There’s a lot of misconceptions about elopements out there. Two of the biggest ones: 1) Elopements last only a maximum of two hours, and 2) Elopements are only ever a no frills courthouse event or an outdoor backpacking trip through the mountains. Welp, I’m here to tell you, folks: Elopements are so much more versatile than all that! And Nicole + Pauls’ elopement is the perfect illustration of what an elopement day can be.
First of all, this elopement was a city elopement. I don’t think city elopements get enough credit or visibility, and that’s a shame because there is SO much potential. For instance, Nicole + Paul were able to get a woodsy, nature vibe AND an urban, metropolitan vibe AND a quiet, park vibe all in one day. Portland provides so many green spaces, as well as beautiful downtown spaces that even with just a half-day photography package we were able to hit on so many awesome themes.
The one thing these two knew when they first reached out to me was they were going to have their ceremony at Leach Botanical Garden. I’ve written about Leach before, and my opinion hasn’t changed: It’s a gorgeous venue for a small wedding (or elopement) with the kindest staff. So, of course, once their ceremony was complete, we spent a little bit of time getting some portraits around the property. I love Leach because no matter how many times I go there, I always find new and interesting spots to photograph and it’s always beautiful.
After Leach, N + P knew they wanted to get some shots in downtown Portland. They’re both very design-oriented people (with careers in the field) and wanted to highlight some of the cool architecture pieces around the city. We went over a few options, but Keller Fountain kept coming up as a favorite. Keep in mind, this was in the middle of COVID as well as the height of the protests in downtown, so we had to weigh our options and risks, and ultimately decided that Keller was still the right choice, especially because we’d be there in the middle of the day. Plus, there was something to be said about being there and documenting the day during an undeniably historical time.
Once done at Keller, Nicole + Paul wanted another pretty architectural spot with space for them to relax together and cut their wedding cake. So, we decided on Cathedral Park. With the always stunning St. John’s Bridge as a perfect backdrop, we settled in for some more portraits, took a break for cake, and wrapped up photos at sunset with the most amazing cotton candy sky. We later joked that it was the most perfect Portland day ever and that we’d have to purposely choose a gloomier day to do their after-wedding portraits later on so they could get some more typical PNW weather as part of their photo collection.
So, with all of that fun and adventure around the city, you can see how time might move pretty fast! I’m so glad these two were willing to invest more time in their elopement day to really have a full experience. This is what an elopement really can be, folks! Even if you’re not having a big, traditional wedding, you can absolutely have a full day devoted to just you two and making the commitment to spend the rest of your lives together. Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean your day is any less important or worthy of the time and experience than a bigger wedding. In fact, it can be even better! You can use multiple locations, have whatever adventures you want, and partake in only the traditions and activities you really want to. It really is a unique and magical experience.
If you’re considering eloping but aren’t sure where to start or are worried about how this all works, hit me up! I’ve got ideas galore, and a huge part of my process is to help guide you and plan with you. From scouting locations, to finding vendors, to timeline creation, and everything in between – I’ve got you. Because in the end, it’s all about you getting to have the wedding day you really want. And if that means exploring multiple locations, dancing in public, and cutting your cake at sunset in the great outdoors, don’t let anyone stop you!