WEDDING ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY
WHY SHOULD I BOOK AN ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY SHOOT?
Anyone browsing wedding elopement packages is likely doing so because of a powerful reason and not just out of the blue. Maybe it’s because…
- You want to keep our romantic affairs private.
- It’s financially viable for you.
- You wish to tie the knot quickly before your baby is born.
- Running away with the one you loved was your childhood fantasy.
- You want to keep out of any family politics.
- The traditional wedding ceremony just doesn’t do it for you.
Whatever your reason, it’s that what gives an elopement such a strong sense of meaning, which is somewhat different to that found at a traditional wedding. A meaning that if captured through a photograph can be preserved for generations to come.
WHAT HAPPENS ON AN ELOPEMENT PHOTOSHOOT?
An elopement photography session is unique. Think of it more as a styled wedding shoot that’s done in the moment you’re being married. Where exactly you’ll be tying the knot is entirely up to you.
As an elopement photographer, my job is to be alongside you as the day unfolds. And that goes for whether you choose to be warm and cosy inside or brave the elements and hike to the top of a mountain.
During the day you should expect to achieve a real mix of images from posed portraits to more natural candid shots. I’ll even take some spontaneous shots when you’re least expecting it, so you get a real feel for the day through your images.
*If you can’t decide whether to have an indoor or outdoor shoot, consider this. Eloping itself is a very adventurous thing to do, so it’s likely that an outdoor shoot would fit best with your personality. Plus, there’s often a larger range of angles that we can achieve.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION?
While elopement is no wedding, it still requires a good amount of preparation, which I’d advise you get stuck into before talking to an elopement photographer (i.e. me). The shoot itself will be hinged around your chosen location or venue, so it’s crucial I know where that will be; different surroundings mean I need to pack different equipment.
Booking at least 12 weeks in advance is my usual advice, especially if you’re after me at a certain date or time. But that’s not to say that last minute bookings are impossible – in some cases they can fit in rather well. Only I wouldn’t rely on this being the case as I don’t like to disappoint.
WEDDING ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
What is an elopement?
An elopement is when a couple travel somewhere to get married. Usually this is alone and sometimes without even telling their family. Call it a more spontaneous way to tie the knot.
Do you still get gifts if you elope?
You should do, yes. Although this could depend on how your loved ones feel about your elopement. If for whatever reason it’s made their stomach curdle then it could be possible that you receive not much in this department. However, most parents should be understanding enough to cast any feelings of theirs aside and simply be happy, that you’re happy.
FYI: The majority of couples who elope today receive money as a gift.
Do your require a witness to elope?
Yes. To elope you require at least 2 witnesses otherwise you cannot legally get married. Just think of it as a COVID wedding. A small gathering of people coming together to celebrate a really special occasion.
Where is the best place to elope?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this. However if it were me I’d opt for somewhere rural. Maybe somewhere in the Lake District, or Scotland perhaps.
*I know what you’re thinking – “Scotland?”. But if you want to elope it’s important that you don’t dismiss Scotland straight away. Scotland is the only place in the UK where you can get married practically anywhere. You could lawfully get married in a lay-by, on top of a hill or in the middle of a city if you wished. Whereas in the rest of the UK you’ve got to attend a licensed wedding venue to lawfully tie the knot.
How do you elope without an upset family?
Eloping doesn’t have to come with an upset family – that’s just the stereotype. Read on and discover 3 ways to ease any family politics below…
Talk it out – Hands down the best way to keep your family smiling is to fill them in on your intentions. While for some of us this may be harder to do than others, it does take the surprise somewhat out of the equation. But in the case you don’t want to inform anyone, at least drop some subtle hints. Maybe watch a film about elopement with your family or casually steer the conversation around to elopement, so in hindsight they look back and think, ‘Hang on, how did I not see this coming?!’
Group Planning – If you’ve informed your family of your elopement, let them have a say in the planning process. Do so and they should feel more included and hopefully more of a connection to your finished images.
Post-martial parties – If you’d rather keep your romantic business to yourself then throwing a post elopement party isn’t a bad idea. That way everyone should feel included and like they’ve shared this special moment in your life with you. heck, you could even slip back into your wedding outfit to make the party just feel like a reception.
