How To Elope Authentically & Elopement Package FAQ
my 4 cents on how to elope authentically
1 ) don't get sucked up in the bullshit
yes i said it. stop f’n reading blogs on how to elope. stop reading now if you really want to — seriously. just promise me not to get pulled into social media’s overwhelming feed of dreamy couples in the most beautiful places and the best this, how to do that, yadda yadda. you two are amazing for the connection that makes you two you – not the location you’re getting married at to be mimicked and overdone a million times. your moment is so much more than just epic pictures. lean into what serves you two as a couple, dig deep into your soul, trust in your values, follow your gut, and make your own rules and agenda.
2) if it seems craZY or simply feels good thinking about - you should probably do it.
if it seems crazy then you probably should do it. make this day about you two. it’s so damn easy to get caught up in what you’re ‘suppose’ to do. even when allen and i eloped, there were a few things i had to stop and challenge myself on. if there’s anything you’re planning that isn’t bringing you joy – ditch it. and if you come up with a “crazy idea” — lean in to that shit. talk through it and if you’re both vibin with the idea – then make it happen baby. the beauty of eloping is that literally you don’t need approval from anyone but each other. if you want to sky dive in your wedding dress – there’s a lot of folks i’m sure will think you’re nuts. good thing it’s your wedding day and not theirs, right? whatever sets your soul on fire even just thinking about – go for it. i’m all for new experiences, so no matter what you throw my way, i’ll be ready to catch all the crazy, amazing, beautiful ideas you want to toss at me.
3) go rogue, break some rules & make your own
GO ROGUE. there is no right, wrong or perfect time, place or venue to elope to. YOU are what make your moment magical. Toss out the rule book, throw out the marriage road map and let your hearts lead the way. You don’t have to have it all figured out – if you know you want to marry this person and want your new adventure to be kicked off special to you – that starts with celebrating what makes you two amazing together. This is a time to form new traditions together, throw out any that don’t serve you and feel free to keep any you think you’ll enjoy. This is a project to get creative together on, be goofy, weird, quirky and embrace all the things that make you incredible together.
4) surround yourself a community that truly gets you & loves you
surround yourself with vendors and loved ones that align with your vibe, your values and your energy. this is the most monumental moment of your life – a genuine, supportive community cheering around you makes all the difference in remembering this piece of your history. As your elopement photographer – i’ll be by you the entire time. it’s super duper uber important to me that you trust me, like me and feel our energies click. that trust and connection allows your mind to be at ease and your soul at peace so you can be in your moment with your lover — not worrying about your pictures.
FAQ about booking
What Elopement Packages Do You Offer?
i’ve been capturing elopements almost exclusively for 3 years in the western u.s. – here is optional support that comes as you need – i’m happy to help with any of the following : vendor connecting, timeline support, help with location scouting, permit info, marriage license info, signing as your witness, hiking information, travel tips & much more.
+hi res online gallery
+print release for images
+getting to know the both of you
+5-10 preview images delivered within week of your elopement
+final gallery delivery within 6-12 weeks
how much coverage time do i need?
what you share is unique to you two. so naturally what you’d like captured is unique too. my coverage starts at 3 hours for me – and ranges to 2 days for private vows + small wedding combos.
my personal two cents:
i wants to capture it all so you can have it all later; every detail, emotion, hug and moment that goes into remembering how the magic of your day felt. eloping doesn’t mean you deserve less attention that what a traditions wedding would – your memories together are equally as important. i’ll stick around for two days, a full day or half a day depending on your desired moments you would like covered. I ideally would like to arrive while you’re getting ready – those moments aren’t about make-up, it’s about the emotion you’re feeling as you’re getting ready to finally see each other, and anyone that might be sharing that emotion with you (mom, friend or close loved one helping you get ready). It also allows us to connect before I begin shooting away vs showing up the ceremony scene. I believe the details of the day are just as important as the scene – when put together, it tells your story, it evokes emotion and helps you remember how it felt.
travel costs or taxes?
travel in the u.s.
i travel half the year, with a base in New Mexcio. travel is included in all of the packages. some locations may have a higher starting rate(depending on your date/proximity to my location at that time), but all of that will be quoted upfront.
**Locations such as Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, or dates that require a last minute, over-priced flight may require a small additional travel charge, which would be quoted upfront.
international elopement travel:
travel costs definitely vary internationally. i”ll research your location and date and provide you with an upfront, fair quote with your personalized package so there won’t be surprises later. i estimate the average international travel charge to be $1200 for a 2-3 day trip and single photographer .
Taxes & Fees:
There are no taxes or other random fees. I’ll provide an upfront quote, after my initial phone call with you, and don’t do surprise charges later.
How Do I Secure My Date?
first thing – we gotta chat. i need to hear your beautiful faces and connect with you. it’s so important that you feel i’m the best fit for this moment. once we chat and can learn more about your vision, i’ll provide an upfront quote for your personalized package. The proposal will include your options and detailed payment information. Below is an outline of what to expect.
Your initial retainer payment is 50% of the photography portion of your package, which secures your date and allows me to start helping you with anything you need, when you’re ready. The additional balance will be split in to two payments- one payment between your contracted date and your wedding date and the final payment 1 month before your wedding date. No taxes or processing fees are applied to our photography packages. I accept credit, debit, and ACH checking/savings payments only.
What if I don't know where to elope? Or don't have a date yet?
