How to Avoid Crowds at Your Outdoor Elopement

You’re eloping for a reason, right? There could be many reasons, but one of them probably falls under the umbrella of wanting to have an intimate and private wedding day. You might not enjoy being in front of people with all the attention on you and the idea of having an outdoor elopement experience that’s crafted around the two of you without having to worry about everyone else sounds amazing, right?!

So, here’s the thing with eloping outdoors – other people like to be outside, too! Gorgeous locations attract the outdoor enthusiasts, the tourists, the hikers and bikers, etc. While it’s impossible to promise people won’t pass by during your ceremony and throughout your adventurous day, there are definitely a few actionable things you can do to try to limit the people you encounter during your ceremony! Let’s get to How to Avoid Crows at Your Outdoor Elopement!bride and groom elope at sunrise

Outdoor Elopement Ideas

1. Elope at Sunrise

You might immediately think, ‘No way am I eloping at sunrise!’ unless you’re a morning person! In that case, you’re good to go, but if you’re not just hear me out first. There are many reasons that eloping at sunrise can benefit you. Also, why not try something new on such a special and adventurous day?!

You can’t beat the Privacy

First and foremost, it’s impossible to get the same type of privacy you’d get at sunrise. Everyone else is still in bed and you’ll have the trail and views pretty much to yourself! You’ll probably just have to share with the birds and squirrels 🙂 There’s no other experience that can match the serenity at sunrise. The lakes are still and you can’t hear anything other than the birds racing through the trees. This is especially a good idea if you’re eloping at a more popular national park or a well-known hiking trail! Sunrise is definitely the way to go if you want to hit the top of that mountain before all other million people get there!

The Lighting is Epic

Another great reason have a sunrise elopement is for the gorgeous light! I’m sure you’ve all heard how gorgeous sunset is. Sunrise is just the same!! We’ll start your ceremony about 15 minutes before sunrise while you have the mountains and backdrop lighting up. Then, the sun starts to rise over the horizon and light up everything in its golden magic! It’s is truly so magical and gorgeous.

Avoid Afternoon Storms in the Mountains

Lastly, you can beat the weather at sunrise. For example, if you’re eloping in the desert during the summer, a sunrise elopement will help you beat the heat and avoid the brutal sun! If you’re eloping in the mountains, there are certain locations that are known for their afternoon thunderstorms or the afternoon downpours. Opting to elope in the morning will help you to avoid bad weather to the best of your ability!how to elope at sunrise

2. Get Married on a Weekday

I always recommend to my couples to elope on a weekday! Most people are going to be working and not out on the hiking trails so there will be by far fewer people out and about in general. Also, certain national parks don’t approve wedding permits for the weekend. If you’re dreaming of having an outdoor elopement in a particular national park, be sure to double-check what days they allow weddings. More people are probably going to be applying for permits on the weekend for weddings as well. So, if you want a higher chance to get approved for those permits – weekdays are best!

3. Go hiking!

I’ve talked about it a little bit already, but hiking is a great way to avoid crowds! Instead of driving to that panorama lookout choose a hike that can get you an even better view with fewer people. You can also choose a hike that isn’t traveled super often or one that’s a little further out than most people go. The hiking trails and options are endless no matter where you decide to elope! It’s a great way to get away from the noise and crowds, enjoy the gorgeous views, and be completely surrounded by nature!

I know the task of picking out a hike or location might seem a little daunting, but I help my couples through this process and guide them through planning every single step of their elopement! So, don’t worry, I got you!sunrise elopement in the mountains

4. Choose an outdoor location that’s less popular

This is one of the easiest ways to avoid crowds on your elopement! You can opt for a hike that isn’t well-known, choose a location that isn’t visited as often, or do something epic like take a helicopter tour to an epic remote location or get a 4×4 and drive through a mountain pass or get a dune buggy and drive through the desert! There are SO many different ideas and ways to do this that can create even more adventure to your day!

Choosing a more remote or less popular location can in itself add more adventure to your day! Remember that eloping is all about the experience that you have on such an epic day. Create whatever type of experience you want! There are no rules!

5. Hire an Experienced Outdoor Elopement Photographer

If you’re looking to have an outdoor elopement then be sure you have an experienced outdoor elopement photographer! As an elopement photographer, I help my couples prepared for everything when it comes to eloping outdoors. There are so many aspects to be aware of like proper attire and gear and being prepared for any random downpours or storms that might come your way. I also help my couples pick out the perfect location for them to say their vows and plan out their day around lightning, avoiding crowds, and making the most of the day so that you can be relaxed, enjoy every moment, and not be stressed out.

