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Hi I'm a Toronto wedding photographer and today I'm gonna be talking about what differences you're going to see between photography for elopements and photography for more traditional wedding sometimes people get a little bit confused about what an elopement is typically at least in my own mind an elopement is something that doesn't have nearly as much planning there's either just the couple or a very small amount of people and it's generally just a shorter celebration mostly just a ceremony portraits and then some dinner possibly whether you want that photographed or not I'll talk about that in just a second but it's typically just a smaller more intimate affair I have a lot of elopements who planned it like a month in advance some people maybe two months in advance some people two weeks in advance so it's something that is not going to take as much time to plan as a wedding it's usually going to be a lot more cost-effective and you can get away with a much lower budget with an elopement splurge more on your photography since you're not having to pay for a lot of other things but that's typically what I would define it as now I will tend to shoot two different kinds of elopements one is an elopement where it's mostly just the couple and if fish ant maybe like two or three other people and they booked me for up to an hour and a half I cover a little bit of getting ready if they want it and if it's possible and then the ceremony and then portraits and then I go home and then they go off to their own little dinner or whatever so that's a really short elopement typically I'm doing those Monday to Thursday I don't get a lot of requests for something like that for weekends I think it's also really hard to do something like that on a weekend unless you're planning it really short notice and you find somebody who is willing to book out one of their Saturdays for a really small event I will do it if it's just about a month in advance any earlier than that there's still a chance that I could look a larger event so I'm got to make sure that I'm covering myself and making sure that my business is profitable and sustainable as possible but I do love doing them and if somebody wants an elopement like that from Monday to Thursday I'll pretty much book that a couple months out in advance because weekdays I'm usually not getting any full weddings now the other type of elopement that I photograph is one where there's a little bit more people maybe up to around 20 and they want possibly some getting ready then they want portraits and the ceremony and then some of their reception photographed but it's generally a more condensed much shorter day there's not a lot going on where the time kids cut off from me shooting a traditional wedding versus that kind of Lohman is really in the reception so it's just a quick thing they might do their first dance a quick speech and then we're done they're not gonna do cake cutting or anything like that so it's just a really small thing typically I will be the only photographer for it and I'll also have an assistant just in case but in those cases I'm not gonna have a second photographer it's just not needed I can cover 20 people very easily all on my own so those are the two kinds of elopements that I'm shooting now the way that they're going to differ in your photos from a traditional wedding that's got more like an eight-hour coverage you're going to probably be getting less of the reception less or no getting ready whatsoever and then your portraits are gonna be just the two of you guys and then whoever else is around will do your group photo so you're not gonna have like tons and tons of guests photos tons of group photos because it's good a lot more minimal with your group settings so whether it's just the two of you or twenty of you there's a lot fewer people so you're gonna see less guest photos now the nice thing about these elopements are we can typically have a lot more time for portraits because it's usually less formal we set the timing as we want it so I will typically have a lot more time to photograph the couple on an elopement day as opposed to a traditional wedding day or there's all these other events that have to be on time and schedule out so that's a really nice perk to it and I think from a cost perspective I've seen for a lot of people eloping that their wedding photography budget is just kind of unlimited because they're not spending money on anything else if I have a bride involved or two brides they're spending money on hair and makeup and then sometimes they'll want a bouquet and then they have their dresses and then they want photography that's pretty much it so a lot of people are doing things like eloping in Italy just the two of them are like seven people and they can afford to fly a photographer from really anywhere because they're not spending much money anywhere else so photography is a huge priority to you know that eloping is something that will enable you to have a larger photography budget if that's something you need so say if the somebody is really great photographer and you really love their work maybe they cost eight thousand to get out to Italy and photograph your elopement but that's really one of your only expenses other than travel well then that's great or maybe your photographer costs four thousand and that's a big spend for you but you're not spending anywhere else so it's a really nice way to have the photographer of your dreams because you're not having to spend all that money on rentals and