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Welcome, hello hello hello! We are Sam + Bryt, a married wife + wife photographer team and we have this little ol’ blog to talk about our clients, our ideas, and our advice! ADVICE is what we are coming in hot with for you today… we are talking all things How To Plan Your Midwest Elopement. Buckle up, get ready, because we are about to do a lot of talking about all the things you need to hear.
The Indiana Dunes… an Indiana classic! OH how we have spent many summers adventuring around here, also it being one of Indiana’s only opportunities to find yourself not landlocked is a mega plus! The Dunes is the perfect place for a beach vibe elopement without traveling one way or another to the coast – plane tickets are expensive right now! Elope to the dunes instead.
ALAS, a hidden paradise can be found in that same place, except this time it’s the Indiana dunes campground! Deep dive into this place, you’ll love it! Elope on the beach and head back to camp for a sunset dinner or slow dance under the stars.
Hemlock Cliffs in Hoosier National Forest is EPIC! Check this baby out for some crazy, wild-running waterfalls and scenic views. Of course, all of this is seasonal. Spring and summer are going to bring your greens and browns color schemes, while fall brings a whole pallet, and winter brings a blanket of winter snow.
We could go on and on and on… but this is the “how to plan Midwest elopement” blog and we’ve already done a “How to Elope in Indiana” blog! Check it out right here.
Take a trip to the much-beloved Mackinac Island! It’s got everything you might want… Historic heritage, vintage island vibes that are damn near perfect for all the romance, and scenery crazy enough for a photo-ready, intimate elopement! A plus side, no cars or chain hotels so everything is very very individual and unique – never done before! That’s always a cool thing to consider when planning your midwest elopement. Mackinac Island is a very “boutique” kinda place.
Porcupine Mountains is another HIT in the grand state of Michigan when it comes to eloping in the Midwest. This little (not so little actually) group of mountains is known as Michigan’s largest state park. Experience its hikes that all overlook the gigantic lake, enjoy all kinds of winter recreation sports, and the lodging is incredibly convenient and comfortable too. There’s not a single downside here!
Welcome to Mission Point Lighthouse!!! A beachfront with lighthouse (OMG, can you see the elopement photos now? In front of a lighthouse? WE surely see it!) at the end of the peninsula, all while being conveniently located in Traverse City. We’re not sure why more people aren’t talking about this Michigan treasure, but we’re here to spread the word! We think your elopement belongs on the Michigan shoreline with a lighthouse in the distance.
Taum Sauk State Park is not one to overlook, check this 7,500 acre baby out! THAT’S RIGHT! We said what we said… it is THAT big, truly. Which only means there is an infinite amount of ability to explore! Wooohooo! 🙂 It also just so happens to be the highest point in the state of Missouri! Crazy, right?! Located in the San Francois mountains, it includes a portion of the Ozark Trail!
Speaking of Ozarks, no no not the TV show… The trail is pretty epic, don’t miss out on it, but there is also the Lake of the Ozarks State Park! It’s own little park with its OWN amazing views of Lake Ozark! It doesn’t stop there, as there are also TWO swimming beaches if you want to go on a post-elopement swim… ha!
Echo Bluff… we are not bluffing at all! Okay, bad jokes aside y’all. This is a BEAUTIFUL spot for some good old fashioned nighttime eloping! They have modern amenities (so you won’t have to travel far for accommodations) and they even have the capabilities to provide a post-elopement dinner should you choose to have one! Perfect service if ya ask us.
Paradise Springs Nature Trail… paradise is LITERALLY in the name, need we go on much more? This is an extremely accessible location and super easy area to reach, this is what you want in an elopement location y’all! NO stress allowed. And of course… this babe has natural springs! It’s in the name, again haha! These natural springs are super cold, nonetheless!
Take a ferry ride to Rock Island State Park… Just a short ferry ride past Washington Island, this island/state park is 900 marvelous acres, FREE of all cars. It is a jaw-dropping and stunning white sand beach that comes along with some insanely beautiful hiking trails… if you are a nature lover, look no further. You’re going to be up close and personal with all kinds of it here.
Devil’s Lake, anyone? Do not be scared because of the name, this place is heaven on earth. On your trip here, you’ll find amazing rock formations – you’ve never seen anything like this before! This location is perfect for more adventurous elopement… spark your interest? It’s common for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies to come here… it’s busy in the summer, but off season is the perfect time to elope!
