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Couple embraced in the forest

In 2021 we find ourselves asking, what is an elopement?

What comes to mind when we hear the term, Elope?

Originally there was the concept of eloping was a couple sneaking off to get married on a whim with no one else around to places like Vegas etc. without anyone else’s knowledge. 

However, nearly almost all of our  couples we talk to who have or are planning a wedding have considered elopement at one point, even before covid.

The reason is, that eloping doesn’t really mean the same thing as it once did. It’s not a term for couples running away to get married, or impulsively getting hitched anymore. Elopements are more planned and specifically opted for over a larger wedding. And of course, with a global pandemic still looming, are being preferred over the alternative. 

Ultimately, however, Couples have adopted and adapted the term elope to fit their wants for a smaller, more intimate, “them” centric wedding.

The wedding industry has recently developed many other terms to categorize the types of small and intimate weddings couples are planning, a great resource for all the new terms can be found on the Knot. However, to sum it all up:

Micro-wedding- it’s a wedding but small! 

With a tiny guest count, a microwedding usually is planned and has many elements  a typical wedding is planned but is but to a much smaller degree, usually averaging about 50 guests that are immediate family and close friends only. 

what is an elopement
what is an elopement

Minimonies+Sequal weddings 

The 2020 pandemic has coined these two new terms in the wedding industry.

For those couples who had every intention to have a traditional size and feel of a wedding but had to adjust due to COVID, they are having Minimonies to commit to one another now among parents or a handful of friends and opting for their larger wedding later when it’s safe and more reasonable to do so also now referred to as their sequel wedding.
Earl and I have been referring to them as “bonus weddings” such as Sara and Neals wedding change-up captured here.

what is an elopement
what is an elopement

Yes, you can plan it this way!  It’s 2021 now, but planning is still uncertain and challenging. So you can plan for this solution by knowing that you DO want to get married this year and you DO want to have a large traditional wedding so the solution is to get married now, and have a large celebration later.


So what is an elopement? 

An elopement is, essentially, a wedding day for just you and your partner and maybe a witness or two, or parents. If you were to have a  “guest list” it would probably fit on one hand. Or maybe it’s just the two of you, the officiant and me and Earl as your witnesses (We sign our name really well)

The location can be a place that has meaning to you and your significant other. It can take place somewhere that is epic and romantic or simple and nostalgic as your backyard. 

Honestly, an Elopement can be whatever you want it to be when referring to making a ceremony day all about you and your partner and having a memorable adventure where you end up married without the fuss of a big traditional wedding.

what is an elopement

So, when planning or adjusting your wedding, start to ask yourself some questions for which direction you want to go.

-Do I want a large traditional wedding? 

-If so, am I willing to postpone my wedding planning or would I rather have a minimoni this year and a sequel wedding the following year? Bonus wedding!

-Would I rather have a small wedding that focuses on just me and my partner?  

-Do I want others to be involved in the  intimacy of the event, such as parents or close friends?

-What would an “Us centric” wedding day look like? Would I enjoy this more than a large celebration? 

-What type of celebration sounds like the right fit for us?

Remember the best and simplest advice of it all: the wedding is about you and your partner, everything else is just extra awesome.

For more information head over to our Minnesota Elopement Photographer page

wedding couple standing on frozen lake near cornfield at sunset

What is an elopement?

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