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Intimate couple portraits in a vermont stream, trash the dress photoshoot by Vermont wedding photographer Andy Madea

How To Plan an Elopement or Intimate Ceremony | Making The Switch From A Large Wedding


Andy Madea

June 4, 2020

Intimate couple portraits in a vermont stream, trash the dress photoshoot by Vermont wedding photographer Andy Madea

Vermont fall

Planning a wedding can feel like a full time job in an of itself. Toss a global pandemic into that equation and it might feel downright impossible to figure out.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that your wedding, regardless of where it is or how many people are there, is all about the love and companionship of you and your partner.

For the safety of themselves and their guests, the majority of my couples have postponed their large event until 2021 either eloping or having an intimate ceremony this year.

If you are thinking about something similar, I’ve put together a list that will hopefully shed some light on the situation!

When facing the challenges imposed by the Coronavirus, an elopement is a simple and savvy solution.  It allows you to still celebrate your love on your original wedding date, but with a much smaller guest count, or no guests at all!

Do I still reschedule my wedding day to next year? 

Just because you decide to make it official this year, doesn’t mean your plans for a large celebration cannot happen the way you wanted!  Most of my couples that are saying ‘I DO’ this year are still having their full wedding day next year.  The large event still looks the same as before, but with a slight twist. The day looks EXACTLY the same! The one difference is the ceremony; vows are switched to expressing the feelings of your first year of marriage, what you are looking forward to in the coming years, and saying ‘I DO’ to the continuation of your love for each other.

From here on out, dances, speeches and a party go on as planned! (If you have further questions on how my couples are navigating this, contact me HERE)

Now, on to this years event!

adventurous couple in Rocky Mountain National Park by Vermont Wedding Photographer Andy Madea

Have an intimate, no-guest wedding within driving distance of your hometown

Having a no-guest or limited guest ceremony can be incredibly special. After all, the vows you and your partner are making are about your love for each other. The number on the guest list does not change that.  If you still want your initial guest list to witness this event, consider a videographer! There is a lot of discussion around live streaming ceremonies these days, but keep in mind the logistics behind this.  Having a VERY strong internet/cell signal is key for this, and depending on your chosen location, this may not be possible.

Selecting a location that doesn’t require extensive travel might be easier than you think! Check with local parks, event spaces, or private AirBnbs in your area.

If you must have guests, limit it to a few loved ones 

With all the anxiety around travel, your guests will most likely feel relieved about a postponement! Keeping an open line of communication is key.

If you feel that you must have guests present, keep the guest list as short as possible, and remember that keeping a safe distance (between 6 to 10 feet away) is recommended. Be thoughtful about who you choose: people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk should they contract the coronavirus, so use the utmost consideration when selecting guests. If you do choose to invite guests to your day, be sure to have products like antibacterial hand sanitizer readily available for guests to use.

same sex winter mountaintop elopement in Adirondacks by Vermont wedding photographer Andy Madea

Have Questions? Contact me HERE

View More Galleries HERE

“The business of life is to acquire as many friends and memories as possible”

When it comes to the documenting you and your partner, my goal is to capture the REAL you. The belly laughs, the loving looks, and the quiet moments in between.  These are the images that your next generations will look at and say, “They really were a couple of badasses, huh?”  Its the genuine moments that make lasting memories, these are the moments I hope to record for you and your loved ones.

Andy Madea Photography is based in Vermont, and frequently travels across New England for weddings and elopements. To find out more about photography for your event, Contact Me Here