There are a million reasons why people elope, but over my years of photographing them, I’ve noticed one main theme; it’s because they want an intentional celebration that aligns with their values and relationship.
Gone are the days when elopements were thought of as couples being selfish, cheap, or running away from disapproving parents. People who choose elopement want a wedding day that feels right to them and is an experience that is personal to them.
The experience of their marriage is the point, rather than making choices to please family or guests.
Some other reasons people choose elopements:
• They feel the wedding industry has turned marriages into parties rather than a solemn commitment.
• They dislike being the center of attention.
• The idea of a traditional wedding causes them to feel stressed.
• They have strong feelings about their carbon footprint, preferring to keep their celebration small and respectful to Mother Earth.
• They can choose a place that matters to them and one that they could return to for anniversary celebrations.
• You don’t have to be “of a certain age.”
• They want to put their money into an experience of a lifetime instead of a party.
When you hire me, you get a photographer, a guide, a timeline slayer, and, I hope, a confidant. I see my role as so much more than showing up and taking photos of you on your wedding day.
The level of planning differs for every client, and it’s tailored exactly to the experience you want. It’s never paint-by-numbers, even if you get married in a location I have photographed in before.
Since elopements have increased in the last few years, every photographer has a different definition of what they mean, and many promote themselves as “adventure photographers.”
You’ll see lots of amazing photographs of wedding couples on breathtaking vistas, photographers hiking up steep slopes, and lots of hiking boots! Then you’ll also find photographers who specialize in more urban or city elopements, sometimes called “pop-up ceremonies.”
I really don’t define myself as either because an adventure means different things to different people. It could mean hiking to a waterfall, or it could mean climbing a tree in your parent’s backyard to get married.
I love a good vista and a jaw-dropping backdrop, but it’s the connection of the people the photos that make them come to life and will provide you with lasting memories of your day.
Whatever you define as adventure is where we start!
and live in awe of them
You’ve decided an elopement is right for you, and it’s all systems go! Now comes the part I hope you have so much fun with; building your big dream.
My best advice? Lay it all out there. You don’t get many days in your life that you can totally design, so why not see where your imagination can take you?! I can’t think of a more epic date night than talking about that over a glass of wine.
Elopements can definitely be planned in less time than traditional weddings. Some people plan for many months out, depending on things like favorite time of year or travel needed.
The answer to how soon is as soon as you decide that an elopement is right for you! Some of my clients have a clear vision of where and when; others want guidance. No matter where you are, I can help you kick-start or refine your plans.
• What areas you are thinking about and why
• If you’ve been to the area before, what you like about it
• The scenery you imagine in your photos
• Activities you want to do on your day (Hiking? Picnics? Horseback riding?)
• The guest experience you want (if you are having guests)
• Anything else you need advice and guidance on!
For some people, having “no rules” is amazing; it’s a bit overwhelming for others.
If you’re stuck, start here; what aligns perfectly with what you both love?
Having your dog at your wedding?
Getting married on the beach?
Getting married at sunset?
Having your BFFs at the wedding?
Once you’ve gotten your ideas down on paper/tablet/whathaveyou, then it’s time for us to do some deep dives into the “how can we make this happen” part of the wedding planning process.
I start with questionnaires with my clients to help them uncover what it is they are looking for. From there, I’m happy to help with any other ideas, vendor recommendations, or with any other part of the planning process you need help with.
The culmination of a lot of dreams gets blended in with the planning we do in this customized guide I make for you. It’s seriously chock-full of information from places to consider staying in the area, places to eat, fun things to do, and of course, all the details of your day.
Timelines, how to get where, directions, plan B’s, it’s all here at your fingertips so that all you have to do on the day is get married!
When all the planning is done in advance, it’s all about the good stuff on your day. That’s at the heart of what I want for you, for this day to be magical and sacred for you.
Your day will be filled with authentic moments, never rushed, and never manufactured for the camera. While I will give you light direction and posing, the day is dictated by the emotions that are there to be captured.
I’ll be with you every step of the way, and yes, I will probably cry.
The legal and binding part of the elopement is totally up to you. Some of my clients are already married when we do their elopements, having taken care of the paperwork and perhaps a civil ceremony to make it legal.
However, if you plan on getting actual married-married on the day of your elopement, that takes a little planning, and that’s where I come in to help. Every state and municipality has different laws, waiting periods, rules on how many witnesses you may need, and rules about who can legally marry you.
Don’t be overwhelmed by this! I can help you untangle it all. Because you’ve hired an elopement photographer, you’ve hired an expert in logistics!
Permits, timelines, what-ifs, we talk about ALL the things, all the ins and outs, and I promise you, things you would never have thought of.
Every wedding I photograph is so personal to me, and there are many times that I think, “Is this really my job?!”
I accept only a limited number of weddings per year because I really do put my heart and soul into every moment we spend together. I hope you can see that in my photos that I share in my portfolio.
I believe in love, and it’s my joy and my honor to be present at a wedding and to take photos of this new adventure in your life.
Let’s plan your adventure elopement together.