what is an elopement?
As an Elopement Wedding Photographer, I often get asked about how to plan your dream elopement. But, what is an elopement?
Okay, I know what you might be thinking, isn't that where you go off to Vegas or Gretna green without telling a soul and secretly hitch? In the past, eloping was often seen as a secretive and rebellious act, where couples would run away together to get married without the approval of their families or communities. But just like how wedding origins have evolved over the years, elopements have too. In recent years, eloping has taken on a new meaning, one that is far more positive and exciting.
Today, an elopement is an intimate and meaningful wedding ceremony, often held in a stunning and exotic location. Instead of being a last resort, eloping is now a deliberate choice for couples who want to focus on the love and connection they share without the pressure of a large wedding. And yes, you can have friends and family with you, it doesn't have to be just you two!
The modern elopement meaning is about creating an unforgettable experience that reflects the couple's personalities and values. Whether it's a beachside ceremony at sunset or a mountaintop exchange of vows, elopements offer a unique and adventurous way to tie the knot.
And with the rise of social media and the internet, elopements have become a trend that is quickly gaining popularity. Couples are now sharing their elopement experiences with the world, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps and create their own magical moments.
what real couples really think about elopeing:
We knew if we had planned a big traditional wedding we would lose the magic of us.
Plus planning a day for hundreds of people filled us with dread and anxiety. Instead we rented the most amazing villa in Tulum, Mexico and eloped on the beach.
It was hands down the best moment of our lives.
George & Alex
We wanted a more relaxed and intimate wedding surrounded by those who really knew us.
People who had been there through our ups and downs, and you know, who really mattered to us most.
Having this perspective allowed us to create something truly unique and special to us.
Kathleen & Joe
Planning a big traddiontal wedding just wasn't us. We're not a traditional couple, so our day was always going to be about the things we loved. We eloped in Tuscany, under the stars in the vineyards in chianti and had the most unforgettable day with just our closest friends.
Layla & Dean
Eloping was the BEST decision we ever made. I wish we could have bottled up how it felt so that we could share it with other couples. We want you to know if you're feeling anxious about planning a big wedding, then don't do it! Theres a better, easier and more fun route, you won't regret it!
Hanh & Lina
Our elopement was amazing. We eloped in Utah in a small town called Moab. We stayed at Under Canvas which was amazing. We felt so removed from all of the chaos from our everyday lives, it was truly the most incredible experience of our lives and we would jump at the chance to elope again.
Dina & James
If you're interested to learn more about how to plan your dream elopement, get in touch!
What is your dream ELOPEMENT day?
Do you long for peace and quite? Perhaps you both work in high pressure and stressful jobs, or perhaps you just enjoy the slower way of living? Elopements are the perfect alternative to a traditional wedding day and can be tailor made to you both. So for your first exercise I want you to both grab a pen and paper (yes, put down your phone and let's do some old fashioned writing instead of quickly opening up your notes on your phone). I want you to close your eyes for a just a few minutes and allow yourself to dream up your perfect day.
Many couples forget that a wedding day is a day designed for the two of you to enjoy, it really is as simple as that. So picture what it would be like and start with the 5 senses first to help you plan. Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch. Where would your dream day be, is it in your home town or does it involve taking a plane or a boat ride to get to this destination?
What sounds can you hear? Perhaps it's just the birds or the ocean.
Whats the weather like? Can you feel the warm air on your skin or the snow beneath your feet. What can you smell? Is the scent of lavender all around you from the fields in the French province, or can you smell the fresh sea air?
What can you taste? Perhaps it's the sweet and refreshing taste of the wine, harvested in Chianti, surrounded by vineyards. Or perhaps it's the salt from the seafood spread made onboard your charter yacht.
What can you touch? Is it the rocky surface of the mountain you just climbed, or is it the tiny grands of sand passing through your toes as we stroll along the beach at sunset.
What is your dream day?
So now you have your vision for your day, you're going to need an awesome team of suppliers to help guide you, so no doubt you'll be looking for elopement packages.
Typically when planning a traditional wedding you would look to book your venue first, but for elopements you can go ahead and reach out to your favourite planners and photographer right away. If your favourite photographer has photographed elopements before, its a given that they will be able to help you shortlist the dreamiest locations or venues to host your elopement. They will also likely have some elopement packages that they can offer you.