You’re not alone and I totally get that it can be overwhelming looking at the different options for locations, best time of year, season, etc. I work with tons of couples that need help narrowing down the best spot, based on their style & desired landscape. The first step is to figure out the landscape you’re drawn to and the best time of year to visit. Factors are crowds, temperatures, weather patterns you like/don’t like, etc. I can help with this, if you’d like. Otherwise I’d recommend narrowing down a location and date range, then reaching out to book your elopement photographer. If you need help, I travel all over the U.S. capturing elopements and know exactly when and where aligns with what you have in mind. When you book me, I’ll be happy to offer some suggestions and help guide as much or little as you need.
The only time I recommend moving forward without a firm date/range/location, is if your date is totally flexible around my travel schedule. This portion takes some time and my schedule will change quite a bit between now and then. I recommend narrowing down the region you’re most interested in and date range for your travel, and I can help with the rest.
FAQ About Elopements
What Is An Elopement?
in my personal opinion – it’s two people (and maybe a selected few) deciding to get married in a style that celebrates them and their connection alone. It’s throwing out traditions that don’t serve you and embracing your own set of values together. It’s a a private adventure that authentically celebrates the real connection you share. It’s a moment to kick-start your life together that in it’s most honest and raw form, allows you to celebrate what you share on a deepest, most intimate level, than a traditional wedding can’t provide.
no, i don’t believe inviting more then a few people is considered an elopement. i’d call that a small wedding; simply because you’re still planning around others. almost all of my couples over the years planning an “elopement” with 10-30 guests said it still felt stressful, like they were planning a large wedding just without the extra plates.
Where Can I Elope?
where do you want to elope? the options are endless as there’s so many beautiful landscapes around the world. You can really choose to have a ceremony almost anywhere, as long as it’s permitted by the state/country. i’d be happy to offer some suggestions based on the landscape/vibe you’re drawn to. One of my favorite elopement adventures was in san miguel de allende in mexico – an adventurous city simply to get to. the day started with a spiritual union with mayan influences, then we strolled around the charming historic city and ended the night with beers on a balcony watching the sunset and playing glow sticks in the street. you can see that blog here.
Is It Cheaper To Elope Or Have A Wedding?
I strongly believe your elopement day is no less important than a ‘traditional’ wedding day and feel you should invest just as much into your elopement adventure as you would a normal wedding. Often times that may still come out to be a heck of a lot less, sure. But to me, your elopement day is just as meaningful, if not more meaningful than something more traditional, which deserves to be valued as such. You’re a gem of a couple, no need to cheapen your big moment together.
with that being said – i know budget is an obvious concern for a lot of couples wanting to get married. i’m happy to offer more flexible payment plans when i can, so we can get the party started. let’s get in touch and talk first.
How Do You Plan An Elopement?
let me preface this with – if you’re not the planning kind of person, find someone that can help you or be down to go with the flow. there is no right or wrong way to approach your day, but i this shouldn’t feel like a chore. it should be exciting. forget about things that drain you – find creative ways to get your end result and please don’t ever feel like you need to do anything a certain way for photos.
on the other hand – i’m a big believer of vision boards, meditation and putting your mind to work on what your heart desires. close your eyes and envision what the best day possible would feel like. not look like – but feel like.what sensations come to mind? what’s the weather like? what’s making you laugh? where are you standing as your partner is looking into your eyes? What do you hear around you?
Feel out the vision, spit ball some crazy ideas together, talk through the elements involved and narrow down some nooks in the world you think that vision may unfold in your favor. Feel out a good time of year for that spot and if you want to wait that long, or find other areas that fit a little closer to your date that still offer similar elements.
from there, I’d recommend finding your elopement photographer that vibes with your values + vision. From there the rest is nitty gritty items like permits, who will ordain, how to file marriage licenses, travel to consider, etc.
Do You Need Witnesses To Elope?
Typically yes, but depends on the state/county that you are getting married in. In most states in the US – two witnesses are needed (Allen and I are happy to fill that role) while others, like California, only require one witness. In others, like Colorado, you don’t even need to have an officiant – and your dog can literally sign as the witness. true story.
For international elopements in countries outside of the u.s., if choosing to legally get married there, such as Mexico, require 5 witnesses. In these cases, we often recommend to have a ceremony in the country you desire, and legally get married in the country you are from once you return.
How Many Guests Can I Bring To An Elopement or small wedding?
this is often one of the toughest parts of deciding where and how to get married or elope. who makes the cut and doesn’t ? you don’t want to leave any loved ones out but also want to make the day about you two. if you’re struggling to make this call, consider a hybrid wedding – an intimate adventure together one day together, and wedding celebration the next. check out Lauren & christian’s private vows + intimate joshua tree wedding here.
if you’re surefooted on eloping – i consider that just you two and maybe a handful of loved ones.
if you’re wanting more than 5 or so guests, i’d consider that a small destination wedding and the limit there is usually around 75, depending on the venue.
while I don’t specifically limit your guest count, most national parks will limit your guest count by location within the park. if you need help with locations just let me know – i can direct you in the right spot to find some good areas to look in to.
What Do People Normally Do when they elope?
ready for this? whatever the fckkkk they want. the beautiful part of eloping is getting a day to celebrate however you want with your favorite person and not stress about a timeline, certain agenda, shaking 100 hands or having a structured day. you get to relax, take in every moment and create a day for you two however the feels best to you.
if that starts with a wake and bake – or ends with whiskey, or getting tacos from a street vendor, or riding into a sunset on a motorcycle or a cliffside— you get to make the rules. if you want to camp under the milkyway – go for it! if you want to zipline down fremont street in vegas – strap in. if you want to rent a vintage VW bus to rendevous in, go for it. stop for ice cream or a shot at the bar in your wedding dress–do it. or take the most epic hike of your life to view a sunrise or sunset – the sky is the limit.