How to Plan your Elopement During COVID19: Coronavirus FAQ
Updated April 15th
WOW. It is super surreal writing coronavirus elopement planning blog post. And I’ll bet you probably didn’t ever plan on ever needing or reading this type of post, huh? Believe me when I say I never thought I’d be writing it. And yet, here we are. In our collective living rooms.
First of all: I am so, so sorry you are having to plan your wedding during all of this. Whether you’re looking at eloping because the big wedding you planned is no longer in the cards or you’d be eloping anyway, trying to navigate, plan, and be excited are things a lot of folks are struggling with right now. So before I get into the logistical, more concrete stuff, I’m gonna get a little mushy here for a second; there is no right or wrong way to feel right now. This is not a normal situation so there is not a normal way to react (and wtf is “normal” anyway?). Also: you are 100% allowed to grieve here. I’ve talked with a lot of folks who feel bad for being sad about something like wedding planning when people’s lives are at risk. *You are allowed to feel sad for everyone and also feel sad for yourself*. This situation super sucks.
You are also allowed to still plan and dream and be excited to elope. It’s super hard to see past our living rooms right now, but I’m here to remind you (and also myself!) that this situation is temporary. Things will for sure look different for a long time, but we aren’t going to be stick in bubbles forever. You’re allowed to be excited for and plan things for that time.
And I want to acknowledge, planning looks very different for folks than what they ever thought planning would look like (like, who among us thought we’d have to google if things are open because of a global pandemic?) I’m sending you hugs. Lots of them.
So what’s the deal with this post? I am a big fan of information. I like facts and data as much as I like the mushy stuff and I also know things are SUPER confusing right now. So I wanted to create a page where all your questions and COVID19 wedding related questions can live. Don’t see your question here? Message me! On insta, through my contact form, or my email (email@example.com). I’m super happy to answer your questions, and then add them to this page. Cause chances are if you’re wondering about something, someone else is too.
Are you currently booking elopements?
Heck yeah I am! I’m not booking any elopements that take place during the remainder of April, all of May, or the first two weeks of June (though that could change). I am *for sure* booking elopements planned for the fall and all of 2021.
Why aren’t you booking for April or May?
For lot’s of reasons. April is easy to answer- in AZ all non-essential work is a no-go through April 30th. And though I think elopements and adventure weddings are the greatest things ever, they are not essential. I have no idea if our stay at home order will extend beyond April 30th, but I do know that Arizona is projected to hit its peak on May 1st (you can use this tool to figure out when your state or country will peak). It doesn’t feel ethical to me as a business to ask you to sign a contract or for me to accept a retainer for a wedding so close to that date. This is why I’m blocking off May and the first half June as well.
First and foremost, the health and safety of my couples, their guests, myself, and our environment are always #1 on my priority list. I 1000% want your elopement day to be your peak existence and in order for that to happen, safety has to be a priority.
Elopements are so small. Don’t they make sense right now as a big wedding alternative?
Holy Toledo, yes. Elopements are small and flexible so, yes, they are really fantastic alternative to big weddings. There is no way of knowing when crowd restrictions will lift but with elopements that’s not something you have to worry about at all. Also, elopements are so super flexible, and if the need arises, way easier to postpone.
Having an elopement is a no brainer in terms of an alternative. *Eventually.* Not right this second. Photography is a non-essential business, for one thing. Also- a ton of elopement locations are closed right now. Here in Arizona, all National Forest Lands are “closed for gatherings” until June 30th or “until rescinded” which means they could lift that sooner if health things calm down before then.
(as a total aside, I have a random take on this, but come with me on this journey: The more I think about this, the more I think this current situation relates to the 7 Leave no Trace Principles which are super foundational for my business and follow leave no trace while I’m hanging out in outdoors and during elopements (I even have an entire blog post about why I’m a Leave No Trace photographer and what that means on an elopement day). I am so super dedicated to helping you create a wedding day that is legit you best freaking day ever- and part of that is crafting a day safe for you and everyone else.)
Is it wise to book our elopement with so much uncertainty going on?
I know this is probably counterintuitive, but actually yes. It really is. Here’s why: a *ton* of elopements and weddings have been postponed due to the coronavirus. So a lot of dates in late 2020 and all of 2021 that otherwise would be wide open, are actually filling up crazy fast.
It’s hard to dispense with all of this information and not feel like a killjoy. I am all about going after the thing you want with focus and intention and having your wedding day be your best day ever. I am *also* about recreating responsibly and being armed with as much information as possible. I 100% believe you can still dream up and have this amazing elopement experience with all the information to do just that. Before the pandemic my stance was your wedding day should be your ultimate best day ever, your absolute peak existence. That you need to go after the thing you want and that you deserve to do the things that make your heart sing.
*This pandemic does not change that.* If anything, it’s made me believe that even more. Doing the thing you long to do matter so, so much, and I don’t want people to “maybe later” their dreams because, as we all can see right now, “later” is a fickle thing. We’ve all had to press the pause button. But our wild places are still trucking on and hanging out. I know I can’t wait to see them. Is it possible to hug a mountain? Cause I’m gonna hug all the mountains.
Right after I hug all my friends. 🙂
Stay safe friends. I can’t wait to adventure with you.