Ann Arbor Elopement in the Woods with Wes Anderson Flair

June 4, 2022

Spell-biding Forest at Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor elopements favor simple but personalized approach and bespoke designs over a large scale wedding events with hundreds of guests. These types of intimate elopement events are focused on a one-of-a-kind experience thoughtfully crafted to the couple. The covid era surfaced a plethora of alternatives and ultimately inspired couples to explore other options. Close your eyes and envision what you truly love!

In this post you will find:

michigan wedding
michigan elopement photographer

If you are a couple that adores adventures and bohemian aesthetic, you don’t have to travel far to find a spell-binding landscape. Barton Nature Area features miles of woodsy trails through the forests along the Huron river. I especially love the meditative landscape of Barton Pond at sunset. The right location, beautiful light and a exquisite elopement attire will create magical memories for years to come.

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

John Muir

Unique Fall Ann Arbor Elopement Inspiration with Local Florals

I was so excited to see Julia and Robert taking their wedding matters into their own hands! Julia and Robert, two bon-vivants with European roots, eloped at the local courthouse in Ann Arbor with only a couple of witnesses, without an official wedding photographer. I wanted to capture their playful personalities and create a unique look for their Ann Arbor elopement adventure photo session, so we went for a mixture of bohemian vibe and European styling with vintage furs, featuring a touch of Wes Anderson.

ann arbor wedding photos

When Julia and Rob contacted me to brainstorm initial elopement ideas, they asked what should they focus on first. Definitely focus on personalized approach, meaningful, immersive experience. You are getting married on your own terms, rather than following the societal expectations of what a wedding “should” look like, and that’s absolutely wonderful!, I told them. Julia and Rob decided from the very beginning that they didn’t want to throw a big wedding production with hundreds of guests in the US, but they wanted to create an intimate event in Europe for their families living in Germany and Czech Republic. They loved that their families supported their vision for their micro wedding day, so they planned the reception to happen at a beautiful medieval monastery in Prague, Czech Republic. For their wedding menu, they are expecting to eat traditional Eastern-European dishes and party until early morning. 


Ann Arbor Elopement Location near Huron River

Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor is one of my favorite locations for adventure elopements and engagement sessions in Michigan. The river, hundred year old trees, fields of tall golden grass and wooded areas are an ideal setting for couples that want to take a little stroll and capture their love immersed in nature. We frolicked in the last rays of late summer, which inspired the visual outcome of their photo session. The glowing golden hour light, subtle movement of Julia’s dress, simple posing and natural accents of the locally sourced wedding bouquet from We Adore Flowers perfectly captured the mood of the evening. 

Focusing on a personalized elopement experience

The pre-covid wedding industry in the Midwest was unfortunately saturated with wedding styles and venues that didn’t give much space to authentic expression of each couple. The shift of the conversation about what a wedding “should” look like started with elopements being popularized by adventure photographers, but they completely took off during the pandemic. When I talked to Julia and Robert, they shared that they were craving meaningful experiences at weddings they attended in the past.

ann arbor wedding photographer

Throughout my conversations with my clients I explain the option of tailoring wedding experiences to what you truly love is the most magical thing. Intimate weddings and elopements often favor simple but personalized approach, hand-picked designs and sustainable food options. If you love to go on an adventure, choose a dramatic mountain scape with a private cabin in Northern Michigan that can serve as an elopement venue. If you envision a luxury destination elopement experience in the Italian wine region, buy your flight tickets and throw an elegant party with a handful of closest family and friends. While you might choose to throw all the traditions out the window, small intimate destination elopements can still feature staple traditions you’d see at a more standard wedding, but on a much smaller scale.

I am a firm believer that everyone should have the right to marry on their own terms and follow the wedding idea that feels the most authentic. So, if you love what you see, let’s embark on an unforgettable wedding elopement adventure together!


ann arbor elopement
ann arbor elopement

Other Locations to Consider

As an Ann Arbor elopement photographer, I often photograph at other locations in the area with a beautiful natural aesthetic. Here is a list of my favorite photoshoot locations in Ann Arbor:

ann arbor elopement
  • Delhi Metropark
  • Fuller Park
  • Argo Nature Area
  • Gallup Park
  • Lillie Park
michigan wedding photography

Hi, lovely, I am Yana, a Michigan wedding and elopement photographer! When you book me as your Ann Arbor engagement photographer, you’re also booking my knowledge of stunning locations in Michigan and beyond. But that’s not all. I spend hours scouting new locations, researching activities and vetting vendors to be able to provide my expertise for a unique experience. I will also become your sounding board to consult ideas about your dream elopement adventure. Through all of this, we will most likely become friends and I will silently shed a tear hiding behind my camera when I witness you exchange your vows with your one and only. To book your complimentary consultation and chat about your Ann Arbor engagement and wedding planning with me, fill out the form below.