m guessing if you are here, it does to you too. An elopement is about crafting a wonderful experience, and as an elopement photographer, I am there to capture you enjoying that experience.
How are Elopements different from a large traditional wedding?
Traditional weddings are focused on joining large family groups. The bride and groom become hosts to their guests, and the intent is to put on a great event for all the people invited to join in on the celebration of their marriage. The main emphasis of the event is the guest’s experiences.
Elopements, on the other had, are focused on the couple, and sometimes their core household and immediate support system. Their experience is prioritized as the focal point, with only the people who are integral in the success of their marriage as witnesses and advocates for their union.
- Intimate Wedding
- Micro wedding
- Adventure Wedding
- Backyard Wedding
- Commitment Ceremony
- Small family wedding
- Alternative Wedding
- Destination Wedding
Who are elopements for?
Absolutely anyone who doesn’t feel a larger wedding fits their idea of a perfect wedding!
Not everyone enjoys larger gatherings and party planning- and that is ok! If saying your vows in front of a large group brings you stress instead of joy, give yourself permission to create a wedding around what feels right to you and your partner.
Choose a day focused on the two of you above all else. It is not selfish to devote time, consideration, and intent into your wedding day, it is an investment in your marriage.
If you aren’t sure an elopement is right for you, here are a few questions that may help you decide:
If you answered “YES” to one or more of the questions above, an elopement might be in your future! Still not sure? Take this fun quiz to see what kind of wedding you should have!
So what does a full day elopement look like?
Not sure what you would do on a full day elopement? Does a full day with a photographer sound crazy?
Check out a few sample timelines below to get a feel for what your day could look like!
- 9:30 am – Photographer arrives at airbnb to capture detail shots & getting ready photos
- 10:45 am – First look outside airbnb
- 11:00 am – Head to ceremony location, stop along the way for photos at scenic overlook
- 2:30 pm – Arrive at location; ceremony followed by exploring & portraits
- 5:00 pm – Head back to airbnb (30 min drive)
- 5:30 pm – Arrive back at the airbnb for dinner by private chef overlooking the creek
- 7:30 pm – Photo coverage wraps up- we say goodnight!
3:00 am – Meet at the trailhead, gear up
3:15 am – Begin hike in the dark with headlamps (1.8 miles)
4:45 am – Arrive at first look location, alpenglow begins, change into wedding apparel
5:30 am – Sunrise first look followed by portraits & exploring
8:00 am – Begin hike back to trailhead, portraits along the way (1.8 miles)
9:30 am – Arrive back at trailhead, head to cabin (30 min drive)
10:00 am – Arrive at cabin for ceremony
10:30 am – Ceremony
11:00 am – Family photos
11:30 pm – Brunch party with champagne popping & Pancake Bar
12:30 pm – Detail shots
1:00 pm – Photo coverage ends
5:30 am – Meet at location one & set up for first look
6:00 am – Sunrise first look in location one followed by portraits
7:00 am – Head to location two (15 min drive)
7:15 am – Arrive at the trailhead, gear up
7:30 am – Begin hike, taking portraits along the way (2.0 mile hike in)
9:30 am – Arrive at alpine lake for ceremony & picnic brunch
12:00 pm – Hike back to the trailhead, taking portraits along the way (2.0 mile hike out)
1:30 pm – Arrive at the trailhead, head to location three (30 min drive)
2:00 pm – Arrive at location three for exploring & kayaking
5:00 pm – Return kayaks, photo coverage wraps up
1:30 pm – Photographer arrives at Airbnb to capture detail shots & getting ready photos
2:30 pm – Head to ceremony location in separate vehicles so couple does not see each other (30 min drive)
3:00 pm – Meet at the trailhead with walkie-talkies for first look
3:15 pm – First look on location followed by portraits
3:45 pm – Gear up for hike to ceremony location
4:00 pm – Hike to Ceremony location (1.5 miles)
5:30 pm – Arrive at Ceremony location for ceremony & pop champagne to celebrate
6:00 pm – Exploring & portraits
6:45 pm – Hike back to the trailhead, taking portraits along the way (1.5 mile hike out)
8:00 pm – Head to stargazing location (30 min drive)
8:30 pm – Arrive at stargazing location- couple’s portraits with stars
10:30 pm – Photo coverage wraps up
and I want to be your Elopement or Wedding Photographer!
I love helping couples visualize and craft an experience that feels true to you. The way your marriage begins matters, and I would love to help you tell your story. Set your marriage up for success by allowing yourself to get married your way!
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