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. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

Vernazza, Cinque Terre - Italy Elopement Photo Story Award

Couple getting married in a deserted Vernazza, Italy before tourists would be out - an intimate beach wedding

Vernazza, Cinque Terre Italy Elopement Photo from Beach Ceremony | The Cinque Terre ferry making its unplanned and unforeseen entrance in the wedding ceremony. The ferry crowd cheered for the newlyweds.

The Cinque Terre ferry making its unplanned and unforeseen entrance in the wedding ceremony. The ferry crowd cheered for the newlyweds.

This lovely couple flew in from Seattle, WA, USA to get married in beautiful Vernazza, Cinque Terre on a summer morning. I was asked by the couple to show up very early at the agreed spot as they had in mind to get married in a deserted Vernazza, before the crowd of tourists would be out on the streets and theirs would no longer be an intimate wedding. So I had to wake up extremely early in order to drive my 2+ hours to Vernazza, hope to find a parking spot in the only parking anywhere close to the town with extremely few spots available (anybody familiar with the place knows what I'm talking about) then walk approx. 20 minutes to finally reach the Vernazza bay and pier. Where they were planning to have their ceremony.

I'm totally aware that showing up on time for the job is part of the job, as much as it is taking the pictures. Living and working in Liguria, Italy, depending on the venue this can sometimes be even more challenging than the picture-taking itself! But nevertheless, I did show up about 30 minutes early. You never know, so better be safe than sorry.

Vernazza very early in the morning during summer is a treat. This small, fishermen village represents the quintessential Ligurian landscape. There was silence in the empty streets that are usually crowded and loud, you could only hear the sea, some sparse early wakers here and there (someone enjoying an early morning swim in the bay) and the seagulls. The air was dry, the sky was clear and it was not too warm (yet). Just fabulous. So I waited and waited only to find out my clients had problems checking out of their B&B and for other assorted reasons they were late on the agreed schedule. Not a problem for me, but as the minutes went by, I began to grow the awareness that their ceremony was not going to be as intimate as they were hoping for. And as a matter of fact, they found that out when the Cinque Terre ferry arrived at the pier and made its grand entrance amid their ceremony. So their intimate wedding was saluted and cheered by the 100+ tourists that embarked and disembarked as the ferry made its stop in Vernazza. Not exactly the ceremony they planned, but I'm sure they will cherish this beautiful and very much Italian memory. As much as they enjoyed the gelato that closed their elopement story.

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Cinque Terre - Italy Elopement Photography | The bride taking a short walk on the shoreline in Vernazza on a summer morning

The bride taking a short walk on the shoreline in Vernazza on a summer morning, before reaching the ceremony spot in the small, fishermen village.

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Cinque Terre Pier at the Beach - Italy Elopement Picture | The groom waiting for his bride on the pier

The groom waiting for his bride on the pier in Vernazza, Cinque Terre.

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Cinque Terre Beach Wedding - Italy Elopement Image | The bride about to show up at the ceremony

The bride about to show up at the ceremony in Vernazza, Cinque Terre.

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Italy Fisherman Village Wedding - IT Elopement Photo | Bride and maid of honor approaching the pier in Vernazza

The bride and maid of honor approaching the pier in Vernazza, as the usual morning tourists enjoy their day.

Bride has arrived at the Italy ceremony spot on the village pier with her bridesmaid friend

Italy Small Village Wedding Image - Vernazza Elopements | Bride and bridesmaid have arrived at the ceremony spot

Bride and bridesmaid have arrived at the ceremony spot on the village pier.

Italy intimate beach wedding ceremony on the pier of Vernazza

Cinque Terre Wedding Ceremony - Italy Elopement Photos | A very intimate ceremony on the pier of Vernazza.

A very intimate ceremony on the pier of Vernazza. A close friend (and bridesmaid's husband) is officiating the ceremony.

Cinque Terre - Italy wedding rings exchange in Vernazza, following the elopement vows

Vernazza Wedding Rings Ceremony - Italy Elopement Detail Image | The rings were exchanged following the wedding vows.

The rings exchange in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, following the wedding vows. The final sentence was in Italian.

After the beach elopement ceremony, there was Italian gelato in Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vernazza Italy Elopement Image | The end of the ceremony was celebrated with a delicious Italian gelato.

The end of the ceremony was celebrated with a delicious Italian gelato.