And A Place

For Inspiration

Chapter 2: Falling

The second chapter in the series Love, You. This chapter recounts my emotions of falling and finding my way while my husband was deployed.

a self portrait

The first in a series of letters to myself. A Silent Battle reminds me of my strength; and while I may feel lonely, I know I am not alone.

Chapter 1: A Silent Battle

bride and groom doing a first look on their wedding day

Wondering what you can do to ensure a stress-free wedding day? Here’s a list of my top six wedding planning tips.

Planning Your Wedding: 6 Helpful Tips

A bride and groom on their elopement day at Big Bear California in a forest of large pine trees

Top 5 Things To Consider When Planning Your Elopement

Are you recently engaged and starting to think about planning your elopement but have no idea where to start? There’s a good chance this blog will help you get started! Keep reading to learn about 5 things you should consider when planning your elopement.

1. Permits

When planning your elopement, always consider needing park permits

Oooof.  Permits.  Often this is the last thing you’re thinking about when you want to have a secluded, intimate elopement on a mountainside or amidst the tall redwoods. Most National and State Parks require permits for any commercial activity – and by commercial activity I mean having a photographer and an officiant conducting business for pay. Most permits for elopements require you to have your paperwork submitted no later than three weeks before your big day.  To find out if you need a permit, visit the state park or national park website to get more details.  Or you can give them a call. Personally, I like to call and talk to a park ranger just to make sure I’m receiving the right information and going about the process correctly.

Another thing to consider is how many guests the park allows for your permit.  This should be pretty clearly noted on the permit application, but it’s always good to confirm this information with a park ranger or from information gathered on their website.

2. Weather

Planning around the weather on your elopement day

When searching great places to elope, it may sound super obvious and simple, but my number one recommendation is to make sure you research what the weather typically is like during the month you want to elope.  For instance, winter months in Hawaii often bring LOTS of sporadic rain, monsoons, and mudslides that often lead to last minute changes.  The desert in Southern California + Arizona gets SUPER hot in the summertime (115 degrees in not unusual).  Winter months in Northern California areas like Lake Tahoe, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Mammoth Lake, and Big Bear tend to bring lots of snow resulting in possible road closures. If you’re one to play it safe, be sure you’ve got a good idea of what to expect! Your photographer (aka ME) will help you out with choosing the best location for your elopement!

3. Altitude

Always consider altitude adjustment when planning your elopement

Depending on where you are from and where you are wanting to elope, altitude may or may not get the best of you.  For those of you who have lived at sea level your whole life, traveling up 7000 feet, and hiking up another 1500 or so may hit you harder than you think.  If you tend to get altitude sickness, consider driving to your elopement destination a couple days before to adjust.  Also be aware that altitude sickness doesn’t just happen on the way up…it can happen on the way down has well. Reverse altitude sickness is a thing! Be sure to let your photographer (aka ME) know if you get altitude sickness so that they can plan for more time if you are hiking to a destination.

Here’s a helpful article to help you cope with altitude sickness.

For all of you mountain dwellers…sorry you just had to read that lol.

4. Officiant

Yes or No to having an officiant on your elopement day?

One of the most popular questions I get – Do we need an officiant? Is it weird to not have an officiant?

No, it’s not weird at all! It’s totally normal to not have an officiant present during your elopement. However, this is more so the case if you are wanting to have an adventure elopement where you will be hiking to your destination to have an intimate moment reading your vows to each other.  If you choose to not have an officiant present, just be sure to take care of the legal marriage paperwork before or after!

5. Elopement Dress + Attire

What kind of dress is best to wear on your elopement day

Elopement dress shopping can get a little overwhelming with all the options out there these days! The big question is what type of dress is best for an elopement?

My number one recommendation here is to keep it light and watch out for fabrics that easily snag! Although I absolutely LOVE beaded and sequined wedding dresses, they aren’t very practical if you intend to be doing a lot of walking and hiking to your elopement destination.  Lighter is always better. Choose fabrics that don’t easily leave bold water stains, such as silk.  Look for dresses that are made up of a more forgiving fabric like polyester, lace, chiffon, and tulle.

Another obvious but very necessary tip is to make sure your elopement dress is comfortable! This kind of goes along with keeping it light.  But you also don’t want to be constantly tugging at the straps, pulling it up, making sure your girls aren’t flying out, tripping on it while hiking, etc.  

