Dedicating a post to unpacking this term, elopement.
What was an elopement? When you hear that word, you may think of something more nostalgic– like an old black & white movie where it ends with them running off to the courthouse to marry each other instantly. Or maybe you think of Vegas and spontaneously getting married in a kitschy chapel. While all of this is still partially correct, it now holds infinitely more meaning.
What is an elopement now? I have loved watching this term evolve into what it has become. People are tired– wedding planning has become an extremely exhausting process for some– and they are deciding to instead spend their money cultivating an experience that wholly embodies who they are as a couple and what they love. There is a part of this group that is specifically choosing to create an experience around the outdoors, and that is the place I’m calling home as an elopement photographer.
An elopement is no longer just a spontaneous decision made in the heat of the moment, but a decision to plan a beautiful, private, adventure to mark the adventure of marriage. It’s now not only something thrown together last minute, but a process full of intention. Eloping is removing astronomical venue fees and asking yourself:
If I could have any place in the world as my venue, where would it be?
Are you your best selves in the presence of mountain views? You can plan a small ceremony at an overlook off of a scenic drive in the mountains. Or you can hike out to a secluded spot in those mountains and exchange vows the two of you being the only people around for miles. You can make your wedding experience an entire trip, jump in a car and drive through scenery you’ve never had the chance to behold. Are you most at ease when you’re deep in the forest and can actually hear yourself think? You can plan to say your vows amidst whatever cluster of trees most quiets you. Do you feel the most at peace hearing the ripple of water breaking the shore? Create a day walking around the bluest waters you know exist, breathing in their calmness. The sky is the limit here.
With all of that being said– I’m not doing my duty if I don’t also express the seriousness of preserving the land you are using. Yes, you can pick your dream place, but there are also rules involved. You have a responsibility to do your research and be sensitive to that land, because all in all it is not yours, in the same way that a venue is not. There are permits, applications & restrictions required for many places, so please take the time to make yourself aware of these & leave these spaces as you found them!
So why is eloping valuable? It’s valuable because it allows you to create something completely authentic to you and your person. It’s valuable because you are creating a memory that you will never forget– one that gives you the freedom to slow (the heck) down. With an elopement you are given the ability to function exactly as you are without any shame or persuasion to be anything else.
Is eloping for you? Elopements are not for everyone, and that’s okay. Just as big weddings are not for everyone, and that’s okay. So take the time with your partner to really think this through. What are non negotiables when thinking of your wedding? Is it important for you to have a large gathering of your people? Is it more beneficial to your relationship to keep this a private space? There are no right or wrong answers here, but there are options.
There may be a way for you to merge both! You can do a small ceremony with just the two of you or with immediate family & close friends, and do a bigger celebration later. Or maybe you want that private experience for personal vows and the tradition of exchanging ceremonial vows with a larger group. Dig deep, and consider what will honor your relationship well. Because that is what matters.
Not sure where to start? That’s okay, I’m here to help you dream this up! Shoot me an email through my contact form to book, and I would be amped to share my resources with you!