February 24, 2016

REASONS TO THINK ABOUT ELOPING

ELOPING

Groom waiting with the marriage license in hand at City Hall
Groom waiting with the marriage license in hand at City Hall

Considering elopement instead of a big wedding? An elopement lets you focus on what’s most important.  Sometimes it’s about the keeping the celebrations within your budget. Sometimes it about dodging the pressure of planning a giant party for a lot of people. Sometimes it’s about wanting a classic throwback to a simpler time when weddings were about two people, and those two people only.  As a photographer, I love photographing elopements. They have all the love, joy and fun of a traditional wedding distilled into a few hours.  

Elopement at the Butterfly Place, complete with butterfly and smiles. 
Elopement at the Butterfly Place, complete with butterfly and smiles. 
Brides getting their paperwork ready before their Boston City Hall elopement.
Brides getting their paperwork ready before their Boston City Hall elopement.

THE ROMANCE OF ELOPING

Bride and groom kiss after their elopement in San Francisco
Bride and groom kiss after their elopement in San Francisco

There’s an intimacy to planning together and keeping things secret can add to your romantic elopement. You can also choose to expand that inner circle to just a few more people – like your parents or your best friends. With fewer people involved there are less moving parts of which to keep track.

Think about eloping if you like to remove some of the anxiety of the big day, keeping a little secret to yourselves

Bride and groom enjoying a limo ride after a city hall ceremony
Bride and groom enjoying a limo ride after a city hall ceremony

ELOPING AT A COURTHOUSE OR CITY HALL

Waiting in line for a City Hall wedding. One of the fun things about eloping at City Hall is sharing the joy with the other couples who are also getting married.  Everyone is excited. 
Waiting in line for a City Hall wedding. One of the fun things about eloping at City Hall is sharing the joy with the other couples who are also getting married.  Everyone is excited. 

Research the procedure and cost to obtain your marriage license. Call ahead to make sure you have what you need.  Find out if you’ll need any certified copies of your marriage license for insurance and if you’ll need a witness.  As a photographer, I have sometimes been that witness.  

Weddings abroad will require at least the same amount of paperwork as weddings at home.

Paperwork is part of the deal. I like photographing all the bureaucratic details, a fun foil to the romantic portraits to come.
Paperwork is part of the deal. I like photographing all the bureaucratic details, a fun foil to the romantic portraits to come.

 

AFTERPARTY! ELOPING AND HAVING RECEPTION LATER

Bring a bottle (or two) of champagne to toast, celebrate and mark this new chapter of your lives.
Bring a bottle (or two) of champagne to toast, celebrate and mark this new chapter of your lives.

Want an after party? Yes. Let’s! You can toast your newlywed status with a glass of champagne and a cupcake, or reservations at your favorite restaurant.

There’s no reason you can’t have another wedding celebration later on – with the big dance party and the open bar.  

Love this portrait of two brides, with their champagne glasses and new wedding rings, as they toasted their City Hall elopement.  A weekday wedding means you will likely have the place to yourself.  
Love this portrait of two brides, with their champagne glasses and new wedding rings, as they toasted their City Hall elopement.  A weekday wedding means you will likely have the place to yourself.  

When you plan a second celebration, you might even want to use it as a platform to renew your vows. Or wear your wedding dress/suit again.

BOSTON AS AN ELOPEMENT DESTINATION

A passionate kiss sealing the deal at a Boston City Hall wedding.
A passionate kiss sealing the deal at a Boston City Hall wedding.

I love shooting elopement here in Boston.  When I was based on SF (which has maybe the nation’s most gorgeous city hall) I loved shooting civil ceremonies there too.  Boston is a terrific city to consider for eloping.  Chock full of universities and love stories that began at those universities – the roots of many a romantic relationship have begun here, or across the river in Cambridge.  

More portraits on the wall than guests. But at least they are distinguished portraits. 
More portraits on the wall than guests. But at least they are distinguished portraits. 

Boston City Hall, mid century concrete Brutalism, and Cambridge City Hall, classic Richardsonian Romanesque, though different in architectural styles, are both terrific locations for your Boston elopement.  Boston and Cambridge are relatively small with a huge diversity of locations within walking distance.

ELOPING ETIQUETTE

This couple had prepared their wedding announcement in advance.  Directly after their city hall elopement they stopped by the post office to mail out their wedding announcements.
This couple had prepared their wedding announcement in advance.  Directly after their city hall elopement they stopped by the post office to mail out their wedding announcements.

Part of the fun of eloping is that nearly all of the obligations are easy to address.  Eloping means you aren’t required to invite anyone.  But this does mean that the people in your life might feel excluded from this momentous time in your lives.  Even if they aren’t in attendance – sending them an announcement (that can be in the form of a facebook post, a post card or a video)

Tis couple chose to use this image from the Copley Fairmont to announce their wedding on New Year's Day to their friends and family. 
Tis couple chose to use this image from the Copley Fairmont to announce their wedding on New Year’s Day to their friends and family. 

 

SHOULD YOU STILL HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER IF YOU ELOPE?

A quiet moment from an elopement at the Butterfly Place. 
A quiet moment from an elopement at the Butterfly Place. 

Obviously, as a wedding photographer, I am biased.  I feel that professional photography means beautiful visual documents of your life milestones (and this counts as one of them, for sure) is important part to your personal legacy.  

Wear what you like! This bride was stunning in her emerald green dress at her civil ceremony.  They eventually had a big celebration in their home state to party with their friends and extended family.
Wear what you like! This bride was stunning in her emerald green dress at her civil ceremony.  They eventually had a big celebration in their home state to party with their friends and extended family.

And I LOVE photographing small weddings, city hall wedding or elopements.  Stripped down to the essentials of the day (and sometimes under cloak and dagger) it can be a thrilling and awesome way to begin a new chapter in your lives.  

You can even use the images from your elopement photographer in your wedding announcements or holiday cards.

ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES

When I photograph elopements, or city hall weddings, most client book me for two hours. This covers a few moments before the ceremony, the ceremony itself and we wrap up with location portraits featuring the location you chose to elope – and also maybe with a glass of champagne to toast the newlyweds.  


I’m photographer Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio. I love photographing elopements in Boston, creating beautiful and honest images of this thrilling moment in my clients’ love story. 

Planning an elopement in Boston?

Want learn more about our elopement photography packages? 

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