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telluride elopement

10 Step Guide on How to Elope | Arizona Elopement Photographer

sedona elopement photographer

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now that the question has been popped and you have had a moment to relax… you are probably wondering how to elope, that’s where we come in. First things first, a big question we get asked often is what is an elopement anyway? Eloping means that all of the wedding day choices you have to make, are yours entirely. You make the rules. You can truly make your day any adventure you want. Your elopement day can be a day that reflects the two of you instead of being focused on everyone else’s needs, opinions, and expectations. In traditional weddings it is easy to feel like you are putting on a production for guests and to feel so much stress on how to please others that you often forget about what the day is truly about – YOU. Elopements used to be only known as a quick, hush hush ceremony in a Las Vegas church or a trip to the courthouse but we are here to break that stigma and to tell you about how you can have the wedding day of your dreams without the hassle of a huge production. All of this freedom to plan your dream day can feel a bit overwhelming but we are here to help! How to Elope requires 10 easy steps:

How to Elope: Step by Step Guide

  1. Envision your dream wedding day
  2. Create an Inspiration board
  3. Determine a budget
  4. Begin research
  5. Decide on a location
  6. Start booking your dream vendors
  7. Book lodging, rental cars, flights
  8. Start thinking about attire and details
  9. Finalize details
  10. Announce the big news to family and friends!

While planning an elopement is a lot less stressful than planning a traditional wedding, there are still many aspects you will need to consider when jumping into planning your big day. Being an elopement photographer over the last few years has helped us compile a list of tips and tricks to help guide our couples on how to elope with the least stress as possible! In the past we have found that couples tend to shy away from an elopement for a few reasons, typically it all comes down to them not understanding how to elope, what an elopement truly is and how their day could look when they choose to elope. Having been in this position ourselves when we got married, we are here to tell you that you CAN have the wedding day of your dreams without the hassle of planning a traditional wedding. You can incorporate family, friends and traditions to where you are still getting the full wedding day experience without the headache of a huge production and regret from not planning your wedding the way you intended. We are here to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams, feel free to check out this Arizona elopement for more elopement ideas!

Step 1: Envision Your Dream Wedding Day

telluride elopement

When you are first looking into how to elope, a big task that you will want to start with is envisioning what your wedding day will actually look like. The best way to brainstorm ideas that will truly make the most of your elopement day is to sit together and dream about what means the most to you on your wedding, things you would love to experience together and what time of year or scenery is pulling at your heart. A fun date night would be a great time to do this together! It is important to keep an open mind when envisioning your elopement day. This is a place for you to think of your wildest dreams. If you could elope anywhere in the world, where would it be? What landscapes scream your name? Try not to get caught up in the logistics just yet of what you can and can not do. This is a time to be open minded and lay all of your ideas out on the table.

Step 2: Create An Inspiration Board

beach elopement

Creating an inspiration board plays a huge part in how to elope in a way that encompasses everything that you love and want to be a part of your wedding day.I know it may seem cliche to say to look at Pinterest but it is actually a great way to look into other couples elopements, get an idea of different and unique things that you can incorporate into your day and see different locations that you may not have even thought about. It is important to put together colors and styles on your inspiration board that you are drawn to, this will help you tie in flowers, decor if you have any, colors for attire and will also help your photographer to determine locations that may work best for the color and style you are looking for. If you still need any help thinking of some great styles, we loved the style of this Airbnb elopement!

Step 3: Determine A Budget

beach elopement

When determining your budget, it is essential to look into how to elope in whichever area your eyes are set on. This can mean researching several different locations as costs will be different ranges in different areas of the world but it will give you a good estimate to go off of. The average for a traditional wedding in the US is $34,000, but you can absolutely have an incredible elopement for less than half of that cost. Expect to spend a majority of your budget on photography and the rest on travel, attire, rings, flowers, hair & makeup, an officiant, food, activities, and your marriage license. This is definitely the least exciting part in wedding planning but it is very important to determine a budget range early on so that you can see what experiences may be doable and what you should not waste as much time on. We suggest starting at a base range that you are both comfortable with and then a top range of your budget where it is not as likely you will get to unless you find an out of this world experience that you HAVE to do. It is definitely easier to splurge when it comes to experiences that excite you!

Step 4: Begin Research

sedona elopement photographer

Research plays a big part in determining what you will need to do in order to have your elopement at a certain location. You will need to look into how to elope at certain locations. This can mean looking into permits, regulations, weather and the best season to get married at your destination. When determining your ceremony site, make sure you first confirm that it is legal to have a ceremony or photos taken there. Certain locations may or may not allow this and it is important to realize and plan for a new location rather than showing up and finding out the hard way. As well as any restrictions you will want to stay up to date on any permits your destination may require. Some locations require multiple permits for both you and your photographer so it is important that you check into your sites rules and regulations to make sure you do not hit any bumps in the road on your elopement day. It is also important to look into weather and seasons at different locations as this plays a huge part in how to elope in these places. Different locations will be busier during certain times of the year based on the weather, meaning you may want to plan around these to avoid hikers or large crowds of tourists. You also want to research so that you know what to pack to keep yourselves comfortable and prepared. Will you need thermals for cooler weather? An extra change of clothes if your location has rainstorms frequently? Hiking boots for a rugged hike to your ceremony? These are all key factors to keep in mind when planning your elopement day!

