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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Shuhyta

Planning to Elope: What you Need to do First.

As an elopement photographer, I am fortunate to be involved fairly early on in the elopement process. It's not uncommon for us to be the first vendor you hire. For more information about the photography/videography team here at Fly Free Photos, click here. We are based in Calgary but we love to travel. We frequently find ourselves in Banff and Canmore (like they are our own backyard!). Unlike other photography teams, we don't charge by the kilometer. For more information on our services (and travel fees, only when applicable), head here. And as a husband and wife team, we both love to travel and celebrate with you on your day.

But first, a little backstory. Intimate elopements have been our thing before they were cool. In fact, we eloped ourselves! So today, we are uniquely qualified to help you if you are planning to elope. Here's what to do first!

groom holding bride in wedding dress outdoors eloping

The first step to planning to elope

Before you dive right into wedding planning/elopement planning, the first step is a solid conversation with your significant other. Determine why you want to elope. Want to save your money for a honeymoon or a first home together? Have you been dreaming of an intimate day celebrating your love just the two of you? Are you private people and the idea of the spotlight on you for the entire day is making you cringe? COVID19 has ruined your wedding day for the last time and you two are ready to sign the papers, no matter what? Trust me, making sure you are completely on the same page as your fiancé is the first step when you are planning to elope.

engaged couple holding mr and mrs coffee cups planning to elope
winter engagement ring in pine tree

Telling your friends and family you are eloping

Making sure you and your significant other are on the same page first, is the most important first step. From then, you can decide whether you want to tell your family and friends before or after you elope. I usually recommend before, although I appreciate you might want to wait until after if you have opinionated family members and you don't want to have any (potentially) negative energy on the day. But remember, you deserve a truly purposeful, unforgettable, intimate day with your soulmate.

If I could shout one thing from the rooftop, it's that eloping is not selfish. Although people may not love it, you deserve to marry your person however you want! Whether that is just the two of you, or a small backyard wedding with only your closest family and friends. Eloping can mean whatever you want it to mean.

Rocky Mountain elopement photos with bride and groom and mountain background
backyard wedding in Calgary

Choosing an Elopement Location

The reason we are putting this step BEFORE hiring your elopement photographer is that we are location dependant businesses. Depending on what elopement location you have in mind, you may decide to hire vendors local to the area OR bring vendors from your hometown. If you bring vendors with you, you can typically expect to pay travel fees. Like we mentioned earlier, the photo/video team here at Fly Free Photos doesn't charge per kilometre to travel. We make it easier for you with flat-rate pricing so you know exactly how much it will cost for us to travel upfront! No surprises here :)

Costa Rica wedding and destination elopement photographer

Most of our Alberta & BC engaged couples typically choose to take advantage of the dreamy mountain scenery we have in our own backyard. You can't deny the Rocky Mountains are stunning. We are lucky enough to travel to the mountains often and can help you find the perfect location (both popular wedding venues and hidden gems alike!). For advice on getting married in the Rocky Mountains, check out this post here.

bride and groom overlook a lake in the middle of the Rocky Mountains

Hiring an Elopement Photographer

After that, you are ready to bring in the vendors! An elopement planner and/or elopement photographer are typically the first. Truth be told - you can skip ahead to this step if you want a little help with the steps above. We have been fortunate enough to have planned dozens of elopements for couples all across Alberta and BC. We typically help our couples choose locations and help them plan out their timeline so we like to think of ourselves as planner/photographer blends. The best of both worlds! Most of our couples don't feel the need to hire a planner as well. If you are looking for an experienced elopement photographer (who still gets as excited for each wedding as though it was there first!), make sure to get in touch here.

winter wedding in the Rocky Mountains elopement photography category

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