what is an elopement

what is an elopement

what is an elopement

elopement • (n) əˈlōpmənt

In the past, elopements were often thought of as a secretive wedding, associated with running away with your lover. But nowadays, though they can be secretive, it’s still ALL about you and your partner and the love between the two of you. It can be last minute, or it can be well planned out like a traditional wedding. But the purpose is to celebrate your love and the lifelong commitment to each other that you’re about to embark!

An elopement is an intimate and intentional ceremony celebrating the love and commitment between two people

So in some sense, modern elopements have that air of escaping – running towards the mountains or oceans, wherever nature speaks to you the most! Even the Merriam Webster dictionary is changing its definition of what it means to elope. To say the least, it’s a non-traditional wedding because it is focused on you!

What’s the difference between a wedding and elopement?

Weddings are traditionally larger, but you could technically have 25 people at both a wedding and elopement. So what really sets them apart? Weddings are kinda like a big party where sometimes your guest list might have distant cousins or people you haven’t talked to in a long while. But for elopements, you can choose to invite guests or none at all. It’s all about whatever will make you happiest and who you want to share that joy with. You’re intentional about who will be there, who will uplift your love and happiness.

Since weddings often have a larger guest list, a physical venue is often necessary. But with elopements, you could almost do it just about anywhere! In the forest, on the mountaintop, on the beach, wherever you love to be. You could even travel for a destination elopement.

But having an elopement doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all the traditions of a wedding. You can still have an officiant, still have your bridesmaids and groomsmen, your cake, a reception, a ceremony, etc… But you choose what you want! You want to wear a traditional white wedding gown? Sure! You want to wear a rainbow suit? Sure! Are you starting to get the gist?

Where can you elope?

Literally anywhere you can legally get to! You can get a courthouse elopement, a backyard elopement, but my favorite are outdoors elopement in nature. You could mountaineer to the top of a peak to get married or find a quiet trail in the middle of the forest or even an epic picnic area where the site is accessible by all. There’s so many options out there, whether you choose Washington or Alaska or the Italian Dolomites. As a traveller, I love planning and I’ve got some tips to share if you choose a destination elopement too!

You could go to a national park or a local park. You could elope at an Airbnb and plan a little afterparty there. The list is endless! Some parks will require permits and all will require following Leave No Trace principles, meaning things like no confetti, respecting the wilderness as a visitor, and staying on trails. As an avid hiker, I can help you navigate the bits and pieces of taking an intimate wedding outside.

What’s an elopement photographer?

Whether you decide on an elopement or wedding, you’ll probably want pictures to remember the day! Because what a special day it’ll be! And yes, that’s where an elopement photographer (could it be me?) would come in. Now, elopement photographers are also their own kind. They’re more than just someone who snaps pics for you on your wedding day.

The goal of an elopement photographer is to make sure you’re comfortable and happy while celebrating with you, and all the while capturing all the special moments you have, big or small on that day. And since elopements are quite non-traditional, an elopement photographer will help you with designing your dream day. There might be a certain place or time for photoshoots (like sunsets, my favorite hehe) but usually, the day is more fluid. There’s a certain amount of flexibility, including playing with the weather!

Personally, as an elopement photographer, I will help you pick out a location and guide you through the whole process. But if you already have ideas, that’s great too! I can’t wait to get to know you and plan this AMAZING day with you!!