What Does Eloping Mean? | Eloped Definition

Are you wondering what does eloping mean? There are so many different ways that people define elopement, but I think a few perceptions about eloping need to be fixed-LIKE NOW! Some people frown upon it and some people love it, but I want to get down to the nitty-gritty of why you should elope and what eloping really means. I’m going to debunk perceptions your parents, family or friends might have of eloping. So, please share with them and everyone else so that you can help me spread the love on eloping!

What’s the Difference Between an Intimate Wedding and an Elopement?

First of all, let’s chat about the difference between intimate weddings and elopements. You may think that the difference between having an elopement and an intimate wedding is defined by how many people you choose to have witness your marriage, but I don’t think that is an accurate definition.

Choosing to have an elopement comes down to the type of experience you want to have on your elopement day. If you want to have your closest friends and family with you, then do it, because it’s your day! I tend to cap elopements at 25 people, because anymore than that it because extremely difficult and next to impossible to keep the day about the couple rather than your friends and family and eloping is all about keeping the focus on the two of you who are getting married. So, if you want to have your closest 5 or 10 or 20 friends or family celebrate with you then take them along, because it’s all about celebrating how you want.

Vise versa to the couples who feel having a ‘just us’ elopement is what you really want then be brave and do that! Don’t let other influence your decision to get married in the way that the two of you feel is right for you.

What Does Eloping Mean?what does eloping mean

What does elope mean?

Eloping is all about the Experience

Most couples who choose to elope want to have a special experience on their wedding day! An elopement allows for intimate and adventurous moments that truly reflect your relationship and what you two are all about. While every aspect is important the bigger picture is about crafting the ultimate day for the two of you! It’s about creating the most amazing day that the two of you could imagine from start to finish and actually want to do it all over again!

Larger and more traditional weddings don’t typically allow for such moments during the day, because the focus is entertaining the guests and making sure that they’re happy. You might be able to sneak off for 20 minutes during sunset for some pictures, but it’s usually rushed and more about getting the pictures rather than capturing and documenting your experience. There’s been SO many couples who have a traditional wedding who look back on their wedding day and wish they had eloped. They realize that their wedding day wasn’t actually about them!

By eloping you eliminate having to worry about your guests and get to actually focus on the two of you. It’s your wedding day–isn’t that how it should be?! If you need more evidence check out these 3 Reasons Eloping is Better Than a Traditional Wedding.

what does elope mean

You can craft your dream elopement day! Eloping means you can be intentional about what you do on your wedding day.

Going off of the topic above elopements allow you to get married exactly how you want and enables you to craft a day around your relationship. You can create a day that is a reflection of the two of you!

For example, if you’re a couple who loves to hike in your day-to-day life, then you can go hiking on your elopement day. If you love exploring new places you can take a helicopter ride to a fun, new and remote location. If you love skiing, why not go skiing on your elopement day?! The options are limitless and you can literally do whatever you want and have a day and experience that is crafted to you.

That being said, everything a couple chooses to include on their elopement day is done with a purpose. Thought and care is is put into every aspect of the day without having to worry about what Aunt Sally or Uncle Bob think.

While planning a traditional wedding you can get caught up and overwhelmed with who gets an invite and who doesn’t, what the table arrangements look like, who’s going to make what speak when, etc. For some couples having to think about and plan all these things isn’t what they’re looking for in a wedding. Of course, eloping isn’t for everyone and that’s totally okay! Just like traditional weddings aren’t for everyone and that too, is totally okay!

eloped definition

What does elope mean?

Elopements mean you can avoid all the unwanted family drama

Let’s be real–most traditional weddings have some type of family drama. Even if you don’t have a crazy family sometimes traditional weddings can cause the drama and if you don’t want to deal with that, that is totally your choice! It may seem a bit nerve-wracking to let your family know you’re eloping so be sure to check out this article on 5 Tips for Announcing Your Elopement.

I totally understand if you want to include your nearest and dearest family and friends on your elopement day to celebrate with you. An elopement can still include those who truly matter to you. It’s the intention of your day that define what an elopement is!

To those who want to elope with just the two of you, but want to keep family involved in some way check out How to Keep Family Involved During Your Elopement!

No matter what you decide, take a stance and make the decision that feels right to you!

You can have a stress-free elopement day! What does eloping mean? It means you can truly enjoy every minute of your day.

Bouncing off of avoiding the drama, couples who choose to elope want to have a stress-free day so that they can completely enjoy every moment throughout their day. If just the thought of planning a big wedding bash is making you cringe then I think that’s a pretty darn good sign that you should elope!

Can you imagine being stressed out when you wake up on your wedding day?! Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life and if you wake up stressed out and just waiting for it to be over–what kind of day will it be? Probably not one of the happiest days of your life.

So, if you want to avoid being stressed out about all the little details and not be worried about everything going perfectly, then you should probably opt for an epic elopement instead! You can check out the 7 Signs You May Want to Elope if you want to make sure eloping is right for you!

