A Nomadic Love

Elopement Packages for the Nontraditional Bride

In this article we will be going over our current elopement packages for photography as well as what it means to elope. The idea of getting eloped is something that honestly confuses many people. They usually assume it’s similar to getting married, but not quite equal to it. Sadly there are misconceptions about elopements, given how the general definition of it has changed and evolved quite a bit in the last generation or two.

If you tell your grandparents that you’re getting eloped, they might think that it’s a cheap way of getting married. For their generation, an elopement was often rushed and poorly planned, if at all. We are here to help educate you and your loved ones on what an elopement means in today’s society.

elopement packages

Table of Contents

What do Our Elopement Packages Entail?

Good elopement packages mean that you get a highly skilled team dedicated to the photography of your special day. From planning things out early to the final set of images you can’t wait to upload to Instagram, we’re here to capture the magic of your elopement. We want to help create memories that you will cherish forever.

You deserve nothing but the best for your ultimate elopement experience. Trust in our experience and guidance.

It all starts off with you contacting us through our contact form. We also provide a free resources section on our website, and it helps educate newly engaged couples on the wedding industry. Carly and I give this information out for free whether they employ our services or not. Everyone deserves to have a wonderful marriage, intimate wedding, elopement, or otherwise.

Our Elopement Packages and Pricing

Count on both Carly and I for creativity and communication, from answering all your questions during planning to getting the right color schemes together on the big day. Our elopement package also includes two photographers!

After booking one of our elopement packages with us, we can also recommend many options for couples. Everything from the right wedding dress, officiants, hair and makeup and styling to the specific places you might want to get eloped. We also have professional connections around the world who can help out with anything from flowers to hair and makeup. Check our investment page for more details.

Where to Elope?

If you’re having trouble envisioning where you would tie the knot and elope other than inside a courtroom, that’s understandable. Let us spark your creativity and imagination with a few ceremony location suggestions. The following intimate ceremony locations are great ideas to start you off, provided you go during the right seasons.

Yosemite National Park, California

Old-growth forests make for majestic backgrounds for an elopement, and broad meadows represent the space you two are creating for yourself. Steep granite cliffs can represent the plunge into a beautiful space you’re taking together, and Yosemite offers all three at the same time. Your poetic heart might just love wearing a bridal veil in front of Bridal Veil Falls, and who needs a cathedral to be inside when you have Cathedral Rocks?

Colorado

The relatively central location of this state makes it easy if you have folks flying in to join you. No one is more than two time zones away. This state has nearly five dozen mountains called 14ers, soaring over 14,000 feet into the sky. That’s nearly 3 miles! They’re almost 2 miles above Denver. The views are breathtaking, and there’s plenty of places to find magical vistas without tourists or hikers getting into our shots.

Northern California

This state has quite a few gems, enough for us to mention it again, and the well-known Big Sur coastline is one of them. A scenic highway hugs and weaves its way through cliffs and hills, opening up the way to remote beaches and redwood forests. Nothing can symbolize your marriage standing the test of time like having an elopement amidst the tallest trees on Earth.

Kauai, Hawaii

This might be a common place for destination weddings and of course for many a honeymoon, but we love it for elopements too. Kauai is the most adventurous island and really gives you something unique. Relax stress free on beautiful beaches, hike mountain ridges, trudge through jungles to see waterfalls, and see for yourself the epic size of the Pacific Ocean cliffs or even visit Waimea Canyon, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. All the while, you can still take boat tours, kayak at sea, surf, and snorkel. Elope in front of a waterfall if you want to!

Iceland

If you’re a movie buff, then you might recognize the various alien landscapes of Iceland from films of the last decade looking for otherworldly aesthetics. From the fires of volcanoes to the cooling refreshment of waterfalls, you can elope at this epic ceremony location on a black sand beach or even a barren moonscape. Our elopement package also includes travel!

New Zealand

Love the Lord of the Rings? Or, if you’re old enough, perhaps Willow? Both these movies were filmed in New Zealand, and it’s understandable why. These two islands feature canyons, rivers, beaches, jungles, fjords, mountains, and glaciers. You can experience sub-tropical weather on the north island or rugged climate on the south. The versatile choices here are as magical as the moments awaiting you. You can also brag about having a New Zealand marriage license!

Utah

Sometimes, you just need the serenity of the desert. If you’re looking to step out of the hustle and bustle of city life, then stepping foot into the vastness of soaring cliffs and sinking canyons among the desert towers and sandstone arches of this state is the way to go. We recommend the Bonneville Salt Flats or Zion National Park. Utah can look rough, and even empty, but you won’t be alone with the one you love, as you both will see the beauty and romance in a place like this.

Washington State

Mount Rainier has certainly been the backdrop for many impressive intimate wedding day magazine covers and postcards. However, the hike up it, even partly, is something special which makes it a great place to elope. The summer wildflowers are something out of a dream. If you want your elopement to be full of wonder and awe, this is a place that will deliver it.