*Use me for your elopement photography and I’ll cover a follow up party like this at a discounted rate.
Is eloping selfish?
Of course I can’t give you a definitive answer because everyone’s situation is different. But, in my experience I wouldn’t say eloping was selfish, as the majority are fuelled by the strong love and passion shared between two people. Neither have I come across a single elopement couple who I would deem to be selfish people.
If you ask me the whole ‘selfish’ stigma surrounding elopement is purely how people react to it. You may get called selfish if you elope, but that doesn’t mean that you are. Besides, people are always going to have an issue with those who choose to go against the crowd, so to be honest, I do laugh at this ‘selfish’ debate. If elopement works for you, then that’s all that matters.
*If you choose to have a post-marital ceremony to give people a slice of the action then elopement photography can work really well for your invitations!
We don’t exactly want to elope locally. How far will an elopement photographer like you travel?
There’s no need to worry. With me you can be more or less as adventurous as you wish. I’m a very keen explorer so to be honest if you wanted to elope to the arctic circle I probably wouldn’t object. Agree to take me long distance and I’ll can create a bespoke package specially for you that includes my travel and accommodation costs. That way budgeting is whole lot easier.
My elopement checklist… WARNING: it’s not brief
Even though an elopement isn’t a full scale wedding, there’s still SO much to consider. You can’t afford to underestimate the amount of planning that goes into an elopement. Heck, sometimes it can be as much, if not more than a wedding itself. But hopefully this won’t happen to you, as you’ve been sensible and read this question before phoning me up to talk photography. So here it is, my elopement checklist…
Location – Look, I know it’s top secret but you’re going to have to let me in on this one. For starters, is it abroad or in the UK? I’ll also need to know thee name of the venue so I can scope it out online. Being your photographer I carry a lot of equipment, much of which will change depending on the environment. It’ll also change how I shoot and give me a chance to assess lighting conditions. So if you haven’t got a venue sorted, please do have some in mind.
FYI: Scotland is currently the only place in the UK where you can elope and get married anywhere you wish. Go elsewhere in the UK and you’ll need a licensed wedding venue to lawfully tie the knot. But, that’s not a problem if you follow up your elopement with a legal service.
Budget – Just like weddings, when you elope cost is a BIG thing. In fact cost is one of the main reasons people elope; the average wedding in the UK costs £16k! Then again, if you fail to keep tabs on your budget it could defeat the point of an elopement altogether.
The easiest way to budget an elopement is to go old school and make a list of all the service you require.
A hair and makeup artist? The florist? A videographer? The cake-maker? Your photographer – me, perhaps?
*Don’t forget your travel costs and accommodation costs too.
Witnesses – No, eloping isn’t a crime, you just need at least two witnesses at the ceremony if you’re after a legal marriage. If you’re going for minimal guests I’d say each choosing one friend or relative is the fairest option. We don’t want any squabbles!
Elopement Attire – What you wear to an elopement is pretty similar to what you’d wear to a wedding. The only real difference would be your dress, which may need to be slightly shorter dress if you opt to go rural. Unlike a wedding, you can also bring with your a few changes of clothing if you’re also after some more causal images. Plus, hiking in a wedding dress isn’t ideal!
Write your vows – Just because eloping isn’t ‘technically’ a wedding, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write your vows. Yes, you may be able to make them slightly more humorous because your Grandma Jo and Great Uncle Stephen aren’t listening in, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them altogether. If you ask me, your vows are one of ‘the’ most important parts of the entire process of getting married, be they delivered at a traditional wedding ceremony or while you’re eloping.
Weather – While the weather is something to watch, it’s worth not pinning too much hope on zero cloud coverage. We live in the UK after all. This may be one of the reasons why you choose to elope abroad. Saying that though, cloud coverage can add some real drama to your photography and even rain isn’t all bad news. Worst case scenario we catch you both dripping wet, passionately kissing just like Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling on the cover of The Notebook.
A follow up ceremony – Not everyone who elopes doesn’t want a ceremony. To some elopement is just a way to keep their romantic affairs private. If this is you, let me know in advance so I can edit your images in time for the occasion. You can then have a slideshow of all your memories to show off to your friends and relatives.
*If you’d require me to cover this event too, then I may be able to help you with your budgeting and gives you a bespoke package.