Or forming to a mold that people expect of you, when you know deep down that whatever it is, is not for you? I experienced this as a big wedding photographer (and as a bride) and have decided to transition my business towards hiking elopements! Shooting only the trailblazers who celebrate themselves!
If you can only see yourself having a big wedding, that’s great! But if you want something different, I applaud you. I personally got tired of seeing Cinderella’s glass slipper tried on all the wrong size feet, and watched stressed couples attempting to appease others, instead of enjoying their day. Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days of your life, so why would you choose an experience that isn’t that? Aren’t you Cinderella looking for YOUR glass slipper?
I grew up in a household with strict rules surrounding religious traditions, all of which was expected for my wedding even though many of the traditions did not feel right to my partner and me. No offense, but I personally didn’t want my partner going up my dress to get the garter in front of everyone. And why did I HAVE to get married in a church? What was wrong with the extremely peaceful nature setting we found that spoke to us with gorgeous tall pine trees?
While I enjoyed my wedding, it felt like a constant battle surrounding the traditions I was supposed to do and utter shock when we said we weren’t going to do certain things. My mom always told me growing up “You’re my daughter that goes by the beat of her own drum” and you can bet I went by the beat of my own drum for my wedding. My partner and I first eloped in a courthouse in Washington with the sweetest judge (THANKS BETH!) who invited two older ladies as our witnesses. We then planned a larger celebration and had a ceremony in a forest, had our best friend officiate for us, drank whiskey, ate pie, and just danced the night away.
I photographed a couple last year who made me realize why I wanted to photograph only elopements. There is a jewish tradition called Yichud, which is 10-20 min of seclusion after the ceremony – this couple wanted a few photos of this alone time and felt comfortable enough with me to let me into this private moment. These photos ended up being some of my favorite photos from the entire day. As a fly on the wall, I watched their connection unfold as they realized they were married- it gave me goosebumps!!
What do you and your partner like doing together? How can we incorporate that into your day? Do you want close family and friends there? Or do you want it to just be you two? What epic location can we find to hike to? YOU are a trailblazer. You are choosing yourselves, over what you are supposed to do in the eyes of…well, whomever! Rock on trailblazers.
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