What is an elopement? A definition and meaning by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

November 10, 2020

“What is an elopement? A definition and meaning” by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

The Merriam-Webster definition of an elopement is severely lacking.

To elope is to celebrate your intimacy without hesitation. Relish in everything that your love symbolizes without question. To enjoy even the smallest of moments with immense detail and care.

Eloping is NOT to wed with shame, secrecy, or sinister motives. An elopement wedding should be celebrated with just as much excitement as a traditional style wedding.

So, what is an elopement?

The days of defining an elopement as only a “quickie” or courthouse date or even the stereotypical Vegas Blowout are long over, my friend. To elope is to still enjoy a full wedding day. You can be as classy, as adventurous, as laid back, or as creative as you want. That’s the beauty of an elopement.

You get to be whatever you want to be. Because you’re doing it together! There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to your elopement.

Elopements vs traditional weddings: how different are they?

Big weddings have been romanticized for so long that as soon as you get engaged you feel like that is your only option. In the end, it’s just a big production put on for everyone except you. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they don’t even feel like they got to experience their wedding day. Can you imagine that? You’ve spent thousands of dollars to have it all pass as a blur! You know all those Pinterest articles you’ve seen about “10 Things You Don’t Need For Your Wedding Day”? Well, they exist for a reason.

You’re still celebrating the same union, same love, and same idea whether you do a traditional wedding or an elopement. BOTH unions are valid. BOTH can be fun. However, I typically see with an elopement that you get to celebrate all of that actually together instead of only sharing a few quick moments. 

Elopement or intimate wedding: what is the difference?

Because there aren’t any hard and fast rules with elopements the difference between eloping or having an intimate wedding can seem like semantics. And, in a way, it is. The “definitions” of each term are mostly interchangeable. The differences come down to the way you guide your day and how many people tag along.

If “running away” by just yourselves or with a few close friends sounds a little too secluded then you might prefer an intimate wedding. These ceremonies tend to have around 50 guests, still drastically less than your traditional ceremony but more than an elopement which typically has 10 to 15 people. I tend to see elopements are just the couple and their photographer and they often take place in adventurous locations that would be difficult for more than just a few people to attend.

Many destination weddings tend to be intimate wedding ceremonies!

This option is a great middle-ground that can give you the best of both worlds if you’re stuck choosing and don’t know what type of wedding is the best for you. 

An elopement can happen anywhere. 

If you want to be surrounded by trees, go to the forest.

Or if hiking scares you, choose a rooftop bar. 

If you love sunsets and water, choose the beach.

Your options are literally endless when you choose yourselves over the production. It’s really hard to fit 200 people into an intimate and remote airbnb, but you can absolutely fit you and few close friends. Or no friends, I’m not judging.

Celebrate your entire day together, from sunrise to sun down. Each moment can be crafted to exactly what makes the two of you sing with joy. The beauty of an elopement boils down to you being able to be freely and authentically you. You no longer have to write your vows with 100’s of people in mind or make sure to pick the right dessert selection so everyone can be happy. 

Are you catching my drift yet? It really doesn’t matter what you choose because you’re still choosing for you, and because of that, your day (or multiple days) will be the most amazing love fest you’ve ever had. You might even rival Woodstock.

It’s elopement bliss.

Just picture yourselves waking up together, feeling absolutely no pressure or stress or anxiety. Maybe you laugh because you feel like you’re cheating on the “normal” idea of a wedding and struck gold by eloping instead.

That’s what I want you to feel. I want you to feel like gold and diamonds and stardust because every ounce of you is excited for this day together. When it’s all over, and you look into the mirror that night, wiping away your makeup and putting your dress on its hanger, you’ll know. 

You’ll know you’ve officially entered your new stage in life. 

And you did it together.

Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and wedding photographer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Destiny photographs ceremonies in Las Vegas and surrounding cities and adores to travel where love takes her. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience.


"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"

It's as easy as wanting to

Fun and adventurous Oregon elopement photographer at foggy Oregon beach. Black Salt Photography has green hair and a fuzzy yellow sweater on

Planning your elopement doesn't have to be as overwhelming as it seems at first!

If you're ready to...

-say goodbye to stiff, formal posing

-embrace the intimacy of your wedding day

-enjoy an adventure together

-have a meaningful ceremony

-remove all the extra stress

Then I'm here to help!



If you're thinking you want to elope,

& you're ready to get photos you'll love with a passion,


I will lovingly guide you through #allthethings and make sure you're never feeling lost, have FOMO, or get surprised (in a bad way, good surprises are still on the table).