I'll never forget my friend panicking after getting her hair and makeup done on her wedding day because she realized she never wears that much makeup and it didn't even look like her so why would she get married that way? She washed her face and I helped her put on her regular mascara, blush and some lipstick to feel fancy and she felt immediately at ease and like herself again.
We all just want to feel seen, heard and accepted, the way we do with our partners. Your wedding day should be no different!
No matter what you decide, know that just because you don't want a whole production doesn't make your day any less important. Do not discount the fact that this is your WEDDING DAY (!!!) even if it's not what other people picture. Just because you don't value stuff doesn't mean you don't value each other and the commitment you're making. You deserve to have a wedding experience where you can feel free to savor committing yourselves to each other without feeling rushed, pressured, stressed, guilty, overwhelmed, exhausted or inauthentic. I fully advocate ensuring that your wedding experience is one that is based on joy, adventure and intimacy, however that looks like to you.
These are what I categorize as just the two of you getting married doing whatever the hell you want! For me, when I travel, one of my favourite parts is that giddy, exhilarated feeling I get when I land in an unknown city or town and realize I get to do whatever I want and no one will care.
I call them adventurous elopements because I want to have that same sense of excitement and possibility with the two of you committing your lives to each other, whether you're doing it in your own home or on the other side of the world (maybe at an elephant sanctuary like this couple pictured!).
Whatever you decide, I love infusing adventure into an elopement because you have the ultimate freedom and flexibility having it be just the two of you.
You may call this a small wedding, a microwedding, an intimate ceremony, an elopement etc. Either way it's a ceremony where you commit to your partner (legally or not if you wish!) with a gathering of 50 people or less followed by (or not!) some sort of celebration afterwards.
It might be in your home, a backyard, city hall, a hotel, a favourite restaurant, greenhouse, museum, holiday destination, park, mountain, beach etc.
Anywhere that's really special to you!
I am thrilled to help with ideas and planning if necessary.
I love love, but I don't believe it needs to be showy or performative. I value the reality of this human life and I love photography for the fact that it gives us the ability to stop time and savor what is happening right in front of us. My heart really broke for brides that would say they barely got to enjoy their own wedding day. My goal for my images is to commemorate such a life changing decision as getting married (and what that means to your overall story as a couple), and to do so in a non-invasive and authentic way.
Your commitment should be celebrated in a way that represents you, your partner and your relationship. And really, weddings are just parties for marriages. And you can do whatever you want at a party.
So what other options are there? I'm so glad you asked! I would categorize them into two camps:
I believe that relationships are unique, personal, and private. Why would your wedding need to be any different?
This is why after photographing many traditional weddings, I chose to focus my photography business solely on small, intimate weddings and adventurous elopements. I gravitate to smaller wedding experiences because I believe they allow for the focus to be on your relationship and the commitment you're making to each other, rather than the expectations, opinions or traditional concepts or ideas that feel disconnecting and impossible to achieve. Small weddings or elopements can really encapsulate the point of the celebration in a genuine and intimate way.
Which is what love is all about.
We’ve been living in a highly distinctive era that we can call Romanticism. It emerged as an ideology in Europe in the mid 18th century and has infiltrated our entire world in how we view relationships and love. Beliefs that are shown in our culture through books, movies, songs, shows etc. like how a relationship should, be easy, fulfill us entirely, be happy all the time, love and sex are always intertwined, we should make decisions based on feelings only, fights are bad, we will never feel lonely again, there’s one true soul mate, a wedding or marriage is the ultimate act of love etc. etc. To me, a traditional wedding really is the culmination of all of these unhelpful beliefs. It’s like all of them happening at once in a single day.
“Marriages are like fingerprints;
each one is different and each one is beautiful.”
– Maggie Reyes