10 Amazing Places to Elope in the US

In the past several years elopements are on the rise. Long gone are the days of an elopement meaning a couple running off to Vegas. These days many couples are choosing to forego the stress and expense of a huge wedding and focus on the things that are important to them- their love and commitment, a beautiful adventure, and possibly a small group of family and/or friends. Elopements are an intimate and beautiful celebration of you as a couple. An elopement (or intimate or destination wedding) isn’t tied to a location based on the availability or convenience of your guests. You really can choose anywhere in the world to commit your lives to one another. Another bonus? You’re already on an amazing adventure together! For the sake of this article I’m focusing on 10 amazing places to elope in the US (in no particular order). (A worldwide list coming soon!) Big Sur, CA – Breathtaking cliffs, the ocean, beautiful sunsets, and Highway 1- the American National Scenic Byway. Big Sur is a beautiful place to travel to (and elope) year round, but the peak season is from April to Octobe. Moab, UT – This town is full of crazy red rock formations and arches and is the outdoor enthusiasts dream. Before (or after) your wedding ceremony take some time to hike, mountain bike, zipline, raft, and more. The ideal time to visit Moab is the the Spring and Fall. Kauai, HI – Kauai is arguably the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands. Much of it’s surface is covered by rainforest and is known for it’s its Na Pali Coast...

Michelle and Dustin’s Centerville Estates Wedding /// Chico Wedding Photographer

Michelle and Dustin had a gorgeous wedding at Centerville Estates in Chico, CA. Centerville Estates is located up in the canyon and next to a creek. Even though it’s only a few minutes outside of town it feels like you’re in a completely different place. The landscape makes for gorgeous photo backgrounds and we had so much fun wandering around by the creek. Michelle and Dustin’s day was full of love, fun, and beautiful details (One of my favorites was their vintage cake topper, which was a family heirloom). These two are now a family of THREE and are enjoying life with their sweet baby boy.     Planner: 530 Bride Venue: Centerville Estates Makeup Artist: Powder Room Florist: Carrie Thengvall Floral Design Catering: Crush Chico DJ: Elite Sound Cake and cupcakes: Lovely Layers Photographer: Morgan Chantelle...
Kayla and Will at Forest House Lodge // Foresthill Wedding Photographer

Kayla and Will at Forest House Lodge // Foresthill Wedding Photographer

One of my favorite parts of a wedding day is sunset photos. Whether you do a first look or not, I always recommend doing sunset photos. Because of the schedule of a wedding day, most couples end up doing their wedding party photos earlier in the day when light can be harsh. When the sun is high in the sky I’m more limited on how and where we shoot photos. As soon as the sun goes down the light is even and all your photos look amazing. I love shooting in golden light and even (a new to me term) blue hour when the sun has set, but there’s still a hazy, pretty light. Kayla and Will were total troopers and up for driving around to a few different locations nearby to find the best light, the best backdrop, and to take some AMAZING sunset photos. Kayla and Will got married at the gorgeous Forest House Lodge located in the Sierra Nevadas. Driving up into Foresthill and then entering the Forest House Lodge feels other-wordly. It’s definitely a beautiful escape outside the city and an amazing place to celebrate with all of your friends and family! Thank you, Kayla and Will, for allowing me to capture your wedding day! It was such a fun and wonderful celebration of your love! Venue: Forest House Lodge Photographer: Morgan Chantelle...

Our Wedding in the Woods

Dave and I got married on October 1, 2016. We knew that we wanted our wedding day to be special and authentic and completely us. Of course, we wanted to celebrate with our children and include them (we have six kids!), but we also wanted it to be a day that we could focus on each other. Over the first several months of our engagement we threw around many different ideas, but none of them completely stuck. Finally, we came up with an idea we were both excited about. We decided to do a ceremony in the woods with just the two of us (and our friend/officiant, our photographer, and our two videographers). We both love the mountains and the woods and we had scoped out this particular spot a few weeks prior. It is in the middle of pine trees with the creek running behind and even a meadow right around the corner. So beautiful! After taking photos in the woods we headed down into town for family photos, a small dinner with our immediate family, and then a ceremony with our family and friends. At the reception played a video of our vows in the woods and then danced and ate pizza and donuts. In the end, like any wedding day, there are some things we would have done differently (it actually wasn’t necessary to do a formal, sit down dinner), but we are SO happy with our choice to get married in the woods and then party in the city. Our wedding day was amazing, but being married to this man is an absolute gift. I am so...

Ariel + Aaron’s Snowy Winter Engagement Session // Chico Engagement Photographer

I love Butte Meadows. It is the town that I got married in just a few months ago. It was so fun heading back up, this time for Ariel and Aaron’s engagement session. It’s always beautiful, but I really love it in the Winter with the pine trees and mountains newly dusted with snow. We lucked out with fresh snow and clear roads (unlike the crazy snowy roads when I went up with my family to get a Christmas tree just a few weeks earlier). I had SUCH a great time with Ariel and Aaron. We rode up the mountain together, which gave us time to chat and hang out. I loved getting to know more about these two, their hobbies, and seeing just how great they are together. Ariel and Aaron are kind, thoughtful (they brought me a mug of hot chocolate, too!), and so much fun. I’m so excited for their wedding day!...

Natalie and Brent’s Stone Barn Ranch Wedding // Roseville Wedding Photographer

Natalie heard about me after I photographed one of her friend’s weddings. Having someone look at their friend’s photos, then decide to hire you is totally the best! After my first meeting with Natalie I found how sweet she is and then meeting Brent and seeing the two of them together made me so excited to capture their day. These two are gorgeous (obviously), but they are genuine, fun, so sweet, and are surrounded by a group of family and friends that love them so much. I asked Natalie a few questions about her wedding day and I’m excited to share her answers with you. What was your favorite part of your wedding day? My favorite part of the wedding day was seeing the whole place come together through family and friends. I am a very “do it myself” girl and the thought of not being able to set up my own wedding scared me. My family and Brent’s family really came together and set it all up perfectly. The other thing I loved most were the speeches. Not just because they were amazing, but because it was a chance for me to finally sit and look at all of the people who came out for our big day and to enjoy the moment. Any special stories or moments that you’d like to share? Our wedding was very wet with tears…and sweat, I guess. A lot of tears were shed for a woman who was like a mom to me and my sisters. She was one of my mom’s best friends and a very close friend to all of my...