Step 5: Decide On A Location

desert elopement

At this point, you should have a location nailed down. This is the part where you look into how to elope in that part of the world. Now that you have your budget decided, an inspiration board filled with the most magical ideas, you have researched a ton on different locations and seasons – it is time to decide on where to hold your wedding day! If Arizona made the cut, we have a great list of the best places to elope in Arizona. Certain factors to keep in mind when deciding on this location are: Do you want this experience to be just the two of you? Do you want family and friends to join you on your epic elopement, if so how many will you have join you? Once you have nailed down who and how many people you will be expecting for your big day then it becomes easier to nail down specifics like exact locations for a ceremony, an adventurous hike to bridals or a cozy camping spot to stargaze at the end of the night. Another great thing about elopements is that couples often can save money by eloping and combine their elopement with their honeymoon to their destination of choice, it’s a win win!

Step 6: Start Booking Your Dream Vendors

sedona elopement photographer

The next and our personal favorite step is to book your dream vendors! If the elopement day is only the two of you it is especially important to book the right photographer and videographer quickly as those will be the only real images and memories you will have for the day, you want someone who can capture it perfectly for you. This is also a great time to book other services for your elopement day such as florist, hair, make up and experiences like a helicopter ride, renting paddle boards or kayaks, a boat tour or a hot air ballon ride! How to elope and have the best experience is to make sure you and all of your vendors are on the same page, this can mean sharing timelines, vision boards or viewing galleries prior to the elopement day to ensure your vision fits their styles!

Step 7: Book Lodging, Rental Cars and Flights

catalina island elopement

Depending on where you are eloping as well you will need to research on if your location requires an officiant, if you can self-solemnize or have your photographer sign for you, if they are ordained. When booking other services like flights, lodging and rental vehicles keep it mind that the closer your hotel is to the ceremony site, the more streamlined your timeline will be. You will also want to keep in mind lodging size if you are expecting guests, you may want to look into a larger Airbnb or a hotel block so that you can all stay close together. When it comes to transportation you will need to factor in how traveling to your ceremony location will look like. If it is a rugged road that requires off roading you will need to look into a 4×4 or consider a rental company that provides an off road service.

Step 8: Start Thinking About Wedding Attire and Details

arizona desert elopement

This is such a fun step, especially if you have decided to go the route of no guests. We have found that a great way to keep family feeling involved in the wedding process without actually being present on the day of is to invite them along on some wedding errands – especially dress or tux shopping! When deciding on attire try to keep in mind the location that you have chosen and elements that will look beautiful in these places. An example of this was this epic wedding in San Francisco where our couple had a traditional dress for their ceremony and then changed into her more functional but fabulous dress to attend outside lands for their reception see it here! Factors you will want to keep in mind are if your location requires lots of hiking or uncertain weather where you would need to bring a change of shoes and some extra clothes to keep warm. If you will need to bring an umbrella to shield yourselves from rain or a change of clothes if you are wanting to change into your dress at your ceremony location. This is a great time to pack momentos, letters from relatives or any heirlooms!

Step 9: Finalize Details

cabo elopement

To keep yourselves feeling free of stress make sure that you finalize a game plan ahead of time. It is easiest to make a 1 month, 1 week and 2 day prior schedule to ensure that you have taken care of any last minute duties. All vendors should be booked at this time and have a copy of your day of timeline to be best prepared as well as your marriage license if needed. This is also a great time to plan a surprise for your significant other like a gift, a special song to share your first dance or letters from family members that could not attend. You will want to sketch our a rough timeline and check list to keep everything running smoothly, make sure you take adequate time to eat, drink and rest so that you can enjoy yourselves!

Step 10: Announce the big news to family and friends!

sedona elopement photographer

A big question we get is how to elope without feeling like we are not including our family and friends. The choice to elope is a big, bold and brave decision that ultimately only you can make but it is so worth it. It can be tough making the choice to elope without friends and family. A few things that you can do to help ease uneasy family members is to keep them involved as much as you can. You can bring them dress shopping with you, make lunch or dinner plans together to talk about activities you will be doing during your elopement, take them along to florist appointments or even throw a BBQ “reception” to still include family in your celebration. Ultimately, this is up to you and your comfort level and what you feel comfortable including family members on!

Are you ready to start planning the elopement of your dreams? Let’s start planning!

