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

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS ARE OPEN - 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!

Michigan Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers of Michigan, United States

Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Dearborn, Livonia

Michigan Elopement Photographers

YOU CAN'T STOP LOVE - In recent days, some of our North America photographer vendors have expressed their desire to accommodate couples who don’t want to wait to be married and are rushing the ceremony.

Many brides and grooms around the globe are planning to elope and deciding to reschedule their original ideas for a big event because of current wedding size restrictions, social distancing, and mask requirements. They are getting wed on a whim, but dispensing with or postponing all else.

The WPJA has an abundance of top-ranked, documentary-style elopement photographers who are available right now who understand that some weddings can’t wait. Find yours today!

Most Recent WPJA WedElope Story Awards
June 14th, 2021
Intimate Ceremony Photography - Desert Botanical Gardens | The bride smiles at the groom during the wedding ceremony, which was officiated by her aunt
June 8th, 2021
Wedding Photography from Seal Cove Inn | The groom steals a quick yet passionate kiss from his soon-to-be bride
June 5th, 2021
Hippensteal's Mountain View Inn | Wedding couple portrait inside of a classic Rolls Royce vehicle

Elopement Photographers for Small United States Weddings

Shooting an elopement or small Michigan wedding event is a wedding photojournalist’s dream: a fairly open schedule with lots of breathing space for creativity – it’s just the photographer, the couple, the officiant, and perhaps a few select companions.

Members are ready to document any city hall, DIY - do it yourself, courthouse, or elopement wedding, even if it is a Monday-Thursday ceremony. Search for the “Can Shoot Weddings on Short Notice!” message on the listings below.

We are anxious to create a picture story chronicling your romantic, unique, modern, small wedding from beginning to end. In this sense, it is no different from any other event that we have covered. The emphasis is on documenting key moments, capturing spontaneous displays of emotion, telling your real love story, as well as creating artistic portraits and details.

Map of Wedding Photojournalists Serving Michigan Couples

13 Documentary Wedding Photographers...

Detroit wedding photography and elopements by Ray Iavasile of Michigan

Ray Anthony Iavasile is the owner of Ray Anthony Photography in Birmingham, Michigan. He began photographing weddings in Los Angeles, California in 1992, but his love and passion for his documentary style of photographing weddings began clicking for him in the early 2000s when he traded in his Bronica medium format cameras for faster Canon 35mm SLR's. The change opened the door to shoot a lot more candid-style photos than ever before. This ignited a passion in him to redirect his focus entirely to photographing weddings from beginning to end as a documentary style wedding photographer, or as a wedding photojournalist. By 2004, with the acquisition of his first professional digital camera, there was no turning back. He began developing an authentic style of capturing the "decisive moment" and has since become an expert at documenting the unfolding story of the couple's wedding day. For the last four years running with WPJA, Ray has ranked as one of the Top 150 wedding photojournalists in the world, once in the Top 100 and twice ranking in the Top 50. In 2019, Ray's success has seen him climb to the #7 wedding photojournalist in North America, and #28 in the world. When Ray is commissioned to photograph a wedding, he truly believes it’s his job to photograph the “complete story” of that day! He is so sincere with this idea, that he even provides "unlimited coverage" on the wedding day, photographing from the early morning until the end of the night! Ray doesn’t want to miss a single moment! Ray Anthony Iavasile earned his BA Degree at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. The Ray Anthony Photography showroom has been located in Birmingham, Michigan since 2005 and Ray has become the premier wedding photojournalist in all of Michigan. Though most of his weddings are photographed in the Metro Detroit area, he has photographed weddings extensively in California as well as Florida, Boston, New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Ray is always willing to travel to destinations around the world. He is also an underwater photographer and would love to photograph a wedding under the sea! [Detroit Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3000 (USD)

Shannon discovered her love for wedding photography while working as an ad exec for Modern Bride Magazine. It was there that she first learned of the term "photojournalist" and worked with some of the most sought-after photographers in the industry. Shannon loves to capture real life reactions and moments that happen during a wedding when family and friends are just being themselves. Her greatest compliment has been when brides have told her how amazed they were that they had so many incredible images and yet didn't even realize that they were being photographed. An international award winning photojournalist, Shannon has been a full time wedding photographer for over 10 years. She has worked professionally in Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles and has just recently moved back home to the Metro Detroit area. [Detroit Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
400/hour (USD)
Washington DC wedding and elopement photography by Natasha Lamalle