all these chairs and everybody's food it's much more doable on the wedding day I'm typically arriving about an hour and a half before the bride gets into her gown and that's something that gives me time to do flat lace photograph the details and then do some candids of her getting into the dress and then going on to the first look which is something I totally recommend and prefer doing and then going into all the portraits bridal party bridal party is typically not something I see an elopement if there is a bridal party it might be like one person on each side and it's so simple and quick so there's not this whole timing that you have to build in for a bridal party then you're gonna have your family photos and then your ceremony and then a long cocktail hour which is also something that I do usually see condensed or cut entirely in elopements because there's not really a need for it especially because a lot of my elopements they're willing to do a first look beforehand and then they don't need that cocktail hour for portraits so they just will cut it sometimes and that's another way that an elopement gets condensed because they have either just two people or like 20 people maybe 10 and they just don't need it they can go straight to the reception so for the more traditional wedding again you're gonna have that cocktail hour then you're gonna have a reception usually for these receptions with more traditional weddings the reason why their receptions last 4 to 5 hours is because the catering staff has to have enough time to feed all of these people their different courses so if you're having a 2 course or a 3 course or more that's gonna take a really long time especially if it's plated to take all the plates to the tables clear them give them some time bringing the entrees it's a really long process so that is why the reception can get so drawn-out as opposed to if you have just the two of you or maybe up to 20 of you it's so much faster so the reception is a lot shorter so even if you are eloping and you want most of your reception covered you're probably still only going to need like four maybe five hours tops instead of a more traditional wedding needing more like eight to nine sometimes even 10 hours so that's kind of the main differences between the two it's really there's more content with a traditional wedding but I think you have a lot more flexibility and also ruin your budget when you're doing an elopement and you really want incredible wedding photography oh one other perk with an elopement as opposed to a traditional wedding so with a traditional wedding a lot of times there isn't enough time in your timeline to go to a whole separate location for portraits in another location but for an elopement if you want to book me for four hours and it's like no dinner situation we can go anywhere you want in those four hours that's gonna be awesome so you have a lot of flexibility to travel to different portrait locations for an elopement whereas a traditional wedding you might be more bound to the timeline of the day because it would be kind of rude to make all of your guests wait like two hours for cocktail hour for you to go off and take portraits and then it also is going to start your day earlier say if you wanted to do a first look multiple locations of portraits like off site from where your wedding venue is you're gonna have to build time net so you'd have to book your photographer four more hours you would also have to start your hair and makeup much earlier in the day so it can just be a really tough thing to fit in and so I think for an elopement has a lot of benefits to that but either way both are really fun to shoot I find elopements to sometimes be refreshing to shoot it's a shorter day usually it's way more relaxed and stress-free you next year my bucket list goal is to book some destination elopement in Europe I would love that if you want to bring me to Europe please email me and I would be so happy to photograph you guys in Europe I'm also really interested in going to Iceland at some point I think that would be super fun anyway just trying to give you guys some ideas in case you want to reach out about them but I hope this video is helpful I hope it answered your questions I think that it's really up to you which one you choose I would say don't let photography be your factor for either one but most people are typically already leaning towards an elopement or a traditional wedding some people want less fuss less people less to deal with or no people at all just them me officially in the photographer but some people want to be around all the people and celebrate another thing you can do if you are wanting to elope but also there's people in your family or your friends who want to celebrate I have seen a lot of people go off and elope somewhere really cool do their own thing and then they just have a little dinner party or some sort of mini reception for their other guests who want it to be at the elopement but weren't not invited so that's something that you guys can do I have seen a lot of people do that I had an actual bride who got married and Italy had her full-on ceremony like a normal traditional wedding there and then came back to San Diego and did just a reception for all the people here who couldn't make it there so there's always lots of options that you can do depending on your budget and your preferences for how you want your day to unfold if you guys did enjoy this video please be sure to leave a like and subscribe if you have not already and I will see you guys next time bye .