Busting elopement Myths – What is an elopement?!

what does eloping mean

What does eloping mean?

Busting elopement myths-eloped definition

There are a lot of people who have bad connotations about eloping and what an elopement is really all about. So, let’s bust some myths about why couples choose to elope and what matters to them!

You decided to elope because you want to run away

First of all, when you tell people you eloped or you’re eloping a few things are going to run through their mind and one of them is that they’re going to think you’re eloping because you want to secretly get married or run away, because someone doesn’t approve of your marriage or for a vast reason of other things. While a very small number of elopements might happen because of this, all the couples I work with elope because they want to have an intimate and adventurous experience. They desire to start their lives together by committing themselves to each other in an epic place. It is truly all about the experience and nothing to do with running away!

You want to elope because you want to leave your family out

When you tell your parents or closest family they might feel hurt or left out when that truly isn’t your goal. While some couples decide to have their nearest and dearest family and friends celebrate with them other’s don’t and that isn’t because they want to hurt or purposefully leave someone out. The amazing couple’s I get the honor of working with want to have their day be as stress free as possible and that means getting married exactly how and where you want without having to worry about everyone’s opinions. If you are curious as to what I classify as an elopement check out this article.

If you want to elope with just the two of you and want to find ways to include those closest to you check out How to Include Family in Your Elopement. This article will give you some fun ideas on how to make sure your family doesn’t feel left out!

You decided to elope because you want to save money

This is probably the number one reason people are going to think you want to elope. The couple’s that I have spoken with that have decided to elope aren’t interested in saving money, but rather eloping gives you the opportunity to spend your money on what really matters to you as a couple. I know plenty of couple’s who have spent just as much on their elopement as a traditional wedding! You can hire your dream photographer (Uhm, that would be me!!), you can have that incredible destination elopement, you can take that helicopter ride–if you can dream it, you can do it!what does elope mean

What does elope mean?

What is an elopement?

So, in the end, eloping is about you, it’s about the experience you want, and it’s about committing your lives together in an epic place wherever you want and starting out your lives together on an incredible adventure. Eloping is about the experience you get to have on one of the most important days of your life!

Are you searching for the perfect elopement photographer for you? I would absolutely love to chat with you and help you put together your dream elopement. You can contact me HERE and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Check out these related blog posts!

A Complete Guide for Eloping in Washington State

What to Do After Eloping

How to Make Your Elopement Special

Best Places to Elope in Rocky Mountain National Park

Best Places to Elope in Oregon


What Does Elope Mean? | Courtney Lynn

comments +
  1. wow! What an informative article! I love how you phrased this blog!

  2. Steph says:

    Heck yes to all of this! Amen!

  3. Puf creatif says:

    This is sou helpful! Good job!

  4. Super helpful! And beautiful photos too 🙂

  5. Alexandria Odekirk says:

    I love this! I’ve always viewed it as such a taboo thing to my family but the older I’ve gotten, the more and more I realize it’s about me and my partner and we would want to do that for us! no one else!

  6. nicole wagner says:

    Such great information! Love elopements! Gorgeous photos as well!

  7. Love this post and busting those myths about eloping!

  8. Taylor says:

    Okay wow – this is such a great post about what elopements are, at least these days! Such gorgeous images to showcase it too!

  9. Erica Fuchs says:

    Courtney, what a beautifully written article! So important that couples are reassured that they have no reason to be afraid of eloping. Love the photos you included too.

  10. Kyle says:

    This is a really helpful guide for couples considering doing something a little bit different when they get married. Eloping is always a great option!

  11. […] What’s the best day that the two of you could create from start to finish? That’s the day that you deserve to have and you deserve to have it documented and captured so that you can share it with your friends and family back home and look back on your gorgeous images and remember it like it was yesterday. It’s all about creating a memorable and epic experience that’s all about the two of you! To dive a little more into this check out What Does Eloping Mean? […]

  12. […] What Does Eloping Mean? […]

  13. […] Check out this article to learn What Elopements are Really About! […]

  14. […] Read more about What Elopements are Truly about! […]

  15. […] have preconceived notions about elopements and how your day is going to look invite them to read What Does Eloping Mean or take the time and read it yourself to be able to relay the information to them. Let them know […]

  16. […] You also might be wondering if it’s okay if you include some of your favorite wedding traditions during your elopement ceremony and throughout the day–ABSOLUTELY!! This is your day and you can keep, create or throw out whatever traditions you want. Your elopement is about creating a day that the two of you love and celebrating how you want. There are truly no rules to eloping! If you want to learn more about what an elopement truly means you can check out my other blog on What does Elope Mean! […]

  17. […] *I’ve got a whole blog dedicated to my definition of an elopement – check out What Does Eloping Mean? […]

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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?!

trusted by & seen in

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


Give me your thoughts on your elopement!*

Tell me about the best adventure you've been on!*

date & location*

Where do you currently live?*

Phone Number*

How'd you hear about me?!*


You & your fiance's full names*

Let's freaking do this!!