As someone passionate about helping you craft a memorable elopement experience, I’ve made it my mission to do things a little differently. Elopements are profoundly personal, and the way we approach them should be just as personal. But it’s not just about individuality; it’s also about inclusivity.
Your elopement is a collaborative process, where your preferences and comfort are at the forefront. I’m not here to follow clichés or give you a sales pitch. Instead, I aim to ensure that the entire journey is a reflection of you, no matter how you experience the world.
To that end, I’ve put this article together to elaborate on how we can create an elopement experience that celebrates your unique relationship and personality. I’ve described the entire process, partly so you can see ahead of time just how everything works, and partly to illustrate the special focus on accommodations for neurodiverse folks (which, honestly, have been helpful for most of my couples, neurospicy or not).
Table of Contents:
This is the very first step, and I try to remove as many barriers as possible. There’s going to be a lot of information in this part of the process, so I don’t put time limits on things or push you to make a decision quickly. Nothing that feels bad or forces you to do anything, no weird incentives that make you feel like you have to panic-choose.
You’ll have the time you need to go through everything and make your decision without pressure or deadlines. I often schedule regular, agreed-upon check-ins because I’m personally aware of how easy it is for time to get away from us. We can plan those out together if you’d like.
Here’s how the booking process works:
You can contact me right here through a short form that gives me some info about you and your partner and what you’re thinking about for your elopement. Once you submit the form, you’ll be redirected to a page that confirms your message went through and gives you some resources to look through if you’re interested.
I’ll respond to you as quickly as I can, often in less than an hour. In my response, I’ll let you know if I’m available for your date/time frame, some thoughts off the top of my head, and answers to some questions if it makes sense to do that over email.
Getting to know each other a wee bit at this stage is important for all of us. Whether you’re eloping alone or with a small group, I’m going to be with you all day, and I want to make sure you feel comfortable before booking me. So in my email back to you, I’ll offer to talk on a phone or video call. You don’t have to, email is totally fine, but I’ve found it’s so much easier to connect with someone on a call.
Choosing a photographer is one of the big steps, and I want you to feel really good about your decision!
I often suggest a time for me to call, but I also provide you with a link to my calendar. You can schedule a call (phone or video) at a time that works for you.
On our call, we’ll go over everything: your questions, your dreams, your plans. I’ll go over the details of booking with you, the i’s we need to dot, t’s to cross. We’ll estimate how much photography time you’ll likely need and go over all the pricing.
This is also a great opportunity to pick my brain and get some personalized advice and suggestions.
After our call, I’ll send you an email with notes on what we discussed, as well as a list of next steps. All of my emails moving forward have “Next Steps” at the bottom so you know where you are in the process, exactly what’s happening next, and when.
Everything is handled digitally with as few steps as possible.
You’ll receive the contract first. Everything is listed out clearly with as little “legalese” as possible. Once that’s signed, you’ll automatically receive a link to your invoice. The flat-rate retainer can be paid via bank transfer or credit card, again, right there online.
And then that’s it, you’re booked!
This is where all the planning happens, and where we have the most room for customization. This is how I typically operate, but feel free to talk to me about tweaking things to work for you.
I can be more or less involved in your elopement planning, depending on your preferences. Everything is collaborative: I’m here to offer you what I know and help guide you when you need it. I make suggestions, you make decisions.
Immediately after booking, you’ll receive the “How to Elope” guide, exclusively for Solar Rose couples. Think of it like a handbook, an 80-page guide with all the info in my brain. I send it right away so that you can go through it at your own pace and reference it over time. It’s not a homework assignment with a due date. …You don’t even have to look at it if you don’t want to! But it’s there should you want it.
Some of my check-in emails will reference this guide and direct you to certain sections depending on what we’re doing.
I send two main questionnaires to my couples. The first is a “getting to know you” questionnaire that collects info about you, your relationship, and what you’re dreaming of for your elopement. It’s what I use to put together your custom Location Lookbook.
The second is all about your wedding day timeline: the logistics.
