Elopements have become a popular option for many couples looking to ditch the expensive wedding venue and stressful planning process. But what does it mean to elope?
Eloping opens up a world full of possible locations to say “I Do”. You can plan the perfect day to honor your love and have the freedom to spend time with you partner, just the two of you.
Whether you’re on the fence about eloping or planning your elopement, I’m sharing how to make the day all your own, no matter what you have in mind.
Planning a wedding day can be stressful, especially when you factor in all the judgement (well-meaning or not) and the long to-do list. Admit it: it’s exhausting just thinking about picking out all your vendors, figuring out the seating charts and coordinating all the day’s events.
You can still plan your perfect wedding day without the big wedding. You can still honor your love and your relationship outside of what many would consider a traditional wedding experience. Elopements are a popular way for couples to tie the knot their way, and it’s my job to help you plan the perfect, adventurous day for just you two.
Elopements are all about freedom. They are about celebrating your love and your relationship in your own unique way, without fear of judgement or overwhelming stress and worry. Many couples come to me knowing they want to elope and other couples write to me asking for advice about elopements. It can be hard figuring out whether an elopement works for you as a couple.
Many couples will ask me: what does it mean to elope? Nowadays, an elopement is anything you want it to be. Let go of the stress and the anxiety of planning a big wedding and embrace your adventurous side.
By doing exactly what you want, you will feel free to be your truest self, alive in the deepest sense of the word.
Let’s face it: elopements nowadays are so different from elopements 20 years ago. Traditionally, an elopement is when a couple runs away and gets married together — seeking the approval of their family much later. Elopements come with a lot of negative connotations, too – but nowadays, times have changed, and elopmenets don’t have to bring any judgement.
Whether you’re exploring your options or whether you’re certain an elopement is right for you, it’s important to understand the logistics of how an elopement actually works.
Just because you’re eloping does NOT mean you have to forget about some of the most beautiful and heartfelt wedding traditions. Writing your own vows or toasting your love isn’t just for big wedding days, after all!
Many elopements loosely follow a traditional wedding schedule, and many couples include the elements of a traditional wedding that speak to them in their elopement. It may seem a bit difficult to figure out, but I’m going to guide you through the whole process, start to finish, and make sure your day is the perfect fit for both of you.
I can help plan out the specific logistics of the elopement and make sure the day works out exactly as you want it to. For example, if you plan to backpack to your elopement location, I have plenty of experience working through some practical tips for my couples, from picking the right flowers to getting your hair camera-ready in the wilderness.
What does it mean to elope, if not embracing all the wonderful parts that feel genuine and authentic to you as a couple. An elopement is an incredible, intentional and intimate way to begin a lifetime of adventures together as a couple!
Your wedding should be as adventurous and fun as you are! When it comes to picking the perfect place to elope, the world is literally your oyster.
One of the most common struggles when it comes to a big wedding is the venue and the location. It can be hard to find that perfect place that speaks to your love, your sense of adventure and your personalities – while also fitting other requirements. Will your venue fit your guests? How will you decorate the place to fit your personalities? And HOW much does it cost?!
Throw out the rulebook and the big expenses and opt to spend part of that money on what really matters to you as a couple: starting your life together with a grand adventure.
It’s true that you can choose to elope nearly anywhere. But there are a few things we have to be aware of before planning your perfect elopement. For example, we can’t trespass on private property, and we may need to obtain some permits for certain areas. But aside from these considerations, you can pick LITERALLY anywhere you want.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Start by making a list of some locations and environments around the world that you love or that hold a deep meaning to you as a couple. There’s no place too big, too small or too adventurous for your big day.
If you want to helicopter to the top of a mountain peak and say your vows in the middle of the beautiful wilderness, GO for it! Have you dreamed of doing a multi-day backpacking trip with some of your closest friends? I love backpacking, and I’m DOWN. Do you want to honor your love under the Northern Lights in Norway, or ride camels in Morocco? There is literally nothing stopping you from having the most amazing adventure for your special day.
I’ve got plenty more ideas, too. What does it mean to elope if not living out some of your wildest dreams with the love of your life?
That’s the best part about an elopement: you and your partner can honor your love, your way. An elopement takes away the expensive parts of a big wedding (like the venue! And catering!) and the restrictions around location possibilities and instead opens up the world as your playground.
Wherever you decide to elope, just know that I’ll be there right alongside you capturing some incredible photos to share with your family and friends when you return.
Eloping is a very personal decision, and you should treat it as such. It can be SO HARD to set aside other people’s opinions and pick the best option for your wedding day.
But that’s the best part about your wedding day – it is entirely your own, and you should make decisions to feel connected to each other and feel alive, in the truest sense of the word. You have the freedom to make your own choices for your relationship.
My couples come to me seeking a special way to say their vows and say “I Do,” and it’s my job to help you figure out all the details in between. It’s easy to get caught up in questions like, “How will the schedule look?” and “When will we say our vows?” or “Can I walk down an aisle?”
What is an elopement if not the chance to craft your own wedding day exactly the way you want it. Here’s a breakdown of “how to elope” – and how it all works!
Many elopements follow a similar schedule to a traditional wedding day, believe it or not! Of course, the schedule will depend on any additional activities you may want to do throughout the day.
You’ll wake up the morning of your wedding day and go to the spot where you’ll say your vows. The morning of your wedding day will depend on your location.
Some couples will finish their multi-day hike to their wedding spot, while others will spend the morning getting ready at their cozy Airbnb before jumping in their Jeep and heading to the ceremony location. If you do plan to do a short or long hike to your wedding location, there are plenty of ways to get ready (and look fresh!).
Whatever your wedding day looks like, remember, it’s a total plan-your-own-adventure experience!
Once you’re at your wedding location, you’ll have time to get ready and put the finishing touches on your outfit before the ceremony begins.
You’ll still be able to work certain wedding traditions into an elopement, too! You can choose whether you want to do a first look, write and read your own vows, or simply say “I Do.” Afterwards, you can have your first dance as a married couple and enjoy a picnic together.
If you have adventurous plans you want to include on your wedding day, you can do them the day before the wedding, the day after the wedding or even on the day of your wedding!
At the end of the day, getting married is a huge commitment – and an EXCITING one!
Does an adventurous elopement sound like the perfect option for you? Or do you have a few more questions about the process? Whatever you need, feel free to reach out to me.
© JAYNEMAYAGNES OREGON ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER 2021
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We all have a responsibility to keep our beloved land beautiful, JayneMayAgnes follows all Leave No Trace Principles.
JayneMayAgnes is an Oregon based elopement photographer who travels internationally to document the beautiful and intimate moments of her couples elopement day. Her style is focused on documenting real emotion, precious moments and big laughter layered over the grand landscapes of the the world. She also photographs micro-weddings and intimate weddings for couples who want their closest family and friends to witness their wedding day.
Medford, Oregon | USA