Have you ever wondered what you could possibly do for 8-12 hours on a non-traditional wedding day? Well first, I want to make sure this is clear: elopements & adventure weddings are not just a photoshoot. They're still a wedding day & deserve to be celebrated and documented for the whole day; not just a couple hours. As a photographer, I'm there to help you remember the experiences of the day so you can re-live your favorite memories over and over again when you look back on your images; if we only capture an hour or two- including a short ceremony and some portraits- you'll have such a hard time re-living those memories because the photos won't be there to show you!
Before we get into the details, let's start with my definition of an equestrian adventure wedding:
An equestrian adventure wedding is a unity of two people who love their horses just as much as they love each other, in an epic- & a lot of times, sentimental- location, including a small guest list allowing for more of a "just us" type of feeling, with an emphasis on the experience over the things; which allows for the pure reflection of a unique romantic relationship to be present throughout the entire day.
So how should you structure the day?
When planning the timeline for your adventure wedding it's important to have both the analytical and the creative/imaginative sides of your brain working. First, I want you both to sit back, get comfortable, and just day dream. Think of what you can do to create the most fun, memorable, and special day! Ask these questions: What do we love doing most with our horses (hint: it doesn't need to be a trail ride)? What location feels right? Do we want to include any friends or family members? If so, in what way? How do we want to remember our wedding on each anniversary? Are we morning people or evening people (this will help you choose sun rise or sunset for the ceremony time!) How do we want to end the day? What food do we love & want to eat on our adventure?
Once you do some dream planning, you'll want to make sure you know the times for things... how long it will take for hair & makeup, how long will it take to get the horses ready, how long it will take to drive to the trailhead, how long the trail is/the approximate duration (All Trails is awesome for this! It shows the estimated duration, the best time of year, how crowded the trail is normally, etc.), what time the sun sets or rises, how you'll get food organized and to the desired location, all the technical stuff!
Here are some timeline examples!
Below are two different timeline examples, showing how the time can be filled up quickly depending on what you'll want to include in your day! Remember, these are just examples. The possibilities of what you could do are nearly endless!!
Full Day Equestrian Adventure Wedding: 12 Hours of Photography Coverage
9:00am- hair & makeup starts
10:30am- photographer arrives
11:00am- bride & groom get ready separately | preparation photos
11:45am- first look w/ the horses
12:00pm- load up the horses & drive to trailhead
1:00pm- start heading out on the trail, take photos along the way
5:00pm- arrive at ceremony location, let the horses rest, take in the beautiful scenery of the mountains and lake & prepare for ceremony
5:30pm- ceremony: exchange vows & rings, celebrate w/ champagne
6:30pm- newlywed photos
7:00pm- sunset & final photos
7:00pm- ride back to trailhead
9:00pm- arrive at trailhead, set up campfire & dinner
9:30pm- enjoy favorite meal
10:15pm- first dance under the full moon & stars
10:30pm- photo coverage wraps up, load up horses & drive home
All Day Equestrian Adventure Wedding: 8 Hours of Photography Coverage
4:30pm- hair & makeup
2:00pm- photographer arrives
2:30pm- bride & groom get ready together | preparation photos
3:00pm- arrive at ceremony location (just outside the vacation home on a private beach)
3:30pm- official ceremony with officiant: exchange vows & rings
4:00pm- celebrate w/ champagne
4:30pm- play with the horses in the water, just right outside of the vacation home, newlywed photos
6:00pm- dinner with small group of closest friends & family- set up outside at vacation home
7:00pm- first dance on the beach & dancing/celebrating with friends
8:00pm- sunset & final photos
8:45pm- tuck the horses in for bed (horse hotel is connected to vacation home)
9:00pm- candle lit desert & poem readings at vacation home
10:00pm- photo coverage wraps up, couple finishes dinner & enjoys first night as married couple
Thinking of planning your own equestrian adventure wedding? Send me a message to get started on planning your dream wedding day, filled with only what you love!