Michael and Sarah wanted a perfect day, all to themselves, where they took a cruise on a boat across Lake Tahoe, ate donuts, read their vows to each other, danced in privacy under a gazebo, and, for Michael’s big add, played disc golf. Living in such an incredible, epic location, I have the good fortune to photograph a LOT of elopements and I absolutely love them. Couples choose elopements for a variety of reasons over traditional weddings, and now, in light of current events, I think that many couples may be forced into elopements over weddings for financial reasons. This is not a bad thing! Michael and Sarah had an overwhelmingly wonderful experience at their adventure elopement and disc golf wedding in Lake Tahoe, and we’re all here to tell you that elopements are amazing.
First of all, elopements represent who you are. Want something completely unconventional like a disc golf wedding? No problem! They are catered to just the two of you and provide an intimate moment for you to connect together in an incredibly authentic way. In Michael and Sarah’s case, they had wed that morning at the court house, but for their “ceremony” they wanted a private moment to read their personal vows to each other, dance in a gazebo, and cut a cake. So much of their “ceremony” though, was watching the two of them enjoy the anticipation of of their life together and realizing their vision by setting up for the occasion. They giggled and joked with each other, in between regaling me with stories of their lives together, while they decorated a cake and picnic bench with items meaningful to the their partnership and their trip to Tahoe.
Elopements are the ultimate in intimacy and personality: your vow exchange can be as wacky and unconventional as you’d like it to be. You can be as minimal or as complicated as you want. You can accessorize your ceremony in any way you want. In Sarah and Michael’s case, that meant a copy of the Constitution of the United States, a document close to Sarah’s heart, and photos of them together, from the beginning, and then also from that very day on the boat cruise. They hung Christmas lights and arranged pine cones. The uniqueness of everything brought joy to them, and in turn, me.
Another reason couples elope is for the privacy of the moment. An elopement allows you to choose an epic location and value a shared experience together over material things. Let your destination and the weather be your guide! Elope in a foreign country (just actually get married at the courthouse at home first!), trek in Nepal, celebrate in any way that you choose to! By turning your marriage ceremony into a vacation or extended honeymoon, you create new memories to carry into your future partnership together. You get to be as active as you want to. In this case, Michael had spent many years playing disc golf at this very course in Lake Tahoe when he lived here. It was something that he found great value and wonderful nostalgia in and he wanted nothing more than to share it with his new partner and show off to her the beautifulness that Tahoe has to offer. As such, after sharing their ceremony and rituals together, Michael played a hole of disc golf in celebration.
Third, less planning means less stress and less anxiety! More often than not, your photographer is more than willing to help you plan an amazing spot for your ceremony in the destination of your choice. In addition, many registered officiants who may be part of your day are also well adept at planning out your ceremony. This is why many couples LOVE eloping – while there IS planning, there is significantly less of it. Local officiants like Meredith Richmond of Ceremonies by Meredith and Cindie Wilding are willing to help you pick locations, bring you flowers and arrange for cakes and have great relationships with local photographers like myself to make sure that your vision comes to life in exactly the way you had hoped.
And finally, if you’re going to have an epic adventure elopement: duh, don’t wear heels.
Looking for amazing Tahoe vendors for your epic disc golf wedding or adventure elopement? Head here!
Ceremony Venue: Zephyr Cove Disc Golf Pavilion
Lauren Lindley is Lake Tahoe wedding photographer, also available for elopements and family portraits in the greater Northern CA Area. She also services New Orleans, LA, Dallas, TX, and Austin, TX. Have camera: will travel. She is available to provide services for weddings across the U.S. and worldwide. She specializes in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce photojournalism based wedding photography with classic, clean and vibrant images. Lauren loves unconventional and otherwise unusual weddings that represent YOU and is currently booking weddings from 2020 and 2021 in Lake Tahoe, CA and other destinations worldwide.
Zephyr Cove Disc Golf Pavilion looks like a great venue. Congrats to Michael + Sarah. And great work, Lauren.