Deciding if an elopement is right for you? Hurray! It’s a big decision, and one that sometimes requires a good deal of thought. When it comes to eloping – it may not be for everyone. Like any big life decision, there are considerations to be made and conversations to be had about priorities. I have put together a list of what my clients, and myself, believe draws people to eloping.
First things first, lets establish what I mean by elopement. Realizing that there is no real ‘definition’, but rather a series of values that come together to embody an elopement. Its hard to define simply because there are so many ways to do it. Kind of like you’re mom’s apple pie recipe – everyone’s got one, but there are no two exactly alike!
An elopement is a wedding. First and foremost, it is still a celebration of love. It is not what your grandparents might think of, and certainly not something that is less important than any large traditional wedding. So please know that it is as important, always.
An elopement has considerably less guests than a traditional wedding. Most of my couples include an audience of less than 10, however I have worked with couples who want to build out more of a 25 person experience. There is not set limit for where I draw this line, but rather think of it as what kind of feeling you want to generate. The bigger the audience, the more ‘noise’ in an experience. Keeping things intimate and intentional really is my suggested way to approach everything.
Lastly an elopement can take place whenever, and wherever your heart desires. You are not confined to a venue or a strict set of limitations on how you want to craft your day. So think big, because that life is all about. Also this day is going to be one for the books.
So we have established, more or less, what entails an elopement. Next lets outline some key ways in which you may be the type of person that pursues this.
99% of my couples elope outside. Whether that be a National Park, a National Forest, a private Airbnb, a public park, grandpas backyard or a courthouse, there is an innate appreciation and desire to be outside. While I LOVE a good adventure, you do not have to hike 8 miles to enjoy an incredible elopement outside. Just because the word adventure comes up a lot in my work, it is not assuming of the work ‘strenuous’. So when I say appreciation of nature is a theme, it can also be watching Planet Earth and the soothing sounds of David Attenborough’s voice. That’s also an appreciation for Nature. Nature fills you with wonder and joy, that’s enough of a requirement.
People who have an appreciation for nature often enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, camping, gardening, and conservation efforts. They may also participate in outdoor recreation such as fishing, kayaking, and for the exceptionally brave, sky diving. . Additionally, individuals with a strong appreciation for nature may make a point to learn about and understand the natural world, such as studying different plant and animal species, as well as environmental issues and ways to protect and preserve the environment.
I have been the maid of honor, watched all the ridiculous romantic comedies, and seen enough drama to know that getting bogged down in the little details of a large wedding is enough to drive any person absolutely nuts. There is nothing wrong with centerpieces and elaborate floral installations 200 song DJ and picking out 80 different gadgets for a party but it is not something you have to work with for an elopement. Less, is more.
Likewise you would be drawn to an elopement if the idea of less guests is more appealing. Less is more in the following ways:
It can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Chronic stress has been linked to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, anxiety, and depression. So there’s that.
It can lead to missed opportunities. And this is huge but -Being overly concerned with minor issues can prevent you from seeing the big picture and can cause you to miss out on important opportunities.
It can negatively impact your relationships. Being too focused on small problems can cause you to be irritable, short-tempered, and less responsive to others which can negatively impact your relationships. The last thing you need on your wedding day is to be frustrated for no reason with the ones you love.
It can make you less resilient. Being too concerned with small problems can make you less resilient, meaning that you are less able to bounce back from adversity and less able to cope with challenges.
This might seem obvious, but if you love pepperoni and mushroom pizza and Hazy IPAs at sunset with your pup and nobody around, then why not do that for your elopement? If you love alpine lakes and kayaking and off-roading and margaritas – then why not do that for your elopement? If you love traveling and that sets your soul on fire – do it with the one you love in an elopement for the ages. Ive got a Passport and I am ready for it.
I guess this one I am extremely biased on, but hear me out.
If you are the main character in your own life, then why not have your story captured on one of the most important days of your life? In my humble opinion, looking and feeling like a rockstar should be honored with imagery that reflects intention, intimacy and care.
With less of the parade that is a wedding to focus on, your love story gets all of your attention. Which means that you get the most attention from me. And some kickass photos.
Good storytelling can be more or less condensed to the following items- and when you intentionally cultivate a day that’s important to you, you get the following results:
I tell the story: I will be able to tell the story of your wedding day through their photographs, from the preparations to the ceremony, the reception and the candid moments in between.
I captures the details: I will capture all the details of your wedding day, from your dress and flowers to the decor and the special touches, which will help you to remember all the little things that made your day special. Sometimes these little things change how we remember our day, and they are incredibly important!
I captures the candid moments: I will be able to capture candid moments that happen throughout the day, which are often the most meaningful and memorable.
I creates beautiful art: Good photography can create beautiful and timeless art that you can display in your home and share with family and friends.
It creates lasting memories: The photographs that your photographer captures on your wedding day will be lasting memories that you will treasure for a lifetime.
This one might tick a lot of boxes for folks, but I think when you truly decide that an elopement checks all your boxes you are making the choice just for you. Eloping is an incredibly personal decision, and one that should be made with reflection and care. Likewise, when you choose to elope you are doing so in a space that is safe, intentional and fun. You get to do what you want- which is incredibly brilliant.
Some people are born for the spotlight, others prefer not to be. You’re likely to be drawn to an elopement over a big wedding if you’re more introverted for the simple reason that crowds are kind of overwhelming. Even if you supposedly know 90% of the crowd, the idea of having to talk to all of them at some point gives you anxiety. No less confess your love verbally in front of them. The beauty of an elopement is that for any of the guests that you do include, odds are you’re extremely comfortable with them. You won’t be paraded around, you won’t be putting on a show – you’ll just be celebrating your love the best way you know how.