Adventure Elopement Terminologies

If you recently saw a few photos from an adventure elopement or heard from someone about getting married in nature and were intrigued by the idea, this article should be a great starting point for your planning.

Why trust this article?
At Eugene Kim Photography, we value the couple’s experience as the highest priority. When both of you have the best time of your life, the photography and the videography side of things will take care of itself. This had stayed true to over 400 couples we photographed. And this will always be true regardless of the photographer you choose.

The terminology elopement can be foreign to a lot of people. It is a word we use instead of wedding; the difference between the two words is often the number of guests. A wedding can have more than 100 guests, whereas elopement usually has no or ten guests.
ChatGPT explains, “An elopement is when a couple decides to get married in a more intimate and often spontaneous way, typically without a big traditional wedding ceremony. It’s usually a private and personal celebration, often in a secluded or meaningful location.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as”‚Äčthe act of running away with somebody to marry them secretly.”
The Oxford English dictionary definition may be what it meant when people started using it. It is one of the reasons the Las Vegas wedding industry is so big, but ChatGPT’s description is definitely up to date with how many people view elopement.

Adventure Elopement:
As ChatGPT described above, elopement is usually a private and personal celebration, often in a secluded or meaningful location. This part is what made couples look for locations that are truly them. So in 2023, the terminology adventure elopement is often referred to eloping in nature in the woods of Redwood National Park, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the entire valley of Moab or Sedona or in front of an ocean of Big Island or Malibu where you travelled together for the very first time. Eugene Kim Photography defines the Adventure Elopement slightly differently.

Getting Ready Location:
This is where I come into photograph wedding attire, whether a wedding dress, a tux, a suit, whatever it may be. Wedding details include vow books, rings, shoes, and essential daily accessories. Most importantly, take photos of you two getting ready process. This can start from the moment you take a bath together to getting hair and make-up done and getting into wedding attire. We do all this at an accommodation of your choice. At Eugene Kim Photography, we help you pick an accommodation that fits your style and has suitable characteristics.

Ceremony Date and Time:
In Traditional Weddings, couples often choose a weekend date that suits their guests in mind. For example, many couples do not pick a holiday weekend because many guests will be off doing something else. However, the elopement date and time it is entirely up to you. Is it okay to do the ceremony on a weekday or weekend? Probably the best way to come up with a date is to choose a date that will be good for you both. Here are some methods I use to help clients decide their dates:

  • Is there any specific date that you both love? Maybe the date you went on the first date?
  • Or maybe the date you got engaged
  • How about the dates that will be perfect for the future? The date that is not in the way of your work schedules if you have busy seasons. A date during the school year or vice versa depends on your thoughts. Or off-season for some of the places you would like to travel to.
  • If any of these are too complicated, pick your favourite location, and we will choose the best time of the year for this specific spot.

An officiant is a must; if you were to be married here in the U.S. legally, this is not always the case, so this may apply to you or may not. In the U.S., you first would have to arrange to get a marriage license from the county you are getting married (again, this can be different from state to county); in some states, you can get the marriage license anywhere in the state and not in the same city. For example, in California, you could get a marriage license in Los Angeles for a wedding in San Francisco.
At Eugene Kim Photography, Eugene is getting ordained to be the photographer, witness and officiant. In this situation, the couple would read vows to each other while Eugene can focus on taking the photos, and you two will get married. Afterwards, I will step in to sign some paperwork.
Another situation I have seen lately is that the couple is married at a civil service near where they live, maybe during COVID-19, so this adventure elopement is just a ceremony rather than a legally binding process. In this case, the couple don’t even need an officiant.

It is a message to your loved one about the future. For more precise information, please check out my blog post on “[[Blogs/How to write the perfect Vows]]”

Ceremony Location
In traditional weddings, the ceremony location is often restricted within the venue. However, in Adventure Elopement, the ceremony location is boundless. It’s possible whether you love the forest, the ocean or even the top of a mountain. If you have seen our price sheets, we make it very easy with the travel fees; it’s flat rate by region to anywhere in the world; we do this so that you have no limitations. Of course, there will be additional travel fees when it gets into the helicopter and some other chartered transportation. Still, as long as they are accessible to two-wheel drive cars or by general commercial airlines, the ceremony location can be anywhere. If there are other restrictions, that may be national parks, as some have more difficult permit situations than others. So, the best way to deal with this would be to plan the elopement as early as possible.

Couple eloping on the cliff of Malibu Beach, reading vows to each other with sunset in the background

Depending on where you would like to have the ceremony, we may need to get a permit for the wedding ceremony beforehand. Often, a piece of land where you are thinking of getting married is owned by someone. That could be by the country or the state here in the U.S., National Park and State Park, respectively. So, depending on where we decide, we must apply for a permit.

Often, there are two types of permits at, let’s say, National Parks: one is a special permit for a wedding in a National Park, and the other is often for the Photography and Videography permit for commercial usage. The special permit for allowing you to have a wedding in National Park is something that you would have to pay for. In contrast, anything to do with the commercial photography and videography permit is something that I should be paying for. And you have nothing to worry about as this fee is already included in the package.

Adventure Elopement Videographer:
Just like adventure photographers, Adventure Elopement videographers are the ones who specialise in the videography side of things. Every videographer operates differently, just like all photographer operates differently, so even though, at this moment, there isn’t a videographer we work closely with, we have no problem working with a videographer.
If you are interested, we offer something called Photography + Videography Hybrid Coverage, the most popular package we offer.

Photography + Videography Hybrid Coverage:
Just as the name suggests, it captures both photo and video at the same time. The benefit of doing this is that the style of photos and videos stays consistent, and the story told through photography and videography connects well. But best of all, you will probably feel more comfortable with one person than two people or sometimes more, as videographers usually work in groups. Having one hybrid photographer lets you focus on each other and enjoy the day. If you are an introvert or shy in front of people, this is another thing to consider

Highlight Video:
There are many forms of video videographers can create. However, the videographer should know what you want in advance so that he or she can get the right shot needed for that specific video. Highlight video is where a few bits and pieces throughout the day are stitched together. The major benefit of this is that, as we learnt during many traditional weddings, viewers lose attention and find it boring once the video lasts 6 minutes. So even if the video is well made, fewer people would watch it if it is too long. Whereas if the video is 3-5 minutes long, more people are likely to click on it to watch it; surprisingly, even the couple watch it more often. As a result, we have been offering highlight videos only. There are occasions where the documentary style video is requested, but upon seeing some sample videos, most switched to highlight video or wanted both.

Golden Hour:
There are two windows of golden hour a day: one at sunrise and one at sunset. The golden hour is the time when the sun glows in golden colour. This is usually a half-hour time frame: 10 minutes before sunrise and 20 minutes after sunrise. And, of course, 20 minutes before the sunset and 10 minutes after the sunset. It is called the golden hour because it has the golden flair, but also for photographers, this is when we can create the best photos with significant depth, and the shadows on the face are flattering, too.

Blue Hour:
This follows right after the sunset or right before the sunrise. The reason it’s called the Blue Hour is because there’s a little bit of light left in the sky where the sky has not turned entirely dark yet. Some photographers love golden hour, but they also love blue hour. At Eugene Kim Photography, we feel this is when the magic happens and creates lots of emotions if we are doing some close-up shots or a very cinematic look if we are doing something far away.

We will update more terminologies like these very soon, so stay tuned.
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