The Difference Between Intimate Weddings and Elopements

Running Through Wildflower After Getting Eloped
Running Through Wildflower After Getting Eloped

Why are traditional weddings so challenging?

Let’s do some math! The average traditional wedding has around 150-200 guests. Say you want to spend an average of 5 minutes talking to each attendee, thanking them for taking time out of their busy life to support your marriage and catching up. Lowballing with the 150 guest estimate, if you multiply the 5 minutes per guest by 150 guests, that quickly compounds to 12.5 hours of chatting with guests. That’s just simply not possible!! With so many people, you can’t give your guests the attention they deserve.

Stunning Mountain Views at Sunset in Colorado
Stunning Mountain Views at Sunset in Colorado

What is an elopement? 

At Ope, we define elopements as a wedding with just you and your significant other. Elopements are special because they focus on what really matters: you & your love for each other. We have seen firsthand the magic of an elopement. With just the two of you, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re climbing a mountain or cuddling up in your own backyard, elopements are beautiful because they are so personal.

Why do we love photographing elopements?

After photographing traditional weddings for ten years, we found that all too often, the couple of the hour doesn’t even get to enjoy their own day together. After being pulled from guest to guest for hours, it’s unfortunately quite common that the newlyweds don’t even remember each other’s vows. How sad is that! A wedding doesn’t mean any less with just the two of you instead of hundreds of spectators. There’s absolutely no correlation between the number of attendees and the success of a marriage. In fact, elopements are even easier and much less stressful than large celebrations. Say goodbye to the stress of reciting your vows in front of hundreds of people, the difficulty of coordinating such a large venue and catering service, and exhausting family drama. Instead, say hello to a relaxed and intimate day filled with everything that represents who you are as a couple. 

Intimate Wedding Reception with Close Friends and Family
Intimate Wedding Reception with Close Friends and Family

What is an intimate wedding?

At Ope, we classify any wedding with 30 or less guests as an intimate wedding. This allows the day to be focused on the couple. The more people there are, the higher the chance to detract from the couple. After all, the goal isn’t to have hours of family photos – the important part of the day is the couple! 

Why do we love photographing intimate weddings?

We love intimate weddings because they can be so personal. We can do so much with a low number of guests, and our couples can still make it an experience for themselves and their guests. Couples can make intimate weddings their own, and really do something unique with the day. The door is open to so many more possibilities for places they can go and memories that can be made together.

What are some of the reasons to have a vow renewal? 

The overarching reason to have a vow renewal is simply just to renew one’s vows with their significant other. However, over the years we have found that people have a lot of different reasons for doing so! You might want to have a unique experience for a major milestone anniversary, to reconstruct your vows to align with where your lives are now, to get some extravagant photos together, or you may even be unhappy with your wedding day photos and want a redo. 

Why do we love vow renewals? 

We love vow renewals because they are a time to honor and celebrate your time together as a couple. Your vows are so important, and it’s a great idea to reevaluate how they fit into your life years out from when you wrote them. A vow renewal is a great time to embrace how your lives have changed together, and to commemorate that. 

What are lifestyle sessions with Ope? 

First off, I want to mention that we classify our engagement sessions as lifestyle sessions at Ope. We have made this transition due to the misconception that engagement photos have to be all prim and proper. We think engagement photos should truly represent your life together – hence falling under lifestyle sessions. Furthermore, our lifestyle sessions aren’t just a one-hour, get in get out experience. In fact, we’ve had lifestyle engagement sessions go for four to six hours in the past! We don’t believe in rushing any of our sessions. We treat sessions as EXPERIENCES – and while an amazing experience may tightly fit into one hour, we’re not about hurrying through something meant to be enjoyed and looked back on!

Why do we take a different approach to lifestyle sessions? 

Over our last decade in the photography business, we have come across so many engagement sessions that aren’t anything like the couple. We can’t quite wrap our heads around why an engagement session should portray you and your significant other as something that you aren’t. We believe lifestyle sessions should be a reflection of our couples and what you actually do in your lives. We want to look at the photos we take and see YOU, not some staged actors smiling for the camera. 

Feel free to reach out to us with any further questions! We love getting to know you, and we would be so excited to work with you in the future.

Let’s get started creating a memorable experience that you will look back on for years to come!

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