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There are No Rules when You Elope: Here’s What I Mean

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It’s Your Elopement – Do Things Your Way


Kicking off your life with the person you love is one of the most exciting moments you’ll ever experience. It’s a big deal, and the anticipation is bound to grow with each passing day.

Sometimes, though, these healthy feelings of eagerness and excitement can often lead to exaggerated expectations and pressures. It’s a trap that lots of couples have the potential to fall into. And before they know it, they’re bogged down in the stressful details of planning their wedding.

Whether it’s a big wedding or an intimate elopement, planning your perfect day can seem overwhelming. Suddenly, the enthusiasm and enjoyment begin to fade, replaced by anxiety and urgency.

Well, friends. I’ve got some seriously good news—it doesn’t have to be this way.

A bride and groom embrace in the snowy mountain town of Breck while enjoying their skiing adventure elopement.

Your wedding day is supposed to be the highlight of your relationship and a positive beginning point of all the good and wonderful things to come. You can still achieve this (and recapture the pure joy of the process), even when the planning feels daunting.

If anything related to getting married starts to seem bleak or upsetting, try to keep this simple mantra in mind—there are no rules when you elope.

Yep, that’s right. Toss expectations to the wind and free yourself of tedium and frustration. Your wedding is for you and your partner, and because of that, it is for you–and you only–to define.

To give you a little insider perspective, I want to share a handful of ways you can make your wedding day special (and less stressful) by embracing the no-rules refrain. Are you ready? Let’s do this thing.

Take it from me; I have seen too many couples get caught up in the pressures and expectations of planning their wedding, so much so that it spills over into their ability to truly cherish the process and relish the moment.

If you find yourself struggling with wedding prep, consider the following ways you can break free of the cycle and do things your way—without any rules to stop you!

A bride and groom stare out into the mountain landscape during their elopement day, a day they planned according to their own standards.


Choose Your Adventure

When you elope, there are no parameters aside from the ones you set for yourself. What I mean is this—you don’t have to check any boxes or do what someone on social media did; you can choose an adventure that fits your passions and your vision.

For example, there’s a pervading belief that all adventure elopements focus on hikes to epic locations. While this is a great idea if you enjoy hiking, it isn’t a requirement. You can opt for any adventure you wish—from a 4×4 trail to a horseback ride through beautiful countryside.

What you do on your wedding day is entirely up to you—after all, you and your partner are the focal points of the elopement! So, toss whatever restraints might be holding you back away and adventure without rules.


Be Present & in the Moment

I will always (always!) talk about mindfulness–especially during your wedding day. The best part about eloping is that you’re already choosing to throw the rulebook into the garbage and do your own thing, so you get to really zone in on a mindful and intentional approach to your wedding day. You want to pause for 20 minutes and really just soak in a view and be present with your partner? You can do that–because elopement timelines exist for guidance, but you can just as easily give in to any moment you’re experiencing on a whim.


Craft Your Dream Ceremony

One of the most meaningful aspects of eloping is the opportunity to make your ceremony uniquely yours. For some, a traditional wedding ceremony is exactly what they want. This is an amazing option, and it’s always incredible to watch them take place in gorgeous locations.

Others want to get creative with their ceremonies. Since there are no rules when you elope, I always encourage couples to visualize their dream ceremony and allow it to come to life. Whether it’s rooted in a religious tradition or a bit of whimsy, eloping is your chance to express yourselves as a couple. Plus, in some states (like Colorado), you and your partner can self-solemnize and marry yourselves without another soul there!

The most meaningful ceremonies are those that are special to the people involved. With no rules holding you back, you can feel free to craft your dream ceremony, no matter what it looks like.

A bride and groom explore the ins and outs of Breckenridge during their adventure elopement in Colorado.


It’s Your Day – Set Your Own Goals

The primary stressors when planning a wedding typically involve the laundry list of boxes you supposedly have to check. While traditional weddings are absolutely stunning and pull at the heartstrings, they often include a variety of plans that are focused on predetermined goals. Guest lists, seating arrangements, catering, and so on are not necessarily essential to the couple, but they are required under the circumstances.

Eloping flips these expectations on their heads by freeing you of the rules and allowing you to set your own goals. Want to share a picnic with your significant other? Go for it! Want to share your special moment with your closest friends and family? That’s cool, too!

No matter your preferences, tastes, and goals for the day, remember that it’s up to you. This should be a freeing realization that helps the pressure dissipate and your wedding day resembles the vision you have for it.


Planning Your Elopement without Rules

No matter what route you choose for your wedding day, remember that you and your partner are the focal points. As long as you are having the elopement you’ve dreamed of, it’s a success—no other boxes to check!

From an adventure that sparks that sense of wonder in your heart to a ceremony that embodies who you are as a couple, your happiest day is the one that is planned with no rules but the ones you make.

If you’re ready for your dream elopement, I’m your girl. No rules means authenticity, and I’m here to help you plan your perfect day and capture the purely magical moments that result. Whether you want guidance or just a little encouragement, reach out to me to begin your journey to the elopement you’ve always wanted.

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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Two brides hold each other's hands and dance around in their wedding attire on their elopement day.


There are No Rules when You Elope: Here’s What I Mean