If you’ve stumbled across this resource, then you’re probably a photographer or wedding vendor looking to get into the elopement niche. Because who wouldn’t want to capture epic elopements in beautiful locations?
Natalie, from Natalie Donovan Photography, gave us some amazing tips on how you can transform your business and book more elopements!
Why Book More Adventure Elopements?
The simple answer, your audience is changing. More couples are realizing what it means to elope, and why other couples decide to have an elopement.
Millennials now make up 80% of the wedding market. Not only is this generation turning the world upside down with their ideas about politics, climate change, and how they source items ethically—They’re also fundamentally changing the wedding industry.
Couples are now getting married later in life, prioritizing their careers, and even traveling more. Not to mention the size of debt couples now have to consider—who could keep up with paying for a wedding of 200+ guests?
Couples are also starting to say no to traditions they don’t agree with. No, you don’t need a bridal party, a garter, or a bouquet toss to have a beautiful wedding day. As a result, couples are creating new traditions that feel right for them. Couples are now building their ideal day based on experiences—which means anything goes.
This change in the wedding industry has allowed leaders in the Photography industry to break into the elopement niche. Elopement blogs, such as our elopement resources, and photographers such as the Hearnes and Adventure Instead, specifically cater to couples who choose to leave tradition behind. But the best part is—YOU CAN TOO!
Here are three ways to book more adventurous brides and elopements:
1. Who are These Couples & What Are Their Interests?
If you’re trying to transition into elopements and intimate weddings, then you need to consider putting yourself in their shoes. The best way to do this is by thinking about these questions:
- Who are these couples who would want to forgo a traditional wedding and elope in the first place?
- What are their personalities like, and what past experiences had led them to yearn for adventure?
- Are they introverted or extroverted?
- Do they like being the center of attention?
- What’s their fashion style?
- What kind of hobbies do they like doing outside of work?
- What kind of music or food do they like?
- Are they close to their families?
Most of the time when thinking about these questions, you’ll start to know who it is you’re trying to attract towards your services, which is the first step to understanding how to get those dream clients.
2. Rebranding With Your Why
REBRANDING. Yup. This is the next step, and it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Chances are, you’re almost there. Think about it this way. It’s about taking what’s communicated on your website to that next level. The main question you’ll want to consider is, why do you want to photograph elopements?
In order to book more elopements, you need to consider why you personally desire to film such an intimate and extraordinary experience? Make sure you focus on talking to that person as if you were having a one-on-one conversation with them talking about your services. Because in truth—you are!
As you think about those questions we previously mentioned, it will help form and communicate your “why”. Really be honest with yourself. Go back to your website and pause.
If you were one of those couples you are hoping to attract, would your website communicate their needs? They might not even know they want to elope yet. How is your website going to educate them on elopements? They will be looking for nuggets of themselves on your website. Take a hard look at your website to see if what you’re communicating is to those couples.
3. Invest in Your Couples, but Don’t Make it About You
“I think as photographers there’s always a major sense of FOMO (or is that just me?). We want to keep pushing, growing, and getting that PERFECT Instagram shot (I know, I do!), that sometimes we forget to put the needs of who we are serving before our wildest desires. I’ll be the first to admit that I do this.” [Natalie]
But at the end of the day, it isn’t about us at all. It should be 100% about the couple who committed to you—to photograph their elopement (or even intimate wedding). If you finally have that couple who wants to elope with you and chooses you to photograph them, don’t take over their planning.
They will expect you to be knowledgeable about insanely beautiful places, but if you can tell they are hesitant about something or feel uncomfortable, move on! Ask them what they envision seeing for their elopement and what their wildest dreams for the day could be. Be helpful, but don’t be overbearing. Elopements, like traditional weddings, are a decision most couples want to think about before committing.
To help them come to their decision, paint a picture for them on what their elopement day would look like. Make it specific to them and SPECIFICALLY ask about their likes and what they like to do for fun as a couple. If they can’t hike 3 miles for one of your favorite locations, then suggest somewhere else.
Or they might already have a place in mind where they met, or even where they got engaged. Focus on photographing the honesty and realness of their love and chances are you’ll end up with the perfect Instagram shot—even if you weren’t meaning too!
4. SECRET TIP: What You Can Do in the Meantime
We know you have some EPIC shots in your lightroom subscription collecting dust. So send us your images and videos, and you never know who might decide to book with you because of it!
This is Natalie’s secret tip #4 (and we 100% agree)! Apply to elopement blogs to get featured!
If you want to take things a step further to book more elopements, then consider becoming a Wandering Weddings member. All of our blogs and resources are sourced directly from our members! At Wandering Weddings, we keep our style adventurous at heart, and we want to feature the work you already have. As the wedding industry continues to change, so does our team and goals to get you more clients.
If you are chosen for a feature, we will be sure to email you with an awesome Wandering Weddings badge and link to your feature! We’ll even help spread the word and feature you on our social channels!
Keep wandering friends and make your couples wildest elopement dreams come true!