film + digital photography

What Exactly Is An Elopement? Should I Have One?

You’ve done the google search, you are dying to know what an elopement is, right?!

The phrase “shotgun wedding” might come to mind, or possibly running away to Vegas?

While Vegas is always an option, a modern day elopement is much different!

Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m an elopement photographer! I help my clients have an amazing day filled with activities that feels like them. You do NOT have to have a large traditional wedding full of people if you don’t want to. I am hear to scream it loud and proud that there is another way to get married.

Back to the question, what is an Elopement?

An elopement is a small event with typically less than 20 people in attendance to witness a couple commit themselves to each other.

An elopement is still a couple’s wedding day, by using the term elopement the couple means to not have a traditionally large event, full of wedding traditions, guests, food, etc.

Certain traditions may still be had at an elopement, too! It is just completely up to each couple and what they want on their wedding day.

Don’t want to spend the night apart? DON’T

What about catered food, meh have a picnic with chicken wings if you want!

There are so many activities you can do or plan when you let go of other’s expectations of what your wedding day should be.

What can you do on / at an Elopement?

The possibilities are truly endless during an elopement. Think about a dream vacation but it is also the start of your marriage!

Your elopement can be as simple as spending the day getting pampered, and hiring a private chef at a small venue in your favorite city.

It can also be full of adventure!

The plan could be to have a hike up a mountain trail, stopping to take in the views, finding a private spot to exchange vows, and cheering with a couple IPA’s at the summit.

Ever thought about a private helicopter tour? Jeep tour? Rock climbing? Sailing?

Seriously we could get as wild or as calm as you’d like.

Is there a benefit to having an elopement over a small wedding?

The benefit I believe is personal to each couple but here is a general rule of thumb.

-Would you be upset if certain people weren’t there to celebrate with you?

-Do any guests have certain restrictions to activities you’d like to do?

-Do you want any guests to be with you all day or partial day?

-Any small children in tow may need extra hands or a place to call home base.

-Nothing wrong with wanting to do a few “traditions”, do you want a band or dj?

Remember, a small wedding is still a real wedding! The size of your wedding does not make it any less special.

Keep checking back on the blog for more free tips on planning your wedding or elopement! I love sharing!

Want to get in touch? You can reach Jamie through her contact form!

Contact form

If you’re looking for a venue recommendation try a few of these places on Airbnb in the mountains!!

I would love to see THIS one!

OOH! Also check out a few more posts about couples in love!

How to Elope Part 1


we're jamie and mark!

We help quirky and untraditional couples find joy and adventure on their special days by providing passionate and wild photography that captures the big moments of love… and all the little candid ones in between.


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IOWA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER | Iowa Microwedding photographer