I love all weddings! From the private intimate elopements in the majestic redwood forests to the 12 hour epic weddings with concerts. I love every couples love story and being able to put into picture form their vision they worked so hard on. When Kim first contacted me, she and Jeurgen were planning a short elopement at the Historic Benbow Inn. But, as weddings often do, it took on a life of its own and turned into an intimate destination wedding. A few family and friends decided to make the trek to watch them exchange their vows on the lush greeen lawn with the beautiful stone art bridge in the background. We increased their hours of elopement coverage from 2 to 3 hours and their private elopement turned into a beautiful intimate destination wedding. We were able to capture a wide array of beautiful images. I love this couple!They were all about fun! : ) They are at a season in life where they don't care what others think and just enjoy life. I loved this intimate destination wedding on a Tuesday at the Benbow Inn and I hope you do too. : )
Dear dreamers and adventurers,
More and more couples are considering eloping instead of having a traditional style wedding. So, if you’re reading this, congrats on stepping outside the box and choosing to do something different!
Eloping means that all of the wedding day choices you have to make, are YOURS entirely. There are no rules. You can truly make your day any adventure you want—it can be a day that reflects the two of you instead of being focused on everyone else’s needs, opinions, and expectations.
Keep in mind that all of this freedom to plan your dream day can feel a bit overwhelming, which is totally normal! To help ease some of the stress I’ve put together a step by step guide to help with the process and make things all fall into place relatively easy for you!
Each week I will post a new blog with content to help you plan the perfect elopement so be sure to come back and check each week!
Before we really dive in, let’s go over some frequently asked questions about elopements.
What is an Elopement?
Elopement planning doesn’t necessarily have clear consecutive steps, it happens in stages. Just like climbing most mountains, there are many ways to the top—but if you feel lost, follow my lead!
How long do I need to plan?
The average time it takes to plan an elopement is about 4-10 months. Planning things out during this time frame gives you a chance to book flights at good prices and find great lodging in advance. However, I have seen couples successfully plan incredible elopements anywhere from 1 week to 4 months out though. Anything is possible!
How much does eloping cost?
The U.S. national average for a traditional wedding is $34,000(crazy huh!), but you can have an incredibly amazing elopement for less than half of that! Expect to spend 50-80% of your budget on photography and the rest on travel, attire, rings, flowers, hair & makeup, an officiant, food, activities, and your marriage license. The awesome thing about eloping is that you really do have room to play if you are on a budget!
Can other people come?
Absolutely! An “elopement” is defined by intentionally focusing your wedding day on YOU TWO (the couple). If you have close family & friends that want to support & celebrate with you—go for it. I’ve experienced elopements with up to 25 people with the same vibe as a 2-person elopement.
Now that we have the most frequently asked questions answered, keep an eye out for my next series of emails that will be focusing on the 5 stages of elopement planning! The 5 topics we are focusing on are: dream & brainstorm, research & consider logistics, make choices & start booking, finalize details & get ready, and... Have the best elopement day!
Get ready, stage one is coming right up!
Sam and Brianne had over 300 people at their rustic country wedding in Ferndale. This is no surprise. They are so loved by so many because of the caring and loving people that they are. We started out the day at Brianne’s sisters house where the girls were getting ready. Next we traveled to the Bear River Casino where we had some fun taking the guys pictures. Then we headed to the Barn By Fernbridge, which is a one of a kind venue for those country loving brides. Their outdoor ceremony space is beautiful and they have no shortage of great picture locations. There was plenty of love and laughter during the ceremony. The celebration continued long into the night that ended with a gorgeous sunset. Thank you Sam and Brianne for asking me to capture your wedding day. It was absolutely beautiful!
Planner: KND Crafty Creations
Flowers: Pocket of Posie
DJ: Heat Wave
Officiant: Jovonne Dempster
Videographer: Diamond Memories
I photographed a wedding at Rosina Vineyards in July of 2018. Not long after, Katie contacted me about shooting her Rosina Vineyards wedding the following July. Her plans were for sunflowers everywhere. Fast forward one year, and one pregnancy later. This mama got married not long after having a baby! Big props to Katie! Planning a wedding while pregnant and then having a newborn is definitely not easy! : ) Curtis and Katie’s wedding was on a very warm Southern Humboldt day. It was filled with sunflowers, lots of love, and even more laughter. Tears were shed, amazing dance moves were recorded, and lots of laughs were had. I hope you enjoy viewing their photos! : )