Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Traditional wedding photographers are generally booked to capture your wedding day and are not expected to be involved in the planning process. Traditional weddings usually include 100 or more guests and a pretty big production that includes food and drink for all attending guests. Oftentimes the ceremony will take place at a church or synagogue, or another religious facility to be followed by a reception. The photographer will generally arrive early, capture images of the couple getting ready and family as they are gathering. The photographer usually captures the wedding day for about 8 or more hours starting with the getting ready photos and ending the night with the cake ceremony, toast, and first dance. The story of the couple's wedding day is told beginning to end in beautiful photography.
An Elopement wedding photographer is totally about telling the journey of your day but plays a much bigger role in the planning and preparation of your elopement. Most elopement weddings are much smaller with 2-25 guests and keeping the day stress-free and all about you is the goal. However, the planning process may be way more involved since the sky's the limit on what can be planned for your day. You can go anywhere and do anything your heart desires.
The process of planning an elopement starts with booking your photographer. Once the contract is signed and the deposit paid your photographer will get busy helping build a unique and personalized wedding plan. Your photographer will begin by helping you build your dream day, they will send a questionnaire to help get to know you better and discover what your vision of the day really is. Creating an elopement is about being totally free to be yourselves and create a day that can totally break tradition. After receiving the questionnaire your photographer will create a location list of places that fit your vision. Once the date is secured and the location determined you will receive a list of awesome vendors so you can find the perfect lodging, and vendor dream team for hair and makeup, flowers, bakery, personal chef, officiant, and any other people you want to help create your day.
After all the vendors are in place, location and lodging booked and the plan is solid you will receive a second questionnaire that is for all the finalized details. Your photographer will then create a complete timeline laying out the entire elopement day down to the last detail.
There is also so much more your elopement photographer helps with including what gear you will need depending on the day you have created. What permits are required for the location you have chosen. If travel is involved most photographers will cover their own travel expenses to the location of the elopement. Your elopement photographer is your dream buddy, plan builder, and most likely a new best friend.
So yes both traditional big wedding photographers and elopement photographers are there to spend your day with you telling your story from beginning to end. Both spend at least 8 hours telling your love story. Elopement photography may require more coverage if it is an epic event with adventure and travel to an unbelievable location. The beauty of eloping is breaking away from tradition, keeping your wedding day small and personal, and crafted to be the most amazing adventure imaginable to start this new life journey with your new partner.