Huntington Beach… A beach? In Ohio? If you’re asking these questions, keep following along! We have answers. This beach is located in the Bay Village on the shores of Lake Erie. YES! If you were unaware, Ohio does touch a portion of one of the Great Lakes, and it’s beach is worth the drive. Hiking, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are also notable adventures you can partake in while you’re here.
We’ve talked to you about this one before, remember Hocking Hills? Do all the epic waterfalls, or maybe the massive sandstone outcroppings, the deep cool gorges, or perhaps the towering hemlocks jog your memory? WELL, Hocking Hills has an dis known for all of the above! Our blog for this location can be found here!!
Marblehead Lighthouse State Park… a unique name must be fitting for a nudie park, right? RIGHT! This location is perfect for a summer OR winter, snowy elopement! Take your pick… A unique fact about this state park, it has the oldest working lighthouse on the Great Lakes! WOWZA. Imagine that epic thang in the background of your elopement photos.
Do you want to elope just the two of you? Well awesome, YOU CAN! The “definition” of an elopement (we don’t think there is just one way to summarize an elopement) is a gathering for a wedding ceremony with 15 people or even less.. sooo with all of that consider, eloping just you and your lover is the MOST intimate option, we are all for it. This gives you more time for formal pictures of just the two of you, or adventuring, or a fancy dinner – honestly, whatever ya want!
Do you want a few guests present? VALID option as well! Elope with your lover and maybeeeee your best friends, the people who have always been there for your relationship. Bring the people who have watered your love since it was a seedling and continued to watch it grow to this point! Make a list of your most special people and bring ’em along!
Do you want more of an intimate wedding with 10-20 people? This is totally allowed too!! Immediate family, check. Select relatives, check. Friends, check. This is a fun way to elope as well, this way, afterward, you have all your favorite humans in one space and can celebrate together! Dance, drink, eat – share all these moments with your 10-20 closest people.
There are ways to still incorporate your friends & family into your elopement even if you just want it to be you and your partner. Our favorite alternatives are as follows… zoom/stream your ceremony! Dictate someone to do the recording and share the moments on a Livestream. Or you could send wedding favors and photos from the ceremony!
This way, your people can have physical ways of cherishing your special day! They will LOVE this. One other way, you can celebrate with a party when y’all get home! Not right when you get home obviously, set a date to party a month or two later. Set up some decorations in your backyard, put on some groovy tunes, and eat some great food with your favorite humans! If you still want a few more ideas to include your fam. and friends in your elopement, click here to read our blog all about it!
1. Sit down with your partner and have a very open, honest conversation about how much you want to spend on your elopement!
2. Research vendor prices so you can have an accurate, realistic budget!
3. Prioritize the the most important vendors in your budget (this would be photography + videography)!
4. Are any of your family members contributing financially? If so, make sure they know that you will still be planning your elopement your way and their contribution doesn’t give them an excuse to control the decisions you make!
Looking for vendors ahead of time is so so so crucial to how to plan Midwest elopement You can’t book someone (typically) within a few months notice. Start looking now and create a shortlist, then narrow it down once you’ve reached out to a couple. Keep your ideas in mind and don’t go above your set budget. Here is a list of vendors to start searching for. how to plan Midwest elopement… first rule, book vendors early!
Lots of things to consider here, people! Here is our best summary, are you listening? Here we go! Decide if you want a sunrise, midday, or sunset elopement depending on your location. This is important because it dictates how much time you will have before or after for photos, or meals, or (our favorite) exploring!
THEN, Collaborate with your photographer to work out the details. Again, when you’re doing photos is important. Your photographer will lead you in the right direction. Also important – Don’t forget to eat! It sounds dumb, but it’s a very easy oversight.
Do you want to get ready with your partner or have a first look? Collaborate with your photog again – not everyone does the first look, but if you’re doing one, your photographer needs to plan for it. What lighting do you want for your ceremony/portraits? Collaborate! With! Your! Photographers! Thanks 🙂
These are our best tips, but don’t look now – we have a wholeeee blog for it! Yes, yes, we know… we are the best 🙂 Check it out here.
HOW ARE WE FEELING?! Wowza, this blog is a chunky one, but so so so important. Hopefully, we gave some solid guidance on “How To Plan Your Midwest Elopement”, we are kinda experts on such topics LOL so if you have any other follow-up questions, get in touch! We do this for a living 😉 Hope to hear from ya soon!
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