Oregon Elopement Photographer – Luxury Elopement Photography | passport prepared & worldwide available

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Here’s Why Elopements Aren’t What They Used To Be

elopement couple on a 4x4 off road vehicle
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is an Elopement Anyway?

My site’s tagline was almost going to be “Not Your Grandma’s Elopement” — a) because it made me giggle and b) I know that so many people are still puzzled by the word elopement. So here’s my two cents on what an elopement is:

ski resort elopement photo
ski resort elopement photo

Times Have Changed…



The wedding industry is always changing and rapidly evolving. Photographing large, extravagant weddings since 2010 (though super fun) made me wonder if the big sha-bang was genuinely suited for everyone or if couples just felt like they ‘had to’ because of the external pressures and societal norms. When I spoke with them one-on-one, I learned that not all couples really aligned with the big party. And I’m here to tell you, that’s totally OK. 

bonneville salt flats elopement
bonneville salt flats elopement

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to get married. Celebrate your promise to each other in a way that feels 1000% authentic to you and your relationship! If you’re an introvert the thought of walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of people gives you the heebeejeebees, don’t do it! If you love a big party and planning every last detail, then hell yea, do that! Just get married in a way that’s enjoyable TO YOU. Because it only happens once and I’m a firm believer in enjoying your wedding day every step of the way.

crater lake wedding elopement

Ugh, inflation

Let’s be honest, with the rate of inflation, everything is much more expensive than even a year ago. How nice would it be if that pricey honeymoon you booked for the Maldives could double as your wedding location? It doesn’t mean your friends and family can’t come. It just means they come with you! You could treat it like a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation spending quality time with each of your loved ones and not have to worry about seating charts or mailing 500 invitations. Doesn’t that sound great?

big sur beach elopement couple kissing

The Covid Conundrum

I hate to bring it up but, remember 2020? The pandemic made a lot of people realize that maybe having a big wedding wasn’t totally necessary. I watch many of my own Covid couples breathed a sigh of relief the morning of, making statements along the lines of “I’m kind of glad there aren’t more people here. I think I’d feel really overwhelmed right now”. 


*queue me behind the camera silent cheering, “YES!”*

iceland elopement bride smiling

That season was pivotal. As lame as it was to watch my couples go through it, those small, intimate wedding celebrations ended up being my favorite ones ever. I watched them get to talk to each of their guests and have a blast the entire day because they weren’t stretched too thin. One of the best receptions even took place in a well-decorated garage! It was AMAZING!!!

Smith Rock State Park Oregon Elopement Photos by Mia


No, eloping doesn’t necessarily mean courthouse wedding, or running away to Vegas, or have be a secret, or mean you’re defying all of your relatives and late ancestors…

It’s simply a you-do-you thing. 

That’s all. 🙂

about the author:

Hi! I’m Mia!

I live in a tiny cabin in the woods of central Oregon with my boyfriend. We love cooking, camping, fishing, raising chickens and listening to true crime. I’ve had the best job in the world documenting intimate celebrations since 2010. My love languages are quality time and travel.

My approach to photography is a cross between documentary and editorial. Think of fashion magazines but with real couples. I believe the experience is just as, if not more, important than the photos and that photos are the closest thing we have to time travel. 

portrait of elopement photographer at crater lake national park

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