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Inspiration for Destination Weddings & Elopements from Traveling Wedding Photographer

Inspiration for Destination Weddings & Elopements

This past wedding season was one of the most inspirational seasons I’ve had in awhile because I traveled for my couples’ weddings and elopements. I went to Texas and Italy, Indiana and Tennessee. Everywhere I went, I had the honor of capturing the joy and special moments of the weddings and elopements I was there for. It made me realize just how energizing and exciting destination weddings/elopements can be. So, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from some of my travels this year, and just remind you that if you need a destination or travel wedding photographer, I’m here for you!

destination wedding photographer Raven Shutley Studios walks through Italian villa Do you travel for weddings/elopements?

HELL YES. I love traveling for weddings and elopements. If you’re planning a destination wedding day, count me in. I’ll travel abroad or domestically – I’m always down for an adventure with my couples on their biggest day. If you’re thinking about a destination engagement or proposal, make sure to reach out about those too. I’ve climbed mountains, hidden in bushes to capture the surprise, and enjoyed on-site engagement sessions for years. Whatever makes you happiest… I’m there for.

Where do you travel?

All over! Below, you can see some of the places that the 2022 wedding season took me. Exploring with my couples in a new city is always super special to me – and I want to document it all. We can explore around your wedding day {or not} and capture as many photos as you want {or don’t}. I’m here for it all, no matter where “here” is.

destination wedding photographer Raven Shutley Studios captures bride by window in IN chapel Do you have any tips for planning a destination wedding or elopement?

Absolutely! Check out my post about 5 tips for planning your Italian elopement and why you should bring your own destination wedding photographer!

See some of my recent travels!

Savannah, GA

Savannah is one of those cities that you can’t help but love. Between the gorgeous scenery and the history, there’s lots to explore. This wedding day took place along the waterfront with a first look at he UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium. I couldn’t get over the Spanish moss we were lucky enough to find and the incredible sunset on the marsh itself. We ended the evening playing with some astrophotography – it was amazing!

bride and groom pose against tree branch in Savannah GA bride and groom exchange vows on front porch of Savannah GA house sunset wedding portraits in field in GA newlyweds hug by marsh in Savannah GA newlyweds hug under Spanish Moss trees in Savannah, GA Fayetteville, TN

Fayetteville is a quiet little town in Tennessee. The venue we were at, Sacred Stone, is nestled in the foothills of the mountains. The views are stunning – and if nature is your thing, this is a beautiful spot to consider tying the knot. It was quiet, romantic, and very green.

ceremony site at Sacred Stone in foothills of Fayetteville TN Sacred Stone's display with balloon arch at inclusive wedding fair donkey stands outside Sacred Stone Asheville, NC Elopement

Something that really excited me about this styled shoot was the concept of a walking tour of Asheville. This method of planning your day can be applied anywhere! Spending time just doing what you love somewhere you enjoy being while you also tie the knot… I mean, what could be better than that? Walking elopements may be my new favorite thing EVER.

grooms toast custom cocktails under gold arbor grooms hold hands walking down sidewalk in Asheville NC groomsmen pop champagne during elopement in Asheville NC grooms pose in silly glasses during Asheville elopement

Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, GA

Meet Georgia’s “little Grand Canyon”: Providence Canyon! With the stunning {almost red} rocks, incredible views, and plenty of greenery, this hike is a great option for anyone who wants that outdoorsy feel to their engagement portraits or elopement. For this session, I was returning to the Canyons. Revisiting spots with couples {or even just exploring by myself!} always allows me fresh eyes, to see things I didn’t notice the first time, or see things that have changed, etc. All of the greenery was lush and full from the spring rains, which definitely visited us while we were there.

engaged couple looks at each other between canyon walls couple kisses in the rain during Providence Canyon engagement session Indianapolis, IN

The Sanctuary on Penn provided us with so many beautiful options for portraits after their ceremony. I loved the textures everywhere you looked.  They also have a beautiful patio with stained glass windows and a staircase that made for some truly epic portraits for our newlyweds. Finding the perfect spot for your special moments {no matter where your venue is} means the world to me. Capturing my couple on the streets of Indianapolis was a wonderful time, too! This city is so beautiful!

couple has first look on street in Indianapolis bride poses by stained glass window in the Sanctuary at Penn bride and groom lean to kiss with wedding party around them newlyweds kiss in front of building in Indianapolis IN

Houston, TX

This stunning Houston TX wedding day took place at Jennings Trace! This venue was actually BUILT to host wedding days. As a photographer, I appreciate the choices made for light and the grounds. When we arrived at their venue, I was surprised to learn it was super close to the location of the Texas Renaissance Faire, which happens to be one of my favorite events! I love when things like that happen. Anyway, it’s a beautiful venue that brings a modern feel in the middle of the Texas woods! Jennings Trace has such an amazing blend of worlds: clean and modern buildings with little pockets of wild woods off to the sides. It gave us TONS to play with!

newlyweds meet in woods during first look in Houston TX newlyweds dance on lawn at Jennings Trace wedding venue bride and groom hug at night in Houston TX North GA Mountains, Blairsville, GA

This mountain wedding day allowed me to be SO creative in creating special images inspired by Lord of the Rings {in the most perfect location}. Sometimes your theme will inform where you want to host your wedding – so lean into that! The North Georgia mountains are so green and lush. They’re perfect for nature lovers or hobbits alike.

groom and bride hug wearing capes and ears from LOTR bride and groom pose with men and elves for Lord of the Rings wedding ceremony bride and groom pose in forest with bride's cape floating behind them

Fregene, Italy

Traveling to Italy to capture this elopement inspired me more than words can say. Rowan & Kelsey created such a unique experience for themselves, their guests, and me. It all made the trip to Italy that much more magical. We also captured a pre-wedding portrait session, which is something I HIGHLY recommend when you’re planning a destination event. Photographing an elopement in Italy was literally a dream come true/bucket list moment for me. There’s something super romantic about this city and there was the chance to make art everywhere I looked.

bride kisses groom's cheek looking out window in Italy newlyweds hug on roof of Italian villa couple elopes in courtyard of Italian villa bride and groom pose in window of Italian villa couple sits on edge of fountain in Italy Black Balsam Knob, NC

I scoured a number of different hikes for us to take for this engagement session, knowing I wanted to focus on mountain views and something DIFFERENT. Through a complete twist of fate {and some wild weather}, we chose Black Balsam Knob, which has been on my short list of hikes I’d wanted to check out for such a long time! We almost had the trail to ourselves and the wind was UP, creating some epicly romantic and windswept portraits for these two. Black Balsam Knob has such GORGEOUS views – it’s definitely worth the trip if hiking is your thing!

bride and groom hug on top of Black Balsam Knob couple poses in front of mountains in Georgia Reach out and let me know where you’re wanting to get married! man twirls woman during Black Balsam Knob engagement photos photographed by travel wedding photographer Raven Shutley Studios  I want to go wherever is important to you!

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Raven is an Atlanta Wedding Photographer who captures real people on their totally unique and awesome wedding day, specializing in people who feel awkward in front of the camera. She travels throughout Georgia, including Athens, North Georgia, and beyond.

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