Hey friends!

My name is Lukas, a destination wedding and elopement photographer.

If you're reading this, chances are you're considering eloping for your big day. First of all, let me just say congrats on your engagement! This is such a special time in your life and no matter how you choose to celebrate, it's going to be an amazing experience.

I created this guide to give you as much information as you need to plan the perfect elopement with all my experience as an Elopement photographer. So feel free to scroll through it and jump to my portfolio afterward to check out my work in case you need someone to capture the magic of your Elopement Wedding!

A groom is holding his bride and he is walking in meadow in Scotland.

Eloping - The definition and special meaning of elopement

For some couples, eloping represents a chance to escape the crowds and the stress of a traditional wedding. Instead, it's a way to keep the focus on what really matters: the love and commitment between the two of you.

For others, eloping is a way to celebrate their passion uniquely and memorably, whether exchanging vows while skydiving or having a private dinner under the stars.

Whatever your reason for eloping, it's important to remember that it's about creating a wedding day that feels right for you and your partner. It's a chance to celebrate your love on your own terms, without the distractions of a large wedding.

At its core, eloping means choosing to celebrate your love and commitment in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. It's about creating a wedding day that reflects your personalities and interests as a couple rather than following traditional expectations.

Eloping can take many forms, from a simple courthouse wedding to a more elaborate affair with a small group of loved ones in your chosen destination.

It can be a solo adventure in a beautiful natural setting or a destination elopement in a tropical location or European castle. The common thread is that eloping is intimate and focused on the couple rather than a significant event with hundreds of guests.

An elopement couple shortly after their first look in Italy

Busting some common elopement myths & Misconceptions

Eloping gets a bad rap sometimes, but it's totally not deserved. People might think that eloping means you're running away or not fully committing to your partner, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Eloping is a super intentional and meaningful way to celebrate your love and commitment. It's all about stripping away all the distractions and stress of a traditional wedding and focusing on what really matters: your love for each other.

Another myth about eloping is that you have to do it completely alone, with no friends or family around. While it's totally an option to have a solo adventure, eloping doesn't have to mean completely isolating yourselves. A lot of couples invite a few close friends and family members to join in on the ceremony, or have a small reception afterwards to celebrate with everyone. Eloping is all about finding a way to celebrate your love and commitment in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to you, and that might involve involving loved ones in your ceremony.

So if you're considering eloping but are worried about these misconceptions, don't sweat it. Eloping is a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate your love, and there are so many different options to make it a personal and special occasion.

Eloping your way: Different options to consider

Eloping with a few close loved ones

elopements abroad: Tropical beach or Icelandic waterfall

Intimate ceremonies with a few close friends and family: If you want to keep things small and intimate, consider having a ceremony with just a few close friends and family present. This allows you to have a meaningful and personal celebration without the stress and distractions of a traditional wedding. Plus, you won't have to worry about pleasing a ton of people or trying to make a big wedding happen. Just keep it simple and focus on what matters most: your love for each other.

If you've always dreamed of getting married in a far-off, exotic location, consider having a destination elopement. This could be on a tropical beach in Bali or Santorini, or in a European castle. Destination elopements can be a bit more involved to plan, but they can also be super rewarding and memorable. Just make sure you're prepared for the logistics of a destination wedding (e.g. flights, accommodations.

Eloping on an adventure that reflects your shared interests

Eloping in the great outdoors: Solo style

If you're the type of couple who loves an adventure and wants to go all out with the elopement experience, consider having a solo elopement in a beautiful natural setting. This could be in a national park, on a remote mountain top, or on a secluded beach. The options are endless! Just make sure you're prepared for the logistics of a solo adventure (e.g. transportation, accommodations, permits, etc.).

If you and your partner have a shared love for a particular activity or location, consider having an adventure elopement. This could be anything from hiking in the mountains to skydiving to rock climbing. The options are truly endless! Adventure elopements can be a bit more involved to plan, but they can also be super rewarding and memorable if they reflect your shared interests and passions. Just make sure you're prepared for the logistics of an adventure elopement (e.g. transportation, accommodations, permits, etc.).

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Ideas on how to make an elopement special

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Incorporate your hobbies and interests

consider a honeymoon adventure

Personalize your ceremony

Choose a unique location

Your elopement is a chance to celebrate your love in a way that reflects your interests and personality. Consider incorporating your hobbies and interests into your planning, whether hiking to a remote mountain top, rock climbing, or even skydiving.