How to Elope in Arizona | Arizona Elopement Photographer

How to Elope in Arizona | Arizona Elopement Photographer

As an Arizona Elopement Photographer – i’m here to give you the scoop on how to elope in Arizona and all of the tips and tricks you will need to make the most of your time in the beautiful Grand Canyon State. Arizona is filled with so many epic locations, whether you are wanting a private elopement or an easy space open to the public to host your intimate ceremony, this guide on How to Elope in Arizona is the perfect place to kick start your planning! In this guide I will show you Arizona’s top Elopement locations, the best time of year to Elope in Arizona, the best activities to include and how to do it all legally!

arizona elopement photographer

When you are first looking into how to elope in Arizona, the first thing you will want to determine is location. Arizona is filled with vast mountainscapes, stunning desert views and red rocks that will take your breath away. Once you’ve determined your desired location you will want to find the nearest airport, transportation companies (if needed) and lodging. The major airport a majority of our traveling couples use is Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, this airport is generally 2-4 hours on average away from most of the desired locations. Transportation can be fairly easy if you will not be having a location that requires off-road travel, 2 wheel drive vehicles can be rented straight upon arrival to the airport but for more intense travel consider renting a 4×4 vehicle or hiring a travel company that can get you to your desired location.

arizona elopement photographer

A big question that comes to mind for many couples who are looking into how to Elope in Arizona is “how much will it cost?” On average our couples spend $500-$20,000 on their Elopement day. The cost varies mostly on experiences you will want to include on your big day. You can expect a majority of your budget to be spent on hiring a Photography team or travel guide with the remaining budget going to experiences, attire, hair, make up and florals. To make it legal in Arizona, you will need an Officiant and two witnesses. This can be taken care of back home at the courthouse if you would prefer your adventure to be solo!

arizona elopement photographer

Now that we’ve gotten logistics out of the way…. let’s talk about the exciting part of how to Elope in Arizona. Locations like these are the reason so many of our couples fly to Arizona to say “I do.” Arizona Scenery is unlike any other, you can truly find the most magical places within a short drive making it ideal for couples who want to experience the most on their wedding day. You will want to keep in mind when making decisions that every part of Arizona has it’s on and off season that can affect how easily you will be able to Elope in certain locations, that’s what i’m here for!

arizona elopement photographer

How to Elope in Arizona : Mogollon Rim

  • Location 
    • Payson, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is March-October.
  • Permitting
    • Small cost for parking at this location
  • Accessibility & Crowds
    • Certain areas at this location are accessible with 2 wheel drive. Most areas at this location will have either a paved or dirt parking lot but there are more areas within this location that require a bit of a bumpy drive. You can easily spend 3-4 hours at this location just exploring. This location is busier on weekends but there are hidden pockets to escape the crowds.
  • Nearby Activities
    • Hiking, camping, stargazing, off-roading, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding.
arizona elopement photographer

How to Elope in Arizona : Cathedral Rock

  • Location 
    • Sedona, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
  • Permitting
    • Parking passes are $5 for this location, you can obtain this from the kiosk in the parking lot. Arches, decor or set up of any kind is NOT allowed per Sedona’s latest rules. Follow leave no trace guidelines.
  • Accessibility & Crowds
    • This location is fairly accessible by car – however, as of the last year this location has become increasingly popular and it is extremely difficult to get a parking spot here. If you are planning a sunrise Elopement you will have a better chance of getting into the parking lot but keep in mind that if you are dead set on a sunset Elopement, weekends are nearly impossible and week days may be doable IF you are able to get a Sedona Uber or shuttle service which is also very difficult with the lack of Uber services in Sedona. This location also requires a steep hike on all fours to get to the lookout – it’s worth the view but no easy task!
  • Nearby Activities
    • Hiking, camping, off-roading, star gazing, wineries, jeep tours, hot air balloon rides.
arizona elopement photographer

How to Elope in Arizona : Superstition Mountains

  • Location 
    • Apache Junction, Arizona – 40 minute drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
  • Permitting
    • There are several different locations near the Superstition Mountains. If you are going into a recreational area like Lost Dutchman you will need to pay for a parking pass, photo and wedding permit. You can access their permit information and application here! Other areas around the Superstitions will be more private and you may not necessarily need to pay for a permit for these locations.
  • Accessibility & Crowds
    • Lost Dutchman will be one of the only locations in the Superstition Mountains that will be accessible by 2 wheel drive. Make sure you ask your Photographer about certain locations, if you can carpool or if you’ll need to rent a different vehicle to get to more intense locations. On weekends more popular areas around the Superstitions will be a bit more packed than a weekday with hikers, it isn’t unbearable though and there are plenty of more hidden gems that your Photographer can take you to to avoid these crowds!
  • Nearby Activities
    • Hiking, off-roading, camping, stargazing, hot air ballon ride, rock climbing, breweries, spas, resorts.
arizona wedding photographer

How to Elope in Arizona : Horseshoe Bend

  • Location
    • Page, Arizona – 4.5 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-April.
  • Permitting
    • $10 per car entrance fee
    • $200-$300 wedding permit from Glen Canyon
  • Accessibility & Crowds
    • There is a paved parking lot with a path down to the rim, about 1.4 miles roundtrip. It is not a very long walk down but the hike back up can seem grueling in the warmer seasons. Make sure you bring good shoes and water! This location is extremely crowded during weekends. Consider having a sunrise ceremony or booking a tour with Horseshoe Bend Tour Company for a private ceremony.
  • Best Time To Elope Here
    • The best time of year to Elope in Page is September-March
  • Nearby Activities
    • Boating, helicopter tours, kayaking, hiking, off-roading, camping, stargazing. You can also do a same day trip to Slot canyon to experience the most at this location!
arizona elopement photographer

