July 11, 2019 / ADVICE


What’s the difference between an intimate wedding and an elopement?  If you’re recently engaged and diving into the world of wedding planning, you’re probably seeing a lot of information about intimate weddings as well as elopements since they are the “it” thing lately.

But what is the difference between intimate wedding vs elopement?   How do they compare to a full day wedding and how does it work in regards to photography?


The true definition of an elopement is when a couple runs off secretly to get married.  Some people will “elope” and have their mom, dad, brothers and sisters with them but that’s about it.  Some couples simply use their photographer as the witness for the marriage register and have literally no one else there.  Elopements are typically last minute; while there’s no rule of thumb but my personal opinion is 1 or 2 months.  Again, the true definition is to “run off and get married” which inherently implies a minimal amount of notice and planning.  In fact, most elopements happen during the week (Monday through Thursday).  Most elopements have a focus not on the ceremony (which can be only a few minutes long) but on a beautifully creative portrait session after the fact where the couple and the photographer create amazing images in amazing locations.


An intimate wedding is just a “normal” wedding day with a smaller guest list.  In lieu of the giant banquet hall, you opt for a smaller location and a guest list of maybe one or two-dozen people.  Intimate weddings aren’t necessarily smaller budget weddings; in fact, a lot of the time a bride or groom will splurge more on their guests with intimate weddings because instead of using a $20,000 wedding budget to create an event for 120 people, they can use the same amount and give 20 people an amazing experience.  Intimate weddings are often very relaxed and to a certain extent, non-traditional.  Sometimes the bride and groom will get ready in the same house and simply have their first look casually in the hall way.  Sometimes there isn’t even formal seating for dinner.  While there is a focus on the beautiful portraits, there’s also a focus on photojournalistic images; a storytelling approach to the day in order to capture all the intimate moments between the few guests present.


Couples often need 2 or 3 hours of coverage for an elopement; that’s it.  It’s photographing of the ceremony and a beautiful portrait session.  There’s rarely any getting ready images and never any cocktail hour coverage or reception coverage because elopements don’t have those things.  Period.  The photographer’s job will be the 2 or 3 hours of work on the day to capture the ceremony and portrait session and provide an amount of images reflective of how many hours they photographed.

Intimate weddings, photographically, are the same as full day “traditional” weddings.  Couples almost always still want getting ready coverage, the ceremony, formal photos with family members as well as the couple and coverage of their reception.  A photographer can still spend 8, 10 or 12 hours photographing an intimate wedding day.

A photographer’s job, and thus the cost of their services, is not reflective of how many guests are present.  So intimate wedding vs elopement means you’re still going to pay, for the most part, the same hourly rate.  An hour of a photographer’s time is an hour of a photographer’s time – whether they are photographing 2 people, 20 people or 200 people.  They still process a number of photographs reflective of the number of hours they were shooting for.  If a photographer shoots a 12 hour intimate wedding and a 12 hour “traditional” banquet hall wedding, the clients will likely get similar amounts of images because both jobs are the same amount of work for a photographer.


There are a lot of couples now who will inquire about elopement services…. but a Saturday wedding 6+ months from now.  Sorry guys, but that’s not an elopement.  You’re just wanting a small amount of coverage on an otherwise intimate or regular wedding day.

Many couples are now starting to request “elopement” coverage (because the term is now so prevalent) but they are actually having an intimate wedding – or in some instances, a larger sized wedding!  The misuse of the term “elopement” is quite prevalent in the industry now.  Knowing the differences of intimate wedding vs elopement will help keep your wedding planning vision realistic as well as your budget for certain vendors.

What the couples actually want is just a small amount of coverage on an otherwise normal wedding day.  This is not an elopement and nor does that fall under “elopement” coverage – especially if it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday wedding  and here’s why…


No!  Professional photographers keep a roof over their head, feed their family and keep the electricity on with the money they earn shooting weddings.  Full day weddings.  Saturdays are days that are reserved for full day weddings.  Many photographers also reserve Fridays and Sundays for weddings until about 8-10 weeks out; at which point they may accept an elopement.

It’s not reasonable to expect a photographer to reserve a date on a Saturday (or Friday/Sunday) several months in advance for only  2 or 3 hours of coverage.  It’s a date that can (and almost always is) filled with a full day wedding; the type of wedding that a photographer’s business plan is based on.  If your photographer is offering to reserve a Saturday that far in advance for only a few hours of coverage, they’re likely charging you close to a normal full-day rate for appropriate compensation.

A photographer cannot survive on elopements alone; elopements are icing on the cake which is why photographer’s can often offer true elopement packages at a slightly lower rate.


I love elopements!  What I do find really unfortunate, though, is that there’s an increasing amount of people who don’t understand the value of what a photographer does and the value of the days of the week on which we normally work.  This blog article is meant to educate couples as to what an elopement really is, what a small or intimate wedding is and how photographic coverage relates to both of those.


July 10, 2019 / ENGAGEMENTS


Pre Wedding Photo Session

Weather during this summer here in Edmonton was mostly: rain, thunderstorms and smoke. Not an ideal situation for outdoor activities, including photo sessions. But after rescheduling four times (I think) we finally found a perfect day to take some photos with Veronica and Deklin. They are tying the knot in just three days! Based on our pre-wedding session and all the ideas we had for their wedding photos, I am really looking forward to this Saturday!



June 20, 2019 / PROJECTS
Styled Photo session


Edmonton, Alberta

Amazing team of 15 people came together to create and the results are here. Boho Styled wedding picnic photo session in mid May.

Thank you:

– Event Planner: Sarah Valencia, Our Jonrah Events, @ourjonrahevents

 -Photographer: Maja Stella, M2S Photography, @m2sweddings 

– Venue: Shelley Francisco, Old Timer’s Cabin, @oldtimerscabin 

– Gown: Chantelle Harvey, The White Gallery, @thewhitegalleryyeg

– Suit: Brandon/Sterling Derk, Derks Formals, @derksformals 

– Female model: Leane Mattson, @leanemariee

– Male model: Griffin Cork, @griffincork 

– Rings: Sonja Deklerk, More Than Gold by Sonja, @morethangold_bysonja

– Rentals: Miranda Crabtree, Knotwood Event Rentals, @knotwoodeventrentals

– Florist: April Gurnett, Lasting Love Weddings, @lastingloveweddings

– Cupcake Bouquet: Tanya, Sweet Bouquets Cupcakes, @sweetbouquetscupcakes 

– Food Stylist: Diana Harrison, Art of Charcuterie, @artofcharcuterieyeg 

– Food: Frank, Italian Bakery, @italianbakery 

– Makeup: Kathryn McCaffrey, @katmccaff_makeup 

– Hair: Sarah Cameron, Fluid Hair, @fluid_hair

For more photos click here: BOHO WEDDING INSPO


May 24, 2019 / INSPIRATION
Bridal Portrait


Edmonton, Alberta

Are you one of those brides that dream about having extremely romantic and elegant wedding? If your answer is yes, then this blog post might be for you.

When you work with Wedding and Event Planner Sarah (Our Jonrah Events), Wedding Dress Designer (Ciel Bridal Studio), Makeup Artist Carmen and model like Anyu, everything is organized. Anyu wears custom made wedding dress made by Ciel Bridal Studio (Yes! Custom made dress Ladies!). They have experiences artisans that will help you tailor a wedding dress that is specially made for you!. This photo shoot was a pure joy for me and I hope you can see that in these photos.  Location for this photo shoot was in one of the Show-homes by Urban Edge homes.




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