What is an Elopement?



If you saw our website you will most likely have read the word „Elopement“,

but what exactly is this?


An elopement used to mean „running away together“ a secret, cheap, ill-planned wedding, most of the time without the approval of the families.

Well actually we think that sounds pretty romantic, but anyway it has not much to do with what an elopement means nowadays.

The only thing that is still the same, is that most couples celebrate their elopement just the two of them or with a handful of their closest friends or families.


The big difference is, that every couple decides intentionally if they want to celebrate their wedding day in a traditional way, with a lot of guest, or just the two of them in an intimate elopement


Free from expectations, rules and traditions, if you plan an elopement you can say our vows exactly how you want it, and create a wedding day that fits to you, and reflects your personalities, love story and relationship.


An Elopement is all about the two of you, committing your lives to each other.

There are no standards or expectations, no „but everyone does this“

You have the possibility to celebrate YOUR day, exactly how you dream it, and make it actually to the best day in your life.

Whether you want to take a boat to a tiny island in the Maldives, walk hand in hand barefoot in the sand, and say your I do’s under the palm trees, or you hike to a mountaintop in Switzerland and read your vows to each other while the sun disappears behind the peaks in the distance, and have your first dance under the night sky full of stars, if you decide to keep the day really intimate and celebrate just the two of you, or if you invite your friends and family, it is YOUR special day, and you can plan it exactly how you want to!

For some couples a big traditional wedding in a church and a reception in a ballroom is exactly what they want, and we think this celebrations are beautiful and are always happy to be part of this day as wedding photographers.

But if we think about, what makes us feel happy and free, and which are the moments in our life we like to remember, they are rarely in churches and big ballrooms,

much more they are the moments we spend together in the nature, if we reach a mountaintop after an exhausting ascend in the dark, and watch the sunrise at the horizon. Experiences like this let our hearts cheer.

And if we imagine that we look each other in the eyes in one of this moments - just the two of us, surrounded by mountains and alpine flowers, while the first sun rays light the sky in the most beautiful colors - and promise each other to spend the rest of our life together…

….we imagine this feeling must be a so much more overwhelming than signing a document in a civil registry office.



But is an elopement legally binding?


This is again your own decision, most couples decide to celebrate a symbolic ceremony on their elopement and to deal with the paperwork before or after.

But I know at least one marriage registrar in Austria who would hike with you to a mountaintop to marry you and give you the marriage certificate there.


In some countries like Colorado in the US, it is easier, and you can even marry yourself, if you get the right forms.


If you decide to get officially married with a registrar on you Elopement, hire a wedding speaker, or read your vows privately to each other, what matters is your love and your promise to each other.



Do I have to miss out of a big party with guests?


Absolutely not, there are many ways to include your family and friends in your elopement day.

You can invite them to a garden party or a late reception when you are back home, or plan your wedding on two days, one day for your intimate elopement and the other one to celebrate with your guests, you can even do a sunrise elopement and a reception in the evening.


The most important thing is always: Listen to your heart!

Not everyone will understand, why you decide to get married alone in the nature. But it is your wedding, the best day in your life and YOUR decision, which needs to feel good for you, and make you two happy!

This day is about YOU and YOUR LOVE, celebrate it, how you want it, so that you can remember it in many years with a smile in your faces, and tell your grandchildren from this special day.

Every couple is different, has its own story and is as unique and special should be the day, when you say „yes“ to each other, no matter if you decide to elope, do a laid back wedding festival with your friends and family, or celebrate a traditional wedding.

Follow your dreams, and do exactly what makes you happy!

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Wild Embrace  // Adventure Wedding & Elopement Photographer
Victoria Ruef & Fabian Willi // Bregenzerwald / Austria / Europe
Mail: info@wildembrace.photo
Tel.: +43 664 2055606