Getting Married While Pregnant | How to plan an elopement and where to elope while Pregnant
Before we dive into the eloping while pregnant guide, I want to share with you Alicia and Matt’s beautiful elopement day story that took place in Sedona this spring. Matt and Alicia had come to me looking to help plan their elopement. Their love story started out at one of Alicia’s favorite bars in Detroit, after she had just moved to the city and was venturing out by herself for a Moscow Mule, which happened to be the same bar Matt was at with his sister at the time. When Alicia arrived, there were only a few people sitting at the bar and Matt says that right before Alicia got there, the bar was full, but then cleared out for her. Either way, shortly after sitting down, Matt attempted a pick-up line. An amoretto-7-up and a few Hop Slams later, Alicia and Matt couldn’t stop talking and Matt couldn’t stop winking. Matt and Alicia went on their first date the very next day at the Detroit Institute of Art. They were inseparable ever since. During the first month of their relationship, Matt had met most of Alicia’s family. The next month, they went looking for houses together and ended up taking home a stray cat. It wasn’t before too long that they were officially living together with 2 cats (Alicia brought home by surprise) and they moved to an apartment overlooking the water in Detroit. Meanwhile, Alicia and Matt would do fun things like go on motorcycle rides, hike Angels Landing, be avid goers of the theatre and comedy shows, tan in Jamaica, and much more. Eventually, right before Alicia started grad school, they moved to a green little suburb where they settled in a home with their sweet pup named Teddy. Alicia and Matt are now pregnant and are so overjoyed that they are able to share their love and life with someone else.
When it came to looking into eloping, they were interested in going this route because “We are both not ones for big parties, especially ones focused on us. We also wanted to do something sooner than later, with COVID and the baby on the way. We just felt like something more intimate feels more like us and what we value.” So we planned a beautiful sunrise hike, headlamps at the ready, to get married on a plateau overlooking much of Sedona’s beautiful red rocks. Before getting on way to hike, we did a first look at their bed and breakfast, with the moon still high in the sky, where they took a moment to soak in the approaching “I do”. Alicia had hiked all the way up Doe Mountain, in her beautiful touch of pink ballgown dress all while pregnant. Once we reached the top, the sun was starting to peak, and they spent some time admiring the views and enjoyed a light hearted first dance together. As we had prepared for the ceremony, a birthday celebration group cheered them on and gave them many congratulations, the birthday girl signing as one of their witnesses for their marriage certificate. They had decided to self-solemnize on the rock ledge, for a beautiful and intimate vow exchange. After their ceremony, they sat down to enjoy a breakfast picnic, complete with a one tiered cake, and Alicia’s favorite chocolates from back home, that actually moved to this area, Gayle’s chocolates. It was a sweet surprise to find a small chocolate shop she used to work at, now local to where she had got married. Matt and Alicia had drank coffee from Matt’s grandmothers cups, and the day before their elopement, they had saw a hummingbird and a butterfly and it reminded them both that their grandmothers were present with them throughout this experience. They were both so excited that their little one also got to be a part of their wedding day experience. They are so excited for this next big chapter of their lives.
Let’s talk about some great location options to consider while Pregnant and what determines a great location for a pregnant bride:
What makes a great location for a pregnant bride to consider when planning their elopement is partly is this accessible? You don’t want to go on an intense off road adventure while pregnant and probably want to avoid extremely long or hard hikes. It may also be important to pick a location that is not too remote from a city with amenities depending how far along you are, not too far from a hospital. Here are some of the areas/location that I think offer a lot of options to our expecting brides:
- Sedona, Arizona
- Garden of the Gods
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Salt Flats of Utah
- Olympic National Park
- Oregon Coast/Cannon Beach
- Smith Rock State Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Big Sur
- Lake Tahoe
- Lake Powell
- Phoenix, AZ + Surrounding area
- San Juan Islands
Tip from the bride herself when it comes to an adventure elopement while pregnant:
“I would say my tip would be if you’re hiking a mountain (or anything rigorous) do it between months 3-5. It’s now month 5 and my body is changing rapidly and I am much more sore and I can’t tolerate heat so well. Some mommas have a rough trimester 1, so as long as they’re up for it closer to month 3, go for it! Also, about the dress, make sure it is not tight or restrictive, and opt for an empire dress, or something that hits above the baby bump. Your boobs and belly and (most likely other parts too) will grow!”
How to prepare for your adventure elopement while expecting:
- Stay Hydrated. Even before your elopement be sure you’re drinking plenty of water daily. This will help you be the most hydrated the day of.
- Consider eloping in your second trimester if possible. During this time you will hopefully be through the morning sickness, but also wont be so pregnant that it would be difficult to be on your feet or enjoy the day!
- Hike prior to the elopement. If you are planning to hike on your elopement day try to keep this as a part of your pregnancy before the big day so your body is accustom to it and also so you can know the limits. Also consult your doctor to make sure you are safe!
- Book your travel to accommodate an adjustment period or time to relax between traveling and the elopement day. You want to be well rested and not stressed out so accommodating extra time is a great way to do this.
If you are flying or road tripping to your elopement location consider packing these items: travel in something comfortable shoe wise and outfit wise, have luggage that can be easily wheeled over carried, letter from your doctor approving travel (3rd trimester), ginger chews, compression socks, healthy snacks, water, list of local doctors to where you will be traveling to, etc
- Be sure when purchasing your dress that it will fit when the day arrives, you have a growing baby! This doesn’t mean you can’t get a beautiful gown, just be sure you feel good and safe moving in it and that it fits! Fitted dresses that have a loose A line and/or ballgown may be a great fit.
- Consider momma-to-be safe activities like picnics, short hikes, swimming, camping, etc
- The day of be sure to take breaks, do not push yourself and enjoy this process. Remember your body is creating another human!
- As always, communicate with your photographer! As an elopement photographer we don’t just snap the photos, we are planners, day of coordinators and more. It is important while helping plan and leading up to the day we know how you are doing, what you’re up for and your expectations. The day of let us know how you are doing! We want you to have the best day ever and be comfortable.
Ideas to include your pregnancy/little one at the elopement:
- If no one knows you are pregnant you can announce your pregnancy with your elopement photos/video.
- You can reveal the gender by the dress color, the inside of the cake, etc
- You can write letters to your baby on this day for them to open in their future and keep it somewhere safe until they are old enough to receive it.
- Definitely take a bump photo in your dress!
If you have guests at your elopement tell them all in person of the exciting news!
- Include your baby in your vows