Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

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Adventure Wedding Elopements

March 16, 2020
Clean background in this photo of the bride walking into her mountain ceremony.

Photo by: Shaunte Dittmar, California, United States

Some couples, as they begin planning for their weddings, might think that they are limited to the classic locations: churches, gardens, beaches, or even Las Vegas. But in doing so they’re missing out on a multitude of unique options that might suit their personalities much better! Why limit yourself to a quiet, quaint ceremony when your adventurous heart may be calling out for something more?

An entirely different genre of wedding, so to speak, is the adventure wedding elopement. This concept may at first raise some questions, or even eyebrows, but it’s possible that the most intimate, memorable wedding for you is one that is active, unique, outdoorsy, while all at once intimate.

Snow mountain ceremony wedding photography by William Lambelet, WPJA Contest, POY 2017

Photo by: William Lambelet, France

BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Instead of trying to figure out whether you should get married up by your mother or down where your fiancé‘s family lives, or going through the hassle of finding somewhere in between or, even more challenging, having everyone come to you, wherever you may be, why not consider taking things back to where they all began, both literally and figuratively? Chances are the two of you fell in love by spending time alone together, so why shouldn’t your wedding day reflect this same growth and remembrance, affording you a day of privacy and intimacy all to yourselves? This is the opportunity that elopement can offer.

Natalja van Ommeren, of Zuid Holland, is a wedding photographer for Netherland

Photo by: Natalja van Ommeren, Zuid Holland, Netherlands

What’s more, in making the decision to elope you are no longer limited by location of family members—the two of you are free to travel wherever you’d like, whether that’s the first place you met, or even the first vacation you took together. Bring it back to the mountains where you went skiing, or that adventurous and unforgettable camping trip you went on through a sprawling, moss-covered forest.

LET YOUR LOCATION BE AS INTIMATE AS YOU ARE

Maybe you learned to rock climb together, or maybe there’s a grand kayaking trip you’ve always wanted to go on. Either way, allow your elopement wedding to reflect who the two of you are and take the opportunity to indulge in adventure, taking advantage of lush, natural scenery, or being your true selves by spelunking through far-away caves.

Your elopement should reflect the two of you and your time together, whether that’s in the form of a wild ziplining vacation or a beautifully captured and action-packed hike through the Rocky Mountains. You have the chance to make this day as dreamy or sparkling as you want, so why not take advantage of that? Inject a little mystery, a bit of suspense, or, especially, a healthy dose of unique and unforgettable moments into your wedding day.

Siliang Wang, of California, is a wedding photographer for -

Photo by: Siliang Wang, California, United States

By choosing an adventure wedding elopement that suits your personalities and interests best, you can also take this opportunity to take memorable photographs that will be far from stagnant or derivative. Imagine a brisk, snowy scene, or being surrounded by lush greenery further south. You can take advantage of unique architecture like rustic wooden bridges over expansive lakes, or use large, natural rock formations as the backdrop and frame for your special moment together.

BUT WHAT WILL YOUR FAMILY SAY?

One reasonable concern couples may have when it comes to an adventure wedding elopement is what their families will think. It’s true that some family members will be disappointed not to share the day with you, but don’t forget that there are other options to include your family while still enjoying your day the way you want to.

Shaunte Dittmar, of California, is a wedding photographer for Lake Tahoe, Ca

Photo by: Shaunte Dittmar, California, United States

Ultimately, you should not be swayed by any outside opinions and should keep in mind only what you and your fiancé want to do—spend the day your way, free from the stress of having to cater to everyone present, making sure to remember that Aunt Ginny and Uncle George can’t be seated at the same table together, or worrying that someone might feel left out or cause a scene. Instead, enjoy the day to yourselves and simply hold a celebration after you are wed where you can relax, spend less money, and make sure no one is offended.

In this way, too, the two of you get to enjoy your wedding day without having to heed others’ opinions and without trying to please or satisfy anyone other than yourselves on this most important occasion.