How to Elope in Arizona : Merry Go Round

  • Location 
    • Sedona, Arizona – 2 hour drive from Sky Harbor Airport. The best time of year to Elope here is September-May.
  • Accessibility & Crowds
    • For this location, the road is extremely rough, unpaved and has large rocks that you will need to crawl over in a high clearance 4×4. You can absolutely use one of Sedona’s many jeep tour companies but the down side is that you will not get to choose how long you spend up there. It’s best to rent your own vehicle and make the trek up. You can expect about 45 minutes of rock crawling to get to the top of Merry Go Round. Crowds are very manageable here with how tough of a location it is to get to!
  • Nearby Activities
    • Hiking, off-roading, camping, wineries, breweries, spas, resorts, stargazing, hot air ballon ride, rock climbing.
arizona elopement photographer

These locations are just a few of the many incredible spots Arizona has to offer. There are tons more that are hidden gems that we like to keep secret for just our couples! Make sure you let us take you there 🙂 Cheers to planning your epic Arizona Elopement! If you are loving the Sedona look in Arizona, make sure you check out our blog on eloping-in-sedona-arizona!

Eloping in Sedona: The Ultimate Guide | Arizona Elopement Photographer

eloping in sedona overlook

The Ultimate Guide for Eloping in Sedona | Arizona Elopement Photographer

Eloping in Sedona is a dream for couples residing in Arizona and all over the world. Over the years we have had couples travel to have their wedding day captured in Sedona’s enchanting red rocks. Whether you are looking for a location with spiritual values, an outdoor adventure, or just incredible views, Sedona is it!

More about Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is known to be one of the most magical locations in Arizona. The energy vortexes attract many couples wanting a more spiritual feel for their Elopement. Also while also having an abundance of nearby hiking trails, wineries, and resorts. It is perfect for those who want to make a weekend trip out of their Elopement! The possibilities for Eloping in Sedona are endless. Being an Arizona Wedding Photographer has given us the chance to experience Sedona many times and never gets old.

Having visited Sedona many times, we have also had a chance to off-road in our Jeep. Being able to access those difficult off-road trails that couples come to love and desire for an epic overlook for photos! Couples are able to do Pink Jeep Tours to access most spots but for a more intimate feel, we always recommend renting your own jeep for the weekend or jumping in the Jeep with us! 

What to Wear

Depending on what time of the year you are planning on Eloping in Sedona is a major factor to consider! Sedona weather varies and depending on the month. You could be changing for your Elopement after a hike in hot weather or bundling up and trudging through snow! We shoot in Sedona frequently and have truly seen it all. A few things we recommend to bring, hiking boots, water, an emergency bag, and a flashlight or headlamp. If we are exploring a location where it could potentially get dark quickly,

Weather

Sedona more often than not has beautiful weather year-round. However, it is Arizona so you can expect bipolar weather here and there. Personally, I feel weather changes like a surprise rainstorm can make Elopement photos that much more epic! Typically Spring and Fall are our most popular dates for couples Eloping in Sedona. Spring is wonderful and if you are lucky you’ll find gorgeous spring flowers blooming. Fall is equally as charming with the leaves changing color and the cooler weather.

While we still photograph many Elopements during Summer and Winter, they are much less than the latter. Summer in Arizona can be tricky as sometimes the temperature can reach above 100 degrees. Summer is also the monsoon season in Arizona, so random flash floods can make it harder. Winter in Sedona can absolutely be a dream. The snow covering the red rocks is one of the most incredible sights to see. It is chilly so we always recommend our couples to bring layers, warm coffee or hot chocolate, and hand warmers! 

Locations

One of the best parts about Eloping in Sedona is the variety in scenery Sedona provides. Breathtaking overlooks, red rocks, and creeks are everywhere! This makes it the perfect destination for any couple to say “I do”. While we do keep some of our favorite spots a secret to keep our clients’ experience exclusive, we will share a few of our favorite spots below!

Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock is famous for its magical overlook at sunset! Over the last few years, it has become popular for weddings so eloping on a weekday may be more ideal. It gets super crowded quickly with weddings and hikers enjoying the scenery.

Hiking distance is just about 1.2 miles and the 740+ ft elevation gain makes this a moderate to difficult hike. There are portions of it, where near-vertical climbing is required. From the trailhead, the hike can be half hour to an hour each way. Plan for around an hour and a half total just for the hike and photos at Cathedral Rock. Always remember to bring good hiking shoes, water, flashlights, or a headlamp in case the sun sets and you are hiking down in the dark after photos at the top!

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located in Northern Arizona between Flagstaff and Sedona. The canyon is often comparable to the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. There are several locations in Oak Creek Canyon to elope, and permits may be needed for some of these locations. Eloping in Oak Creek Canyon for couples who don’t want to hike or have elderly families who can’t walk far.