You can go through these on your own, or we can go through them together. I’m also happy to set up check-ins and deadlines if you want them.
This is a custom list of locations that you can visit and explore on your elopement day. I draw these up as Google docs to make sharing and commenting easy. Each location will have pictures, the nearest time, accessibility info, the distance and difficulty of the trail or walk, the time of day for best lighting, whether or not the location is pet-friendly, permit requirements, leave no trace information, and a privacy estimate.
I curate this list on purpose to avoid overwhelm. You won’t get a massive document with 15 places to choose from.
These portals are one of my favourite things! Your client portal is your hub for all things elopement. It will have a roadmap of important dates, links to your documents (contract, invoice, location lookbook, timeline), helpful resources, an elopement checklist, a packing list (for my Ireland folks), a section for notes, info for after your elopement, and a kanban board with real-time updates for where your photos are in their journey.
You don’t have to use the portal, but it’s been an invaluable organizational tool!
All of your planning comes together here. If you want a stress-free wedding, the prep is how we make that happen. But on the day itself, there are things that you can customize for your own needs and preferences.
I pay attention to how you’re doing and check in every so often to see if you need anything. Some folks don’t always feel comfortable speaking up if they’re tired or want a break, so I try to open that door myself.
You’ll also receive zero judgment from me. I know what it’s like, I’m in your shoes, and I’m never going to stop you from stimming or processing things whichever way you want to.
The timeline we build together will include room to breathe. From the outset, I make sure that you aren’t going to be rushing around from one place to the next, with no chance to catch your breath or pivot.
Everything is relaxed, and there’s always room to change things up on the fly if that’s what you decide in the moment.
I’m working on a whole article about these, but the short version is: bring your favourite things! I encourage my neurospicy couples to make their own sensory wellness kits with things like safe foods, fidget toys, earplugs, calming tools, comfort items, etc.
Anything that brings you calm or peace or happiness in your day-to-day life, why not bring it with you on your wedding day?
I do give some guidance so you aren’t left standing there wondering what to do, but for the most part, I’m a semi-documentary photographer. And often, folks are wrapped up in exploring and experiencing for most of the day; this isn’t a painful, all-day photo session.
I’ll be as hands-on or off as you want me to be. We’ll start the first portrait section of your day with a calming ritual, which, admittedly, sounds a bit woo-woo, but honestly, ever since introducing this, I’ve noticed a dramatic difference.
I also photograph with mirrorless cameras; they’re way quieter than the big DSLRs I used to work with. If you’d like, I can even switch the shutter to silent if you don’t want to think about it. By default, I leave it on, as hearing nothing can be unnerving to some people.
Most of the time, you won’t be looking at the camera at all, not focusing on me. It’s your wedding day; you’re what’s important, not me. So beyond the standard “fridge photo” of you looking right at the camera, most of the time I’ll encourage you not to look at me at all.
Your elopement experience isn’t over once the cameras are put away. I follow through with you to the end of the process.
You’ll first get a “preview gallery” of 10-20 images, usually within days of your elopement. Your full gallery will be delivered within weeks. I often like to surprise people with the gallery, but if that sounds terrible to you, I’m more than happy to schedule your gallery delivery for a specific date and time.
You don’t have to purchase an album, but I love them so much that I wish everyone would. I design the album for you and then send it to you digitally. You can flip through the pages like a physical book to make sure it’s exactly what you want.
We can also get on a video call together to finalize your cover design. I have fabric samples so you can see how your fabric and debossing choices will look together.
Planning and experiencing your elopement with me is designed to be as stress-free, accommodating, and personal as possible. From the initial steps of the booking process to the post-elopement details, your comfort and preferences take precedence.
Throughout it all, you’ll have the comfort of knowing you’re working with someone who can understand what it’s like to experience the world this way. After eloping myself without that understanding, providing it for others is one of the main reasons why I do what I do.
If there’s anything in addition to the above that you’d like to discuss with me, I’m more than happy to work with you! You can send me an email here (: