How Mindfulness Can Positively Impact Your Elopement
The day you marry the love of your life is meant to be the most joyful experience you could possibly imagine.
Unfortunately, for so many couples out there, the pressure and stress associated with the idea of the day “going perfectly” can result in something very different.
Without intention–without a focus on mindfully approaching your elopement day–it’s so easy for the big, beautiful moments to get lost in the blur of stress, anxiousness, and expectation. For so many couples, what could have felt like the most intentional and beautiful day of their lives feels more like it’s gone in the blink of an eye.
But here’s the secret. There’s no reason it has to be this way.
If you and your partner can approach your elopement day with a mindful perspective, you can soak in, embrace, and enjoy the day as it happens, allowing you to relive those moments over and over again every time you think back on them.
But what is mindfulness, exactly? And how can your attitude on your elopement day actually make the experience more powerful and meaningful?
Let’s unpack it all together.
Practicing mindfulness can help ease feelings of stress and worry. Mindfulness can help your elopement by helping you really soak in your day and relive the moments over and over again. So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment without judgment. Let’s unpack the first part.
What is Mindfulness, Anyway?
There are so many definitions of mindfulness floating around on the internet. So many, in fact, that it can make understanding mindfulness feel more complicated than it needs to be.
So, let’s go with the simple and most important definition.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment without judgment or expectation.
In other words, mindfulness is our human ability to be present, aware, and conscious of what’s happening around us without being overwhelmed, anxious, or reactive.
It’s all about accepting what’s happening and being fully present as it all unfolds.
Being Fully Present: Why it Matters
Understanding the concept of being “fully present” is one thing–being fully present is another. So, what’s the real difference?
Let’s think about our thoughts for a second. How often are your thoughts racing in every direction–past, present, and future? What is your brain most focused on?
- Past: What you didn’t say that you should have, an old conversation you had with a friend, what you could have done differently last week
- Future: What you need to do that day, what you need to tackle next week, that thing you’re supposed to buy from the store, any plans for the weekend, etc.
- Present: What’s currently happening in the here and now (and nothing else)
Throughout the day, try to really pinpoint where your brain is. Are you living mostly in the past? In the future? Or are you most often focused on the here and now?
Try this mindfulness questionnaire to see where your thoughts really live and to evaluate how mindful you are.
Experiencing Moments Without Judgement & Expectation
Being fully present in each moment doesn’t just mean being conscious about what’s happening around us–it also means learning not to pass judgment on the present moment, too.
Think about this example to get a better idea of what I mean:
It’s snowing outside.
- Judgment: Really? It’s snowing outside again? It’s almost summer, and I’m so sick of the weather being this frigid. How long can this dreary, grey, and sad weather go on? Bundling up is uncomfortable; I’m always freezing. I’m counting down the days until it’s warm again.
- Non-Judgment: It’s snowing outside. The cold wind is blowing on my face. I can hear the crunching of the snow under my shoes. Do you see how the frost sparkles in the sunlight? My hands feel warm when I rub them together.
Passing judgment on an experience takes you out of the present, and it pulls you–drags you, even–into the past or the future. When you’re judging experiencing the snow, you’re talking about how you can’t wait for the future (when it’s warm). When you’re experiencing the snow without judgment, you’re in the here and now, allowing yourself to experience it.
How to Have a Mindful Elopement
I want you to think about your elopement day; the day you’ve been planning and have dedicated so much time and energy to. If you don’t slow down, you’ll miss all the amazing things you were dreaming of! Practice mindfulness during your elopement to soak this time in, memorize every moment and savor every detail.
- I urge you to take this day slowly.
- Really enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning.
- Take time to smell your bouquet.
- When you’re hiking to your ceremony location, stop every now and then and look at the view.
- Listen to the birds chirping, or even the sound of your heart beating, notice the scent of pine and the feel of your partner’s hand in yours.
Research has found that it’s harder to remember things when we are multitasking but that when we are present in the moment and intentional about remembering the details, we have a much stronger memory. If you want to relive your elopement day, be present, slow down, and be mindful of all those details!
Discover Mindfulness in Every Moment
Becoming a more mindful person is a process. It’s not a quick-fix sort of thing–it’s more like a journey that you can continue practicing forever. One of the simplest ways to help you approach mindfulness is to set aside five minutes with your five senses. Every step of the way, observe without judging. Don’t rush it either– try to stay in the moment as long as you can.
- Look around you and see five things. This can be colors, objects, textures, animals, or even people. Take a few moments to really observe them.
- Feel four different things. Keep in mind that you don’t have to feel them with just your hands. This can be the breeze on your cheek, the fabric of your shirt on your back, the carpet underneath your feet, or even the sensation of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
- Be aware of the sounds around you and take some time to hear three different noises. This can be birds chirping, cars driving by, the humming of the refrigerator, or a distant conversation.
- Smell or taste two different things. This can be the smell or taste of a cup of coffee, the smell of fresh-cut grass, or the flavor of the gum you’re chewing on.
- Say one amazing thing about yourself. Maybe it’s that you’re kind-hearted, or you donated money today. You could be a good listener or great at singing. It could even be that you put away trash that wasn’t yours, or you finally got around to reading that book you’ve always wanted to read.