Crescent Moon Ranch

Crescent Moon Ranch is a perfect option for more low-key elopements with lower guest counts. Currently, Crescent Moon caps guests at 15 for Elopements with a permit fee of $50. Crescent Moon Ranch offers a beautiful backdrop of Cathedral Rock alongside Oak Creek Canyon. This location is easily accessed by taking a short hike from the parking lot. It is one of our top recommendations for couples who want something jaw-dropping without going too far.

Courthouse Vista

Courthouse Vista is a popular trailhead with dramatic red-rock views without a terribly difficult hike. The 2.2-mile hike, which leaves from Upper Courthouse Vista, is a loop with a few descents——– The Court of Flags area features two short paths, one behind the Flag Court that leads to another viewpoint overlooking the monument. A second path goes around the West Front Grounds, past the benches on the south end where you can sit and enjoy your surroundings.”This location is one of our favorites when couples want something similar to Cathedral Rock without wanting the hike included. There is plenty of parking available and a beautiful 360 view of Sedona at the top. 

Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village

Tlaquepaque can host one wedding reception per evening and can accommodate wedding ceremonies in the Tlaquepaque Chapel or Courtyard. Couples who are eloping can pay a permit to photograph here. Tlaquepaque is known as one of Sedona’s most romantic staging grounds for weddings and vow renewals. 

Things to do

Horseback Riding

Wine tours

Hot air balloon rides

Tlaquepaque shopping and arts

If you are thinking of Eloping in Sedona you’ll love this blog we did on Allie and Robert’s Elopement day!

Luxury Wedding Cabo San Lucas | Destination Wedding Photographer

luxury Cabo wedding ceremony set up

Luxury Wedding Cabo San Lucas | Destination Wedding Photographer

Taylor and Tyler’s Luxury Wedding in Cabo San Lucas was a perfect balance of laid back and low key mixed with all of the gorgeous bohemian vibes you could imagine. These two were about as chill as they come – they sipped mimosas and beer while hanging in their private resort rooms the morning of their wedding with their closest friends. Taylor and Tyler held their destination wedding at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort in Cabo San Lucas, a stunning resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean in sun-kissed Cabo San Lucas.

Details for Luxury Wedding in Cabo San Lucas

The planning for Taylor and Tyler’s Luxury Wedding in Cabo San Lucas was out of this world. No detail was spared when it came to decorating their ceremony and reception space! Elegant dried florals were placed on a triangle arch for the ceremony along with a Tablescape filled with salt rimmed tequila shots for guests as they walked into the ceremony. The reception space shimmered with string lights strung throughout the space providing the most stunning evening light against the waves crashing to set the mood for their dreamy evening.

Setting aside time to explore in Cabo San Lucas

Setting aside time to explore and see more of Cabo San Lucas during their wedding weekend was so important to Taylor and Tyler. We set up time the day after the wedding to explore around the resort stopping at breathtaking spots along the way and of course, playing a little on the beach.

In a nutshell, this breathtaking Wedding in Cabo San Lucas was everything a Destination Wedding Photographer could ask for – amazing weather, the most adventurous and relaxed couple, incredible scenery (of course…this IS Cabo) and a ton of fun!

If you love the idea of having a destination wedding here are a few other weddings we’ve loved!

Check out this blog from a Surprise Wedding in San Francisco!

Venue : Pueblo Bonito Weddings

Sacred Mountain Wedding Julian | Destination Wedding Photographer

sacred mountain wedding

Dana and Conner’s Sacred Mountain Wedding had us swooning from the second we arrived. Hidden among 61 acres of pines and lush open nature resides the most incredible hidden gem, Sacred Mountain Julian. The venue is located just outside of the small town Julian, we stopped in town to grab breakfast before the wedding and can attest that the small town bustle only added more charm to the feel of the wedding day!

Conner and Dana got ready for the big day alongside their closest friends! Dana’s room faced out directly to the courtyard where we could see the red leaves falling and dew dropping from the storm that morning. It was truly serene. Conner’s room was across the home nestled into a lush  spot of the property surrounded by shade and trees where we would later bring the two of them for their first look!

Sacred Mountain Weddings are known for being romantic and whimsical. Conner and Dana’s special day was no exception to this! One of the reasons Conner and Dana actually chose Sacred Mountain was because of the expansive overlook of the city on the ceremony site, something that just can not be beat. The sun sets perfectly over the ceremony site and provided the most breathtaking view for all guests to enjoy and soak in. With their wedding being in the fall the couple opted for decor to fit the season stringing together lights, frosted pinecones and garland. 

Dana shared a tearful first look with her father, and a first feel with Conner moments before stepping down the aisle. A little tip, if you are wanting to ease the pre ceremony nerves but don’t necessarily want to see your partner prior to the ceremony, a first feel is an amazing option. A first feel is great because you can squeeze away those nerves and also exchange vows if you want to do those privately or simply have a sweet sentimental moment together!

