What do we mean when we say “authentic elopement photos”? Essentially we mean, images that capture your greatest moments and in turn look and feel like who you two are. They will transcend you straight back to the moments you long to relive.
Your elopement day isn’t a photoshoot. It’s your wedding day. With a little extra adventure, a dash of ditching the rules, and doing things you way and of course, all the intimacy and laid back vibes you could imagine. But needless to say, it’s still very much your wedding day!
Furthermore, it’s actually going to be one of the best days of your lives! Which is why we, as elopement photographers, want to document you truly enjoying your best day! Living in the moment, embracing any new horizons, and soaking up this time together.
So whats our best secret to achieving authentic elopement photos?…
Create an experience
Unlike weddings, where you are creating an event, filled with traditions and age old timelines. When planning an elopement, you’re going to be planning an experience. You may choose to scatter a few traditions here and there, but for the most part, the structure of your day isn’t around an event, yet rather an experience. And when it’s not focused around an event, it can easily be misinterpreted as being focused around the “photos”.
But if you want authentic elopement photos, we will not be focusing your day on being a photoshoot. Rather, we will be focusing on documenting your greatest experience yet.
4 main things to focus on when planning your authentic elopement experience
- Inject your timeline with how you two love to spend time together
- Fill your day with moments that are meaningful and significant to who you two truthfully are
- Include activities that you both love or opt for new experiences that you’ve always longed to explore
- Allow time to just soak it all up, be present, slow down, and enjoy these moments together
How do you love spending time together?
While your elopement day, is certainly an extra special day, it should very much still be a day where the two of you truly embrace all that you are. You should feel comfortable, in your element and thriving throughout the full experience. Wedding days can be filled with uncomfortable traditions, and expectations that stress you out. While elopements take all of that away, and allow you to focus on the two of you and what you love.
This naturally comes down to including ways that you love spending time together into your elopement experience. Which will further add to goal of achieving authentic elopement photos.
This could look like:
- Making your favourite breakfast together at your accommodation
- Bringing your partner their cup of coffee to bed like you do every morning
- Going for a hike in a National Park because you both love hiking
- Visiting the beach you first discovered together on your 3rd date and watch the sunset there like you did that day
- Get ready at your home, the place you curated together and share the best days of your life
- Spend your morning snorkelling in the bay which is your favourite activity to do on holidays
- Having a picnic on the beach, like you do every second Sunday evening
Or truly any other way you love spending time together, you can absolutely add that into your timeline.
How to add meaning into your elopement experience
Whilst including your favourite ways you love to spend time together is without a doubt very meaningful! You can also add meaning and significance into your elopement experience in some other amazing ways too!
This could look like:
- Including your pets in the celebration
- Driving around in your old vintage car that you both adore
- Wearing something special from a loved one or something you gifted each other
- Inviting along your best friends or closest family members so you can feel their love and support on your day
- Reading personal vows in private to one another
- Reading letter from loved ones who are not present
Although we’ve definitely touched on some meaningful activities thus far in ways you love to spend time together. The activities you choose to include in your elopement day, don’t necessarily always have to be something you do frequently. Or perhaps, you may have never even done them before!
Your elopement day is a day filled with unlimited possibilities, which most certainly means you can include all the activities you love and are meaningful to you. But it also means, you can embrace the new horizons and try something you’ve always wanted to try!
This could look like:
- Taking a scenic helicopter ride through the mountains and landing in a secluded destination because you’ve always wanted too
- Having your ceremony in a hot air balloon at sunrise because it just sounds really cool
- Spending your morning taking surfing lessons together because you choose to have a destination wedding in Australia and want to embrace the culture during this experience
Or anything else you can picture yourselves loving to do!
Make time to soak it all in
You might be thinking that your day needs to be jam packed into a short timeline because it’s an elopement. But elopements can and should last the full day, just like a traditional wedding day would! From getting ready, and your ceremony to enjoying your favourite activities, and injecting your timeline with all the things that are most meaningful to you. You’ll also want to leave space to enjoy the day and move between the scenes.
This doesn’t mean quickly hopping in the car and going straight to the next location. Yet rather allowing an extra 30 minutes within each experience on your timeline to truly just enjoy it, be present and not feel rushed. Our favourite elopement photos come from the quiet moments when the couple is completely present with each other. These times allow the most intimate and candid moments to unfold, further allowing you to achieve authentic elopement photos.
This could look like:
- Leaving an hour for your ceremony, even though the ceremony itself will only take 30 minutes, because you deserve the space to soak it all in, have a celebratory toast, hug your loved ones (if present), love on each other and truly let all the feelings flow!
- Hanging out in hammocks in the forest and reading letters your closest love ones wrote for you to open on this day, and spending an hour here because it means something special to you
- Having your celebratory meal at sunset on the beach, so you can just chill and watch the sunset together while enjoying your favourite meal with nowhere else in the world you’d rather be
Slow down, take it all in, before you know it, the day will be over and you’ll be longing to relive it all over again. Don’t rush your best day. Find ways to add to each moment and further create an authentic experience.
An example of an authentic elopement experience
In spite of all of the inspiring elopement ideas we’ve included in this blog post thus far. You may still be wondering, what does this look like when it all comes together on an elopement day? We’ve put together an example elopement experience timeline to show you just how easy it is to create an authentic experience, which in turn will create authentic photographs!
- Booking a cosy cottage accommodation in your favourite National Park and enjoying a slow morning together, making coffee and pancakes in the kitchen
- Helping each other into your wedding attire and sharing in the moment of seeing it all come together for the first time
- Taking a still moment before the adventures, copying your vows into your keepsake vow books, and feeling all the emotions of the day begin
- Grabbing your gear and hopping into the car to head out into your favourite National Park for the afternoon
- Hiking to your ceremony location on the mountain top you’ve always wanted to summit together
- Sharing in a heartfelt ceremony in a location that means so much to you, followed by a celebratory mini cake and a bottle of champagne
- Continuing on your hike, taking in the scenic views, and stopping at a nearby alpine lake where you set up a picnic dinner and watch the sunset over the mountains
- You cuddle up, with blankets you brought along with you and take it all in. Before putting on your head torches and heading back down the mountains
- When you arrive back at your accommodation, you pour yourselves a glass of wine and spend the rest of your evening relaxing in the spa beneath the stars
As you can see, not one part of this day was about “photos” but rather documenting the authentic experience the couple created. At no part in this day, did the photographer ever have to “curate a scene” or “unnaturally pose” the couple to make it look like they are doing something. They simply created an experience to be lived out, one that was meaningful and full of love. And in turn the photographer documented their greatest memories.
The real secret behind creating authentic elopement photos, is not only creating an experience, but also trusting that your photographer will create art from your real moments. This is why we specialise in documentary style elopement photography. So that your photos feel like you.
If this sounds like your dream elopement experience, we would love to document your real love story, and show you the way to your most authentic experience. We not only photograph elopement experiences, we guide you every step of the way to planning your dream elopement. So that your photographs will look and feel like you, and you’ll have the greatest adventure of your lives!
Let’s create images that mean something to you, and tell your real love story.
Get in touch today to start planning your greatest adventure yet!