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7 Unique Ideas for Your Elopement Ceremony

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Unique Elopement Ceremony Ideas to Consider


There are so many exciting and incredible things about an adventure elopement–the wild scenery, the freedom of doing exactly what you want, and of course, the adventure itself of choosing your partner. But you know what doesn’t get enough credit in adventure elopements? The ceremony.

In my personal opinion, the elopement ceremony is one of the peak moments of the entire day. Don’t get me wrong, hiking and exploring, and soaking in each moment fully are all incredible elements, too. But if you’re really getting down to the root of it, your elopement day is about marrying your partner–and that happens during the ceremony. 

Just like every other facet of your elopement day, your elopement ceremony should be 100% you. There’s this common misconception that a wedding ceremony has to look a certain way–reading from a script, saying a few personal vows, exchanging the rings, kissing the bride, etc. 

Are all those things great parts of an elopement ceremony? Of course–but only if those are things that matter to you and your partner.

Your elopement ceremony–just like your entire elopement day–should be a wholehearted reflection of what you and your partner want. If you don’t want to write personalized vows and read them, why would you? If you do want to take part in a dual unity ceremony that represents your promise to each other more uniquely, then why wouldn’t you? 

Bottom line, an elopement ceremony is special–and yours should be special to you. If the traditional song and dance simply doesn’t feel right to you, or if you want to brainstorm ways to make your elopement ceremony more meaningful to you and your partners’ unique relationship, this log has you covered. 

Remember, there’s no limit to what you can do on your elopement day–elopement ceremony included. These ideas are just that–ideas. Use them, let them be inspo, or ignore them entirely; all that matters is that you and your partner’s elopement ceremony is perfect for you. 


Sand Blending & Unity Ceremonies  

Unity ceremonies are all about the symbolism behind your marriage–you and your partner are taking your two separate lives and vowing to blend them together. Sand blending, the act of you and your partner blending different colored sand together is a symbolic and seamless unity ceremony. But that’s not the only kind of unity ceremony out there. In fact, your unity ceremony is entirely up to you! Here are just a few ideas of what your unity ceremony could look like:

  • Handfasting
  • Wish lanterns
  • Lighting candles
  • Anniversary time capsules
  • Circling
  • Tree planting
  • Blending wine or beer
  • Paint blending


Sound Baths

Imagine shutting your eyes, holding your partner’s hands, and letting soft, vibrant sounds resonate and echo within you as you sit in nature. This is a great practice for setting intentions for the day, slowing every moment down, and practicing mindfulness. It’s also a peaceful, stress-free way to connect with your partner in nature and a fabulous way to kick off your elopement ceremony.

A couple says their vows at Lake Isabelle during their Colorado adventure elopement.


Meditation & Setting Intentions 

Mindfulness should be a huge part of your elopement day–making this a key part of your elopement ceremony can help you not only soak in the ceremony as much as possible but set the right intention for the rest of your elopement day. Beginning your ceremony with a guided or non-guided meditation is a great way to prepare yourself for and open your mind to an entirely positive, present elopement day experience. It can also help you set the intention for the rest of your elopement ceremony, no matter what that intention might be. 


Sage Burning 

Sage burning–sometimes called sage smudging– is a highly symbolic and ritualistic ceremony that’s said to be a direct way to cleanse bad energy and make room for new, positive energy. 

Personally, I can’t think of a better symbol for the start of a promise to your partner. Think about it–together, you can light the sage, forget the negative, and make space for positive, happy, and uplifting energy (you know, exactly the perspective and energy you’d want on your wedding day). 

This could be your entire ceremony or the perfect symbolism to kick off the rest of your ceremony. Either way, you’re making room for the beautiful things–and that’s a promise that makes perfect sense to me on anyone’s wedding day. 


Passage or Lyric Readings

Do you and your partner have particular passages from books, music, or movies that mean something to you? Is there a favorite quote you both have that speaks to the love you have for each other? Is there a lyric from a song that never ceases to make you think of your partner? Read from your favorite book, play your favorite song, or share some of your favorite quotes. Incorporate these things into your elopement ceremony to revel in that special connection the two of you have.  


Personalized Vows & Vow Books

This might not be the most revolutionary elopement ceremony idea out there, but it has infinite potential to be as unique as the love you and your partner share. This is your chance to say exactly what you want to your partner–no scripts, no expectations, no judgment. 

This image shows personalized vow books along with florals during a couple's adventure elopement in Colorado.

 Personalized vows are unique because they’re yours–they’re your chance for self-expression, creativity, and a reflection of your special love. And you know what? They don’t need to be serious or somber–they can be fun and silly, too. Share your inside jokes, tell a story, and ask your partner, “Remember when?”–there are no rules to sharing vows with your partner–let them be everything you want them to be. 


Guest Participation Ceremonies

Do you plan to have guests at your elopement ceremony? If so, I imagine those guests are the type of people who love you, encourage you to do things your way, and are there to endlessly support you (the only type of guests that should be at your wedding, BTW).

These people are special to you both–why not include them in your ceremony with a little guest participation? Invite your guests to read letters or make speeches wishing you and your partner love and luck. Have them pick their favorite passages to read to you both, or select special readings you’d like them to share during your ceremony. 


Your Elopement Ceremony Can Be as Unique as Your Love 

My go-to advice for couples on their wedding day is to never compromise and always do what feels right for you both. So, I hope it comes as no surprise that I’m a big supporter of your elopement ceremony looking and feeling however you want it to. Want to burn sage and play your favorite song to set the mood of the day? Do it. Want to have someone lead you through a special or traditional ceremony? That’s a great idea! No matter what you decide, know that I’m here to help you make it happen. If you’re looking for someone to capture your wedding day as authentically and genuinely as possible, I’m your girl. Does that sound good to you? Let’s chat–I’m ready to talk details with you!

Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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