• Yana

Michigan elopement packages for the wild at heart

Updated: Nov 17

Many couples (especially in the era of social distancing) are reimagining their weddings and choosing smaller intimate ceremonies or adventure elopements to celebrate their love. The typical wedding day of 10+ hours can be stressful and the pressure to create an event for hundreds of guests in this added uncertainty can feel overwhelming. Instead, you can plan an intentional celebration in 2020 with your one and only in a beautiful landscape in Michigan (or anywhere else).

WHAT ARE ELOPEMENTS?


Elopements are small intimate wedding celebrations on your own terms. The idea of eloping on a whim is fairly outdated and there is quite a bit of detailed planning that goes into making an elopement a completely unforgettable experience. Elopements can happen anywhere - in urban or nature settings, in a backyard, on a deck of a skyscraper, at a courthouse, on top of a mountain. Since most eloping couples don't hire a wedding planner for their day, I will guide you through the planning, from building your timeline, to suggesting locations if you need inspiration. And even though I do love to shoot in wild and adventurous settings all over the world, I honor the fact that my clients' location preference is what matters the most. Your day is about you and no one else.


This isn’t your classic, traditional staged wedding photoshoot with others dictating your day - I capture raw moments for badass couples that dream up their unique wedding or elopement adventures and marry on their own terms. My job as a wedding and elopement photographer is to help you find your dreamy location and capture your day in an authentic way. You can say your vows privately, under the pines, overlooking the Lake Superior or while you are sitting in a canoe on the Manistee river. These intimate ceremonies are incredibly emotional and powerful.


Are you unclear what do you need to do to pull off an epic elopement in Michigan? Here are some rad resources!

ELOPEMENT CHECKLIST

  • You will need an officiant and two witnesses, if you want to make it legal in Michigan! This could be a friend or family member who is ordained, or you can hire a local officiant available for an elopement ceremony

  • Alternatively, you can get married beforehand in a courthouse and plan a completely immersive elopement day with intimate vows

  • Bouquet/hair piece and a boutonniere

  • Determine the time of the day and a specific setting (I am here to help)

  • Cake or desert

  • Champagne for an epic sunset shot

  • Optional: sparklers or wish lanterns

  • If you need more help, you can also hire a planner for the day


LOCATIONS


There are some truly gorgeous locations in Michigan's lower and upper peninsulas, from beaches and dunes, to waterfalls and dramatic coastlines that remind me of Hawaii. After we settle on the vibe you're going for and the type of terrain you enjoy exploring, I will start researching specific locations for your day. I use professional tools to map out hiking trails and to determine the best season and light during the day of your shoot. 

Here is a list of some of my favorites:


Sleeping Bear Dunes, Empire, MI

Leelanau Peninsula, MI

Traverse City, MI

Silver Lake Sand Dunes, MI

Turnip Rock, Port Austin, MI

Porcupine Mountains, White Pine, MI

Pictured Rocks, Upper Peninsula, near Munising, MI

Black Rocks, Marquette, MI


For more inspiration, check out this stunning adventure elopement in Pictured Rocks.

To read more about these epic elopement locations in Michigan, please click here.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE AN ALL DAY ELOPEMENT PACKAGE


Elopements are just as valuable, significant and precious as traditional weddings and you absolutely deserve to have your day captured in a complete and authentic way! If you're not planning to invite any guests to witness your elopement, your photographs are going to represent the only means of communicating how your entire day looked. Elopements are not styled photo shoots, or couples sessions that can be done in 2 hours. They are beautiful intimate wedding celebrations uniquely tailored to the couples' vision. Your elopement day can be so much more epic that you can imagine right now!


HOW TO WORK YOUR ELOPEMENT DAY TIMELINE

  • Light is everything! If you want to plan for a truly magical lighting, your ceremony should happen early in the morning or 2 - 1.5 hour before sunset. If that isn’t doable, there are locations with tree cover that are great for mid-day.

  • Allow about 15 minutes to exchange vows, 1.5 hour for the bride and groom portraits, and 20 minutes for photos with friends or family

  • Plan for getting ready photos. Allowing me to document these moments will help tell a complete story of your day. Allow for an hour and a half for hair and makeup.

  • Always cushion your timeline with extra travel time between locations. Also - this will give us an opportunity to make impromptu stops in case we spot a gorgeous location we didn't know about!

  • To avoid crowds, especially in the summer, plan to elope on a weekday.

ALL DAY HIKING ELOPEMENT IN THE UPPER PENINSULA OF MICHIGAN

TIMELINE EXAMPLE


Noon - Getting ready photos 

- Photos of wedding dress, bride/groom accessories, make-up touch up, bride and groom getting ready

- First look

- Cake for breakfast? :)

1 pm Travel to Black Rocks, Michigan

1:20 pm Arrival at trailhead

- Hike to Black Rocks 

- Adventure photos with rocks, woods, beach cove

2:30 pm Travel to Miners Beach trailhead

4:00 pm Arrive at trailhead and hike to elopement spot

Flexible timeline and order of events:

- Portrait session with Lake Superior, coastline, beach

- Vows on the beach with view of Pictured Rocks - Toast with bubbly and cake

- First dance on the coast

- Fire on the beach

- Sultry session in the waves

9 pm Sunset

- Sparklers/Wish lanterns


The day of:

Have fun

Be present

Don't forget to eat and drink plenty of water

Focus on the connection with your partner

Enjoy every minute of this epic adventure!

When you book me as your elopement photographer, you're also booking my knowledge of stunning locations in Michigan. 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 wedding 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. You chose me to be a part of your day and I don't take that lightly. We will chat about exciting hiking trails in Hawaii, your favorite wines from Napa and the most vibrant restaurants in the world. I will put my entire soul into telling your story and make sure your wishes are taken care of through the entire planning process until the delivery of your wedding photographs. 

MICHIGAN ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES INCLUDE:

8+ hours of coverage

Unlimited planning and consultation – Including a personalized timeline – Vendor recommendations – Location expertise

Hand-picked high-res files in a private online gallery

Digital slideshow


If you are game to choose less of a traditional approach to your wedding, I am not just a wedding photographer, who shows up with a set of standard poses:

1. I will help you craft a day that truly reflects your personalities and your relationship;

2. I will get dirty with you if you choose to take me on an adventure;

3. I will guide you on this fully immersive and unforgettable experience;

4. I will be there to share jokes and stories and most importantly document your epic wedding day;

5. I will look at this day as a unique wedding experience, because you allowed me to witness your authentic connection through raw moments.

OTHER ELOPEMENT DESTINATIONS


Big Sur, California

Joshua Tree, California

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Lake Powell, Arizona,

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Zion National Park, Utah

Hawaii

Iceland

Sahara desert, Tunisia

Check out more of my travels.


Let's dream big together!


My style is just what you imagined and you’re stoked to start planning an unforgettable elopement adventure focused on your connection and the things you share?

Fantastic! Follow these 3 simple steps to find out if we are a good fit:

  1. Check out my contact page

  2. Say hi

  3. And share your story!


Cheers,

Yana


PHOTOGRAPHING

BOUTIQUE  WEDDINGS + ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS

since 2012

ALEX + ARCHIE
JAYME + PETER
JESSICA + BRIAN
KRISTINA + SASHA

Serving Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula

The Great Lakes region, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan

& Midwest, California, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii
Traveling worldwide for intimate weddings & adventure elopements.

MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN ELOPEMENTS, SMALL WEDDINGS & MICRO WEDDINGS

WANDERING SINCE 2012

green wedding shoes preferred artist
wandering weddings preferred michigan photographer

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