Comfort always wins!

Let’s Wrap It Up…

There’s lots of things to consider when you are planning your elopement. These top 5 tips to consider when you are eloping is a great place to start! If you are recently engaged and interested in eloping, I would love to chat more about how I can help you out along your journey! Contact me here to learn more about my elopement photography services.

Xoxo – annie louise

Planning Your Elopement

How I came to be a photographer and storyteller of life, love and adventures. A journey of rediscovery and purpose.

A Journey of Rediscovery

Home is a place I continuously long for, yet home can be anywhere you want it to be. Here’s a poem of my thoughts on Home.

By The Bayou

Family walking down the beach during a photoshoot

Ever wondered what to wear for your outdoor photoshoot? Read this blog for my top tips for choosing the best outfits for a photoshoot.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot Outdoors

Hope is not lost
It merely exists to be rediscovered

It is essential to a life worth living

Hope pushes us out of bed each morning
Hoping to be better
Hoping to make an impact
Hoping that today will be better than the last
Hoping to meet your soulmate
Hoping to love more intently
Hoping the world won’t let you down
Hoping you’ll find peace
Hoping to make sense of it all
Hoping to kick that bad habit
Hoping for a fresh start
Hoping to live one more day
Hoping you’ll find meaning

Hope is what we’re all after

Are the hope of this world
And you
May be the hope that others see

Hope is not lost
It merely exists to be rediscovered

Hope on Hwy 62

Ever wondered what a second shooter does & if you need one? Read this blog to find out why backup wedding photographers are so important.

What Is A Second Shooter in Weddings & Why Are They Important

If you’re reading this you’ve probably already decided that you want to have an adventure elopement! Congratulations!!! Maybe there is a location that holds significance to you and your partner, or maybe the stress of planning a large wedding was too overwhelming. No matter what the reason, I am so happy you’ve decided to elope! I love adventure elopements because they offer couples a unique opportunity to celebrate their love in a way that is meaningful to them! Adventure elopements throw all traditions out the window and allow you to plan a day that is unique to you.

As you approach your elopement day, you may already have many of the larger details in place. This blog post is here to help you with all the last-minute tips to prepare for your adventure elopement including what to pack, and how to ensure your wedding day look lasts as long as possible. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Bride and groom walking at Crouching Lion hike in Kauai for their adventure elopement.

Hair Tips for Your Adventure Elopement

Let’s start with the hair tips! As I’m sure you’ve probably experienced at one point or another, hair can have a mind of its own and when it is exposed to the natural elements (especially for extended periods of time) it can really start to be affected. So, my first tip would be to wear your hair as close to its natural state as you can. This will help keep its natural shape and texture as you hike or adventure through the day.

If you are curling your hair, try to make the curls extra tight then add hair spray, and don’t loosen the curls until you get onsite. The curls will naturally loosen up on their own, so by keeping them tight, you will help ensure they hold your desired shape as long as possible. Another option is to curl your hair, then loosely braid it to help hold the curl.

Now, for what hair products to bring with you. One of my favorite on-the-spot tips is heavy-duty charcoal dry shampoo. This is a great product to have as it helps soak up any sweat ensuring your hair looks fresh and clean once you arrive on site. You’ll also want to make sure you have extra bobby pins, clips, hair ties, travel hair spray, dry shampoo, etc.

Whether you are doing your hair yourself or hiring a hair and makeup artist, (did you know that there are adventure HMU that will even go onsite with you the day of your adventure elopement) it’s usually recommended to try your wedding hairstyle in advance so you know what works best for your hair.

Makeup Tips for Your Adventure Elopement

Just like hair, makeup tips will be different depending on each person. Some people sweat more than others so there are different things to consider depending on which category you fall into.

If you tend to sweat more, try applying your eye makeup first then leaving your base makeup application for when you reach the top of the hike. Pack some baby wipes so you can wipe your face when you arrive, then you can apply the rest of your makeup. It’s important to tell your photographer if you plan to go this route as they will want to add in extra time in your elopement timeline to allow you to go a little slower on your hike to try to minimize sweating as well as accommodate for a little extra time to apply your makeup once you reach the top. I always say take it easy on the way up, especially if heat is an issue. Going slow and steady with lots of breaks in between will help minimize the amount of sweat and ensure you are both looking your best!

