Ditch Tradition: Why You Should Elope!


Shooting elopements are my absolute fave and something I specialize in. Elopements are so fun, and so much less stress. So, did you just get engaged and are terribly overwhelmed by your to-do list? Are you looking for something that showcases your love and focuses on the relationship and not the party? Do you have a small budget? Or are you just looking to break tradition and do something totally different?

Either way, I’ve got all the reasons why you should break tradition and ELOPE! I asked one of my elopement brides, Vanessa, who recently eloped at the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, to give some insight on her elopement and why they chose to do it the way they did.

  1. It’s just you and your future spouse, and you can make it a fun vacation to start your marriage off right while creating a strong foundation for your future. When I asked Vanessa about this she said her and her now husband loved to travel, and that getting eloped would be “the ultimate vacation”. Vanessa also said that eloping was a great way to focus on her relationship with her husband, “On my wedding day, I wanted my only focus to be on my future husband. He deserved all my attention.”

  2. But what about your families? Of course you love your families and I do too! We found the perfect solution..get a good photographer! “The biggest problem? What about family? We both LOVE our families. The solution: get an amazing photographer and videographer to capture it!” This way, no one misses out on anything and you have the memories to last a lifetime.

  3. SO MUCH LESS WORK. A ton less prep, and the ability to keep it simple. Think about it, you don’t have to worry about getting all the food and decorations ready, all you have to do..get yourself and your guy ready and show up!

Vanessa was able to find a seamstress to make her a unique and custom dress for only $300! “After lots of fun dress trying on sessions with a bunch of different family. My brother found a girl to make my dress and she charged $300” Finding a budget-friendly dress can be a huge weight off any bride’s shoulders.

Another tip from my bride: “One of my favorite tips is to make a list of three important things splurge or focus on those and don’t get stressed about the rest!” This is one of my favorite tips for planning a wedding whether an elopement or a traditional wedding. Things aren’t perfect, but THREE things can be! Don’t ruin your day worrying about how everything is going wrong or not according to plan, but focus on the things you love.

4. Save some serious $$$ - DIY as much as you can! Or the things you think you can handle. Vanessa DIYed her bouquet, and it was seriously so so stunning. “Daniel encouraged me to make a bouquet! I found an awesome Youtube video that went through how to choose flowers and placement and it came out awesome. Flowers aren’t important to me but I need a way to incorporate Daniel’s baby Bonnet into my outfit. We had so much fun doing this project together the night before! The thing I liked about the YouTube video was the lady was not a florist just a normal person who was trying it for the first time also have real expectations. There are some bouquets that will require flowers to be imported and some looks need a professional to be achieved ! If flowers are important to you there are so many flower shops in town.”


Not only did are you able to do whatever you want, however you want, you can literally get married and then go explore…. or explore, then get married. Especially in the Grand Teton National Park, not only is it a picturesque and beautiful location, but there is so much to do and so many memories to be made.

Here’s what our bride and her groom did the week of their elopement: “There was so much love that week! We got to check out Yellowstone. We visited Schwabacher's Landing almost everyday leading up to the wedding. Our first hike as a married couple was Jenny Lake. We watch our wedding video and look at our pictures all the time.  We can’t wait to show our children one day and bring them to these spots.” How freaking awesome is that?! Not only did they have a relax and chill week and then an epic elopement in the beautiful Grand Teton National Park, but they have memories to share and remember forever.

A special tip for my brides that want to recreate this wedding in Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole.. Vanessa was able to find a super talented, low key bakery tucked away in Jackson to make their cake. “ I found a lady to make an elopement cake on the drive up and it sent us on a fun adventure through the Tetons. It was from @jacksoncakeco. in Moose. By the look of her Instagram we were expecting a fancy store front but what we found was much more awesome. The baker’s family owned the little stores in that area and they lived in a group of houses down the hill. Her bakery is in a back room of one of the stores and you have to ask around to locate it because there’s no signs for it. We talked about the cold weather at the cake pick up and she ran to her house to grab me some hand warmers. It was so sweet and we had so much fun walking around Moose.”


Want to see more from this epic elopement? Check out Vanessa and Daniel’s blog post all about their wedding and their incredible love story.

From a photographer’s side of things, elopements are so rad because there’s so much excitement in the air and it kind of feels like a big surprise. Everything is only done that one time, there is no rehearsal and no trial runs for makeup or hair, this is it. And honestly, it’s such a surreal and incredible experience. Have more questions about eloping? I’m your gal, let’s chat and brainstorm some ideas for your day. I’ll go along with all your crazy fun ideas, promise!