There is nothing about Brandon and I’s relationship that’s traditional. In fact, I’m pretty sure we are one of the most unconventional couples out there. How we met was normal, how we got together, well that was a little weird. From there, we’ve just continued to break social norms, including how we got hitched. Sit down, because it’s time that I share the story that leads to our colorful elopement anniversary photoshoot. Or what I prefer to call our “elope-iversary”.
I should start by saying that marriage is something I’ve had mix fixings about. I’m not the type of woman that needs that. I never dreamed of a Cinderella wedding. Maybe these feelings stem from a preconceived notion that marriage strips away your independence and sense of self. I also have zero plans of having a human family (furry kids are another story), making marriage even less of a priority.
What lead to our color elopement anniversary photoshoot
These are a few of the reasons that it took Brandon and me seven years to say I do. What made me change my mind?
Well, I finally found a partner that shared the same feelings about marriage as I do. We are both in it for the long-haul but don’t NEED this title, it’s an added touch to our commitment to each other.
This perspective is also why we opted to elope.
We didn’t tell our parents. Our friends. Not even our fur kids. The day we embarked on our journey to starting a life in Seattle, Washington we made a quick detour towards the courthouse. We said our vows in front of a courthouse clerk bustling with personality and from there we hit the road to our new life. The only memories we took are the memories in our mind and one courthouse ceremony selfie.
In the back of our heads, we thought that one day we could have a celebration with our family & friends, but that never happened. Life took the wheel and the years kept passing.
For our third elope-iversary, I decided to hit the brakes and planned a colorful elopement anniversary photoshoot. These would be the wedding photos we never had, but a great representation of what our relationship is like.
How We Planned our Colorful Elopement Anniversary Shoot
I love planning and styling photoshoots, and naturally, this one was going to be a special one for me. I wanted photos that reflected our style, and each of the elements seamlessly came together.
Have a plan
As I said before, I love to plan and style photoshoots. I’ve been doing it for years for the blog and have also done it professionally. I create these visions in my mind and nothing is more satisfying than seeing them become a reality. It’s one of my creative talents. If you are a fellow creative, you may feel the same. If you’re not quite as artistic, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the look, the key is to be able to communicate your ideas by sharing inspirational photos or anything that speaks to you. In fact, I did this too. I found a lot of inspiration from Awwsam’s elopement as well as The Crafted Life’s engagement photos.
[Related Post: How to Plan your Wedding Like an Expert]
The photographer is everything when planning a photoshoot. My friend Sam Evans has a vibrant photographic style and knows my aesthetic. To help him see my vision, I also created an elopement photoshoot Pinterest board with inspiration and poses that I liked. It was also nice to work with a friend because Brandon and I both felt comfortable around him. Except when he made us kiss because we’re anti-PDA.
I love flowers and how they can brighten up photos. I worked with PNW florist, Stella at Vetiver Designs. She put together a mix of seasonal flowers that included my personal favorite— Dahlias! She also created a beautiful sway for the top of the VW bus that gave it a really dreamy touch.
Props a.k.a the VW Bus
I love props! I use them a lot in my blog photos, as I’m sure you can tell. We had balloons and flowers as props for our shoot, but the most notable prop was Gertie! Gertie is an early 1970s Volkswagen bus. I really wanted her to be a part of our special photoshoot because she symbolizes adventure. With spontaneous travel being one of the pillars of our relationship, I wanted that to be reflected in our memories for years to come.
Location is everything
Have you ever purchased a house or at least watched house buying shows? You will always hear the realtor say, “location, location, location.” The same is true when it comes to styling photos. It’s a good thing that I enjoy location scouting and had some help from Bertie’s owners because we found several colorful spots to create some magic in downtown Tacoma, Washington. To have a balance of urban settings and natural landscapes, we then headed to Wild Hearts Farm. This little farm is a photographer’s dream! There are several areas to photograph in and I personally enjoyed fields of GIANT sunflowers.
This was my favorite part of planning our “elope-iversary” shoot. I wanted our looks to be vividly colored and fun. For my dress, I didn’t want to go with a wedding dress, well, because this wasn’t a wedding. But I did want something with a bridal feel since it’s the closest thing we would have to wedding photos.
Fate was on my side because a few months before our shoot I found a psychedelic maxi vintage dress at Gypsyland in Palm Springs, California. It was handmade and everything I could have imagined. I paired it with a vintage-inspired hat I found on amazon and viola- my vintage-inspired bridal look.
As far as Brandon’s look, I picked that out too. He’s not a fashion kind of guy, but lucky for me he is pretty flexible when I want to play dress-up with him. We found him a cobalt blue suit that played nicely with my dress and added in a printed mint green shirt so we could have a little pattern mixing between our looks.
[Related post: Plus Size Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas]
I’m so happy with how our elopement anniversary photos turned out. I have been having fun adding them into the decor of our home and plan to cherish them for years to come.