If you’re looking for an elopement photographer to guide you through planning your dream outdoor elopement I’d be stoked to chat with you! You can contact me >HERE< and I can’t wait to hear all about what you’re looking for!

Want to dive into more info on elopement?!

11 Most Common Questions About Eloping Answered!

Glacier National Park Elopement Guide

Complete Guide to Eloping in Washington State

Elopement Ceremony Ideas

What to do After Eloping

Montana Elopements

How to Avoid Crowds on Your Elopement | Courtney Lynn

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Courtney made the process SO easy! She does more than just photograph your day. She cares about you having the BEST elopement experience possible! I'll never be able to thank Courtney enough for making our dream day happen!

Contact me about your Elopement!

You probably have a million thoughts running through your head making you a bit overwhelmed.

How does this work? What can I do during my elopement? How do I choose my location? Is the ceremony legal? Can I elope with family?

One of the reasons you're probably eloping is because you want to have a stress-free day, but with so much uncertainty on how to plan an elopement how is it even possible?!

No need to stress, you're in the right place! This is where I come in and do the heavy lifting for you.

I'm Courtney, and I specialize in documenting adventurous elopements for couples who love the outdoors, but role is so much more than just an elopement photographer.

I'm here to guide you through every single step of planning your elopement and to give you a clear path tossing that stress out the window!

So, if you're ready to have a unique elopement experience that's actually focused on you, then let's friggin' do this!!

You know you want to elope,

and you know you want it to be meaningful and adventurous, but where do you start?!

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Courtney has a very warm and bubbly personality that shows through her work! She made my husband and I feel SO comfortable throughout the whole day.

We were very confused on how to start planning our adventure and she was there to answer a lot of our questions in the beginning and honestly with a very short time frame! We planned and got married in 6 weeks, because we knew we really wanted her there for our day and that is what she had available! It was a challenge well accepted for all three of us.

Our day was perfect. She captured our true essence of love and laughter and each photo shows it. There weren't very many set up photos unless we asked for them. She just gets you in the moment!

You can absolutely tell that Courtney loves what she does and wants your day to be perfect. She listens to you and really tries to understand you as a couple first and then uses that within her photography skills.

If you are looking for an adventure/elopement photographer I would highly suggest Courtney Lynn. We will be looking at and reliving our elopement forever thanks to her amazing photos. You won't be disappointed!

Amber & Ryan

Courtney was so helpful during the whole process! She helped put together a wonderful day!  She really wanted to make sure our wedding was just right for us. She made our elopement perfectly formulated for us, and I can't think of a more beautiful day!

One of our concerns going into an elopement was wanting to have pictures that let us remember the entire day. Courtney was there from start to finish and captured the whole day! Because of her outstanding work, we can share it with our loved ones, and they can experience the event almost as if they were there. We also really appreciated that she captured genuine moments between us instead of making it a photoshoot.

It felt like we were hanging out with a friend, and we think that helped us enjoy our day to the fullest.
If your dream wedding is an adventurous elopement day, I couldn't recommend Courtney more. She went above and beyond and was such a joy to work with throughout this whole experience.

She made us feel at ease and relaxed. Some wedding photographers are all about capturing posed moments that can be really awkward; that's NOT Courtney's style at all. Not only was she down to do whatever we wanted and go on little side adventures, but she made us feel comfortable.

She captured our true personalities and who we are as a couple! When looking at our gallery, our love for each other and our personalities can be seen in each image! She is extremely talented and did a phenomenal job of capturing the beauty of our wedding location. If you hire her, you will not regret it!

Sadye & Matthew

We are SO happy we decided to go with Courtney for our wedding photos! Originally we were supposed to elope in Italy, and she helped a TON with planning things like travel and what our day was going to look like.

Then the pandemic hit and we realized we probably weren't going to be able to go to Italy. So, we decided to change locations to Glacier!

She made it super easy and stress free, and helped plan what our new day in Glacier was going to look like!

Courtney was super easy to spend the entire day with, very friendly and fun to talk to! Even though our day didn't go exactly how we planned due to the weather, we all just went with the flow of it and it still turned out to be an amazing day!

If you're in doubt, just hire her!! You won't regret it one bit and you will get so many incredible photos to look back on your day!!

robbie & Aryton

When my now husband and I started planning our elopement, we were confused to the max. We didn’t know where to start or how to go about planning anything. We knew we wanted to get married in Ireland, but had too many options on exactly where. After doing some research of elopements, I was scrolling on Pinterest and came across some BEAUTIFUL photos taken by Courtney!

