To Elope, Go Micro, Or Throw a Surprise

My answer: Do what YOU want :)

Did you know that planning a wedding takes an average of 250-300 hours? It is a full-time job, and unless you LOVE having zero free time, you don’t need another one of those. Everything piles up: choosing a location, a theme, and the perfect wedding attire, hiring all of your vendors, inviting all the people you know on the planet…making sure every has a good time, right? Oh, and the legal paperwork. Elopement photographer here…scrap the huge wedding plans and do something intimate, elope, or surprise your closest people with a tiny ceremony.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve photographed a bride on her wedding day, or been in the middle of a bridal session and hearing things like “I wish we had eloped,” or “I really wanted to have a fun Memphis elopement, and then head to the bar for drinks…” So…why not do what you want to do in the first place? Let me tell you something – everyone will want to be a part of your wonderful day and will want to give you advice on planning. Opinions will be flying all over the freaking room. Hear this: 

If they aren’t climbing into bed with you at the end of the day, they don’t get an opinion.

If you are planning a micro wedding or an elopement, there are still ways to include your family. No one has to get hurt. Here are a few suggestions for making your family feel special and included while sticking to your guns:

Neely + Ryan’s Surprise Micro Wedding | Memphis, TN

You don’t have to leave your important people behind

Eloping these days is not reserved for exchanging your “I do’s” with just the two of you and the officiant in a spot where no one can reach you (although honestly that sounds amazing). You can invite your family members solely for the unique “I do” moment, followed by an extended family and friends celebration, aka micro wedding. Or, go all OUT and invite everyone! But leave the ceremony to you and your partner.

My personal experience: eloping with close relatives and friends by a waterfall is a brilliant idea (yes, I did it) since no one else in attendance will be able to hear the vows you exchange under the roar of the water. This is still sort of private, and my husband and I have zero regrets (except, my own father in law still isn’t sure we are married, because he couldn’t hear us :)) Iconic wedding photo here.

Eloping means adventure and intimacy

Your wedding day should be all about you, not about your families, friends, or guests… BUT, you can work it to have both – the day before your wedding, arrange an elopement with your photographer, and reserve an hour at the courthouse just the two of you. Again, this might not be for you and that’s okay! But you can preserve the intimacy and sacredness of getting married, while still meeting everyone else’s desire to be included in the reception the next day. 

Tennessee Micro Wedding Photographer
Tennessee Micro Wedding Photographer
Nicole + Andrew’s Micro Wedding | The River Inn

You CAN have an intimate moment BEFORE your wedding 

I’ve seen it way too many times – weddings can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Why not take time to be alone with your partner before the day itself? It goes against the grain of the whole you-can’t-see-each-other concept, but who cares? Elopements take so much pressure away when you can relax and enjoy together, grab a coffee and snack, or whatever you desire before having a full wedding celebration. My hubs and I got a coffee the morning of our elopement and it eased so much anxiety. It was such a great reminder that he is my person and I am his. 

If you’ve been teetering on the edge of eloping, or scaling down to a micro wedding, and you just needed someone to give you a little push…then you are in the right place! If you’re looking for someone to cheer you on as you go against the grain, while documenting all your shenanigans, shoot me an email, and let’s chat! You can find me right here on my website. Let’s do this :)

Your non-traditional elopement + micro wedding photog,

-Laramie