What does it mean to Elope?

What does it mean to Elope?

So you just got engaged which by the way, congratulations; and you have started the wedding planning process. From the start, you may have already decided that you do not want a big wedding or as you start to plan you realize more and more that the production of a large wedding is just not aligning with your vision and wants.

I am here to tell you that, that decision and those feelings are perfectly valid. But now what? Now that you have decided on what you don’t want, it’s time for you both to sit down and decide on what you do want. Is it an elopement or is it an intimate wedding? Or maybe it’s a little bit of both.

But before we dive into the logistics of it all, I want to back up a few steps and talk about what is an elopement. For the longest time, an elopement meant running away in secret and getting married. That could not be further from the truth! We are taking back the word elopement! Today it means having an intimate, authentic and intentional experience. Today having an elopement means having the wedding day that you want the way you want it.

To have an Elopement or an Intimate Wedding?

How do you choose? You ultimately need to sit down and decide on if you are going to be having guests attend or keep it just the two of you. An elopement generally consists of you both, your officiant and any witnesses required during the ceremony. Now, if you are wanting guests to attend and want to keep it to your closest family and friends, an intimate wedding may be the right choice for you. Blending the two is also a perfectly good option. Maybe for the ceremony you just want it to be you both and then later in the day (or the following day – hey there my multi-day elopers) you return from your adventure and have a small reception celebrating with your guests! This is your day and you can do it however you want.

Are you starting to see the trend here?

As you peruse through my website and blog, you’re going to see me say this a lot! You can have your wedding any way you want. I say this because I want you to know that you are not constrained by any traditions nor are you obligated to host a wedding for the sake of others. This is a day dedicated to you both and celebrating your love story and you should be able to do this in any fashion you please.

What can you do during your elopement?

Anything you desire! I’m serious, your day can be as adventurous or as laid back as you’d like. This is what is so great about an elopement, you are not limited by the typical timeline of a wedding day. Your day can be spread out over the span of a whole day or even multiple days. Now you may say, Karli, what in the hell do I need all day coverage for, what are we even going to do all day?

It’s a valid question and I know it sounds like a lot. Hear me out! Just because you have chosen to do an elopement does not mean you should have less coverage than a traditional wedding. If anything, you potentially may need more depending on your activities that you choose to do. But I want you to remember, this does not mean it’s a full day of you posing and constantly having a camera in your face. You both are there to celebrate your decision to get married and enjoy these moments together. I am there to document the day as it unfolds and to preserve the memories of one of your greatest adventures yet. So, let me show you a timeline idea and you’ll see what I mean.

Couple on Palo Duro Jeep Tour

Sunrise to Sunset Elopement – Palo Duro Edition

7:00am – Meet at trailhead to do small hike out to scenic point

7:30am – Sunrise ceremony and vow exchange and sunrise photos

8:30/8:45am – Hike back to vehicles and head into town to grab breakfast in wedding attire!

10:30am – Return to airbnb to change and grab snacks/refreshments for Jeep tour

11:15am – Arrive at Palo Duro Creek ranch for Jeep tour

11:30-1:30 – Jeep Tour, meet adorable cow herd and learn about the amazing history of Palo Duro

1:45pm – Return back to airbnb to eat lunch, rest and relax before evening activities

4:00pm – Get ready for evening portion

5:00pm – Return to Palo Duro Creek Ranch for horseback ride to scenic point

5:30-7:45pm – Horseback Ride and sunset photos at scenic point

8:00pm – Return to stables and head back to airbnb and end your night with a bonfire or jacuzzi soak!

Elopement bride on horseback

The opportunities are endless!

This is just one example of an adventure elopement that you can have. So now that you know what an elopement is and some ideas of what you can do during you elopement, I encourage you and your partner to sit down and discuss everything that would make up your dream day! Start writing those ideas down and soon you’ll have the ultimate adventure planned out!

Need a quick getting started guide on how to elope? Be sure to check out my How to Elope page where I go over the basics that you need to know to plan your dream day!

If you’re heading to Palo Duro, be sure to check out Palo Duro Creek Ranch for your jeep and horseback riding tours!



  1. […] we talked about what it means to have an elopement (if you missed it, you can ready all about it here!) But now that you’ve decided this is what you want, we need to cover the logistics of it […]

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PHOTOS BY Dallas Wedding Phototgrapher, Karli with Juniper & Fox Photography + DESIGN BY THE BUFFALO COLLECTIVE + Powered by Showit. I am available worldwide for weddings in Texas, California, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and other amazing destinations!

I'm Karli, a luxury wedding photographer serving Dallas, Texas and beyond. I work with authentic, vibrant couples who crave a day full of intentional moments.

Juniper & Fox Photo Co.

I'm Karli, a luxury wedding photographer serving Dallas, Texas and beyond. I work with authentic, vibrant couples who crave a day full of intentional moments.

Juniper & Fox Photo Co.