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.
If you’re on the fence about whether an adventurous elopement is possible for your wedding day celebration, this is your sign. Do it. Plan an elopement. Do exactly what you want for your wedding day. You absolutely do not have to be a survivalist to have an adventure elopement. There’s this common misconception that I see is building: if you’re eloping you’re either doing something super extreme, like hiking Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks or you’re meeting up at City Hall. It’s like there’s no in between.
You can absolutely have an adventurous elopement without having to be a 10-mile hiking, rock scaling survivalist. When you decide to elope, your wedding day can be anything you want it to be. It can be a relaxing day on the lake, a roller skating party with 15 of your closest friends and family, or going on a day trip to catch some views. The only thing that matters is that you’re doing something that you both enjoy to celebrate your wedding. No matter what that is.
If you’re vibing with the idea of doing something a little different or something unconventional that involves being unique. Something that isn’t a Via Ferrata, or requires being on the hiking trail at 3am, and allows you to sleep in a comfortable bed at night, you could call yourself “adventure(ish).”
A person who wants an adventurous wedding experience while also having a less than adventurous nature. An adventure(ish) person may not be down with committing to a Via Ferratta, a multi-day hike, or surviving in the backcountry—but is still down for an amazing outdoor wedding experience with epic views.
If you have both decided that an elopement is how you’d like to celebrate your wedding day, that’s freaking amazing! Talk with your partner. Make sure to listen to one another to see what ideas you both come up with for how you’d like your day to unfold.
Don’t just elope because it’s “trendy”
Make sure it’s what you both want—Eloping doesn’t make your marriage any more or less valid. Whether you elope or have a big wedding, the important thing is that you have married the love of your life. Here are the Top 8 To Ditch Tradition and Elope Instead. If you align with any or all of them, eloping may be perfect for you.
Plan some activities
Make sure whatever activity (or activities) you decide on incorporating into your day are things that you are comfortable doing. Don’t forget to consider the physical capabilities of your guests as well. Also make sure to research the location you’re interested in eloping in. You will want to learn the weather patterns based on time of year for your elopement, lodging, parking, associated fees, and crowds. I have a blog post on this if you need suggestions on where to elope in New York.
Incorporate the details you want
Eloping doesn’t mean that you forego all the wedding details (unless you want to!). Don’t skip the wedding details that are important to you. If you want an arbor and flowers, bring them! If you want a handful of close family + friends, bring them! (This may also influence what activities you do throughout your day.) Your elopement can be as simple or as extravagant as you’d like. There are literally ZERO rules when it comes to eloping!
Do your research
Avoid rushing into booking vendors for your elopement: do your research. Hiring vendors for your elopement is a big deal, especially when it comes to hiring a photographer. With this being one of the biggest days of your life, your photos are what you will have to remember for a lifetime. Make sure your photographer knows you want to elope and what kind of elopement you’re aiming for. Also make sure to really research any lodging you want to use if your elopement requires a stay away from home.
Tell family + friends that you’ve decided to elope
This one can be a doozy if you have a family that expected you to have a traditional wedding. You can read up on a few ways to deliver the news How to Tell Your Family That You’re Eloping. One thing is for sure, stand firm in your decision to elope. Your wedding is about you and your partner—and placing experience over tradition is not selfish.
Get married! Enjoy your adventure elopement experience, create some lifelong memories with the love of your life, and have your photographer document the day as it unfolds.