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How to Blend Tradition into Your Non-Traditional Adventure Elopement Day

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Ideas for Blending Tradition into a Non-Traditional Elopement


It’s no surprise that when people think of adventure elopements, the word “traditional” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And hey, I get it–adventure elopements are non-traditional. They’re supposed to go against the norm of the big, traditional wedding world.

But there’s a huge distinction here that most people tend to miss.

Just because an elopement is a non-traditional approach to getting married doesn’t mean you can’t blend traditional elements into your elopement day.

This is just one of the things I wish couples knew before they eloped!

Who says that you can’t get married at sunrise at the end of a six-mile trail you woke up at 2 a.m. to start hiking and have a bridal party stand by your side? Who told you that you can’t have an officiant lead you through a traditional ceremony and go for a ski down the mountain with your spouse? What do you mean you can’t take a 4×4 road to an epic overlook and still enjoy a catered meal made just for you?

Wherever those ideas came from, they’re wrong. Elopements–and elopement ceremonies– at their very core are all about you and your partner doing exactly what feels perfect for you–and very rarely does one specific way of doing something fit the mold of everybody’s perfect picture.

So, if you’re one of those non-traditional-but-traditional sort of people who wants to incorporate important elements into their non-traditional day, then this blog is the perfect starting point.


Walk Down the Aisle–Whatever it Might Look Like

You know that perfect wedding aisle moment, right? The one where every guest turns around to watch the bride or groom walk down the aisle toward the love of their life? It’s a captivating moment–one that’s totally charged with anticipation and excitement. Picture it. The room is caught, paused in this frozen moment in time where two people are right at the cusp of making the best decision of their lives. It’s iconic and exciting in all the best ways, right?

A bride walks down a mountain aisle with her father toward her soon-to-be husband on their elopement day.

Now, shut your eyes and imagine every single one of those feelings–but swap the visual of a packed building with a stunning outdoor overlook with your most special people (or just your significant other!) looking on.

Who says you can’t have a walk down the aisle moment for yourself during your adventure elopement?  Sure, maybe it’s a snowy mountain trail, maybe it’s a 4×4 road, maybe it’s a glacier–whatever or wherever your aisle is, take the traditional route right on down it. I can’t imagine a more romantic start to anyone’s adventure elopement ceremony.


Hire an Officiant to Walk You Through a Traditional Ceremony

Depending on where you elope, it might be required to bring an officiant along. If you’re in Colorado, you’re able to self-solemnize, which means you don’t need any witnesses or officiants to make your marriage legit. (That’s one of my fave parts of eloping in Colorado, by the way). But whether you’re required or not, some couples really love the idea of hiring an officiant to lead them through a traditional-to-them ceremony­. Though, often, they don’t, thinking that an officiant-led, traditional ceremony doesn’t fit the “elopement vibe.”

I’m here to tell you that the only elopement vibe that matters is your elopement vibe. You want to blend a traditional, officiant-led ceremony into your elopement day–let’s do this thing. I’ll help you find the perfect officiant who can give you exactly what you want. Traditional ceremonies belong in the elopement world if that’s what you want for your day

An officiant walks a couple through their elopement day, leading their ceremony.

Here’s the only requirement I have for your ceremony–whatever happens during your elopement ceremony, make sure it’s exactly what you want

A lot of couples choose to say their vows privately, some choose to opt for a non-traditional ceremony like sand blending or meditation, and even a few choose to forgo a ceremony of any kind. No matter what you decide is right for you, it’s the perfect choice­–so long as you’re doing what you want. That whole “no rules” thing applies to every part of your elopement day–ceremony included.


Have a First Look Moment

First looks are actually super popular in elopements, but they actually come from traditional, larger weddings. Personally, I’m Team First Look–I love the moments of building anticipation and the joy spread across couples’ faces when they see each other in their wedding attire for the first time.

Even if you want to take this traditional element and turn it into something else by having a first look with someone other than your spouse–your parents, your kids, your friends, or even your dog–incorporating something rooted in tradition (like this!) into your elopement day is a great way to blend the best of both worlds together.

A couple shares their first look moment during their elopement day.


Bring a Wedding Party

Who says just because you’re eloping in the wild you can’t have a wedding party? Bridesmaids, groomsmen, special people–whatever you want to call them, there’s no reason they can’t join you for your celebration and take on some of the traditional wedding party responsibilities. Having an elopement in a mountain town?

Have your best friends throw you a celebratory soiree the night before your big day in the town–explore the fun, grab some local food, and enjoy the night together! Want a blend of traditional and non-traditional elements? Have your wedding party ski down the mountain all together before you say “I do.” Include your wedding party in your ceremony, too. Who cares if you’re all lined up at a mountains edge–you’ve got your people there, and you’re fulfilling the traditional elements you’re seeking.


Capture Every Moment of Your Unique Adventure Elopement

Moral of the story? No matter how untraditional your elopement might be, you can still include a ton of traditional elements that matter to you. No matter what your elopement looks like or where you want to get married, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be exactly what you dream of. Whether that means going fully non-traditional or bringing in traditional elements–it’s your day, so the dang thing your way.

I’m here to help you document every second of it, too. If you’re ready to start talking details, are seeking more information, or simply want to know more about blending traditional and non-traditional elements into the perfect day, I’m your girl. Reach out to me ASAP and let’s chat about your dream day.

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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A couple ponders how to blend their non-traditional elopement with traditional elements.


How to Blend Tradition into Your Non-Traditional Adventure Elopement Day