Slowing down and indulging in the now is sometimes hard in everyday life, making this a priority on an elopement day is high on the list of importance for eloping couples. Wedding day memory loss is something every couple out there is scared about, I mean no one wants to suddenly forget how you spent your wedding day together. There’s certainly ways to make sure you take in every second of your elopement day and indulge in every moment so it can be remembered forever.
Some people mistake these kind of elopements as large photoshoots in cool places. Elopements are so much more than just that. My eloping couples have one main reason why they want to elope and that is so that they could spend a day together that is truly about the two of them and a day that they could experience together, to start their marriage with an unforgettable adventure.
My couples love that I give them a safe space, freedom of vulnerability and actual space - I love stepping back on elopements with my couples. Stepping back gives my couples the space they deserve on a wedding day where it’s important for them to focus on one another. This is where the experience of being photographed by me comes in, learn more about that here.
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Now for those incredible tips to live in the moment on your elopement day.
Remind yourself to slow down
You and your partner can have a conversation about slowing down on your elopement day ahead of time, talking about it and setting this expectation ahead of time will make it much easier to accomplish on the day of. You’ll be able to remind each other frequently to slow down on your day, to breathe & truly take time to just look at your partner.
Reminding each other doesn’t have to be direct as in “hey we said we are gonna slow down” that’s not what slowing down looks like. Instead, remind yourself to stop and truly look around you, when you stop and take in the views your partner will follow along, point out incredible things you see to your partner - focus on all your senses.
What you see, try to spot some wildlife or a rainbow on a rainy elopement. Tiny rock climbers on the large cliffs in Yosemite, shapes in the clouds, snow capped peaks or even shooting stars while stargazing. And remember to bring the focus back to your partner too, tell your partner how much you love how beautiful they are in their wedding attire or just that you love how their hair looks - this can be so simple yet so easy to engrain in your mind once you take the time to.
What you feel, hold your partners hand - like really hold it and focus on the feeling of your partners hand in yours, the hand that will care for you when your sick, the hand that will help you stand up when you fell, the hand that will keep yours warm on a cold night, the hand that will wipe your tears when you’re sad. This is the hand that will be there for the rest of your lives together. Hold it, kiss it and just hug it. Your partner will love that you are taking in every inch of the moments your sharing.
Focus on what you are smelling, is it the the smell of your partners perfume/cologne or the smell of fresh crisp mountain air. Point it out to your partner if maybe they put something new on, scientist say that using a new scent on your wedding day could help you remember it better when in the future you smell that scent again, so there’s a great tip - try something new and when you want to remember the moments you and your partner shared on your wedding day, spray it on you again and remind your partner of those moments too.
What do you hear? Listen to your partner when they read their vows to you, listen to the birds, the rush of the waterfall, the trickle of the stream, the sound of your footsteps on the trail, even listen to your first dance song. Actually stop, close your eyes and focus on just listening to any of these - doing this can truly allow you to remember the incredible sounds you had on your wedding day and it is something you and your partner can do together all while having a quiet moment.
This might sound silly now but what do we do when we try to remember a passed loved one or a moment you had with someone who has moved on without you? We pick up their shirt to feel it and smell them again, we look at their photographs to see their likeness again, we imagine hugging them again, hearing the sound of their voice again. Our senses plays a huge roll in the part of our brain that stores memories, but that makes sense though, how else will that smell of fresh baked bread remind you of visiting your grandma when you were little?
Take time for just the two of you
If you have an elopement with family or even a number of vendors, try to incorporate a small amount of time where it can be just the two of you. Planning for some time alone can create a space where you two can genuinely just be the two of you, yourselves. During this time you two can reflect on what you both wrote in your vows or what you both envision your life to become.
A few ways to make alone time happen:
Plan to go for a walk outside the lodge your guests will be during the reception
Plan for a private first look
Get ready together instead of separate
Plan to have a picnic or even a meal prepared by a private chef
Kayak out onto the water just the two of you and share a drink together
Go for a horse ride just the two of you
Or plan for a two day elopement where the one day you spend time with your family and friends and the other day it is just the two of you, curious to see an example of a day like this? Check out this example timeline.
Everything mentioned here can still be documented by your photographer & videographer but the secret is that they should document your experience and not what they want it to look like, so, make sure to ask your photographer of their approach to photographing you, do they constantly pose you and do this for the whole elopement or do they allow you to just be you two, do they step away when the times ask for it. Make sure they know and understand your vision for your elopement day, including some time alone.
Writing intimate authentic vows and allowing for enough time to read those at your own pace is a game changer when it comes to indulging in moments on your elopement day. There is nothing quite like writing a set of promises to your partner - custom to your relationship and reading them aloud on your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be anything you don’t want it to be, if you want to bring some humor in you can! If you want it to be extremely deep and personal, you can do that too.
What makes eloping just the two of you extra fun when it comes to private vows is that you can read them to your partner without feeling judged or weird having other people there hearing it. If you do have family there and want them to hear your vows that could make your relationship extra special to them - knowing that the two of you took your time to write vows and made it so personal. Family members love hearing it.
Want to write vows but struggle to find the right words? Check out this vow writing guide that completely allows you to write from the heart.
Craft a timeline with space for spontaneity
When it comes to crafting great timelines, the secret is to not cram everything together but instead add at least 15 to 30 minutes in-between activities to allow for time to stop and take in moments or time to do something completely spontaneous like having time to watch the bears that suddenly appeared against the cliff of trees, or taking some portraits while admiring the rainbow that appeared right behind you it can even be suddenly deciding you want to jump into the lake with your attire - trust me couples do this.
You don’t want to feel rushed or like you don’t have time to do anything you really want on your elopement day and debunking these feelings the day of starts with the timeline.
Understand ahead of time that things doesn’t always go exactly as planned and not stressing about this
Eloping in the great outdoors comes for some uncertainty of how your day will go, weather can change anytime and things like road closures or wildfires can happen suddenly. Working with the elements of nature instead of woking against them will allow you to not be stressed about it when something suddenly needs to change on your elopement day. Another way to ease your stress is to just be prepared. Plan to have at least 2 backup locations, pack rain gear, warm coats, hand warmers, extra water, shoe spikes and even a lip balm. Be prepared and pack for anything that could possibly happen or be needed.
Indulging in important moments can be fleeting, we can't make time stand still but we can try to stay in moments for a few seconds more and that is the key to engraining moments to stay in your mind a bit longer.