Bride and Groom during Intimate Elopement on Orcas Island.

Setting Expectations for Your Intimate Elopement


HEY - I'm Annette

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


December 29, 2021

Setting Expectations for Your Intimate Elopement is extremely important. Everyone has different ideas of what they want going into their untraditional wedding day. If you don’t set your expectations beforehand, then you may be very disappointed.

Take it from me, an Intimate Elopement Photographer. For the past eight years, I have been helping couples take their intimate elopement and turn it into a memory that will last forever. Part of this means preparing you for every single part of your special day. To me, the more you know, the more prepared you will be!

Bride and Groom during Intimate Elopement on Orcas Island.


Just because elopements are growing in popularity doesn’t mean that yours has to be the same as everyone else’s. A key element that sets these types of weddings apart from a traditional wedding is that you are able to create a more intentional and unique wedding day.

So the question is: HOW DO YOU DO THAT?


Oftentimes, humans like to overcomplicate things — especially in today’s society. Everyone has been led to believe that bigger is better. Honestly, that isn’t always the case.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Decide what’s most important to you and your partner
  • Get rid of the “excess” that doesn’t serve a purpose
  • Let go of any preconceived notions you have
  • Forget what everyone thinks and wants FROM you
  • Stop worrying and let your intentions flow


So here’s the thing… Elopers want an experience. The whole point of eloping is to experience your love BOUNDLESS. The best way to do that is through an experience that you will remember for a lifetime – BIG OR SMALL.

So how do you build a budget for an end-all-be-all experience?

  1. Decide how much you are willing to spend.
    • After your wedding, you are still going to have to leave with the ability to pay your bills. Although this is a once and a lifetime type of thing, make sure that your pockets won’t be hurting afterward.
  2. Sit down with your partner and brainstorm everything you would like to see happen during this special day.
    • Make a list of locations you’re considering, activities you’d like to be a part of, and any cool Airbnb’s you have been dreaming about.
  3. Research and document your findings
    • Look into everything you have brainstormed. Compare prices, activity options, nearby Airbnbs, etc. Don’t forget to pay attention to what time of year your want your intimate elopement — certain times of year may be more pricey than others.

Bride and Groom hugging in Zion National Park during Intimate Elopement


I totally understand that it is hard picking out where to elope. I mean, have you taken a look at our Mother Earth recently? She is beautiful and narrowing down location options is pretty much impossible!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining a location:

  • How long do you want your elopement to last — a day, a weekend?
  • What activities at looking to do?
  • What season are you wanting to elope in?

Asking yourself these above questions will help you narrow down the perfect spot. Keep in mind that this might be a spot that you two had picked out a long time ago or is a must spot to get married at! It could be on top of a mountain, under an iced waterfall, or even on top of a glacier.


Elopement should be just as important as wedding days. If you are a couple who is interested in eloping, what do you want your wedding memory to be about?


You can do activities that you always wanted to cross off your bucket list together. You also can just do certain activities that mean a lot to you as a couple. Honestly, I think there is a common misconception that adventure only means some crazy experience. In actuality, it can mean anything that you want it to. Sort of like the term, intimate elopement.

Take a look at this list of activities:

  • First looks with incredible views
  • Hiking (check out A Complete Guide to Mount Rainier Hiking Elopement)
  • Romantic picnic with champagne
  • Reading vows
  • Canoeing
  • Charter a seaplane
  • Staying in a rad Airbnb
  • Riding in a Helicopter through a glacier
  • Roasting marshmallows over a fire
  • Stargazing in the desert
  • Snowshoeing
  • Dancing
  • Exploring a national park
  • Riding in a hot air balloon
  • Snowboarding/skiing

I hope that these ideas if you some inspiration on what you want to do for your elopement! I would love to help you brainstorm and plan your elopement somewhere rad that screams YOU!

Bride and Groom kissing during Intimate Elopement in Cancun, Mexico on the Beach


Tommy + Kaela

NEW HAMPSHIRE Elopement || December 19th, 2020

Elopement Timeline

Getting Ready Location: Airbnb: 100 Covered Bridge LN, Glen, NH 03838, USA.

Ceremony Location: Cathedral Ledge

Celebration Location: Cathedral Ledge

Other locations: Echo Lake, Arethusa Falls, Cathedral Ledge

Number of Guests: Bride & Groom

Airbnb Location

9:00 am –  Meet Kaela at Airbnb, getting ready photos

11:00 – Head to Echo Lake for the first look with Tommy

Echo Lake

11:30 am – First Look with Tommy 

11:45 am – Head up to Cathedral Ledge start hike

12:40 am – Get to the top of the ledge

Top of Cathedral Ledge

12:50 pm – Read vows, letters, exchange rings

1:50 – Hike back down to the car

2:30 – Head to Falls for pictures

4:00 – First dance in the snow

4:30 – Head to dinner

5:30 – Dinner/ toasts

Setting Expectations for Your Intimate Elopement is the number one way to help it run smoothly. Doing so ensures that you can relax. If you need help and want to see what an elopement day looks like, inquire today and I can send you timelines of what elopement days look like.

Check out these links to see what other couples are doing for their elopements:



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HEY - I'm Annette!

An Arizona based Wedding, Elopement & Couple's Photographer. I am here for the wild, messy and imperfect moments. Let me help you create an experience that will last a lifetime.


Annette Ambrose

Weddings, Elopements, & COUPLES