What is the Modern Definition of Eloping?

elopement packages

Modern elopements are very different. In truth, they go the opposite route of what many traditional weddings are like. Weddings tend to be huge affairs where costs can run into the thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are stressful decisions to make about everything from the DJ or live band playlist to guest favors. The amount of work and time that goes into planning a wedding contributes to an unenjoyable day of experience that some couples have.

Instead of all the cost, stress, and potential drama, wouldn’t you rather have something intimate and genuine? Elopements are still similar to a wedding and destination wedding, but without the production of big wedding venues and mass amounts of people. It’s just you and the one you love, and maybe up to two dozen friends and family. Guests or not, the focus is on the two of you and your commitment to one another.

One thing that’s great about elopements is how there are no set expectations or standards, as weddings tend to have rather stringent guidelines society expects. You can create your wedding day to be as intimate and authentic as you want.

When you hear the word elopement think about the imagery that comes to your own mind. Is it a couple getting to Vegas as fast they can before getting hitched in some chapel studded with rhinestones? Maybe it’s a couple that got married in complete secrecy so they can avoid the disapproval of certain relatives? Is an elopement just the cheap courthouse marriage package?

These are popular misconceptions, but they don’t really apply anymore. So, let’s talk more about what elopement actually is these days.

A Proposed Definition

It’s hard to find many in society who agree on what a modern elopement is and how it should be defined, so we offer our own idea. It’s a small wedding, but one that’s genuine and intimate, an experience that actually means something.

An intimate elopement isn’t some grand merging of two families, but the union of two souls who are kindred spirits. The right elopement isn’t contingent on where you do it, or even what you do while you’re there. Even the guest list doesn’t matter.

Adventure elopements are about simplicity. No obligations, no anxiety, stress free. You have total freedom to make your commitment to your life partner at the time and place of your choosing.

What are Elopements Really all About?

elopement packages

Elopements aren’t just about walking down an aisle, or ‘the kiss’. In fact, many elopements take place outdoors and instead of an aisle, there’s a hiking trail. When we hike with clients through the woods, down a canyon, or up a ridge, we’re looking for those magical moments when the soon-to-be life partners take each other in hand and look into each other’s eyes preparing for what’s coming at the vista up the trail.

Your elopement is your chance to look right into your partner’s eyes and state your vows. You can say them without worrying about embarrassing yourself, anyone judging you, or anyone objecting. Speak your truth, and do so with conviction.

Elopements give a bride and groom the chance to look up into the sky and take in the raw beauty of the universe that they’re going to be a part of for the rest of their days. It’s all about the love and connection between them, without keeping up with a wedding schedule or anything else. If this sounds like you, we encourage you to contact us about our elopement packages.

Less Stress = Yes!

So many couples actually stress completely out after getting engaged, because the minute they do, it’s not so much about preparing for a long life together, but more about getting ready for a huge wedding. If you’re someone who likes the idea of a huge wedding, then we recommend you do that! They’re great options for couples that want them, and they should have the beautiful memory they deserve.

We’re not here to promote elopements and elopement packages as superior to large and small weddings. We just want to be here and offer wedding options for those who want something different, something smaller and more intimate. Both weddings and elopements need a photographer, but elopements don’t need the caterer, the live band, the venue coordinator, and a million other things. Most elopements don’t even need a building or wedding venues, especially if you elope in a national park.

An elopement should be in a location that’s already gorgeous. The bride and groom would tie the knot and fill that place with their celebration of love, laughter, and life with one another.

Elopement Myths

elopement packages

We’ve already mentioned several of the older ideas people have about elopements, along with their implications. Let’s dive into this a bit further, because elopements nowadays can be just as great a start to a wonderful union and magical marriage as a traditional or conventional wedding in a church.

As a matter of fact, we like thinking that elopements are what would be the real heart of a wedding. Two people who love one another and their uniquely intimate connection.

Granted, our elopement packages remain anything but traditional, so we know that a lot of confusion still surrounds elopements. There are several specific myths that we’d like to dispel for you.

#1: Lonely People Get Elopements

This preconception is certainly as stale as it gets. Older generations, and we’re not saying this is true of all older people, might have assumed that someone would only elope to spare themselves the embarrassment of not having enough friends, family, and colleagues or acquaintances to fill their side of a church.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve dealt with many couples that have lots of friends, that are on good terms with their family, and have very supportive communities or social circles behind them. They just wanted to walk their own path when it came to their wedding. Why is this? In many cases, they know that the more people they invite to a wedding, the less the focus will be on them and the love they share for one another.

Emphasize Your Love

All that really matters is you and the one you love. You’re the only two in this relationship you hope to make formal and permanent. A wedding does get two people married. Then they go on a honeymoon, and come back to their lives. Hopefully, they’re happy and recharged. An elopement, however, is about getting married, but with intention. It’s very subtle, and for some quite spiritual.

