Elopement Inspiration, Planning Resources, and Past Adventures

travel Journal

Overland Elopements

Is An Elopement Right For Me?

January 22, 2021

Hi! We're Anna and Trevor.

We're a fun (and maybe a little dorky) couple of elopement photographers, traveling all over the country to help people get married in the most beautiful places mother nature has to offer.

We thrive with cameras in hand, and nothing resonates with us more than the intimacy & freedom of an elopement. We get that big events and old school traditions aren't for everyone, and that's totally cool! We're all about embracing our uniqueness and throwing tradition out the window.

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Some of the most popular reasons couples choose to elope

Now more than ever, couples are considering elopements and intimate weddings instead of bigger traditional celebrations. 

Each couple has their own personal journey and reasons to feel like an elopement is right for them, but the choice does not always start as a clear one. We see so many couples initially plan a bigger wedding, and then throughout the process, realize it isn’t what they really want. They may be feeling overwhelmed with the planning, the family pressure, the guest count, the wastefulness and all of the unsolicited commentary that comes with putting together a big wedding. Don’t get us wrong, weddings can be so much fun! As long as the focus remains on the couple’s values first.

If you’re not finding joy as you plan your wedding day, it may be worth considering whether this is the best way to celebrate your relationship, or if this is just what others expect of you.

We wanted to share some of the most popular reasons couples choose to elope. 

We’re also going to share some reasons why an elopement may not be for everyone, because that’s okay too.

Avoid drama and family pressure

Often couples start receiving unsolicited advice, expectations and requests as they jump into wedding planning. It may come from a good place, but when the feedback hits you from all directions, everything can get very overwhelming. If you’re focused more on your guests experience and opinions than on celebrating your own wedding, it may be worth cutting that guest list.

No family lives in perfect harmony 24/7 either, and some more strained family dynamics can leave you with negative feelings. It may even create apprehension when you think about the upcoming day. You know which relatives may create unnecessary stress or hurt for you. It may be best to set that boundary to create a safer space as you celebrate.

Spend more intimate time together

Imagine actually finding yourself missing your partner on your own wedding day because there’s hasn’t been a single moment to be alone together. 

When you elope, and remove the guest-centered focus on the day, you’ll enjoy so much more quality time with each other. You’ll remove the pressure of all eyes being on you, and allow yourselves to fully enjoy each moment.

And even if you do bring some guests along, you can plan a more intentional celebration, where the focus remains on love and quality time together.

Visit a dream location

We like to think of elopements as an opportunity to roll your honeymoon and wedding day into one. Is there someplace at the very top of your travel bucket list, or is there a familiar spot you consider your ultimate happy place? An adventure elopement lets you choose the setting for one of the most importance days of your life. Sometimes, the local ballroom just does’t cut it…

Invest intentionally

Take away the cost of a large venue, catering, DJ, and other vendors, and invest those savings into the details you care about most, or tuck it away for a rainy day. The beauty of eloping is that you can spend as much or as little as you’d like on all the other details – it’s a full DIY opportunity, or you can splurge on your once-in-a-lifetime adventure down to every last detail. Make the day your own with no expectations! 

Produce less waste

An elopement is a greener, less wasteful option if you’re less than thrilled about investing in so many items that serve no purpose once the day is over.

Think about the wedding favors, save the dates, invitations, floral arrangements, ceremony programs, fun little cocktail hour napkins, decorations for every space, and all of the other little single-use wedding details you hadn’t even considered when you first started planning..

Enjoy your freedom

The ultimate perk, in our opinion, is having the ability to plan a day entirely around what brings you joy. In the end, isn’t that all that matters? If hiking mountains are your thing, this is your day to do that. If you love the beach, the lakes, the woods, or the snow…this is where you’re meant to experience one of the most significant dates of your life. It’s a day to enjoy each other, experience something new together, and incorporate all the special things that are personal to you.

Reasons an Elopement May Not Be Right For You..

Adventure elopements aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay! The epic portraits you see on Instagram only show one aspect of the day, and there are still some important factors to consider to make sure you’re truly ready to embrace the adventure elopement experience.

An elopement may not be for you if…

You Don’t Enjoy Type 2 Fun

We actually stumbled upon the perfect description of this type of fun on REI’s blog one day.

“Type 2 fun is miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect. It usually begins with the best intentions, and then things get carried away.” 

These kinds of adventures tend to make you push yourself further, or embrace unpredictability. Elopement days rarely go entirely as planned. We find that’s all part of the fun, so it’s important to adopt a go-with-the-flow approach to the day! 

 Are you game to embrace a sudden wind or rain? Can you still have a good time out on the trail even if the mountain views are clouded over? If we have to pivot to a new location at the last minute because of an unexpected closure, can you get just as excited about Plan B? Are you prepared to come back home with an absolutely filthy dress?

Fun isn’t always…fun. Sometimes, It’s the moment when you reflect on the day, laugh, and go, “Can you believe that happened?!”.

You just want epic photos

It may come as a shock to hear photographers admit this, but the photos are not the most important part of your elopement day. We honestly only set aside a minor amount of time just for portraits, so it’s definitely not an all-day photoshoot. The rest of your day is about having an amazing, intentional experience together, and the beautiful images will naturally come from the authenticity in the moment. 

If you have a preconceived image in your mind of photos in a particular place or with certain weather, you’re going to put too much pressure on the day to “look” perfect instead of “feel” perfect. On that same note, we’d suggest avoiding any of those Insta-famous spots, if you don’t want to be competing with 50 other visitors to get the same photo. 

You’ll regret missing out on certain wedding traditions 

Now, as you read this and think about your hypothetical elopement day…does any part feel like too much of a compromise? Would a big part of you miss not having a DJ, dancing, and the company of everyone you love? 

It’s truly okay to feel like eloping would mean missing out on other important wedding day moments. Adventure elopements are just one of many ways couples can choose to celebrate their love for each other. If an elopement would feel like a “less than” experience, then it may not be the way to go.

Does an elopement sound right for you?

We wholeheartedly believe an adventurous all day elopement is the most beautiful and personal way to say “I do”. Nothing brings us more joy than getting to help couples plan the wedding day of their dreams. Reach out to get started!


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