WHAT IS AN
And why should I do it?
You may be asking yourself...
What is an elopement?
You've probably been scrolling through social media or surfing the web and have come across the term "elopement" once or twice. With the growth that Instagram and social media has had in the past few years, elopements are no longer a "cheap way to run away and get married without telling anyone". Nowadays the term elopement has so much more meaning.
An elopement truly consists of getting married in the destination of your choice. Whether that destination is Scotland, Brazil or California, you are able to pick the destination where you get married. The biggest difference between an elopement and a destination wedding is typically the size of your event. Typically elopements consist of the couple and...well that's about it! Sometimes the couple will bring an officiant, family, and friends! And of course, a photographer and videographer!
The great thing about an elopement is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you invite friends and family or not, it can still remain an intimate celebration between you and your significant other.
Now the "adventure" part to elopements usually happens somewhere epic! Imagine walking along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland or on the edge of a volcano in Iceland. Although you could elope anywhere in the world, an adventure elopement helps bring in the epic landscapes to not only beautify your elopement backdrop but to help you remember the joyous occasion.
My wife and I, for example, got married legally in Arizona but then traveled to Big Sur, California to truly commemorate our marriage. We did an epic elopement session on the cliffs of Big Sur with no one but us and our photographer. It was an experience I'll never forget and the photos will forever be our reminder of our love.
Okay...I might be interested?
A few things to consider:
1. What kind of adventure elopement do you want to have?
There are many types of elopements out there. Some couples love to spend all day hiking to get to their destination. Many couples prefer to simply drive to an epic location and not have to hike too much to get epic views! Others plan ceremonies with their families and friends to join. Some may even take a private helicopter to the top of a mountain peak. All of this should be taken into mind when planning your elopement! Will this location be easy to get to if we have family? Do I want to spend all day hiking or would I rather save my energy and find something close by?
2. What kind of location do you like for your elopement?
Are you someone who prefers beach or forest? Do you like cold or hot weather? Do you want something moody or bright? Knowing what kind of landscape you want as a backdrop for your elopement before looking at locations is important! This will help influence your decision and narrow it down so it's much easier to choose a specific location to have your adventure elopement!
3. What will you be wearing for your adventure elopement?
What you're wearing can an important decision when it comes to picking somewhere to elope! Understanding the relationship between your attire and the landscape will produce much better results in the long run. For example, if you'd like to elope in Iceland or Hawaii that has lot's of black lava rock and dark greens, find something that will contrast the landscape such as a long light colored flowy dress. Want to match the landscape? Maybe try a black dress with a long cape! Avoid clashing your location of choice with your dress for the best results!
NOW THAT WE'VE DISCUSSED THAT
WHY SHOULD I ELOPE?
On average, couples spend $10,000 on a venue alone. Wouldn't it be better to put that to something more memorable?
Price is a huge deciding factor when it comes to couples who want to elope. Although weddings can be a lot of fun and very memorable, they're simply not for everyone. On average, couples spend $20,000 - $40,000 for weddings in the USA. Imagine being able to take a third of that and travel somewhere incredibly beautiful and unique with your significant other? Lot's of couples who elope spend most of their expenses on their elopement photographers and their travel. When compared to a full day wedding, a week spent eloping in a foreign country would be much more worth it.
The great thing about adventure elopements is that you can control the amount you spend and what you do! For example, budgeting your elopement for a helicopter ride to the edge of a volcano in Hawaii or Iceland will cost more than driving to a gorgeous cliffside location in Oregon. Both are beautiful and unique but some elopement experiences are completely different than others! Sit down with your partner and find out what's important to both of you. Develop a budget and think of potential activities to do to commemorate your elopement. The options are truly endless!
At a wedding, all of your guests are there to see you. How much time are you really spending with the ones you love most?
I've filmed and photographed many weddings throughout my career. Every time I'm at a wedding, it seems like the bride and groom have to almost perform for everyone attending. Of course, they're the center of attention...but wouldn't it be better if they could enjoy the short wedding day together considering they just made a lifetime promise to each other (which is considered to many the most important day of people's lives!).
During an elopement, it's an intimate moment between you and your significant other. Although there may be other people there such as an officiant, family and a photographer or videographer, the day revolves around you two. Sharing vows instantly becomes sweeter when you can keep them private and intimate! Photos become better when there's no timeline or guests pressuring you to hurry up. Moment's are more sweet and memories last longer (especially if you're not drinking all night!)
Eloping doesn't necessarily mean that you have to ditch a formal celebration with guests altogether. I think having a party afterwards or a few days/weeks later is an incredible idea! I'm simply recommending to couples to share those intimate moments together during an elopement so they're much sweeter and more memorable and then celebrate and party hard later with your friends and families! It's truly the best of both worlds!
III. ELOPEMENT PHOTOS
Many couples pay a lot of money for their photos but never have time during a wedding to take the photos they want! Imagine having the whole day to take timeless photos!
Obviously this is the one I'm most excited about! Many couples are rushed during their own wedding day due to timeline conflicts! As a photographer myself and after photographing plenty of couples, the time to take couples portraits usually isn't sufficient. If you're already paying a lot for photos and videos, don't you want as many as you can get centered around you?
That's where I come in! As an elopement photographer, I do my best to center the day around you two while incorporating the unique landscape or location you chose to elope at.
There are typically two approaches to elopements. Approach 1 is to have a ceremony and get married on the day of their elopement and then have a couple session afterwards! I would say this is most common with couples who elope. Approach II is to get legally married a few weeks before your "official elopement" and then spend the elopement sharing vows and focusing on taking the best elopement photos possible. I love the second approach because a lot of the pressure to have a ceremony (even if it is a more intimate celebration diminishes and you're able to spend the day alongside your significant other taking elopement photos in incredible landscapes!
Planning and executing an elopement is a lot easier than a full wedding, especially when you have an elopement photographer to help you out!
When it comes to planning your own adventure elopement, it typically is a lot less work than a full wedding! Most people hire a wedding planner just to help them plan their wedding!
For your elopement, it can truly be whatever you'd like it to be! The world is your limit and having photographed lot's of elopements myself, I'm happy to assist in the elopement planning process! If you're not exactly sure where to elope, I'll send some location ideas all over the world or all over the country! After we decide on a general location, I work on location scouting a specific spot to have your elopement and other locations for additional photos!
So...have I convinced you?
If you're still here reading this, I'm sure you already wanted to elope!
I hope that the information I listed has helped you understand a bit more about what an elopement is and how you can do it in your hometown or in a foreign country!
Eloping shouldn't be hard! I help couples plan and execute their dream adventure elopements and would love to help you do it as well! If you're interested, send me a contact form and we'll be in touch to create the perfect elopement day!