At first, this exercise might feel silly. But over time, you’ll notice how it can help you launch into a more appreciative and present state of mind.
How Mindfulness Can Impact Your Elopement
It’s my deepest hope that the little dive into mindfulness we just did resonates with you in a way that it’ll impact your daily life. But ultimately, I started this conversation because I wanted to talk about mindfulness in one specific circumstance–your elopement day.
Think about everything we just mentioned about mindfulness. It’s about:
Aren’t those things you want to experience on your elopement day? I definitely think so.
Tips for Experiencing a Mindful Elopement
Everyone says that their wedding day goes by like a blur. I won’t lie to you–that’s true. As much as we wish we could pause time, that’s a little bit out of our control. What we can do is intentionally slow down and soak in each moment so we can hang onto and appreciate every second just a little bit longer.
Really savor that sip of coffee your partner made you on the morning of your elopement. What does it taste like? Pause and listen to the birds chirping as you hike up the mountain. Isn’t that sound beautiful? Smell your bouquet. What is that scent? Hold your partner’s hand as you stare out over a mountain vista before you say your vows. How lucky are you to be there, with your person, experiencing this moment?
When we intentionally teach ourselves to stop, breathe, and slow down, we give ourselves the gifts of appreciation, acceptance, and abundance as moments unfold.
We can’t get these elopement days back–but we can teach ourselves to appreciate them and honor them while they’re happening so we can tap back into those feelings of joy and love when we’d like to.
Embrace Moments as They Happen (Without Judgement)
You don’t need your elopement day to go according to a plan for it to be intentional, beautiful, and perfect for you. My greatest advice for having a mindful elopement day is to embrace each and every moment as it unfolds around you without expectation or judgment.
Think about it this way, no matter what happens, you and your partner are getting married that day–isn’t that perfectly and wholly joyful in itself? Does it matter if all the details don’t go according to plan? Ultimately, you can plan for the perfect day–but if you embrace and love and accept every second happening as it happens, you can fully immerse yourself in the experience, leaving room for nothing but happiness.
I worked with an amazing couple who’d planned to kayak on a gorgeous alpine lake at the top of a mountain. But when a storm cloud rolled in, forcing them back down the mountain for safety, they had to cancel their kayaking plans.
Nothing about this twist of fate bothered them. Not only did they maintain the most positive, appreciative attitude, but they also pivoted like total pros. We picked a new spot in an entirely new location where they could kayak on the water together. And ultimately, this choice ended up being potentially better than the original plan.
They never let an obstacle derail them. A blip in the plans was nothing to them because they were there to experience and appreciate the day as it happened–without judgment and without expectation.
Refocus & Remember Why You’re Here in the First Place
Before the hustle and bustle of your elopement day even begins, sit with your partner, breathe, and reflect on why you’re here. What was the meaning behind planning an elopement day like this one? What was the greatest purpose of committing to each other in the way you’ve chosen?
Taking a few moments to reflect on and consider the greater purpose–and the love–behind it all–can help reframe both of your mindsets, encouraging you to go into your elopement with a mindful, appreciative approach.
Take a Big, Deep Breath as Often as Possible
This is simple advice, but it’s effective. If you and your partner ever feel the day rushing by you without feeling like you’re truly present in each moment, it’s time to put the power back in your own hands.
Pause together. Breathe deeply together.
Let this be a quick moment of resetting your intentions and refocusing your commitment to being present in every second of your elopement day.
Express Gratitude & Appreciation Internally & Outloud
Take a second throughout the day to be appreciative and conscious of the beautiful moments unfolding in front of you.
What are you grateful for right now? What are you appreciative of? What beautiful thing happening in front of you means the world to you? Give that appreciation life by breathing into the world.
Acknowledging that appreciation can go a long way in experiencing a mindful, intentional elopement.
Build Mindful Moments Into Your Elopement Timeline
All of these things sound like a great plan, right? Of course, they do. But these sorts of things can be hard to execute as the rush and excitement of the day is unfolding around you–especially if mindfulness is a new journey for you.
But what if you and your partner planned ahead of time for opportunities for mindfulness while you were crafting your perfect elopement day? What if we built these moments into your elopement timeline to help ensure that you’re taking a minute for mindfulness and gratitude?
This could be as simple as setting aside a few minutes at every new location to take your partner’s hand and refocus. It could be as involved as hiring someone to lead you and your partner through a mindfulness meditation before your elopement ceremony. It could be any blend of mindfulness that you want to focus on.
There’s no right or wrong in mindfulness–it’s all about intention and appreciation. Consider adding moments like these to your elopement timeline to ensure you’re getting the most out of your elopement day.
Let’s Plan Your Mindful Elopement Together
At the end of the day, your elopement isn’t about the wild views you’ll see, the adventure you’ll experience, or the incredible images we’ll capture of your wedding day–it’s about marrying your person in a way that feels intentional and beautiful.
If you’re looking for an elopement photographer who can help you focus your entire day on this idea, I’m your girl. I’ll capture your love as authentically as possible, but I’ll also help you create a day that puts your mindfulness and intentionality first.
Reach out to me anytime to talk more about how to plan a mindful elopement!