Raven Shutley Studios Logo
Close this search box.

Eloping in Georgia: Is It Right for You?

What Does It Mean to Elope?

It used to mean sneaking away to get secretly married but it has evolved over time to simply mean a turn away from hard and fast traditions. 

Nowadays, eloping is particularly difficult to define because there is no one true way to do it. For some, it means hopping a plane to Vegas and tying the knot in a whirlwind with Elvis. For others, it’s taking to the wilderness with only their partner and a photographer to read vows in the mountains. I’ve seen elopements that included only immediate family for the ceremony and a big blowout party was thrown the next day or even a full year later! 

And that’s really it — eloping in the simplest terms is a step outside of a traditional wedding venue or ceremony, and likely with a smaller guest list and a whole heck of a lot of flexibility! 

bride and groom elope in local park with family shawl photographed by You are Raven
Steph & Jacob’s Intimate Park Wedding

How To Decide If You Should Elope

Some people have imagined what their wedding day would be like all their lives. Others have never even considered it. So, how do you know if eloping is right for you? Truly no one can answer that for you, but I’m here to try to help. 

As a couple, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What does celebration mean to you?
  • What makes you feel special and loved?
  • Who are your biggest supporters, and who supports your relationship well?
  • What special elements would you want to incorporate into your wedding day?
  • What comes top of mind as something you do NOT want to do on your wedding day?

These answers can be such a great starting point in both deciding on whether or not to elope, and also during your planning process. Try comparing notes with your partner, learn what they envision and value so you can be on the same page from the beginning. 

Fernbank elopement photographed by You Are Raven
Sheri & Jaime’s Fernbank Museum Elopement

How to Make the Elopement Yours

Elopements offer an opportunity to break away from traditional norms and design a wedding that truly resonates with you. Maybe you want a destination wedding without burdening all of your guests with travel expenses, or maybe you’d like to keep the ceremony small and intimate, saving the big celebration for a later date (or skipping it altogether!). The beauty of eloping lies in the freedom it gives you to make your wedding entirely your own.

In many cultures worldwide multi-day weddings are the norm and now western culture is embracing this concept, which I love so much. You could consider turning your elopement into a weekend celebration. This approach offers flexibility in guest lists for different events, more time spent with loved ones and not to mention taking the pressure off of a single ceremony moment and the events around the “big day”. 

bride and groom laugh walking down road in Athens GA
Jada & Jacob’s Tree Room Athens Elopement

Georgia Might Be the Perfect Location to Elope

Now that you’re sold on eloping, let’s talk location. From scenic outdoor spots to historic landmarks — I may be biased as a wedding photographer living in North Georgia, but this state has a lot to offer! 

Find Your Perfect Location Vibe

Experience the romance of Savannah, the big city vibes of Atlanta, the scenic mountains in North Georgia, the beachy atmosphere at Tybee Island or the charm of small towns in between. But hey, the best part about eloping is venturing off the beaten path to discover unique venues or settings to say “I do!”

Factor in Georgia Weather

Consider the seasons and weather when planning. Georgia typically sees mild winters and hot summers, with spring and fall seeing lots of wedding action. Take into account things like rainy seasons, your preferred scenery or backgrounds (such as lush gardens or fall foliage), and the timing of events and festivals, especially in places like Atlanta proper.

Live in Georgia? Elope in Your Backyard!

Pssst Georgia natives, you don’t have to go far, how cool?! Eloping in your own backyard (whether literally or figuratively) can create a personal and intimate atmosphere where your home plays a special part in the day.

women hug looking away from mirror with succulent bouquet
Whimsical Woodland Elven Fae Elopement

Less Wedding Stress Means More Time to Focus on YOU!

Perhaps the most beautiful part of an elopement is that it quiets the noise and allows you to focus on what matters most to you: the connection between you and your partner and celebrating that connection in a way that’s just right for you. 

My top priority always and forever is capturing your love—however, wherever and with whomever you please.

Ready to Hire an Elopement Photographer? Let’s Chat!

If you’re a Georgia native and I’ve piqued your interest in eloping right here in our own backyard or you’re now curious about exploring Georgia as an elopement travel destination I’d love to talk more! 

Let’s connect, I’m so excited to hear your story and start planning. 



other posts you may like

Piedmont Park Engagement Sessions: The Complete Guide for 2024

Enchanting Atlanta Venues for Garden Weddings