Written & photographed by Lauren Anne Photography
“If you both desire a more intimate and special experience in a breathtaking atmosphere, planning an elopement would likely be enjoyable for you.”
Here are a few questions and answers to help you decide if eloping is right for you — and how to make it happen!
How do we choose where to elope?
Choosing a location for your elopement can be very overwhelming at first, especially since there are SO many amazing locations to choose from. I always ask couples if there’s a place that has meaning for them besides their hometowns (i.e. we hiked throughout Yosemite for our first trip together and found half dome to be our favorite spot). Eloping doesn’t only mean you need to fly across the country or even world to say your vows on a mountaintop. There are many national parks and state parks that allow wedding ceremonies for a small fee. You just need to reserve the spot. If you are looking to elope in a national or state park, I highly suggest finding a beautiful hotel or Airbnb nearby for getting ready and even a small reception following your ceremony. One of the best parts about eloping is it allows you to have a few days prior to your wedding to explore around the area. This can be super helpful if you’re visiting the area for the first time.
Why choose elopement over a traditional wedding?
I’ve never had a couple say that they regret going the elopement route. Many, in fact, have influenced their friends to do the same. Stepping back and looking at what you value in a wedding day can really help you to recognize what is important to you both. If you both desire a more intimate and special experience in a breathtaking atmosphere, planning an elopement would likely be enjoyable for you. If you’re on the fence with which to do, you can always elope together and then plan to celebrate with a small reception back home with your family and friends!
What do you love most about elopements?
They can be whatever the couple wants and wherever they want it to be. Elopements take the pressure off of couples. There are less people to please and more room for the couple to be unique with their plans. I love how many couples go an untraditional route but still stay true to the traditional values of a wedding. Since most elopements usually involve just the couple, the officiant, and myself, being a part of their elopement feels incredibly special. It’s an unreal experience that I’m always so so grateful to have.
What is your favorite elopement destination?
This is a hard question... either San Diego, California or the North Cascades in Washington. They are both very very different locations but you can’t beat the coast vibes of San Diego or the mountaintop views of the North Cascades. I highly recommend both of these beautiful places! Both were pretty easy to get to and had many locations that you could use for your elopement.
Do you have any memorable moments from elopements you’ve been part of?
There have been many funny and emotional moments from being a part of multiple elopements, but my favorite by far is this one: I shot the most beautiful and breathtaking mountaintop wedding in the North Cascades of Washington back in August of 2018. It was special and intimate — just the couple, officiant and myself. We discovered that we needed one more person as a witness for the marriage license. We happened to be going through a Chick-fil-a drive thru and asked if the woman at the window would be our final witness. It was something funny that I’ll never forget!
about lauren anne photography
Hi there, I’m Lauren! I deeply value relationships and intentionality. You can find me daydreaming of my future homestead that I’m hoping to one day create; either a farm in the country or a cabin in the woods. I’m constantly inspired by human connection, old film photography, and home design books. My strongest desire is to always create an atmosphere where others can feel loved, seen, heard, and supported!