Freshly engaged, thinking about getting hitched, or wistfully planning your future wedding day chatting with fellow singles, your mind wanders to the big day and how it’s all going to go down. We are so accustomed to a big event (with all of it’s traditions) for a wedding day, that the thought of eloping is invariably more of a secondary idea. But it’s anything but secondary. So why is eloping the best, how do you go about arranging an elopement, and what even is an adventure elopement?
Well, the first rule of elopements is – there are no rules. Someone on a forum recently asked about how the processional (the walking down the aisle part) might play out on an elopement. Sounds like a rule to me, and since there are no rules, maybe there’s no aisle, maybe the couple hike with the celebrant to their chosen wedding spot, or maybe their attendants and guests all stand around with the couple having a drink first. Rules and traditions can be kept and honoured, or thrown away at your whim, because it’s about designing your perfect day. You know, it really is just about you, as a couple.
Imagine a day doing the wildest, coolest things you’ve ever wanted to do, where getting married is just a part of that really cool adventure. Having the freedom to make your elopement anything you want it to be, anywhere, is pretty liberating isn’t it!
So start with an idea of a location. Decide who will be there (for any official ceremony, you require a celebrant as well as two witnesses, though the witnesses can be your photographer(s)/videographer, parents, etc), and how you would like to spend your day. I can help you with the rest of your planning – location scouting, celebrant, accommodation, other suppliers, and a time-line – and you will have just saved yourself a lot of stress and worry, and quite possibly a lot of money too. Not only that, with a pared-back elopement ceremony you can be treading lightly on the earth, with less consumption and less waste, and I’d be happy to help you choose the environmentally-gentlest path.
At traditional weddings I love documenting all the moments through the day, from getting ready through to crazy dancing. But those portraits you have after the ceremony and before the reception, generally the shots that are going to feature on your walls as they are just the two of you and a beautiful location, that’s a special time to photograph. You leave your guests, and head to somewhere a bit quieter where you can refocus on each other and the reconnect with the reason for the day, and it’s often the first time you can actually talk to each other. I like to encourage my couples to relish that short time together, to really be with each other in the moment, before they are carried away with hugs and chatter again. But imagine being able to have your whole wedding day be like that quiet portrait time! Imagine spending the whole day with your lover, doing all the things you want to do, and having epic photos to remember it by.
It’s true, eloping is not for everyone. Fairytale wedding dreams loom large in many people’s heads, and I know that, as a mum, I’d be pretty sad to miss out on seeing my little ones get hitched (though will probably be included regardless, because – free photos). But you can elope and include loved ones. There are no rules, remember.
Picture a chateau in France, with your families and closest friends all staying over night with you, your ceremony in the grounds and a caterer serving Michelin-starred dinner on the balcony afterwards. That’s pretty fairytale.
Or a boat on the harbour, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset.
Or a tropical resort, where you linger after everyone else goes home and enjoy your honeymoon.
The key to this elopement thing is that you aren’t just going through the motions, adhering to protocols, and ticking off boxes through the day – corsages, speeches, cake, first dance. There is no risk of Aunt Bessie getting into fisticuffs with second cousin Florence over that incident with Uncle Mick, and there is no risk of your guests sitting around tables staring into their phone screens just waiting for the next course (yes, I have seen both).
It’s your day and it’s so personal, so why not make it just about you.
What’s the story with adventure elopements, then? Well, eloping is really like the ultimate ‘choose your own adventure’, and many couples who love being out in nature are strapping on their boots and backpacks and hiking to amazing places, or four wheel driving to incredible remote outback locations, or helicoptering to snowy mountaintops and eloping there. How awesome would that be!
It’s your day, your adventure, and your rules.
Wandering in the wilderness, swimming in the sea, lazing by a lagoon, or celebrating city side,
If you want some help making it all happen, having an incredible, memorable, wild, amazing, day that is just about you as a couple, and you want some beautiful photos too, get in touch here. I’m so excited to hear your ideas!
Makes me smile.
Quietly Wed. Adventure Elopement Photographer. Australian Elopement Photographer. City Elopement. NSW Elopements. Destination Wedding Photographer.