2020 was…. a doozy to say the least. With that being said it was honestly one of the best years for me finding peace on the road, falling in love with my partner, learning to get out of my comfort zone and working with so many people that have truly touched me. I don’t say that lightly because I know this year was extremely devastating on many levels between losing people dear to them, working to the point of exhaustion on the front line of this virus, not seeing loved ones, bringing new life into the world alone and the list goes on and on for the year 2020. I ask you to look at the positives though as we go into the new year, and look back on this year and move forward as a community and as individuals.
This year I photographed 35+ elopement days, photographed in 5 states, captured over 5 proposals. To all of my 2020 couples, I admire you, respect you and thank you. This year was not an easy year to get married, but you all pushed through together and celebrated your love in beautiful ways despite the hurtles thrown at you every direction from the pandemic; travel restrictions, wild fires and more. I am forever thankful for ever single one of you who trusted me in helping you plan a wedding day that speaks to who you two are and to capture all of those little moments purely and creatively to look back on forever. Being an elopement photographer for me means a lot, but it means the most to be a part of something so special and helping couples start off their marriage in the best way to them.
Throughout this blog you will find the top 20 photos from 2020! Trying to narrow down the countless thousands of images from this year was so emotional for me reliving each elopement or session. I definitely shed some tears. It is an impossible task to narrow down the images like this. I become attached to specific images for many reasons like composition, memories, conversations, color, artistically, conversations in the moments and more. I couldn’t just share the top 20 so in the slide show below you will find my personal favorite images from each session this year, which even this felt SO hard to do lol.
With all of the big wedding blogs and websites (The knot, Harper's bazaar, Brides.com and more) naming the biggest trends for weddings in 2021, I wanted to put together something extra special for elopement couples. Currently all of the stats are showing there will be more elopements (hell yes!) and micro weddings to come in 2021. So this my friends, is the top Ideas and Trends for Elopements in 2021.
Well what do you know, elopements already fall into the category of a more sustainable wedding! Elopements naturally also create less waste because there are no guests or just a few! This also means fewer people are traveling to the event creating an even smaller footprint. The question here though is how will we see elopements become more sustainable in 2021?
In the elopement world, bouquets, flower crowns and flower decor are still used. For most elopement locations the couple can only use flowers local the the area due to Leave No Trace principals, this helps in sustainability because flowers are most likely not being shipped or flown in. There are still ways though that we could see flowers changing for 2021.
Wedding dresses and men’s attire may also be something that we see change due to sustainabilty. Brides may purchase used dresses more! Some great resources for that is:
Another option rather than buying used we may start to see more of is brides wearing their mother’s dresses, just as they are or with some modern touches added.
For grooms a more sustainable option would be wearing something they already have or continuing to rent tuxes rather than buy.
Fashion wise we may be seeing a lot more bridal capes, which I am not mad about. Veils can often times easily find their way out of your hair, especially on top of a mountain (I’ve literally scrambled down a cliff to retrieve one once) so capes can give you that dramatic flowy shots without loosing them! Etsy is also a great place to shop for a bridal cape.
There is also a huge projection that we will see more short wedding dresses! Which I am also not mad about lol. Shorter dresses will be great on the trail and for rock climbing brides.
Once again, elopements for the win! Really I forsee elopements just being the number one trend in 2021 for weddings. Elopements come in many different forms. Here at Adventure and Vow, we focus on adventure elopements so much of our weddings happen in National Parks, on BLM land or in National forest land. If this isn’t your style you can also consider an elopement in a downtown place, in a garden, or in a home or an Airbnb.
If elopements are basically already outside then what does this trend mean for elopements?
This is my personal opinion, but as an elopement photographer I see it as, if people are wanting to more their weddings outdoors, it’s because they are seeking peace and fresh air. I am sure part of this is also due to covid and not wanting folks to be so close to one another. So my thought is with elopements this will mean couples wont want to get married in mainstream elopement locations where several other couples may be saying I do or that have a lot of other tourist. I think folks are going to want to elope in quieter spots or harder to get to spots.
