I absolutely love when couples go their own route for their wedding. That's one of the reasons I'm so enamored with this Witchy Colorado Elopement photographed by Stephanie Warga. I also really love that they included their pup and kept the entire thing completely private! Scroll down to read through how they planned and to see the photos.
What was the most important thing to you while planning?
Finding a photographer we felt comfortable with. We had narrowed the important things down to outfits we felt good in and a photographer who could help us relax. After some discussion, we decided the focus of our wedding day should be love, i.e. not how we looked but how we looked at each other. We wanted pictures to pore over for years to come.
How did you find your vendors?
Since we eloped, we only used one vendor, our photographer. I googled "lesbian witchy wedding photographer Colorado" and Stephanie with Tiny House Photo popped up. It must have been meant to be because she'd never been to Colorado when we interviewed her! Our good friend officiated for us and baked our wedding cake.
What creative touches did you use throughout your wedding?
We looked for things that meant something to us - Hannah's ring is a replica of her dad's, I made all of our florals, and we collected things with memories tied to them for our altar, like a small piece of driftwood from our first trip to Washington together. Hannah is a fire sign and I'm an air sign, so I brought candles to signify the careful, intentional interplay in our relationship. I've always been drawn to water, so it was important that we be married near a natural water source. Lucky us, we found an Airbnb with a private hot spring! We used the natural landscape to our advantage and didn't need many human touches.
Did you forego any of the traditional aspects of weddings?
Almost all of it! We eloped, so it was just us, our friend/officiant, photographer, and our dog Violet made an appearance. We saw each other before the wedding to make each other our last breakfast before being legally bound to one another. We wore black because we liked the vibe better. Our ceremony was basically a spell - we cast a circle, cleansed the space, called in energies to support us, meditated, drank a love potion, read vows we wrote on yellow notepad paper that morning, built an altar with crystals and candles and small objects that represented us as individuals and a couple. We found a giant heart-shaped stone and set it in front of our altar as an anchor. But we did have a first dance together to our favorite song, I Belong to You by Brandi Carlile. We played it by ear for most of the day, and that made it even more magical.
What was your favorite part of the day?
I have two: we were pretty hands off with the ceremony planning, and our friend ran with it and created the most beautiful, true to us ceremony even I couldn't have dreamed up. It completely made the day for us, and we felt so loved.
As we were driving on the dirt road from our Airbnb into town after the ceremony, a hawk flew at eye level with our car for a good ten seconds. We'd never seen anything like it, and took it as a blessing on our marriage.
From the Photographer
How did you prepare your clients for your style of shooting?
I usually Skype with my out of town couples before their wedding or elopement to kind of give them a heads up on my shooting style. If the couple chooses to have an engagement session, they already know what to expect on wedding day. This particular couple I met in person the day before to go scouting. We ended up hiking and doing an engagement session the day before so it was a wonderful way to break the ice pre-elopement!
What techniques did you use that were out of the norm?
I was able to create some Gifs and Double Exposures for this couple. I know they are becoming cliché in the Photography world, but my clients LOVE it, and honestly so do I!
Do you have any advice for other photographers or vendors when it comes to weddings?
Learn to serve your clients. Go above and beyond for them to give them the best experience possible! When you have couples who love you and your work, it ends up being the best kind of advertising as they are likely to tell all of their friends about you!