Over the years, I’ve shot many elopements, both in the UK and internationally. Elopements hold a very special place in my heart – and being invited to photograph a couple running away together is an incredibly intimate experience, and a real privilege for me. Choosing to forego the traditional pomp and fanfare of a wedding to elope and get married is a courageous and wonderfully freeing thing to do, if you ask me, and the resulting images always stop me in my tracks with the sheer force of the love that’s jumping out of them.
If you feel drawn to the idea of eloping but need an extra bit of convincing, here are my top five reasons to elope, and why it can be a brave and beautiful way to start a marriage.
Five Reasons to Elope
1 – Remember What It’s All About
When planning a wedding, it’s so easy to get swept up in the details. The dress, the food, the flowers, the favours… Don’t get me wrong, I adore seeing couples express their personalities and their love for each other through all-singing all-dancing wedding celebrations, but sometimes the fuss and fripperies can overtake all that’s meaningful about a marriage. This is about the two of you and your commitment to each other – no more, no less. What better way to express that than by eloping together? No distractions, no formalities, nothing but you and your love.
2 – Adventure Is Out There…
Eloping is perfect for you if you’ve got a free spirit and a wild heart. Be spontaneous, and head for the destination of your dreams. Think how much easier it is to hop on a train, boat or plane to some windswept, star spangled wilderness, glittering cosmopolitan city or sun soaked corner of the world when you’re not having to wrangle hundreds of guests. I adore destination weddings and elopements – they’re a chance for beautiful memories and the best holiday of your life all rolled into one.
3 – Not The Planning Kind
It can feel a bit like a shameful secret to admit that actually you’re just not that bothered about the whole wedding thing. As if society will judge you harshly for not having dreamed of your white dress and the flavour of your multi-tiered cake from the age of 7. If the thought of planning a show-stopping event leaves you cold, cut out the spreadsheets and the stress, and get married in the way that’s most true to you– with an elopement. Not wanting a big wedding doesn’t mean you don’t want a heart-stoppingly incredible, rock-solid marriage. So skip over the fluff, and dive straight in to that bit, why don’t you?
4 – Just The Two Of You
Choosing to elope means that you can shrink the whole world down. It’s a ticket to your own, private bubble of newly-wedded bliss. The vows you make to each other during a marriage ceremony are intensely personal, private things – whether you’ve written your own declarations of love or are using the time-honoured words that have been said for centuries. If you don’t want to share this with anyone else, don’t!
5 – Cut Out The White Noise
Becoming engaged seems to give the world and his wife carte blanche to air their opinions on what you should and shouldn’t have at your wedding. From guest lists and seating plans, to catering, colour schemes and everything in between – if there’s a choice to be made, there will be umpteen people weighing in. Eloping lets you take back control and own every single element of your wedding, without worrying about what your gran, best friend or future mother in law will think.
A final point of reassurance. Choosing not to invite guests to watch you start your marriage adventure is in no way a comment on how important they are to you. It’s not a selfish decision, it’s one borne out of love – where you’re putting the love you have for your partner above all other loves in your life. And that’s ok! If you’re thinking of eloping and looking for romantic, artistic photographs to document it, get in touch and let’s have a chat.