When it comes to weddings, there’s no need to follow the traditional route. Breaking the rules and having a nontraditional wedding is becoming increasingly popular – especially with elopements! From intimate weddings to unique, non-traditional ideas, it is possible to have the wedding of your dreams without succumbing to tradition. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to plan the perfect elopement and nontraditional wedding. Take it from an elopement photographer, non-traditional weddings are the way to go.

Why have a nontraditional wedding?

hawaii nontraditional wedding

Weddings have long been steeped in tradition, from the white dress to the bouquet toss. But in recent years, more and more couples are choosing to break free from these customs and opt for a nontraditional wedding. Why? Because it allows them to create a unique and personalized experience that truly reflects their love and individuality, creating their own traditions.

One of the biggest reasons couples choose to have a nontraditional wedding is the desire to step outside the box and do something different. Traditional weddings can often feel generic and cookie-cutter, with the same old rituals and expectations. But a nontraditional wedding allows couples to think outside the box and incorporate their own interests and passions into their big day. Whether it’s exchanging vows in nature, having a themed wedding, or including unique cultural elements, the possibilities are endless.

Why Couples Opt for Nontraditional Weddings

Elopements, in particular, have become a popular choice for couples seeking a nontraditional wedding experience. By eloping, couples can focus on the most important aspect of their wedding day: their love for each other. It’s an intimate and romantic way to tie the knot, without the stress and expense of a large wedding. From eloping on a secluded beach to saying “I do” atop a mountain, there are countless elopement ideas that can make your special day even more memorable.

Another reason couples opt for a nontraditional wedding is to have a small, intimate affair. Traditional weddings often come with a long guest list, which can lead to a lack of connection and intimacy. But with a smaller wedding, couples can truly focus on their loved ones and create a more meaningful and personal experience for everyone involved. From backyard ceremonies to destination weddings with only close friends and family, small weddings are just as beautiful and special as larger ones. Possibly more so, in my humble opinion.

So, if you’re looking to break free from tradition and have a wedding that truly reflects who you are as a couple, consider opting for a nontraditional wedding. Whether you choose an intimate gathering or an elopement in nature, the most important thing is that your wedding day is a celebration of your love and uniqueness. Embrace the opportunity to create a day that is truly yours, and let your love story unfold in a way that feels authentic and true to who you are.

Intimate Weddings

oregon nontraditional wedding

Intimate weddings are all about creating a truly special and meaningful experience for you and your loved ones. Unlike traditional weddings with long guest lists and elaborate venues, intimate weddings focus on the quality of connections rather than the quantity of guests. With a nontraditional small wedding, you have the opportunity to spend more quality time with your loved ones, creating a warm and personal atmosphere that will be cherished for a lifetime.

One of the main advantages of having a small wedding is that it allows you to have a more intimate ceremony and reception. You can choose a cozy and picturesque venue that perfectly suits your vision, such as a charming garden, a national park, or even your own backyard. The smaller space creates a more intimate ambiance, where every guest feels like an essential part of your celebration. You can also personalize the décor and details to reflect your unique style and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Fewer Guests

With fewer guests to cater to, you can also focus on providing a more luxurious and indulgent experience for your loved ones. You can treat them to a gourmet dinner with a customized menu, ensuring that every dish is a culinary masterpiece. Additionally, you can offer personalized gifts or favors that truly reflect your appreciation for their presence on your special day.

Another advantage of an intimate wedding is that you can allocate more of your budget towards creating unforgettable experiences. Instead of spending a large portion of your budget on accommodating a vast number of guests, you can invest in creating memories that will last a lifetime. This could include hiring a live band or a DJ to get everyone on their feet, arranging a surprise firework display, or even planning a unique activity for your guests to enjoy, such as a wine tasting or a boat cruise.


Elopements have become increasingly popular as a nontraditional way to say “I do.” This intimate and romantic option allows couples to focus on the most important aspect of their wedding day: their love for each other. Gone are the stress and expense of a large wedding; instead, eloping offers a more personal and meaningful experience.

Imagine eloping to a secluded beach, with the waves crashing in the background and the warm sun on your skin. Or picture saying your vows atop a breathtaking mountain, with the panoramic views serving as the backdrop for your special moment. Elopements offer the opportunity to create a wedding that is truly unique and tailored to your preferences.

One of the advantages of choosing an elopement is the freedom to have a small wedding. Instead of worrying about seating charts and accommodating a long guest list, elopements allow you to focus solely on yourselves as a couple. You can invite a select few loved ones or choose to have a private ceremony for just the two of you. It’s a chance to create an intimate atmosphere that celebrates your love in its purest form. You also get the most gorgeous and authentic photos on elopement days!


Another advantage of eloping is the opportunity to have a more flexible and adventurous wedding day. Since you won’t have the pressures of a traditional wedding, you can choose to elope in a destination that holds special meaning to you. Whether it’s a foreign country, a national park, or even your favorite local spot, eloping gives you the freedom to get married wherever your heart desires.