I love candid photos, the small moments between friends or two lovers, the very short instant which nobody will remember if a camera wasn't around to catch it. I have been taking pictures since I was a kid. I have started taking professional pictures ten years ago using my camera to tell stories with a journalism aspect. I now want to use my skills to photograph your wedding with my unique point of view on photography. Your love is a story and my job is to describe it through my photos. As a photojournalist, I have won many international photo competitions, and have been selected for many collective exhibitions in Paris, Great Britain and Finland. My personal work is an important part of my photography skills. [Washington DC Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3600 (USD)
Elopements by Top Denver Wedding Photographer Justin Edmonds

Working as a photojournalist for the past 13 years for clients like Getty Images, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Major League Baseball, Upper Deck, NASCAR and The Denver Post, to name a few, I've had the opportunity to document stories, events and people all over the country. I bring that level of experience, problem-solving and hard work to each and every wedding that I photograph. I've shot more than 130 weddings and elopements in my career which is something I can admit that I didn't see coming as a business student at the University of Denver, CO. I definitely thought I would end up in the advertising industry but I picked up a camera while studying abroad in Rome, Italy and haven't put it down since. I love spending time with my fianceé, Amy, and our families. When I have some free time I can usually be found on the golf course, riding one of my three bikes or snowboarding. I am passionate about cooking and craft beer, having tried more than 2,000 unique beers to date. [Denver Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
4300 (USD)
Lake Tahoe wedding photography by Nicky Byrnes of California

I’ve had a camera in my hand since I can remember. On family vacations each of us had a camera and would come back with several rolls of film. It was great to see different perspectives of the same place. My photos became more refined throughout my childhood as I graduated to my stepdad’s Minolta film SLR. As a teenager and self professed “scene-kid” my interests turned to boys, music and books so my photos changed as well. I would deck myself out in black eyeliner weekly to shoot photographs of my favorite musicians. Bands are still one of my favorite photo subjects by the way, so be prepared if you get me started talking about them. In college I dedicated myself to photography professionally with a degree in photojournalism, then found my calling with a wedding studio at 19. I’ve since been published in Paste and XLR8R print magazines as well as Billboard Online, Tahoe Unveiled, Borrowed and Blue, The Knot, and Wedding Wire Blogs. On a more personal note, I’m a former Michigander who has called north Lake Tahoe her home since October 2011. I still miss Michigan beer (the best in the world, don’t argue), cherries, pasties (savory meat pies found in the UP) and warm nights but I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but Tahoe. I’m fascinated by all the quirky, wild, backwoods parts of America and I’m only missing four states on my quest to 50; Oklahoma, New Mexico, Maine and Alaska. I love all things outdoors. I hike or mountain bike almost every day with my Irish Wolfhound/Greyhound mix, Lindy and my big crazy Great Dane Captain. I also love to ski (badly), SUP and kayak, and volunteer with Achieve Tahoe. When I’m not shooting, sleeping or eating popcorn, I’m probably with my husband of almost one year, Keegan! [Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
500 (USD)
Chicago Wedding and Elopement Photographer Allison Williams, of Illinois

Chicago-based photographer Allison Williams specializes in modern, documentary wedding photography. Allison worked as a staff photojournalist for Sun-Times Media before starting her own company in 2010. She continues to photograph news and events and uses the same approach for weddings as she does in her newspaper and magazine work. Allison’s style comes out of a unique background–a mix of fine art, documentary, and journalistic photography define her particular approach. [Chicago Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3300 (USD)

I started my award-winning photojournalism career in Boston shooting for The Boston Herald, Boston Red Sox, and Harvard University and have been shooting weddings and events here in Chicago since 2011. I love photographing weddings because I love telling stories. Few events lend themselves such an obvious beginning, middle, and end as weddings and fewer still feature wily grandmothers teaching The Wobble to their grandchildren or the quiet smile of a proud father. I capture great moments and tell unforgettable stories. Let me tell yours. [Chicago Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2500 (USD)
Chicago Wedding Photographer Travis Haughton for Illinois

Travis began shooting weddings while working as a newspaper photojournalist in the Chicago suburbs. Travis continues to shoot news and sports throughout the Chicago area. He currently lives in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood with his wife and their terrier pup, Bella. His work has been recognized by the Michigan and Illinois Press Photographers Associations and the Associated Collegiate Press. He was named 2005 College Photographer of the Year by the MPPA. His photos have appeared in major publications throughout the Midwest, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Detroit Free Press. Travis is a graduate of Michigan State University and still points to the back of his hand to show people where he grew up. [Chicago Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3900 (USD)

I have had a camera in my hand since I was about 7 years old. Photography is truly a passion for me and I am fortunate enough to mix my work with my passion. I attended Hope College in Holland, MI and graduated with a degree in Art focusing in Photography and Ceramics, and a degree in Psychology. I currently reside in San Antonio, Texas with my husband and son. We are expecting our second child this spring. Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. I would be honored if you would allow me the privilege of sharing your moments and helping tell your story. [San Antonio Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3800 (USD)
Maui destination wedding and elopement photography by Angela Nelson, of Hawaii

