groom placing the ring on the bride's finger


Sometime, eloping is the right fit. As a wedding photographer, I’ve been seeing an increase in couples deciding to elope now and have a celebration later. There are many benefits to eloping and I can definitely see the appeal. In this post, I’ll share some things to consider when deciding to elope.

Is Eloping a Real Marriage

The short answer is, yes! An elopement is simply getting married without the big wedding. Some couples just want things to be simple, quick and easy, so eloping is the right choice. Others may elope because of the high cost of weddings. Still others may choose to elope because of difficult family dynamics.

Whatever the reason, you can rest assured that a proper elopement is just as real as a marriage that begins with a traditional wedding.

Elopement Packages

Many wedding vendors will offer an elopement package that is considerably less expensive than a traditional wedding. As you can imagine, you won’t need as many vendors for an elopement. However, you should still have a few. Below is a list of recommended vendors for an elopement.

  • Photographer
  • Florist
  • Officiant


Elopements offer the most flexibility of all. Most people think of Las Vegas when they think of eloping, but there are so many options. Many wedding venues will offer a discounted weekday rate for elopements. This is a great option if you want to get married in the location of your dreams without the expense of a full wedding.

Courthouses are another common location, but can vary greatly in appearance. The Santa Barbara Courthouse is one of the most amazing courthouses to elope at. The San Francisco Courthouse is another incredible location.

The best part about courthouses is that after the brief ceremony with the judge, you can usually explore the grounds with your photographer and get some amazing photos. As an added plus, since there is no wedding reception to get to, you can take as long as you want for photos!
bride and groom during the ceremony

Officiant for Elopements

Most officiants you can find online will perform an elopement for a smaller fee than a traditional wedding. Keep in mind that your officiant may not be able to travel to your desired spot, so be sure to ask when booking your officiant.

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