What is an elopement or intimate wedding?

One thing we have all learned recently is the need to be adaptable. Has COVID thrown a wrench in your plans to have a big wedding? Or have you never been super keen on the big wedding idea?


Let me first bust some myths:

“Elopements have to be far away places or Vegas”

FALSE! Elopements can be local to the Pittsburgh region. They can be in your backyard, in a local park, at your favorite restaurant, at a fancy hotel, on a downtown rooftop. Whatever place is special or interesting to you makes a perfect place to get married.


“Everyone will be so upset that we didn’t have a big wedding day.”

FALSE! The people in your life who truly love you will understand your choice. This day is about the love you share with your partner. The goal shouldn’t be to drain your life savings just to provide dinner and drinks to all of your distance relatives and long-lost friends.


“Elopements aren’t as special as big weddings.”

You guessed it… FALSE! Elopements let you really hone in your focus. This date is your anniversary for forever. It’s important. It’s special. And we have the time and freedom to incorporate elements to guarantee that it’s both special and memorable.


“Elopement wedding coverage only needs to be for the ceremony.”

FALSE. Keep reading for details on full-day elopements.


Elopements are intimate. They’re special. They’re meaningful. They are a celebration of your love and your life together now and in the future. Elopements afford the time and freedom of telling YOUR story YOUR way. We can ditch the traditional elements in favor of the unique ones. It means not aiming to create an experience for your guests, but soaking in the love you share with your partner.


Your elopement photographer can be your true sidekick in this planning process. I have been shooting weddings for 14 years. That means being able to help you with locations and timelines and ideas on how to spend your day.


Now let’s talk about that full-day elopement idea. Your coverage can be more than just an hour. WAY more. Your elopement or intimate wedding deserves all of the pomp and circumstance that a big wedding gets. And that can mean multi-hour coverage.


Here’s a sample timeline to illustrate what I mean:

10:00am - photographer arrives

10:00am - breakfast in bed

10:30am - take the dog for a walk and grab your favorite coffee drink

11:30am - back home to take getting ready pictures (bride and groom in separate rooms)

12:30pm - first look in the backyard

12:45pm - head to park for ceremony

1:00pm - ceremony

1:15pm - explore trails in the park and bride and groom pictures

2:00pm - head to downtown Pittsburgh for more pictures

2:45pm - head to AirBNB for cocktails

4:00pm - private chef cooks wedding day dinner at AirBNB

5:00pm - more pictures at rental location (cuddled in bed, sitting on the deck)

6:00pm - photographer leaves


This is just an example of how you can incorporate important locations and special moments to truly make this wedding day unique to you.


Pittsburgh is an incredible city for elopements. I shoot weddings here along with other parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Planning an east coast elopement and want some help? Let’s chat. www.kimfleischerphotography.com/contact.html