One of the main reasons couples choose to elope is so that they can create a more intentional and intimate experience on their wedding day. While traditional wedding’s are catered towards the guests experience, elopements are fully focused around the two of you.
As elopement photographers, we understand there is a lot of unknowns when it comes to how to be more intentional on your elopement day. As you probably haven’t met many people who have chose to get married in this way. Not too worry, that’s where we come in! We’re elopement photographers who specialize in helping couples plan their dream intimate and intentional wedding experience. In this blog post were going to walk you through our top 8 ways you can be more intentional on your elopement day.
Write letters to each other
One of our most favourite things the majority of our couples do on their intimate wedding and elopement days, is writing personal hand written letters to one another. Whether they exchange them while getting ready separately, to read in private before the ceremony. Or they find a quiet moment throughout the day to have a moment alone together and read their letters aloud to one another. Either way you choose to share in this moment, the concept itself makes for the most intentional and special moment on your day. We promise, every couple we’ve had the pleasure of photographing who chooses to add this into their timeline, can all attest to it being their favourite moment of their day.
Make space in your timeline
You might be looking at the list of activities, and moments you plan to partake in on your elopement day and think “this will take 30 minutes”, “this will take 1 hour”, and start adding up the time you’ll spend celebrating. While this is great to consider how long your ceremony will be, how long you want to spend exploring, or doing your favourite activity, or when you’ll plan your meal times. But just as important as all those crucial moments that will make up your day, it’s also equally important to create space on the day.
Adding in an extra 20 minutes, or even an hour, here and there, will allow you go with flow, and be a bit more spontaneous on the day. Imagine you’ve just hiked to your ceremony spot, you’ve changed into your attire, had your ceremony in your special spot. But you’ve only allowed 1 hour at the summit before hiking back down. Instead of feeling rushed to quickly throw on your attire and get through your ceremony, to only quickly head off again.
Imagine if you left an extra hour in your timeline, to truly soak up the summit, enjoy your favourite beverage, rest your feet, snuggle up and take in the moment. You could even add in a special moment like reading your hand written letters to one another, as mentioned above. Instead of settling for a quick 1 hour rushed by experience, you’ve now allowed yourself 2 hours at the summit to relax, enjoy and soak it all in. What a different feeling that type of timeline brings.
So when creating your timeline, make sure you are adding in space to truly be in the moment. This isn’t a rushed by photoshoot, it’s the best experience of your lives, and a celebration of your love. So let’s be more intentional and create the day of your dreams.
Spend the morning of together
Traditionally, you aren’t suppose to be seen by your spouse before the ceremony. But if you haven’t noticed by now, we’re the farthest thing from traditional. And chances are if you’ve found yourself on our website, you probably can relate. We’re big fans on spending time together the morning of your elopement day. It not only helps calm the nerves, knowing you are going into this together. It also allows for some special, intimate moments to unfold.
Some of our favourite ways couples choose to start their elopement day together, could look like hanging out at your accommodation, having a slow morning, making breakfast together. Maybe going for a walk around the property, copying your vows into your vow books separately without the other seeing but together, and then getting ready together. Or it could look totally different, maybe you are spending your morning before your ceremony hiking at sunrise, taking a hot air balloon, or on a scenic helicopter ride. Whatever way feels most special to you, and allows you to have your perfect day – is the most intentional way to spend your morning together.
Getting ready together
While this one goes hand in hand with the point above, we thought it needed it’s own special spot in our list. If you have had a chance to look through our past elopement galleries, you’ll know by now how much we love a getting ready together moment. And for good reason. It makes for the most intentional, beautiful, heartfelt, intimate moments you could possibly have on your elopement day. The moment of being able to see it all come together, and help each other get into your attire is truly something special.
Picture; the biggest smile you’ve ever seen off on your partner’s face as they are tying their shoes, yet watching you put on your jewellery out the corner of their eye. Or helping each other do up your cufflinks, or put on your necklace, or even your jacket. These little moments of assisting each other bring the full look together, make for the most special and intimate moments. As photographers, we might be slightly bias, as these special moments are what we love to capture most.
Share in an activity together
You may have noticed by now, we’ve mentioned a couple times above, we’re big fans of the idea of doing an activity together on your day. Adding an activity into your elopement, is a special way to personalize this experience and create an adventure on your elopement day. This could look like, exploring a national park, and going sight seeing. Or it could be a helicopter ride or taking a hot air balloon up into the sky. It could be hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking.
It truly could be any activity that fit’s in perfectly with the location and scenery you want to immerse yourselves in. Maybe you take a kayak ride to a private island off the coast for a private island picnic experience. Or maybe you do a sunrise hike to your favourite summit to share in your personal vows, before joining your 20 guests for your afternoon ceremony. Or it could be a helicopter ride to a glacier in Iceland to go exploring. Moral of the story, is you by adding an activity into your experience, you’ll be able to create the most intentional and personalized elopement day to you.
For more activity ideas for your elopement experience, check out our blog post to discover 100+ ideas for your elopement day!
Choosing the right location for you
One of the most intentional decisions you should make on your elopement day is choosing your general location for the celebration. You could elope in Tasmania, Italy, the Grand Canyon, Iceland, at a local airbnb by the coast, or maybe a cabin in the wood in your favourite national park. Your location could be near or far, but the most important thing to consider is if it’s somewhere that makes you both feel most alive.
Choosing a location that you feel most comfortable in and most yourselves when immersed in that environment is the most intentional decision you can make. It could be somewhere special to the two of you, and your relationship. Or it could be somewhere you’ve never been before but always wanted to go. Take into consideration the type of landscape you picture yourselves in on the day, and find somewhere that will be meaningful to you, with that scenery.
Choosing a location that is intentional to you will allow for the most genuine and authentic experience on your day. While allowing you to truly relax, and enjoy yourselves in every moment.
For more ideas on how to choose your dream elopement location, check out our blog post here.
Consider the amount of time you’ll spend with your guests
If you are choosing to have an intimate wedding or elopement with under 30 guests, the best way to be more intentional is to consider how much time you will spend with your guests. You might not want to be surrounded by everyone for every part of the day. Maybe your partner and you spend the morning together alone, before the ceremony, doing your favourite things together. Or after the ceremony you take a moment alone to do something special, such as a private first dance or reading your personalized letters to one another. And then come back together with guests to celebrate.
If having intimate moments just the two of you is important to you, make sure you intentionally add them into your timeline, to ensure you aren’t just spending your full day with guests. After all, probably one of the main reasons you’ve chosen to have a small wedding, is to have more time being present with each other.
Be open and trust your photographer
We may be bias, but as we are elopement photographers who specialize in helping couples bring their vision to life. But when you hire your photographer, you are hiring an expert in the field you are hiring them for. In our case, this pertains to elopements. By being open, and trusting of your photographers skills, knowledge and expertise, this will allow you to have the most intentional experience on your elopement day.
Your photographer is there to guide you, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll look in photos, what you need to do next, or whats next on the timeline. Your photography and/or videography team is there to support you, guide you, and show you the way. So put all your trust in your team, go with the flow, and allow them to support you and guide you every step of the way. Not only through the photo sessions but also throughout the entire experience. This will take any stress, anxieties or expectations away from yourselves. While allowing you to be more intentional and present in every moment.
There you have it! Our top 8 ways to be more intentional on your elopement day. If you loved the ideas you discovered in this post, you’ll want to check out our further elopement planning resources, here. And if you are ready to start creating a vision, and looking for a team to document and guide you through this whole journey, get in touch! We would love to show you the way to your intentional elopement experience!