Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls

Celebrating 25 Years of Quality Photography Services in Niagara Falls.

Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls. One question we get quite often get is the difference between an elopement and an intimate wedding. Many couples will use the terms interchangeably, which can lead to confusion in planning your dream wedding day. This post will look at the difference between the two, the advantages of each, and how they both are a perfect choice in Ireland.


In the strictest definition, an elopement is when a couple marry in secret. Traditionally, it is just the couple (i.e. no family or friends present), tends to be a spur-of-the-moment decision, and more ceremony-focused rather than incorporating the other details of a larger wedding like seating arrangements at the reception or a cocktail hour. A couple can elope in their home town or to a dream destination, have a spiritual or legal ceremony, and can be as fancy or casual as they like!

The reasons a couple may want to elope are varied. For some, being in the military may require speeding up a wedding day because of deployment. These couples may elect to elope before deployment, then plan a larger more detailed celebration at a later time. For others, the wedding planning process is fraught with too many complications — family interference, drama, negativity, feeling overwhelmed — and the couple feels the focus of their wedding day is going into a different direction than they wanted. They would choose to elope somewhere where they could take control of their wedding day and refocus it back to what is important for them. For others, having a big lavish wedding just isn’t something they are into; they always envisioned something very intimate, just the two of them, in an incredible location for their dream wedding day.

Niagara Falls Elopement Photographers
Niagara Falls Elopement Photographers


Intimate weddings are basically weddings with a small guest list. The couple will invite up to around 25 people. There will be a ceremony followed by a reception, with the same schedule and details of a larger wedding but done to suit a smaller guest list. There are invitations and logistics to plan, a ceremony attended by the guests, a reception that follows, and the etiquette that goes along with a traditional larger wedding applies.

Couples who choose to host an intimate wedding as opposed to a larger one usually are financially motivated; they want to focus on the “quality not the quantity” of their wedding day. Some couples have their heart set on a particular location for their wedding day that simply cannot accommodate a larger party. Others just want to keep the guest list very small so they can spend their wedding day enjoying it with their closest family and friends rather than entertaining a huge group of people.

Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls


As with everything, there are pros and cons, but with elopements and intimate weddings there are some specific advantages you may want to consider when deciding what kind of wedding day best suits you.

Eloping.  When you elope, you have a more fluid schedule to your day. This enables you to adjust your timeline a bit throughout the day so you can spend more time on what you’re enjoying in the moment, and could let you move on faster to the next thing when you’re ready. In particular, during the getting ready portion of your wedding day or time before your ceremony, many couples who choose to elope to a destination report enjoying a leisurely time getting ready, having the focus solely on themselves for hair and makeup without being distracted by others in the room, having a sense of peace and calm about them that really lets them focus on what they’re about to do. Some couples even find time to enjoy a round of golf, a drive in the country, even a workout to get any jitters out because they can spend the time on themselves they’d otherwise be spending entertaining friends or family.

Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls
Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls

Perhaps the biggest advantage for elopements are in pictures. Having just the two of you really lets you explore your ceremony location, often gives you time for extended portrait shots, even boudoir shots (!), and less pressure to take pictures quickly and move on.  Since you don’t have a dinner reception and band starting at a set time waiting for you, you really have this incredibly flexibility to work with your photographer as long as you like to get lots of incredible photographs of the two of you in your dream locale.

If having a cake and proper dinner, even entertainment are something you’re afraid you’d miss if you elope, have no fear. Plenty of couples who’ve eloped enjoyed a miniature size wedding cake, beautifully designed and decorated just like its larger counterpart and just as delicious. Couples who elope often enjoy a very romantic candlelit dinner specially prepared for them by award-winning chefs in incredible venues, from cozy fireplaces at the castle to upscale restaurant in the city. If music and dancing is something you’re afraid you’d miss out on, especially in Ireland it can very easily be arranged. There are plenty of venues and restaurants that have the quintessential Irish experience that would work perfectly for your post-wedding celebration. And good chance the locals will toast you both well into the morning hours for a very memorable wedding day!

Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls
Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls

Intimate Weddings.  Although involving more cost than an elopement, for the right couple an intimate wedding is the absolute best decision. This is for the couple with a tight nit group of friends or family whom they adore that they want to share an incredible and special day with. It’s very conducive to a destination wedding in particular, as you can build in bonding time together with sight-seeing, adventures, activities and more leading up to your wedding. That build up can create a lot of positive energy and excitement that will carry over to your wedding day to make it even more memorable and unique.

For intimate weddings, expect to do everything a larger wedding would have but you have the advantage of personalization and details. Little things like customized menus that go beyond the “chicken or fish” choices larger weddings usually require, craft cocktails and top shelf choices instead of the select bar menus, meaningful personalized gifts instead of the standard votive candle holder. An intimate wedding allows you to bring your guests closer into the ceremony itself: invite them to take parts within the ceremony by doing readings, lighting candles, or holding special objects. If you’re doing flower crowns, make that part of the day’s activities by inviting your friends to custom-design their own! Let the boys bond together by treating them all to a classic shave morning of the wedding and an Irish coffee. The options are really endless as it’s easier to coordinate a smaller group of people to experience your wedding day with you.

Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls
Elopement Photographers Niagara Falls

Having a smaller guest list means you can splurge more on the quality of the details. For many brides, opting for an intimate wedding allows flexibility in the budget to get their dream dress, jewelry, decorate the ceremony space more whimsically, execute that pinterest-worthy table setting to perfection, and more. Many couples would rather spend the money having what they want and celebrating with the people that really matter most to them rather than covering the cost for a huge wedding and cutting back on details.

The rule with intimate weddings is Go For The Details! Really take advantage of being able to personalize here and really create a custom experience that extends beyond just the wedding itself.

For more info about Baldini Vandersluys Photographers or our Wedding Chapel on the Lane please call us toll free at 1800 393-7270 or local at 905 354-8692. Or fill out the form below.


  1. I didn’t even realize there were photographers out there that specialized in this stuff. I guess I always associated wedding photographers with large weddings. Nice to know there’s photography services out there for everyone.

    • Samuel after doing weddings for close to 40 years it nice so slow down just a little. Guess what I still love doing them? With a smaller wedding you are able to have a great day talking photos.


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