Aloha! I'm Angie and I'm living the dream as a Hawaii wedding photographer. Truly, as a kid, I always wanted to be a lost boy and live in a treehouse surrounded by the jungle and the sea. And Hawaii is probably as close to Neverland as I will get. I always grew up with a sense of wonder and adventure, but my journals as a kid weren’t filled with grand ideas of living in Hawaii and photographing couples on one of the most important days of their lives. This career found when I was teaching high school in Maui. I moved to Maui, Hawaii in 2009 with my husband and was immediately inspired to pick up my dusty old camera and start photographing this beautiful place. What began as a side hustle quickly turned into a passion and eventually a full-time career. I began shooting weddings in 2010 and can truly say that I love documenting the real moments during the wedding day. Real moments + the beauty of Hawaii is what I'm always inspired by. I cry at every wedding and always aim to see the world differently for each day that I'm shooting. When I'm not photographing weddings, you can find me outside enjoying Maui or spending quality time with my husband and daughter. [Maui Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3400 (USD)
Chicago wedding and elopement photography by Madi Ellis of IL

As a documentary-style photographer, I love to emphasize connection, texture, and authentic emotion. Being a former actor who found a deep love and passion for wedding photography, I'm most drawn to the art of storytelling while creating honest and original work. I strive to make my images fully represent my couples in every way possible. From smaller, unconventional elopements to traditional full-day events, I love to capture everything from the big kiss to the secret "I love you's" shared in a whisper. [Chicago Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2500 (USD)
Chicago wedding photography by Nicole Defilippis of Illinois, United States

She’s lived her whole life in and around the Chicago area and can easily suggest photoshoot locations ranging from elegant rooftops, the perfect skyline shot, the diviest of dive bars and most artfully-graffitied walls. She works hard to make the most of her time with you, incorporating unique touches that convey personality and depth. She could tell you she got her start 11 years ago when she bought her first DSLR (a Canon Digital Rebel) and started photographing anything and everything. However, the truth is that her passion for documenting the most profound moments started years ago, with a 35 mm point and shoot camera that she would never leave the house without for fear of missing a moment with the important people in her life at the time. For Nicole, a sense of urgency was ignited around artfully documenting proof a person’s journey, capturing a family’s transition from one of two people into one of three, four, five and beyond. But lifestyle photography in Nicole’s world isn’t simply about styling a perfectly posed moment, it’s about truth (and no, that doesn’t mean an album full of double chins). The truth in your story might be the quiet baby, posing still in a carefully selected headband, but it might be those first few days at the hospital when new life was messy and sometimes complicated. Your story is just as much marching into your reception to Soul Train as it is wearing your great-great-grandmother’s earrings down the aisle. [Chicago Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3950 (USD)
Pittsburgh wedding photography by Ryan Howard Sigesmund of Pennsylvania

Personally, I love music as one of my main passions outside of photography. I grew up playing percussion in all sorts of different bands ranging from jazz to rock to a classical orchestra and now I’m mostly just exploring new music to stream every day. I ended up going to school for multimedia arts which also included photography and video, and I really found my passion with photography while traveling in Europe in 1994 and then again with friends in 2000, using every roll of film that I brought with me each time. I like to listen to Def Leppard while I edit weddings. My favorite goodies from the cookie table are buckeyes. After focusing on commercial and editorial photography for close to five years, I started documenting weddings in 2004 and made it one of my main focuses by 2005. I enjoy photography and art that's sometimes called "wabi sabi", a Japanese expression that refers to art that aims to record and emphasize the inherent beauty in any given space. This philosophy and method both seek to transcend symbolic and literal ways of seeing. When combining this state-of-mind with visual storytelling, portraits and details can show something. [Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3000 (USD)
WPJA Communiqué: Features
While some of us were fortunate enough to be born as extroverts, not everyone feels the same way. For a good chunk of the population, any number of the typical wedding day traditions can inspire anxiety and existential dread. This day is all about you, yes, but does that mean all the attention has to be on you as well? FROM VOWS TO CHITCHAT, WHICH REMAINS SACRED? Traditional weddings often require some degree of performance on the part of the couple, whether that is in the form of reciting...Read more
Clean background in this photo of the bride walking into her mountain ceremony.
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...Read more
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Oftentimes when people are considering a venue for their weddings, they search for a location away from home, whether that be ten minutes or ten hours, all just to find what they already have: a place that holds meaning for them, that feels comfortable, or that they find special and memorable. But what could hold more memory, meaning, and importance than your own home? For those looking for that perfect venue, it may not be any further than beyond your threshold.Read more
We all know that the economy can go through some hard times, and be somewhat reminiscent of past recessions. However, as people cut back on non-essential little luxuries here and there, one constant remains: weddings. People don’t tend to just stop getting married due to a poor economy, nor should they! So, in an industry that keeps on going through thick and thin, what are some things to expect for the future, and what is really necessary to still make that wedding day memorable and...Read more
WHAT EXACTLY DOES IT MEAN TO ELOPE? If you look up the definition of “elope” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary , you’ll find a plethora of meanings making it quite clear how polarizing the word has become, and how it has transformed and evolved with the passage of time and even personal preference.Read more
While some people live for the hustle and bustle of a big wedding with extravagant décor and an impossibly long guest list, others find these kinds of weddings to be too much hoopla, preferring instead something simpler and quieter, allowing for more intimacy between them and their fiancés on this special day. So how do you infuse your wedding with all the romance but none of the fuss? ALONE AT LAST Many couples these days are opting to elope rather than planning a large wedding. For the no-...Read more