After an intimate ceremony surrounded  by family and friends, Dana and Connor took time to soak in their favorite features of the venue. We took advantage of the color changing trees, gorgeous overlook and charming vine covered tree swing. A personal favorite was the balcony overlooking the reception where they were able to look out to guests anxiously waiting for their grand entrance! Dana and Connors Sacred Mountain Wedding ended the same way any great wedding would – kick ass music, choreographed dances from the bride and groom and a bubble exit for Connor to whisk his bride away in! It was the perfect wedding any Destination Wedding Photographer could ask for!

Venue: https://www.instagram.com/sacredmountainjulian/

If you are a California local and are in need of another incredible venue, check out our recent blog from Lot8 in San Diego! https://charlottefrancisphoto.com/summer-wedding-at-lot-8-san-diego/

Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop | Arizona Wedding Photographer

Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop

Elopements are in and the 1975 Cabin is the perfect Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop to hold your special day! Originally Taylor and Daniel were planning a beautiful wedding in the woods of the Pacific Northwest until Covid-19 brought those plans to a crashing halt. Still wanting to incorporate the woodsy feel of Oregon Taylor and Daniel found the perfect Airbnb tucked in a pocket of pines in Pinetop, Arizona. At first glance of the Airbnb you are welcomed with a massive A frame structure and incredible updated modern fixtures throughout the cabin. Between the several rooms for guests to stay and nearby scenic locations to plan your ceremony it is the perfect choice for an Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop!

Taylor began her day surrounded by her sisters and best friends in the downstairs portion of the Airbnb while Daniel got ready upstairs with his groomsmen. They incorporated things like Daniels jewelry that Taylor adores and Taylor’s cheeky converse visible under her slit dress to keep it feeling the most them. Daniel made sure to slip us a note for Taylor as he stepped out of the cabin before heading to the ceremony, which *que the tears* had a drawing he had done of her with a love note. There was no shortage of happy tears for this Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop.

Taylor and Daniel found a hidden meadow filled with pines and flowers for their ceremony space. Guests sat together in the meadow, aisles were lined with fresh flowers and the pair had a copper arch made with dangling floral strings to complete the whimsical feel of their Elopement day. One thing that really stood out was as Taylor walked up the aisle and they faced each other for the first time, they were so overcome with emotion that they just embraced. A rule breaker, yeah yeah. It was one of those moments that you witness and truly understand how much love is really there. They shared captivating hand written vows in front of guests before running down the aisle, I mean running. You could not find a couple happier to finally be married than Taylor and Daniel. 

After the ceremony, we returned to the Airbnb for celebratory shots. How else are you supposed to celebrate? The couple celebrated and embraced friends and family before ending their Airbnb Elopement in Pinetop with an epic champagne pop off the front of the A-frame balcony.

As an Arizona Wedding Photographer there is not shortage of gorgeous locations around the state to shoot your Engagement! See Taylor and Daniel’s Engagement Session here!

Venue : https://www.instagram.com/getawayframe/?hl=en

DIY Elopement St. Louis | Destination Wedding Photographer

diy wedding details

DIY Elopement St. Louis | Destination Wedding Photographer

Jasmine and James Wedding day was the epitome of a DIY Elopement. Last minute, Jasmine and James were forced to make the tough decision between keeping their original wedding date or postponing to 2021, a struggle many other couples have faced over the last few months. The decision came easy to the couple though, they could postpone their party another year but their love? No that could not wait!

Planning a DIY Elopement sounds simple right? Yes and No. In the state of a majority of the United States right now a chunk of businesses are shut down and the uncertainty of places like tailor shops, hair and makeup artists, vendors to cater the event, etc are up in the air. They could be available one moment for couples and then be ordered to shut down the next day. While normally planning a DIY Elopement can be a cinch, these days it takes a bit of prep to make your day stress free!

James and Jasmine made planning their DIY Elopement less of a stress to them by having family and friends assist in the Wedding day duties. Jasmine’s mother spent weeks altering her dress by hand as tailor shops in the area had been closed with no sign of opening anytime soon. James and Jasmine’s mothers spent the days leading up to the wedding arranging florals by hand, setting up the family home for the Elopement and preparing care bags for guests. The care bags included a handmade mask with a sewn heart from Jasmine’s dress material that was left over, some water and utensils for dinner so that any germs would be kept to a minimum. The care bags were such a sweet and thoughtful touch, we could hear guests raving about them all afternoon!

Originally, the pair had planned an incredible wedding at a local art venue in Downtown St. Louis. This was the perfect choice for them as Jasmine is a violin artist and James is a videographer, art plays a huge part in their lives together and they wanted something that represented that in their Wedding day. While Covid-19 may have closed their venue down, the couple was able to snag some gorgeous photos from The Last Hotel that were able to bring the modern artsy feel they wanted. The Last Hotel was filled with elegant modern fixtures and paintings that would make any DIY Elopement a dream.