Alternatively you can hire a planner right away to jump onboard and help to secure the right suppliers for your vision. Planners are amazing help if you're feeling too busy or overwhelmed with the planning process and they are well positioned to help you plan your dream elopement.
Hiring suppliers for your day should be a very personal decision only you two can make. When looking at their work, how does it make you feel? Will you enjoy working with this person/team? Make sure that they are the right people for your day and if you hire a planner they will ensure that is all taken care of for you.
how to tell your family about your elopement
I understand that speaking with your family about your plans to elope could be difficult which is why we're here to help.
Firstly, educate your family on what your elopement meaning is, and why you think its right for you is the first step. Often families will think you're just going to run off the two of you but if you're planning on involving them, let them know!
These days more and more couples are deciding to have ditch the big traditional wedding and plan something smaller more and more intimate, if your family really know you, then they will understand completely and be excited for you to create your dream day.
how to elope: a step-by-step guide
step 1: find your why
When it comes to eloping, it's important to understand your reasons for choosing this option. Take some time to sit down with your partner and discuss your motivations for eloping. Perhaps you want a more intimate wedding experience that focuses solely on your love for each other, without the stress and pressure of a traditional wedding. Maybe you're looking to save money or avoid the drama with planning a big wedding.
Whatever your reasons, it's important to be clear and honest with yourselves about why you want to elope. This will help guide your decisions and ensure that your elopement truly reflects your values and priorities as a couple. Once you've established your "why," you can move forward with planning the perfect elopement that truly speaks to your hearts.
step 2: dream big
Close your eyes and imagine your dream elopement. Where do you see yourselves getting married? Is it on a mountaintop with stunning views, or a secluded beach with crystal-clear waters? Are you exchanging vows in a forest, or a bustling cityscape with stunning architecture as your backdrop?
Think about the activities and experiences that you want to have on your special day. Do you want to go for a hike or a romantic picnic? Do you want to take a helicopter ride to a remote location, or simply spend the day exploring a new city? What kind of food and drink do you want to indulge in?
As you envision your elopement, pay attention to the feelings that come up for you. How does it feel to be surrounded by your partner, in a breathtaking location, with everything tailored to your preferences? What emotions do you want to evoke on your special day? Joy, peace, excitement, or something else?
By picturing your dream day, you can gain a better understanding of what you want and what you don't want for your elopement. This will help you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting your vendors, choosing your outfits, and creating a schedule for your special day. In my experience, visualising your dream elopement will help you create an experience that truly feels like a reflection of your love and commitment to each other.
step 3: find your team
Once you have a clear vision for your dream elopement, it's time to bring that vision to life with the help of a professional planner or photographer. If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, a planner can be a great resource. They can help you choose a location, coordinate with vendors, and create a timeline for your special day. A planner can also help you stay within your budget and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of your elopement.
Alternatively, if you're comfortable with planning the logistics yourself, consider hiring a photographer who has experience in elopements. A skilled photographer can help you plan your timeline and give you ideas for locations, poses, and shots that will capture the essence of your elopement. They can also help you create a shot list and advise you on the best time of day for lighting and ambiance.
Working with a planner or photographer can help take some of the stress off of you, allowing you to fully enjoy the planning process and focus on what really matters: your love for each other. By entrusting your elopement to a professional, you can be confident that your vision will be executed flawlessly, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.
step 4: tell your friends & family
Be sure to let your loved ones know about your elopement plans. While they may be surprised or disappointed, it's important to be honest and upfront with them. Share your reasons for eloping and reassure them that your love and commitment to each other remain unchanged. This will help them understand and support your decision, and prevent any hurt feelings or misunderstandings down the line.
step 5: enjoy your elopement
The most important step in planning your elopement is to enjoy your special day! After all the planning and preparation, remember to take a deep breath and savor the moment. This is your day to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, surrounded by the beauty of your chosen location. Don't worry about the details or what could go wrong - just focus on each other and the love that you share. Trust that everything will fall into place and allow yourself to fully immerse in the magic of the moment. Your elopement day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make the most of it and create memories that will last a lifetime.