RAVES, REVIEWS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Lacy & Tommy

Photo by Justin Edmonds

Omg we absolutely love these and yes you made me cry!! Thank you for making our day one we will never forget :)

Outdoor wedding ceremony at the Garden of the Gods Club

Shabnam and Joseph

Photo by Justin Edmonds

Choosing you was the easiest part of the shit show that was wedding planning. Working with you is something I would choose over a hundred times, you get how silly and impulsive we are . And You’re so damn tall, but you move like a ghost to get a shot that is as if it was taken from right in front of me. I remember dancing with you for like two seconds, and otherwise, don’t remember seeing you. It’s unbelievable. Thank you for capturing our wedding so perfectly. I would love to buy you a drink whenever you’re in town and are free.

Emerson Fields wedding photography from the reception with bride and groom on dance floor

Sienna and Jacob

Photo by Justin Edmonds

WE ARE CRYING. THEY ARE SO GOOD. Gotta go, we're going to go look at them all over again. I have never seen better wedding photos in my life and I will flex on everyone soon.

Sarah & Charles

Photo by Will Nunnally

We met with other photographers about a year ago, but they were either too aggressive or too passive and all fairly cliche. Not so with you. It's true that when we met you, we appreciated your laid-back vibe and promise that you wouldn't ask Sarah to stare plaintively out a window. But we didn't know you were masterful until we saw our engagement photos. We love the candidness and joy, even silliness, and the art. The shot of us standing in the Logan Square train vestibule, our illuminated backs to the lens, slightly elevated, with our reflection catching the opposite Plexiglas wall, behind which a sea of blues and purples bathe us is still Charles' desktop background. Your reconnaissance and eye for perfect light combined with your ease in assembling children and adults, we're sure, proved the right balance to allow us to enjoy the celebration while documenting it for perpetuity. Thank you for visiting parks weeks beforehand and getting in the mix - whether in a hot glass-blowing studio or nearly crushed in the center of the Hora - the day of. You're a trooper.

Devin and Joy

Photo by Will Nunnally

The photos we received were absolutely gorgeous. My wife and I could not have been happier with them, which is saying something because she hates all photos of herself. Also, we had some unexpected snow and freezing weather, but you made sure to make the outdoor shots as painless as possible. The snow ended up looking stunning in the photos too, so that was a silver lining. You're definitely a great photographer with a more artistic touch to your photos as well.

Ravisloe Country Club wedding photograph from after the ceremony of the bride and groom

Katie and Joel

Photo by Justin Edmonds

Dear Justin, Thank you so much for all your hard work in August! We are so grateful for the photos that captured our wedding day perfectly and will help us remember it forever. Your advice and experience was so valuable and we can't thank you enough.

Briar Common Brewery Wedding Photography in the rain.

Holly and Hayden

Photo by Justin Edmonds

I absolutely ADORE these photos!! You did an amazing job and I just want to show you one simple shot that just gave goosebumps because it was basically a recreation of my best friend and I's favorite picture from graduating high school. I just feel the love and growth and maturity we've got through together in your picture. I wanted to let you know and let you know you're doing such a great job with your work even in these small moments-- whether you know it or not!

Heather and Matt

Photo by Justin Edmonds

Holy smokes, you are ridiculously talented. Which I already knew, but, DAMN these photos are incredible! Thank you for sharing and posting about our day! We’re so grateful we trusted you with capturing it.

Melissa and Jordan

Photo by Justin Edmonds

They are amazing! Thank you so very much for everything, it was a pleasure having you be a part of our journey, from engagement to marriage. The pictures really show our happiness and love, they’re perfect. Thank you!