Donna Marie


Hello there

I'm Donna Marie

An inclusive adventurous destination wedding and elopement photographer livin' in upstate New York. I'm here to empower all couples to create an intentional wedding day that focuses on the experience and the feels.







One of the first questions I get from couples who have decided on an elopement (or intimate wedding, or micro-wedding) is: can we do X activity on our day? Is that normal? Does that count as an elopement?

To which I answer: YES. There are no rules! Do whatever you want! Because that’s my perennial rule of elopement planning. You call the shots. From the timeline, to the activities, to the location, to who is there, to how long you want your day to be celebrated.

But thinking of elopement activity ideas can seem daunting. There are so many elopement photos that feature hiking. While hiking is one of the most popular options. It’s not your only option when having an adventure elopement. If you’re left wondering where to start, or what to do after your ceremony to celebrate your amazing elopement day, here’s a list of some possibilities to consider! Whether your elopement day features just you and your partner, or if you want to bring along some family and friends, these can be done before, after, or even during your ceremony. Legit, the possibilities are limitless here.

Elopement Activity Ideas

Incorporate an outdoor activity you love to do together!

This is a big one. While many couples opt to include hiking in their day, there are tons of other outdoor activities you and your partner can do to celebrate your day. Geocaching, kayaking, canoeing, roller skating, skiing, birdwatching, axe-throwing, clay-pigeon shooting, snowboarding, zip-lining, scuba diving, dirt biking, snowshoeing… there are endless options.

Go for a swim

Run into the ocean! Stand under a waterfall! Jump in a lake, puddles, or even swimming pool! If you decide to do this after your ceremony, feel free to dive right in with your wedding attire. Trust me, it will make for some amazing memories, and stunning photographs.

Cook together

A lot of couples find that cooking together is a good way for them to spend quality time together. There’s nothing stopping you from creating your favorite homecooked meal on your day to enjoy in private, or with a few close friends and family.

Make it a bonfire

There’s nothing quite like the scent and sound of a bonfire. Enjoy some smores, a couple brews, and vibe in nature. Just make sure fires are permitted where you want to have one, and make sure you extinguish it properly.

Catch some constellations

Stay up late and stargaze! This option can make for some mind-blowing portraits, and it also provides you the chance to cuddle up under a blanket with your new spouse and breathe it all in.

Pack a picnic

Who doesn’t love a picnic? Choose a location that means something to you, or even where your ceremony takes place and pull out a mouth-watering charcuterie board. Enjoy a bubbly drink or two.

Create art together

If art is a common link between the two of you, create a piece together on your wedding day that you can put on display in your home.

Make some music (or enjoy a local live show)

Serenade each other, or perform together. Or if you’d rather, check out local live shows happening on your elopement date, and pop down for a show together.

Go on a helicopter tour

If you’re a little more high adrenaline, book a helicopter tour and check out the views from a bird’s perspective.

Float on a balloon ride

If a helicopter ride is a little too edgy for you, an alternative that may be appealing is a hot air balloon ride. You can even rent private tours where you can exchange vows during the ride!

Head to your fave bar or brewery

Want a chill afternoon/evening where you can hang with friends and family. Head over to your favorite bar or brewery and have a good time.

A couple breweries in the northern NY:
Beak & Skiffs—Lafayette, NY
Garland City Beer Works—Watertown, NY

Donate some time to a soup kitchen

If you’re the type of couple where acts of service means the most to you, you can also opt to donate some time during your elopement day to help out at a local soup kitchen.

I mean it when I say the options are endless.

Whatever makes you happy, and makes your day authentic to you is exactly what you should do for your elopement. If you’d like a little more help in planning your adventure elopement, I’d love to guide you along the way. Reach out, and let’s get to planning.

Check out these amazing couples who decided to take back their wedding day and elope:
Sherry + Josh: Northern NY Elopement
Shannon + Bryan: Cape Cod Elopement





Fun Elopement Day Activities

"The moment I spoke to donna I knew we'd made the right choice by reaching out—she was instantly so invested in capturing our lovestory and couldn't be more pleasant to work with."

Claire + Justin