If you don’t sweat as much, you can add a little extra makeup than you might normally apply and use lots of setting spray to help hold your look in place.

You may also want to choose waterproof products because let’s face it (pun intended), we’ll all probably be crying that day! 🙂

Bride and groom standing on the Hawaii coast during their adventure elopement.

Best Clothing for Adventure Elopement Hikes

There are a couple of options to choose from when it comes to deciding what to wear for your hiking elopement.

Option 1: Wear hiking clothes up. You may want to choose a cute casual outfit that you will not only be comfortable in but one that you would also enjoy being photographed in. As your photographer, I like to take photos of the entire elopement day so that you can remember the full experience of your adventure elopement so this would mean that sometimes we will be taking pictures of the journey up. If you decide to go this route, be mindful of the bra you wear as tight-fitted sports bras can cause lines on your chest/back when you put your wedding outfit or dress on so you may want to forgo wearing one altogether if possible. After we are done taking photos, you can continue wearing your wedding attire on the way down to capture any photos that we may have missed on the journey up.

Option 2: Wear your wedding attire up the whole way with either hiking shoes or another comfortable pair of shoes of your choice. This is a fun and beautiful way to capture your elopement journey in all its glory!

With both options, I highly recommend wearing hiking boots or shoes. You can always change your shoes once you reach the top, or continue wearing your hiking boots for a true adventure elopement experience. Just be sure the shoes that you wear are fully broken in!

Bride and Groom standing on the beach for their Hawaii elopement.

What to Pack for Your Adventure Elopement

Your elopement day is sure to be filled with lots of adventure and I always believe that it’s best to be prepared so you don’t have to worry about the small things and can simply sit back and enjoy the day! I’ve listed below a few additional items (outside of your main wedding attire, florals, etc) that I’ve found to be super helpful when it comes to going on an adventure elopement

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Comfortable backpack
  • Flashlights / Headlamp
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tissues
  • Bobby Pins / Safety pins
  • Deoderant
  • Travel dry shampoo
  • Travel hair spray
  • Small bag of touch-up makeup
  • Small mirror for touch-up or makeup application
  • Baby wipes – to wipe off any unwanted dirt/mud spots, and also sweat! If you will be hiking in an area that is very tropical or muddy, you might want to consider bringing an extra water jug with some paper towels.
  • Towel – to dry off if you plan to jump in the water or in case it rains
  • Seasonal items – hand warmers, wind breaker, jacket, rain poncho, wool socks

How to Pack Florals for Your Adventure Hike

Florals are some of the most fun parts of elopements and they provide a way to express your personality and are oftentimes, the only decor couples have at their adventure elopement. With everything mentioned above though, how do couples also manage to carry what can be delicate arrangements?

Depending on how long the hike is, you will want to ensure your flowers are getting enough water along the way to ensure they look as fresh as possible. One tip is to soak a rag in water and wrap it around the flower stems before sticking it into a waterproof dry bag. Then, you can either stick the flowers on top of your backpack with the zipper open (stems down, flowers up) or secure them on an outside pouch or pocket of your backpack. Then hike slow and steady all the way up to ensure they don’t get jostled too much and lose their shape.

Your florist may be able to provide you with additional tips for how to best transport your florals for your elopement so be sure to check with them as well!

Bride and groom running through a field in Hawaii for their adventure elopement

Enjoy the Journey

That’s it! You’re ready for your adventure elopement and all that’s left is to relax and enjoy the day! Your elopement is a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience so soak in every moment. On the hike, try not to think about just making it to the top the whole time. Slow down, take a breather, and enjoy your surroundings with your loved one. Let go of all the imperfections and expectations. Yes, I know we just went over a bunch of tips, but don’t stress out if your hair gets too frizzy, your curls start falling down, or your makeup smudges. Rather, focus on creating memories of the day exactly how it unfolds, rather than forcing things to happen. After all, this is your day and your story, so live it as it happens because those may just be the memories that you look back on and cherish most!

Are you planning an adventure elopement? Let me know your favorite adventure elopement tips in the comments below! And, if you’re looking for an elopement photographer to go on your adventure hike elopement, I know just the one (wink, wink.)

Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your Adventure Elopement