Elopements also allow for a more relaxed and stress-free wedding experience. Without the need to coordinate and manage a large guest list, you can focus on simply enjoying each other’s company and savoring the moment. It’s a chance to prioritize your love and commitment, without any distractions or obligations.

So, if you’re looking to have a small wedding that truly celebrates your love and allows for an intimate and personalized experience, consider eloping. Whether you choose a serene beach or a picturesque mountaintop, an elopement is the perfect way to break free from tradition and create a wedding day that is all about you and your partner. I’m an elopement photographer who helps with all of the planning and capturing your uunique day.

Unique Ideas for a Nontraditional Wedding

elopement in oregon

So, you’ve decided to have a nontraditional wedding and break free from the norms of a traditional ceremony. Congrats on making the exciting choice! Now comes the fun part: coming up with unique and creative ideas that will make your special day truly unforgettable. Here are some ideas to inspire you and help you plan a nontraditional wedding that is completely unique to you and your partner.

1. Outdoor Adventure Wedding: If you and your partner are nature enthusiasts, consider having an outdoor adventure wedding. Exchange your vows on a mountaintop, in a lush forest, or even on a sandy beach. Embrace the beauty of the great outdoors and let nature be your backdrop as you celebrate your love. Don’t forget to incorporate elements of your favorite outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, canoeing, outdoor picnics, and more.

2. Pop-Up Wedding: A pop-up wedding is a nontraditional and unconventional way to tie the knot. Instead of having a traditional venue and a lengthy guest list, a pop-up wedding involves finding a unique and unexpected location for your ceremony. It could be a park, a rooftop, a local art gallery, or even a food truck festival. Keep it small and intimate, inviting only your closest friends and family, and surprise them with the location and details of your pop-up wedding.

More Ideas

3. Themed Wedding: Let your creativity shine by planning a themed wedding that reflects your passions and interests. From a vintage-inspired wedding with a retro dress and classic cars to a fantasy-themed wedding complete with costumes and elaborate decor, the possibilities are endless. Choose a theme that resonates with you as a couple and infuse it into every aspect of your wedding, from the invitations to the menu to the music.

4. Destination Wedding: Who says a wedding has to take place close to home? Consider having a destination wedding in a location that holds special meaning to you and your partner. It could be a tropical island, a charming European city, or even a remote village in the mountains. Not only will a destination wedding provide a unique and memorable experience for you and your guests, but it will also give you the opportunity to explore a new place and create lifelong memories.

5. Nontraditional Ceremony: If you want to really break away from tradition, consider designing a completely unique and nontraditional ceremony. Instead of the standard exchange of vows, you could opt for a handfasting ceremony, a unity candle ceremony, or even a personalized ritual that you create yourselves.

Planning Your Nontraditional Wedding

Now it’s time to dive into the planning process. Planning a nontraditional wedding requires a bit more creativity and flexibility than a traditional wedding, but the end result will be a unique and personalized celebration that perfectly reflects you and your partner.

First, start by creating a vision for your wedding day. Think about the overall theme, style, and atmosphere you want to create. Do you envision a small, intimate wedding with only your closest friends and family? Or perhaps you want to go all out and have a grand celebration with a nontraditional twist. Whatever your vision, keep it at the forefront of your planning process to ensure everything aligns with your desires.

Next, make a list of priorities. What aspects of your wedding are most important to you? Is it the venue, the food, the entertainment, solo time with your partner, or the overall ambiance? By prioritizing what matters most to you, you can allocate your budget and time accordingly.

When it comes to finding a venue, think outside the box. Consider nontraditional locations such as art galleries, airbnb’s, botanical gardens, or National Parks and Forests. The key is to choose a space that reflects your style and allows for a more intimate and personal experience.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your vendors as well. Look for photographers, caterers, and florists who specialize in nontraditional weddings. I’m an elopement photographer who helps plan the entire day!

Lastly, stay true to yourselves throughout the planning process. Don’t feel pressured to conform to tradition or meet others’ expectations. This is your day, and it should be a reflection of your love and uniqueness as a couple. Embrace the opportunity to create a wedding that truly feels authentic to you, and enjoy the journey of planning your nontraditional celebration.

Nontraditional Wedding Photography

nontraditional wedding

Capturing the moments from your nontraditional wedding is a must. Hiring a photographer is an important step to planning an intimate wedding or elopement. You are planning a day that is small, unique, and with people who are close to you. You will want to feel comfortable in front of the camera and have that connection with your photographer so it can continue to feel intimate during the day.

My process includes getting to know you, your backstory, your needs for the day, and helping you create it. From location guides, to curated timelines, and even helping you obtain your permits. I’m here from start to finish to make sure you have the day you actually deserve, as well as capture it. Interested in talking more about your nontraditional wedding? Let’s chat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?


Intimate weddings