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Eloping in the Midwest

November 11, 2020

Couple just married posing between the blackberry vineyards

I would expect, that when you hear the term “elope” or “elopement” your mind probably goes one of two ways. In the traditional sense, and elopement was thought of as a quickie marriage, one that was hurried and not well thought out. Often in secret and with a sense of shame surrounding it, possibly against the parents’ will or without their blessing. A more modern vision of how to elope is to have an adventure far away, climbing mountains or taking a helicopter tour to a remote location.

I’m here to tell you that there is a middle ground. That you can find beautiful, adventurous locations here in the midwest to elope. You can even split your day between half adventuring with your partner, and half intimate dinner and celebration with your closest family and friends.

Here is how I like to define an elopement.

What is an elopement?

Couple's first kiss in front of macrame arch after being married

An elopement is an intimate wedding day where two people plan an experience that speaks to the soul of their relationship. They keep everything close-knit with each element of the day personalized to what is most important to them. 

It’s not based on traditional rules and expectations. Nothing is off-limits, or too far off the beaten path to include in the day. It can take place in any location, or have any vibe. It’s designed to be anxiety-free, magical, and unapologetically catered to you. 

The guest list can be just you and your partner having your best day ever, or include a few of your closest family and friends, so long the focus of the day stays intentionally on you and celebrating your commitment to one another. 


Elopement Example in Michigan

I thought about what an elopement could look like in the midwest. My first thought was to go to Michigan. There are so many breathtaking scenic spots in Michigan. Here is an example elopement day taking place around the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, way up in the UP of Michigan.

Ellie & TrevorClose up of bride holding her bouquet of dried flowers next to her husband
Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, UP Michigan
Tuesday September 28th, 2021

/ Sunset: 7:30pm

Getting Ready Location: Campground or nearby AirBNB
Ceremony Location: Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, overlooking Lake Superior
Additional Portrait Location: Waterfall
Meal/Celebration Location: Beach picnic, campfire, stargazing

1:00pm – the photographer arrives at the campground (or AirBNB) while the couple finishes getting ready

2:00pm – First look

3:00 pm – Drive/hike to Pictured Rocks parkBride sitting on her groom's lap in front of a beautifully designed modern backdrop

4:00 pm – Ceremony, exchange vows overlooking Lake Superior

5:00 pm – Hike to nearby waterfall

6:00 pm – Waterfall ‘Just Married’ portraits

7:00 pm – Arrive at the beach. Light a campfire, unpack the picnic, pop champagne

8:00 pm – Stargazing

9:00 pm- Head back to campground or AirBNB



black and white close up of coupe just married

Doesn’t that sound like a dreamy way to celebrate your love and commitment to your partner? There are so many options around the midwest, so many hidden gems. And I would love to help you dream up your best anxiety-free, intimate wedding day. Whatever that may look like for you.

Get in touch with me here and let’s talk about your perfect wedding elopement.


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