Donna Marie


New York Elopement Frequently Asked Questions


Just a couple more things…

(Frequently Asked Questions, answered.)

What is an elopement?

Eloping is no longer the clandestine kind of affair that would have people gasping in shock—These days, eloping means choosing you, your love, and your experience over everything else. Exchange your vows privately, intimately, and freely in a place of your choosing.

Do we have to hike for an elopement?

First things first: Adventure ≠ hiking. You don’t have to hike if that’s not your thing. Some couples live for it, others not so much. And that’s perfectly okay! Not hiking doesn’t mean you can’t have an elopement experience. There are many options for couples who may not be avid hikers, such as spending a day on the boat, going fishing, camping, popping down to City Hall, or anything else that your heart desires. Hiking or not, I’ve gotchu.

What if it rains/snows?

Truthfully? It will make for bomb-ass, dramatic photos. It will also make for a story. Think of the adventure. As long as the weather isn’t treacherous to travel in, our sesh is still on. I’m particularly skilled at adjusting plans last minute. Together through the planning process, we will establish a set of backup plans that are just as good, if not better than the original.

But if there isn’t a traditional schedule to follow, what do we do all day?

Ahh, that’s the beauty of eloping! You can still have your getting ready time (together or apart), a first look, gift exchange, a first dance, and any other “traditional” touches you want to include. But you can also go on a hike together, enjoy brunch together at a place you’ve been eager to visit, create art together (I mean how effing romantic is that on your wedding day?!), or do anything that you enjoy doing as a couple. Before you know it, the whole day will have flown by—and you will have experienced amazing things.

How do payment schedules work?

For intimate weddings + elopements within a 150 mile radius of Adams, NY I require a $1000 non-refundable retainer and a signed contract. For intimate weddings + elopements outside of the 150 mile radius I require a 50% non-refundable retainer. The remaining balance is due 15 days prior to your celebration date—you can pay the balance in full then, or break it up and pay it over time beforehand.


What if we don’t know where to get married? Will you help us?

You tell me what kind of vibe, season, terrain—and I will get to work. Or maybe you’re thinking about eloping in the same spot where you had your first date. I will absolutely help you find your dream location, even if you’re not sure where that may be. Once you’ve booked, I’ll research some locations that fit the vibe you’re interested in and all the logistics involved to have your ceremony there.

How much photo coverage do we need?

Get in touch and this is one of the first things that we work on figuring out together. During your initial call with me, I will help you see what is possible for your day and begin developing custom collection options with you. I will always tell you to opt for full-day photography coverage because you deserve to have the entirety of your day documented, not just a portion of it. Trust me, you’ll thank me decades down the road when you flip back through the portraits that you had me with you for the whole day versus 4 hours.

Do we need an officiant?

It depends. In New York, yes. In most cases, couples want someone there to verbally conduct their ceremony. BONUS: Ya girl is ordained and can officiate your ceremony if you’d like.

Can we have guests at our elopement?

Absolutely! There are no hard-fast rules about how elopements take place, so when you decide to elope, you’re taking full control over your wedding day. Most elopements I take on have fewer than 15 guests.

How does booking work?

If you’re ready to start the booking process, drop me a line via my CONTACT FORM or by emailing me!! Next, I’ll send over my pricing guide based on what kind of experience you’re looking for. We also set up a time to chat as I want to get to know you, your partner and how you envision your day. Once we make sure we’re a good fit, and decide on which package you’d like, I will send over a contract for you to sign. After you’ve signed on the dotted line and paid the non-refundable retainer, you will be officially booked!! (The remaining balance is due 15 days prior to your wedding day. This can be broken up into smaller payments, or paid all at once—whichever is easiest for you!)

After booking, that’s when the real work begins! Since this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve got all the skills and knowledge to help you navigate the wedding planning process. Together we will craft your dream wedding day, from location to activities, to other vendors you want to include. I’m kinda like your Fairy-Wedding-Planning-Mother.