For a long time now, in our capacity as adventure photographers photographing elopement in New Zealand and around the world, we have been gushing to love birds from all over the globe about the joys an elopement can offer.
But choosing to elope can be difficult – how do you decide?! As photographers who have had the absolute joy of capturing countless elopement, we’ve got a few thoughts that might bring some clarity.
There is just a magical element to waking up one morning, donning your favourite outfit, holding the hand of the one you love and heading out on an adventure together. One that culminates in saying two sweet little words to your best friend in a place worthy of lifelong memories, “I do”.
On the day, there are so many emotions; Giddy excitement, a constant need to smile and an urge to celebrate love and life. Ask any elopement photographer and they will tell you that list is just scratching the surface of what they feel behind the lens.
As the eloping couple, you will be feeling all these things and more tenfold! This is because you get to do your day, your way, no pleasing anyone but yourself. You get to celebrate your day in your style and in your own time. And you get to do it with the most spectacular backdrop to serenade your love story.
Here at Tinted Photography, we even take it a step further…
Our couples don’t need to plan their elopement past what to say in their vows and the date they would like. They can book one day or up to five days with us, and we lead them through a surprise itinerary anywhere in the world, customised to their specific love story and desires.
“But this is the real world,” you say. “Where it seems everyone in our extended family, and then some have a vested interest in how we make an honest couple of each other”. It’s not always easy to do things the way you’d like and keeping everyone happy. So how do you decide if you are the elopement kind of lovers? How do you decide to forgo family traditions and forge new personal ones? How do you conclude that it means more to you to celebrate your love in a way that showcases your
‘one of a kind’ vibe as a couple?
Below are five tips that we have picked up in almost a decade as wedding and elopement photographers to help you decide if eloping is the right decision for you. They will help bring you closer to a decision you will be over the moon about, cause who wants to regret
their wedding day?
So is eloping right for you?
What it means to elope has changed so much so how you envision your big could be worth a rethink too! The best advice we can offer when planning your wedding is to listen to your heart. Reasoning this out, listening to family and following tradition is straight-up, leading you down the safe and narrow path. It’s your heart that really knows how you want to celebrate your love and if church pews, fondant icing and Uncle Bob’s moonwalk impression don’t get your temperature rising, be sure to listen to it!
The best way to do this is to sit someplace quiet and imagine just how you would like to feel on your wedding day. It could be that you always thought you’d have a grand fairytale wedding but now is the time, in your place of quiet reflection, to revisit this assumption and to be honest with your self. Are you craving a tradition aisle, all eyes on you and as many traditions as you can cram into a day? Or do you like the sound of an adventure?
Flying someplace new in the world, celebrating with just those who really matter to you and sampling the local cuisine and culture. All the while hunting down a backdrop for your vows that’s genuinely worthy of your love? Do you envision yourself planning everything from flowers to napkin rings, or would you rather spend that time basking in the glow of your engagement and planning a once in a lifetime trip?
Of course, we may be a little biased here. But, but as a couple who have planned and experienced both their big wedding day blow out and an elopement/vow renewal just a few months later to recover from it, we present these scenarios to you live from real-life experience, and we know without hesitation exactly which day we wish we could relive over and over again <3
BUDGET-FRIENDLY, ADVENTURE UNLIMITED
If you want to spend money – you can spend money on your elopement, no doubt. But really, there is less to spend on when you opt for an elopement. All you need on the day is the two of you and a couple of rings. Any money you spend over and above this is on the things that will genuinely make you happy and make your day special for the two of you.
Big-ticket items could be a helicopter ride (landing on a remote wild mountainside), a change of outfits, glamping out under the stars or getting those first-class tickets. Other than that all you need is your photographers, videographer and a celebrant. Luckily we create video and photos for elopements, and we love being legal witnesses for our couples, so we’ve got you sorted. We can also organise florists, hair and makeup artists for you if you so desire, on top of creating a customised adventure itinerary for your day.
As the saying goes, you can’t make everyone happy all of the time, and unlike many an old saying, this one happens to ring true. But we don’t want you to miss out on your dream elopement because you’re feeling pressured to tie the knot in front of a crowd, so we have some advice for you.
When it comes to breaking your elopement news to the families, we’ve found that it’s best to let them know early and be honest with them. Just be sure that you have made up your mind together beforehand and lean on each other for support. It can be challenging, but if your family are persistent, then we recommend organising an ‘elopement reception’ for when you get back.
A laid back get together in the backyard, put up some decorations, fire up the BBQ, invite them all around, tell stories and do a screening of your photos and video for them all. You can even let your family put it all together for you, but only if they volunteer! You can have it as formal or as laid back as you’d like but could include speeches, cake cutting, the first dance, and all that jazz if it will mean you can head off overseas without the fear that you’re letting somebody down.
VISUALISE WRITING YOUR BIOGRAPHY
This is an excellent tip for almost any big decision you to face in life, so it works great in this scenario! Grab your partner, sit them down in your quiet spot from tip one and do this exercise together. Pretend that you’ve had a long and happy life and that you’re now retired.
You’re just sitting down at the ol’ electric typewriter (or more likely connecting your brain chip to the cloud) to chronicle your adventures for all your adoring fans, (or all your adoring grandkids) in your autobiography. Discuss with your partner what it is you would like to write down about your wedding day.
Be honest with each other and with your self – now is the time to hash this out. What would you feel when you come to title the page… “Our Traditional Wedding Day” or “Our Epic Elopement Extravaganza.”
SHOULD YOU MAKE IT OFFICIAL
Did you know there is more than one way to elope? Depending on your location, budget, timing and feels, you may or may not want a celebrant with you on the day. To make your elopement official in the eyes of the law, you need to sign your marriage licence (which often requires a location to be chosen ahead of time), say your vows and it must be ‘witnessed’ by two people other than you or your celebrant.
All told, it is pretty straight forward. Still, if you are heading someplace where you can’t find a celebrant who speaks your language (literally or metaphorically), or you won’t have room for them in the helicopter you booked, then there is another way.
We have photographed many elopements where our couple decided to do their ‘paperwork’ at a courthouse. You could do this in your home town before you fly out, meaning you could have some close family there with you. (Just one more way to appease those traditionalists). Or you could do it the day before or even the morning of your adventure together.
That way you can travel light on your day, and if we find a spot you think is perfect then you can whip out those rings and those vows and confess your undying love right there, in the crisp evening air surrounded by the sounds of nature and the kind of views that heal the soul!
As elopement photographers, we have travelled around the world photographing love stories. We have learned so much for the lives and the joy our couples have shared with us. We learn from them and work on making every adventure elopement we plan for our couples sweeter, more fun and, of course, full of love.
Want to adventure with us? Let’s get planning!