Courtney  made the process so easy! She is organized, professional, sweet, and so so funny!! Courtney does more than just photograph your day, she cares about you having the BEST day! She helped us plan EVERYTHING! Even down to the little details, like what type of shoes to wear! She helped us narrow down where, giving us her informative opinions on each of our options! She gave us cool ideas that we could incorporate into our special day. No idea was too big! When the day came, we had the absolute best time exploring and getting married! After we exchanged our vows, we went to celebrate at a local pub (Courtney’s idea ;) ). It was a blast!!

Our elopement was an absolute DREAM COME TRUE! I will never be able to thank Courtney enough for making it happen. So for anyone on the fence, swaying back and forth about whether or not work with Courtney on your big day, SWAY NO MORE! You’ve found your person!! My day couldn’t have been any better and my pictures are beautiful and capture the fun we had!!! I can’t wait to work with her again!

Taylor & andrew

"Planning for our day and the day itself would have been completely different without Courtney. We only knew that we wanted to share our vows in the Tuscan countryside and have beautiful photos, and Courtney planned the perfect agenda for that to happen.

She coordinated our timing around sunset, and not only were the photos breathtaking, but the actual evening was too. I remember looking out over the vineyards as the sun set, the view becoming more and more stunning by the minute. There were no moments that felt forced or posed, every shot was comfortable and fun and full of love.

Courtney is such a sweet, kind, fun person and we truly enjoyed spending the day with her. Courtney helped us to turn our dreams into reality, and we hardly had to do a thing. She allowed us to be in control of our day but gently took all of our wants and needs into consideration while making everything happen. Lastly, our pictures are just magical. Courtney is an incredibly talented photographer, and I feel so lucky that we were able to work with her. I would recommend her over and over again to anyone eloping."

Ellie & Zac

"Let. Me. Tell. You. It's not the technical aspects of photography that are the most difficult. It's the human aspect. Remembering that as a Photographer, you may be behind the lens but you are still a human, in front of other humans, in some of the most raw and intimate of moments.

Courtney balances both of these necessities (but rarities) with poise, great direction, and an overall kind calmness that just makes you breathe a sigh of relief. If you've come across Courtney's page and see what you like already, BOOK HER NOW. Don't spend another second looking for another Photographer that doesn't bring anywhere near the amazing light and spirit that this girl brings right here. Thank you again Courtney for allowing my husband and I to marry each other all over again! The images are stunning and I can't wait to blow them up and hang them in our home."

Shannon & Brandon

"Working with Courtney was an extremely easy experience, seamless, positive and obviously fun. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and wanted to surprise her with a surprise honeymoon adventure session.

Courtney worked with me to make that dream gift for my wife a reality. Meeting and posing for a photographer for the first time can be intimidating, but with Courtney it was anything but that.

Courtney is extremely positive and helpful and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. She played some of our favorite songs and before we knew we were just having fun and she was catching them every second. Perhaps the best part of our session was that Courtney knew all the characteristic and peaceful places of where we were, which made our photos even more extraordinary.

She kept the focus on my wife and me. When we shared our images with friends and relatives, everyone complimented on Courtney's aesthetics and the emotion she was able to capture. I can't thank Courtney enough for exceeding all our expectations with this photo shoot!!"


"Pick her -- she's the best! Courtney is amazing! Seriously! If you're thinking about eloping you should snatch her up to capture your day. She makes the entire experience fun and relaxed plus the pictures just blew us away. I will never forget our magical time in Venice and I'm obsessed with the gorgeous photos Courtney took of us. She's so so good!"

Jami & Tim

Courtney is not only a talented photographer, but she makes you feel so comfortable even though being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking! She did such an amazing job with our day and if I had to pick my favorite photo it would take FOREVER, because I love so many! Definitely consider her if you want adventurous and beautiful photos coupled with an amazing experience!

walker & mac

Don't take it from me,
Take it from my past couples!

You’re in the right place!

I’m here to guide you through EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

Let’s toss that’s confusion out the window and focus on how you want to get married!

Let me relieve those feelings of being lost, save you time, tell the story of your day and let’s get started creating a day that you’ll never forget!

So, if you know you want to elope,
but feel unsure on where to start, 

contact me & let's get starting creating your dream elopement!

...and you want an amazing storyteller to document your day


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