This also ties into another wedding trend that has been cast for 2021, mutli-day weddings will be more popular. This has been suggested because folks are ready to celebrate and party! They are ready to gather. A lot of couples getting married in 2021 have been waiting over a year past their original date so they want to really enjoy it and go all out. On top of the 2020 couples who postponed, you have so many people who havent seen each other in so long, or some people who haven’t traveled in so long really wanting to enjoy these moments!
So if the eloping couple is wanting to really enjoy it, and get further out to quieter less crowded places, I am think we will see more off-roading and back-packing elopements that will be full day or two day events. A mix of this could be more couples doing multi-day elopements where one day they spend by themselves deep off into a National Park and the second day really spending quality time with friends/family. Here are just a few elopement ideas for 2021 that offer seclusion and are fit for multi celebrations!
The top trend sites for travel like Forbes, Travel Leisure and more are predicting that beach weddings will be huge this year! Once travel is back open, I think people will be ready to go explore again and get back to their favorite places/countries or go to new ones! I think we could see a lot more big destination elopements once travel is more open. Could be beaches in the states or beaches in Thailand, Kenya, Greece, Iceland or anywhere! Here are some of the places that are creating a lot of buzz lately that make for dreamy elopement destinations, along with an Airbnb recommendation. People are defiantly looking for more experiences in 2021, so I have pulled an Airbnb for each location that offers an experience, great space to get ready in together, or come back to for a romantic evening.
Tulum, Mexico - This ticks all the boxes, beaches and an adorable town. There’s lots to do here if you’re looking for a stunning beach get away for a honeymoon and relaxing elopement.
Iceland - This Nordic wonder seems to be at the top of any travelers list and especially for folks wanting to have an adventure elopement. Iceland is full of wonder, peace and beauty perfect for an elopement.
Alaska, US - Alaska always reminds me of Iceland, but with more….. home of the biggest National Parks in the states, wildlife galore and glaciers never ending. Whether you want to go on some epic adventures or relax and unwind with beautiful views this is seeming like a hotspot.
New Zealand - This country has been gaining some interest over the years and for great reason, mountains and ocean. Stunning, relaxing views. Great place to elope and get away. Think Iceland, but SUNNY!
Wherever 2021 takes us, may the adventure have high stoke and the love be bound in deep connection. Keep scrolling for more from 2020 and a final note into the new year!
Favorite photo my second shooter captured this year ———>
<——- Favorite personal photo from this year <3
Back during lock down the trails in Sedona in the back country stayed open. Bill and I (and sometimes Indy) would go scout locations taking photos together on the tripod for what would become the huge pdf of the Best Places to Elope in Sedona guide. I chose this photo because its all three of us & easily has become my favorite place in Sedona.
This year one of my photos received honorable mention in the best of 2020 wedding photos by photobug/june bug, I was interviewed live with one my couples by Good Morning Arizona, was featured in my first podcast with the “Southern Girls View,” and was featured on many blogs like Aisle Memories, Diversity Weddings, Wandering Weddings and more. The most meaningful recognition to me are the words that come from my couples though. With over 30 of you leaving 5 star reviews on my google page I am speechless and so thankful for the connection with my couples. I also held my very first workshop for aspiring elopement photographers, Love on Earth Workshop, this year which was so incredible and I can not wait to announce next years workshop! This year was BIG, it was wild, scary, spontaneous, adventurous and changing to the core. I am looking forward to stepping into 2021. Stay tuned for a few big anouncements and changes coming in 2021, we are excited to always be learning, growing and being a part of your big day! <3
Well, look no further! I am an elopement photographer living the best life in a van! I am available for elopements in the Southwest, Pacific Northwest and Iceland. We have a 2021 travel schedule you can check out to see if we are in your dream elopement location at the time you want to elope, but feel free to inquire for your date and location even if it’s not on the list as we are always adding new locations and dates! Here at Adventure and Vow, I believe helping you create an elopement day experience that is true to who you two are as a couple, just imagine your best day ever together, no limits, restrictions or what you should be doing conversations. I believe in capturing this day authentically to who you are, creatively so you can have pure, beautiful images in your home. I will be with you every step of the way from on the trail to those initial stages of figuring out how to narrow down those options!
Starting in 2021 we will be offering officiating at no additional charge to all of our packages, a second photographer at all elopements and video services. Big things are coming in 2021 and we can’t wait for you to join the Adventure and Vow experience! <3