The growth of the adventure wedding/elopement has secured it’s place in the wedding industry. Couples have been choosing to take what could have been a simple outdoorsy trip and turning it into an amazing declaration of love and marriage – atop mountains, on lakes, in the hot, cold, anywhere that truly feeds the adventurous spirit.
An adventure elopement by definition is simple: it’s finding an outdoor area with a sense of awe and wonder, and using that space to get married. Lakes, rivers, mountains, cliffs; there are so many options and locations for where you can plan an adventure elopement.
Here are a few reasons couples love adventure elopements:
1. Planning together
Because this is something as couple that you’re totally in to, the appeal to choosing a location is huge for both parties involved. You get to dream up a location, travel there together, really spend the whole experience together, rather than only seeing each other for a few hours on your wedding day.
2. Gorgeous photographs – smaller price tag
What photographs are you wanting to hang on your wall? Probably not a photograph of a cake or a dress hanging on a door somewhere. Photographs of the two of you are usually the most cherished part of the day, so skip the rest and have a BBQ reception at home. Going all out on the portraits/ceremony in a kick-ass location is going to be a story to remember, without having to pay for details that only provide real satisfaction to your guests (see ya later, favor koozies!).
3. No staring eyes or awkward exchanges
Did you know that sometimes have 400 eyes on you at once can feel really intimidating or scary? Adventure elopements provide you exactly the opposite: likely nobody watching you but an officiant or photographer. You have so much space to roam and be yourselves without having to accommodate hugs and thank yous from people you haven’t seen in years.
An adventure wedding/elopement is right for you if:
1. The thought of planning a wedding seems exhausting
If you’ve started to think about caterers and venues and florists and all you can think is OMG NO over and over in your head, maybe it’s time to reconsider. While planning for travel can be stressful too, there’s far less coordinating with lots of other people to pull off the gorgeousness of your dreams. Plus if things go wrong, or the timeline runs off track, nobody is getting stressed out.
2. You think traditional weddings are a little . . . boring
Does the thought of using your town’s go-to ballroom venue make you cringe a little? Are you wanting more than just a dry chicken dinner because you had to cater through them? Do you have nightmares at night about chair bows and having to thank your great uncle’s roommate’s cousin for coming? Ditch it. If you find a little bit of misery in the idea of a traditional wedding, adjust your plans to reflect your values and the type of experience you want to have for your wedding.
3. You want an incredible story to tell
While a lot of weddings have incredible stories, not everybody can work an incredible, magical something-or-other into their event. By having an adventurous experience, you get to build your own story with it’s own amazing plot that means you’ll always crush the “where’d you get married?” conversation.
Adventures can be big or small. It could be a half mile hike to a waterfall in your town’s state park, it could be a 5 mile hike at Glacier National. Adventure is all about feeding your craving for an unusual or an exciting experience, and there’s many variations in between of that.
Are you considering an adventure elopement? Looking for inspiration? Check out past elopements, and drop your favorite below!
Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN.
I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.
This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.
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