Consider turning your big day into a honeymoon adventure by adding a few days of travel and exploring a new destination. This is a great way to celebrate your love and commitment to each other uniquely and memorably

A ceremony is a chance to celebrate your love in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. Consider incorporating elements personal to you as a couple, such as readings, music, or vows that you have written yourselves.

Eloping allows you to celebrate your love in many places, from stunning national parks to charming small towns. Consider choosing a location with special meaning to you as a couple, or opt for a location that is out-of-the-ordinary and reflects your interests and personalities.

While eloping is a more intimate and low-key way to celebrate your love and commitment, making your marriage legally binding is still essential. Depending on where you are eloping, there may be specific requirements for having your marriage recognized. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to officiants and witnesses to obtain a marriage certificate.

Choose an officiant: If you're eloping in a location requiring an officiant to perform your ceremony, it's essential to choose someone legally authorized to do so. This could be a religious leader, a judge, or a licensed wedding officiant. It's a good idea to research the specific requirements in your location and hire an officiant who can meet them.

Have witnesses present: Many locations require witnesses that are present at your ceremony for your marriage to be legally binding. Consider choosing a few close friends or family members to serve as witnesses. If you are eloping on your own, your photographer and/or videographer will also do the job!

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your elopement is legally recognized and that you follow all local marriage laws

The Price of love: How much does an elopement cost?

The Right Location

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The cost can vary significantly depending on where you choose to celebrate. Destination elopements in tropical areas or European castles may cost more due to travel expenses while eloping in a local, national park, or small town may be more budget-friendly to keep the wedding cost low.

a wedding couple walking through a cactus field after their Mexico elopement

The perfect timing

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The cost may also be affected by the time of year you choose to celebrate. Eloping during peak tourist season or on a holiday weekend may result in higher costs for travel and accommodations.

The number of guests. IF any!

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The cost of an elopement may increase if you invite a more significant number of guests. Consider whether you want to keep your celebration intimate and ask a few close friends and family or if you want to invite a larger group.

Add-Ons

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"Choosing Lukas to spend our wedding day with us was one of the best decisions we made throughout this entire process. I cannot recommend him enough."

There are a number of additional expenses to consider when planning an elopement, including the cost of an elopement planner, an officiant, a wedding dress or suit, and any other services or amenities you may want to include.

Answering some of the most asked questions

Is eloping selfish?

Why do people elope?

Eloping is not inherently selfish. While it's natural to want to include your loved ones in your celebration, eloping is ultimately about celebrating your love and commitment in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to you as a couple. If you choose to elope, it's important to be understanding of those who may be disappointed that they are not able to attend and to consider ways to include them in your celebration if possible.

People elope for a variety of reasons. Some may want to avoid the stress and expense of a traditional wedding. In contrast, others may want to celebrate their love more intimately and personally. Others may elope because of the freedom and flexibility it offers or because they want to have a destination wedding without the hassle of coordinating a large event.

Do elopements last longer?

When to send elopement announcements?

There is no set length for an elopement, as it will depend on the specific plans and preferences of the couple. Some elopements may be shorter and more intimate, while others may involve multiple days of celebration. Ultimately, the length of an elopement will depend on what feels right for the couple and what they envision for their special day.

There is no hard-and-fast rule for when to send elopement announcements, as it will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. Some couples may send announcements immediately after their elopement, while others may wait until they return from their destination. It's a good idea to consider the feelings of your loved ones and to be mindful of any expectations they may have when it comes to announcements.

A couple standing close to each other during their elopement at sunset and nearly kissing

The best places to elope in the US and the world!

In this section, I will highlight some of the best places to elope in the US and the world, so you can find the perfect location for your special day.

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Are you ready to elope and want someone to capture the day?

MY ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES

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Full Day

Half Day

Two Days

8 hours of full coverage. from getting ready to ceremony and a long couple shoot afterward with different locations. enough time to capture something unique.

This will give us 4 hours to capture the magic of your mini elopement. This packages will include the ceremony and a couple shoot afterward.

for the ultimate adventurers. we will shoot from sunrise to sunset across two days. This will give me the best way to capture everything and much much more.

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