You might have hundreds of people you could fill a cathedral with on your big day, and they’d show up in a heartbeat to celebrate your love and union. Yet, is that really how you want to spend this one important day in your life? If so, like we said, go for it. Weddings are often like big parties, and you get to be the center of attention, as you should.

However, if you would rather emphasize your love, as well as where and how you state your vows, then having an intimate elopement is a far better way to go.

Having an elopement isn’t about cutting people out of something special or implying you disregard how they feel. It just means you’ve decided to prioritize your intentions and what’s important to you, and joining in a union with the one you want to be a life partner with is pretty important.

Elopements can still include guests, although it’s usually not more than twenty or so. Still, the focus is on the two of you, and not the whole event and party. In fact, you don’t even have to follow a set schedule that was planned three months ago and rehearsed the night before.

#2: Elopement Packages are for Cheapskates

Over many decades, a lot of people assumed that elopements were very cheap options, as compared to weddings. We’re not going to bust this myth, because it’s honestly true in most cases. Still, the reason it’s a myth is because people assume it was done by broke or poor people looking to save money on a wedding.

Isn’t saving money a good thing? We think so.

It’s not a given though. A thrifty wedding can certainly cost less than a high-end elopement, especially if you go someplace distant or exotic. Still, the potential for savings is there, and you get a lot more flexibility in the details.

Elopements just bring weddings back down to earth so it can focus on what’s truly important, which is you and the partner you love.

#3: Elopements Have a Bad Name

It’s true that elopements can be a dash through that infamous Vegas drive-thru, but it’s not what we’re used to. In fact, many of the elopement packages we work on are planned just as much in advance as conventional weddings. We’ve talked with brides planning anywhere from six months in advance to a year.

If you’re hoping on having an elopement in a helicopter over a Swiss glacier, then a bit of planning and travel arrangements goes into it. Same for eloping in Iceland under the Northern Lights or on an uncrowded beach before a beautiful Hawaiian sunset.

An elopement might not always be first-class dining and entertainment like luxury weddings, but the experiences and scenery can be second to none.

Do things as you and partner want to, as serious or as simple. It’s the first day of your life together. There are no rules but the ones you decide together.

#4: Elopements Hide Shame

Granted, elopements were once barely above the level of ‘shotgun’ marriages. Also, many elopements these days are still surprises in ways, but it’s not usually the fact that those couples decide to get married, but how they decide to do it.

A current elopement is still a rejection of tradition and conventions, but it’s because you want to do things your way, not because you’re trying to hide anything.

Past elopements were often considered the easy way out of marriage. Take a few pictures, sign the license, and you’re off to the races in just hours.

In Vegas, you can even actually do a drive-thru marriage. That obviously appeals to some, but it’s literally a marriage of convenience.

If you want an experience, something that has intention and genuinely reflects you and your loved one, you need to create your own elopement. Choose someplace meaningful to you, and do it your way.

#5: Elopements Only Include the Bride and Groom

Elopements were long considered so secretive that bringing anyone other than the couple, and perhaps a necessary witness, would actually break the unspoken rules of the ceremony.

If you read the earlier part about the difficulty in defining an elopement, then you should know that they simply don’t have any rules to start with. Bring your own officiant, your parents and best friends! Anyone and everyone you want to come to you intimate ceremony can!

With an adventure elopement there is usually a twenty person limit when it comes to guests that can come and it still be an elopement. Having said that, we know from experience that once you get past a dozen or so, it gets a lot harder to maintain focus on the two of you as it shifts more to the larger group. Remember, elopements are about focus and intention of your love for one another and starting a life together.

The Pros of Elopement Packages Over a Having a Wedding Package

elopement packages

As stated before, weddings are wonderful if you want one. Having said that, eloping has some advantages:

Pro: You save money

Eloping can also be expensive, but not like a huge wedding package can get. Skip the venue rental, pricey catering, and fancy flowers, and instead save the money for the honeymoon, nest egg, or down payment on your house.

Pro: Far less planning

Decision fatigue isn’t going to happen when there’s not so many details for your special day to determine.

Pro: You can do it anywhere

Want to say your vows in front of the Eiffel Tower? How about a desert elopement in Joshua Tree? Want to say your vows on a crowded Manhattan subway? Do it! You can even elope out of town at the start of your honeymoon or at a family farm that spares everyone travel and tuxedos. As long as you have a permit for the location and a marriage license you should be fine!

Pro: You can be happy

You might get judged when you announce going with an elopement over having a traditional wedding, and possibly even after you get home. Some might get snarky about not getting a invite. However, you won’t have any of this negativity around the actual magical day. You can be yourself, and you can be happy, because you’re only around those you chose, if anyone.

If friends and family get offended that didn’t you include them on your special day, you can always smooth things over with some kind of celebration or ceremony for your friends and extended family when you get back. Couples eloping quietly and privately and then having a reception celebration or something equivalent later on happens a lot more than you think. If you’re truly in love with each other and love life together, why not celebrate twice if it keeps the peace around you? Just remember your happiness together always comes first and that you do indeed have wedding options.