Gosh, this can be such a difficult part of the process! First, I wanna say that I’m sorry for the hard feelings you may experience as a result of sharing your elopement plans with loved ones. Second, clear-yet-compassionate conversation IS possible, however, for some, it’s difficult to avoid negative comments and reactions. In those situations, you are not obligated to entertain criticism or unwarranted opinions. If you do decide to have those conversations, start by writing out the boundaries that you hope to establish with friends, family, and others. Talk with the family and friends that are safe and who know you. Ask their advice and begin drafting what you’d like to say. After you’ve told your family what you and your partner have planned for your day, extend an invitation to connect later with them.
Having a little photo/video viewing party is a common way you can include your family in your day without allowing them to impact your elopement negatively. I’ve also had couples have the ceremony accessible to a small group of close family and friends while taking the rest of the day for photos and more private vows. Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you have to completely exclude everyone, and just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean you have to include everyone (like your parents best friends that they haven’t seen in 20 years). That’s why I’m there, so they can share all the great photos on Facebook.
Well, it truly depends on what you’re looking for and the location you’re getting married in. Some states require witnesses and officiants, while others don’t require anything. You’ll also need to decide if you’re looking to get legally married on your elopement day or ahead of the day you’re celebrating. Some international countries are easier than others, while some are dangerous, especially for queer or interracial couples. While we discuss location options, we can also research corresponding laws and expectations.
Absolutely! I’m not here for gatekeeping adventure – it changes from person to person and place to place. We’ll find a destination that suits your abilities and interests, and go at the pace that’s most comfortable for you. Slow is the go, my friend!
Let’s do it! There are so many options and so many amazing local guides in the coolest of places. While I’m your adventure photographer, it’s important to consider hiring an expert guide for any kind of excursion or potentially dangerous activity to ensure that you’re in safe hands. I’m down for just about anything (but if you’re looking to skydive…you might have to find a different lady). My main focus is on capturing the both of you having a great time being together while a guide would focus on making sure that your time spent together is safe and won’t result in a trip to the hospital (and if it does, I’ll be there with encouragement, support, and documentation should you want memories of a crazy day).
I totally understand this feeling. I may be a photographer but even I get nervous in front of the camera. It can be a vulnerable, nerve-wracking experience, and while an all day elopement can feel overwhelming at first, you should know that it won’t feel like the world’s longest photoshoot. Ideally, you both can spend the day existing in the ways that feel most comfortable. When you’re just hanging out with your best friend, your natural feelings, expressions, and smiles come out. I happen to be there third wheeling with my camera and documenting it all. After spending some time with each other, it’ll feel more relaxed as we become friends. And if it’s any consolation, every single couple that tells me they’re really awkward…have the BEST most genuine images. Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, honey.
There’s so many different ways of shooting, and mine follows the more candid route. The majority of the photos will be the both of you doing something. Whether it’s making coffee, dancing together, playing backgammon, or walking somewhere gorgeous, these are the moments that really round out your day. In between, I help foster a more natural state of posing. I’ll get the classic refrigerator picture for the parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts, but the rest of the time will be filled with intentional prompts that encourage moments of connection, laughter, and intimacy.
Absolutely! I want you both to feel comfortable when expressing your love! Feel free to make a pinterest board of poses that make you feel most like ‘you’ to help me get to know your ideal posing style.
I would love to learn more about the practices you’re planning to include in your day! There are so many beautiful cultures and beliefs in the world, and I want to make sure I’m doing my research in order to remain as respectful as possible.
Yes! While I prefer to photograph small, intimate elopements of 30 people or less, I’m always open to learning more about larger events and elopement-style weddings. I look forward to photographing your closest loved ones on your big day! If you are expecting a group of 30 or more people, I suggest scheduling plenty of time to spend with them while also prioritizing enough time to adventure around with me for photos. A common approach is opting for two-day coverage, one focused on your community, and one focused on an intimate experience with just your partner.
It depends! If you’re getting married in a national park, you unfortunately can’t bring pets, but you can have horses, goats, llamas sometimes! Since they’re pack animals and eat a more natural diet (aka, not kibble) they’re almost always allowed in national parks and in the backcountry. I do have a personal friend that offers guided llama packing trips that I can call on, if interested.
ABSOLUTELY. I love couples that understand why I do what I do. And if that’s something you incorporate into your relationship, I would love to take photos of you both taking photos!
If you want them to get dirty, absolutely! I love seeing the natural effects of the day on fancy outfits, it’s one of my favorite things to photograph! However, if you do want to preserve the most of your dress, shoes, or pants, I can absolutely accommodate for that as well! It’s your clothing after all. If you’re wanting to incorporate an outfit change, feel free to bring what’s comfortable for you.
1000%. I never want anyone to feel like they can’t advocate for themselves. Whether it’s me, a stranger, a guide, or whomever/whatever that is causing the stress, your emotional/mental safety is a top priority for me. I am constantly learning and unlearning a lot of good and challenging tools and strategies to navigate discomfort, while I’m not perfect at it (who is?!) the last thing I want is for something to be swept under the rug. Know that if anything begins to feel triggering or stressful, you are safe to share your experience with me and I’ll do my best to make sure we get back to a place that is peaceful and affirming.
No such thing! Sometimes unexpected weather can create the most beautiful moments. Thunderstorms can bring out some of the best sunsets or rainbows you’ve ever seen. Showers can be accommodated with those cute see-through umbrellas. Forest fires make for an epic backdrop, given we’re far enough away from any danger. If you REALLY don’t want to or can’t participate in your elopement due to the weather that is forecasted, we’ll find another option! Between finding a different location or opting for a different day (if time & vendors allow), I’m pretty good at winging it!
That’s a solid question, honestly. ‘On the road with Marlow’ is my most common answer. I’m often on the west side of the Mississippi, however my mailing address and the place where I feel the deepest sense of community + friendship is Ventura, CA. One day I’ll settle down, I suppose! But for now, the concrete and dirt roads that riddle our (stolen) landscape is what I call home currently.
Depends! If you’re having a simpler elopement, I love creating an itinerary that fits your desires. The ins and outs of lighting and the general flow of the day is something that I love working with clients to solidify. If you’re getting married internationally, you should seriously consider finding a planner familiar with the laws, locations, and language. It can get really stressful on both ends when working outside of the country, which is probably one of the reasons that you’re not having a traditional wedding.
There’s a couple of boundaries that I have when it comes to elopement locations. The first would be an elopement in Hawai’i, I don’t feel comfortable capitalizing on this destination unless the invitation is coming from local Hawaiians. There’s too much exploitation of the land and culture there, and I cannot in good conscience exploit this destination when locals have explicitly expressed that we shouldn’t.
The second would be any place that could be dangerous for you as a queer couple, interracial couple, etc., or is too exploitative for a country that is struggling because of relying on tourism (like Hawai’i).
Typically I refrain from booking elopements more than a year in advance. I can’t guarantee what my life will look like that far out, or how my pricing and package structure will change. My ideal booking timeline is 6-9 months in advance.
As someone who has spent the majority of her photography career photographing in California, it’s been a struggle to diversify the clients that I work with. I would absolutely love to be able to shoot folks of all backgrounds! I also recognize that there are situations and obstacles that can inhibit or prevent minorities from participating in the wedding industry the way that it is designed and operated – it can be very exclusive. BUT the beauty of eloping is that you can create a day that’s just for you! If you’re a minority or a typically-excluded person in our society, please let me know if you need more support in order to have the elopement of your dreams. I offer payment plans, flexible schedules, and additional accommodations to allow for anything you’ve got going on!