Elopements!! Let’s talk about it! There are 10 misconceptions I have heard and thought lets just address them head on! Did I miss one? Be sure to let me know what I should add to this list!
1. Elopements are secretive or have shameful undertones
The landscape of elopement ceremonies has drastically changed over the last decade. There are so many incredible locations, vendors, and possibilities now. Modern elopements are known as a fun, authentic alternative for a wedding celebration. Unfortunately, some people worry that there is an undertone of secrecy or shame. Elopements may have been considered scandalous at one point in time. During the 1950s this was an uncommon way to get married but that perception is completely outdated and no longer relevant. The elopement industry is thriving now!
2. You cannot include your family
This is such a common misconception! False! Many of my couples have chosen to include a few people in the actual ceremony. My couples often hold receptions after the ceremony as well. I love to remind my couples that this is THEIR day and ceremony, ultimately the details are up to them. A great photographer will empower their couple to do just that! Read about the many ways to include your family in your elopement here. If you’re more concerned with HOW to tell your friends and family that you’re elopement, here is a great resource on this by fellow elopement photographer Maddie Mae.
3. Elopements are cheap, in a tacky way
False: while elopement pricing varies per photographer, it is usually very similar to their full wedding packages. Why? For photographers, elopements require extensive planning with logistics, location scouting, vendor communication, and more! Often times adventure elopements are more involved, detail wise, than traditional weddings. And when it comes to the overall cost – it really varies – just like traditional weddings vary in cost! For some couples, they do save money and other couples it’s more! The difference is how that money is being spent, and for many couples who elope they are investing in an adventure of a lifetime!
4. Last minute, fast, or thrown together
Nope! On average my couples book their elopement about 7-10 months in advance, but I’ve also planned an elopement in 3 weeks when we needed to pivot a plan! Especially if you are only eloping with your significant other, you may be able to plan an elopement in a shorter amount of time. But what I have learned is that with elopements, the canvas is blank so we often spend more time planning and dreaming their elopement day! And sometimes there can be a few more more logistics involved in an adventure elopement than a traditional wedding at a venue, but I guide my couples through that process from beginning to end! Want to see a sample timeline for an adventure elopement? Here is an example of a timeline.
5. They are not legit
Just like a traditional wedding, elopement couples receive a wedding license and get to marry the love of their life at the end of the day. An elopement is JUST as legit and sometimes feels even more authentic to the couple! The greatest difference is simply location, flow of the day and number of guests!
6. Elopements are selfish
When it comes to the opinion that elopements are a selfish choice for a couple, to each their own, but I believe that is false. I personally believe that creating an authentic experience for the ceremony and wedding day that marks the beginning of YOUR marriage, should be your choice! I don’t think it’s selfish to have one day in your life, the day you marry your life partner, to be shaped around what feels right to you! This ceremony is for YOU! Why not make it everything you dreamed of?
7. You have to be super fit to elope
F A L S E! While I try to stay active with hiking, snowboarding or getting into the peloton groove, I still would not consider myself an athlete or “super fit” in any way. An adventure elopement can mean pulling into a parking lot that has a half mile trail that leads to that exciting gorgeous view. You can get the views and landscape without summiting Rainier!
8. Elopements are not ADA Accessible
FALSE! I am passionate about this topic and currently working on a collaboration with an elopement planner to share a resource on our favorite ADA accessible locations! There are many ADA accessible locations for elopements and something your elopement photographer is able to find out when scouting for locations. Be sure to ask!
9. Your elopement can’t be glamorous
I have hiked up a mountain with a full glam squad, in the winter, to create a glamorous shoot! I have done an intimate city elopement in full glam mode! A great way to know if your elopement photographer is for you is their emphasis on helping you create an experience that feels authentic, something that really feels like you! This experience is yours, dream big!
10. An elopement has to be minimal
Just like my point above, this is false. This is all about YOU! That is why you chose this option rather than a traditional wedding, right? Meaghan + Stephen, for example, rented a boat for their family at sunset, took a stunning hike with their best friends, then after the ceremony had a beautifully styled intimate dinner and even their favorite musician to serenade the night! The options are limitless!
My greatest joy when working with my couples is seeing them create a tailored experience that embodies them! Think about the details that make up the DNA of your relationship and share that with your photographer. This will allow them to get creative and think of ways to incorporate that into your big day!