From The Last Hotel, we ran through the streets of Downtown St. Louis. Jasmine and James actually took their Engagement Photos in downtown as well, the wedding photos here were only fitting! The couple expressed their love for the city and mentioned how important a few shots of the current state of St. Louis would be in their gallery. Masks on, boarded buildings and a Global Pandemic, their love trumps it all. Being a Destination Wedding Photographer, we see a lot of different wedding events but this one takes the cake for how they truly embraced the chaos. Jasmine and James shared handwritten vows privately in a lush green park downtown before heading to Jasmine’s parents home for an intimate ceremony.

James and Jasmine kept their DIY Elopement sentimental by having their church pastor officiate their ceremony, hiring a fellow violin artist to play as she walked down the aisle and inviting only their closest family and friends. A Facebook live was set to record and play live for guests who wanted to tune in and could not make the day because of the virus. The couple even included time for a short drive by reception where guests could come by and send love or deliver a small gift to the couple. Jasmine and James Elopement shows that you can do it yourself and still have a wonderful wedding.

Planning an Elopement? Read a few tips here!

Dress: https://www.instagram.com/laudaebride/

Eloping During Covid-19 | Arizona Wedding Photographer

Elopement during covid-19

Eloping During Covid-19 | Arizona Wedding Photographer

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can make Eloping during Covid-19 a breeze! First, go ahead and throw out any expectations that your dream day can not happen because of the current state of the world right now. You can have an incredible, out of this world Wedding still while also keeping those around you safe! Being an Arizona Wedding Photographer, we’ve seen it all and we are here to help!

Eloping during Covid-19 does not mean you two will run away to some hidden place where no friends or family will witness your special day. I mean, unless that’s what you want, because if that’s the case Adventure Elopements are a dream. I’ll help you plan it! With most states right now the rule of thumb is 50 guests or less. To some, that may push their comfort levels and to others they feel they are eliminating a huge portion of their guests. Whether you have 10 guests or 50, a way to include those guests who are not able to attend is Live Streaming! You are able to stream on Facebook Live and even save the video for yourselves after. We have also seen couples have a relative record via Zoom or call friends and family on FaceTime during the ceremony so that they are still able to take part in the event. Another way you can include guests is a drive by cocktail hour, this way friends can drive by and say congratulations or drop a card off!

Next, you’ll want to plan a spot to take formal photos! If the location you are getting married at is say a backyard of a friend or a random park, maybe there isn’t a ton of picture perfect options. Working with your Photographer you can create a timeline that will allow you to find a special place that’s private to the two of you. Jasmine and James, the couple in the photos here, planned their photos to take place in downtown St. Louis! This was a perfect choice for them as they live in the heart of St. Louis and it’s where their relationship blossomed. Eloping during Covid-19 and a Pandemic, taking photos of the current state of the city around them was extremely important to them. Jasmine and James are a true reflection of how love always wins.

Keep it clean! If you are Eloping during Covid-19 the number one goal is keeping everything sanitized and safe for you and guests. Disposable utensils, pre packaged drinks and a few sanitize stations around the event and you are ready to roll! Skipping buffet style dinner and pre plating is also a huge way you can reduce risk for guests. To top it off, you could even throw the utensils, some sanitizer and a mask into a bag and count that as your wedding favor. Easy, practical and guests will thank you for thinking of them!

Incredible Portland Flowers shown above are from: https://www.instagram.com/wildflower_portland/

Last, there’s the huge question of venues needing to shut down again. If your venue is mandated to shut down but you do not want to wait several months to tie the knot, you have options! Exploring into a huge open meadow for a ceremony, finding a cute Airbnb to host your friends and family or reserving a local lot at a State Park are all amazing options for a last minute Elopement location.

See another Elopement here!

Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona | Arizona Wedding Photographer

Spring Wedding in Arizona

Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona | Arizona Wedding Photographer

For their Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona – Amarah and Egan knew exactly what they wanted to bring their dream day to life. Amarah and Egan stumbled upon this gorgeous modern Airbnb in the heart of Anthem and knew immediately this was it! Decorated with modern fixtures, black accent walls and spacious enough for an entire bridal party to get ready in, this Airbnb was an all around dream! As an Arizona Wedding Photographer, we get to photograph at many Airbnb’s but this one had to be one of our favorites!

The day began peacefully as Amarah wrote her vows surrounded by her bridesmaids. Amarah and her bridesmaids wore the most gorgeous silk robes that looked incredible against the bold accent wall in the girls room. In the guest house next door, Amarah’s son got ready with the boys before his first look with mama. It was so special being able to watch Egan get him ready and see the special bond the two of them share through the photographs!

Amarah shared a tearful first look with her bridesmaids before walking down the aisle. Laughter and happy tears were flowing as the bridesmaids embraced her offering last minute words of encouragement and love. Dried pampas tied into their arch, draped florals, minimalistic signage and white rose petals lining the aisles provided the most exquisite setting for Amarah and Egan’s Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona. 

Egan and Amarah shared hand written vows in front of guests during their ceremony. Circling behind their arch, we were able to capture some of their family and friends reactions to their sweet promises as well. Hand written vows are always so special to witness at weddings. A little tip if you are getting married and stressed about vows – write them the day of! Some will say that it is crazy to wait or that it’s bad because it is last minute, but several couples have actually told us they prefer to write their vows the morning of! Writing your vows the day of your wedding is actually much easier because you are so in the moment already that words come easier than they normally would. Another bonus, you get cute photos of you writing your vows too if you wait until the big day!

After the ceremony, Egan and Amarah took advantage of the many incredible locations provided at their Airbnb. A personal favorite was their rooftop balcony that looked out over their reception and guests. Egan and Amarah’s reception was something straight out of your dreams. Elegant, Minimalistic, Modern, this Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona has it all. Lit only by the hanging string lights, they shared an intimate dinner surrounded by friends and family before moving inside for the real party!

VENDORS:

Planner: https://www.instagram.com/yourhappyweddinghelper/

Florals: https://www.instagram.com/anna_day_designs/

Pampas: https://www.instagram.com/houseofpampas/

Wedding Dress: https://www.instagram.com/kleinfeldbridal/

Grooms Suit: https://www.instagram.com/magroclothing/

Groomsmen Suits: https://www.instagram.com/theblacktux/

Bridesmaid Dresses: https://www.instagram.com/showmeyourmumu/

Hair: https://www.instagram.com/emilyy_finn/

Makeup: https://www.instagram.com/makeupbyjsouth/

If you loved Egan and Amarah’s Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona, check out a Winter Wedding here!

Winter Wedding at The Paseo | Arizona Wedding Photographer

paseo wedding ceremony

Winter Wedding at The Paseo | Arizona Wedding Photographer

Alan and Brittany’s Winter Wedding at the Paseo was everything you could dream of. Something about saying “I do” in front of Arizona’s incredible Superstition Mountains just can’t be beat. If you are looking for a venue that can completely captivate guests while portraying Arizona’s beauty, The Paseo is the venue for you! One of our favorite things about being Arizona Wedding Photographers is the fact that we get to shoot at this dream location often!

As soon as Brittany unzipped the dress bags, jaws dropped. They had chosen the most incredible deep green for the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen ties, it was the perfect choice for their Winter Wedding at the Paseo! The green complimented the minimalistic colors they had chosen and totally popped on the bridesmaids leaving everyone in awe!

When it came to decorating their Winter Wedding at the Paseo, Alan and Brittany kept it simple but elegant. Opting for a more modern feel, the couples welcome signs were a gorgeous matte black with gold calligraphy, abundances of white rose petals lined the aisles and they even had a blanket bucket out filled with warm thermals for guests who were chilly during the ceremony.

Brittany got dressed with her mother and sister before a tearful first look with her son followed by bridesmaids. We really loved that Alan’s mother came in to help Brittany too, even putting the lucky wedding penny in her shoe for her! The lucky wedding penny has been a wedding tradition in their family for many years, being able to witness this was so special! Alan spent the afternoon with his groomsmen getting ready before reading a private note from his soon to be bride just minutes before walking down the aisle.

Alan and Brittany’s ceremony was every bit as magical as you’d think. Happy tears and laughter radiated from guests during the couples personal vows. Brittany and Alan made sure to include Brittany’s son in their ceremony wherever possible, it was so important for them to incorporate him anywhere they could! Jax’s sweet face during the ceremony said it all, you could definitely tell that he was feeling the love and so happy for his parents. 

Live music, caramel apples, delicious appetizers and cocktails flowed during cocktail hour. Guests mingled by the Paseo’s warm fireplace as the sun set over the Superstition Mountains. The sun setting over the mountains is incredible in itself, but it was the perfect finish to cocktail hour before inviting guests inside. Behind the Paseo’s large barn doors is pure magic. Hanging greenery, floating candles, fresh florals and a custom neon sign tied together the details of Brittany and Alan’s Winter Wedding at The Paseo.

Upon entering, guests were offered a glass of champagne before being directed to their hand selected seats with the sweetest favors waiting for them. Brittany and Alan had chosen a wood engraved magnet with the Superstition Mountains to share with their guests as favors! Toasts from loved ones, an intimate first dance and a snow send off was the perfect finish to Brittany and Alan’s Winter Wedding at The Paseo.

Check out another Arizona wedding here!

VENDORS:

Venue: https://www.instagram.com/thepaseovenue/

Chandelier & Seating Chart: https://www.instagram.com/laceandabarn/

Rentals/Décor: https://www.instagram.com/materialgirlsweddings/

Floral: https://www.instagram.com/gardengateflowers/

Video: https://www.instagram.com/myeventfilm/

Caramel Apples for cocktail hour: https://www.instagram.com/yo.apples/

Live music for cocktail hour: https://www.instagram.com/jacobmorrisofficial/

DJ: https://www.instagram.com/amanijaeent/

Bridal Boutique: https://www.instagram.com/schaffersbridalaz/

Hair: https://www.instagram.com/taylor_lamb_hair/

Makeup: https://www.instagram.com/createdbeautyco/

Alterations: https://www.instagram.com/tailoredinwhite/

Bar: https://www.instagram.com/ontherocksbartenders/