Based In: Ohio, Utah & South Africa
Photographer: Avonture


Based In: Ohio, Utah & South Africa

Hey I’m Shanmari – the Elopement Photographer & Crafter at Avonture, based out of Cleveland Ohio but I serve couples worldwide with a focus on Ohio, Utah and South Africa. I value the LGBTQIA+ and the BIPOC+ community, all love is warmly welcomed here.

I’m sure you’re curious to know what “avonture” means?

The word, “Avonture” is the Afrikaans word for adventures!
I was born and raised in South Africa, so, Afrikaans is my native language – it’s only one of the 11 languages in South Africa. Avonture represents the start of a lifetime of adventures. Usually when a couple gets married someone would congratulate them and say “I wish you a lifetime full of avonture” i.e a lifetime full of adventures.

That’s what I wish for you, that this adventure into marriage is only the start of a lifetime full of meaningful adventures together.

I believe the value and horizons of elopement experiences are absolutely endless and that when you look back at your wedding photographs years later, you should still hear the sounds of laughter and feel the excitement in your heart. Every couple should experience a wedding day that allows for freedom of vulnerability, an adventure you will remember & treasure for the rest of your life. I am here to open up that safe space, to allow you to be fully you and to plan a day for you and your partner like never before.

You deserve an adventure impossible to rival and that’s what eloping on your terms is. As an eloping bride myself with a passionate love for the outdoors – I want every couple out there to know that your dream adventurous wedding day is POSSIBLE.


Here’s a tip of the iceberg on how I can help you plan and prepare for your elopement, besides documenting those precious memories, I also help craft and put together a day that truly represents you two as a couple.

I hold nothing back when it comes to tips and tricks to help you experience a relaxing elopement, I can even show you how to pack your wedding attire safely into your hiking backpack or even how to hike safely with your attire on! I love to help with filling out the correct permits and sharing the correct information on any legalities to get married out in nature and in any country. Oh and I am an ordained officiant, for those couples that want absolute intimacy. By booking me you will receive a very detailed planning guide – here’s the deets:

  • Your own planning guide of 70+ pages that walks hand in hand with:

    • In-depth questionnaire to get to know you both.​

    • Customizable timeline for planning prior to your day.

    • Custom personalized location idea list.

    • Personalized vendor recommendations.

    • Custom personalized elopement day timeline for the best experience.

    • A very thorough vow writing guide.

    • Tips, tricks and more planning tools like packing lists.

And so much more! But as much as I am present and love to help, I also step back, you deserve an intentionally intimate wedding day – I don’t make your wedding day into a huge photoshoot, I give you and your partner space to relax and enjoy the moments you share on such a meaningful day while I capture the seemingly fleeting to last forever.

If you’re very unsure where to start here’s a few great elopement resources to help you out while you’re here.

Read some reviews here and then get in touch by clicking on my website or simply filling out the form below!

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Working with Avonture Elopements was nothing short of a perfect experience, having someone as experienced as Shanmari will surely help your day go smoother. She has this incredible skill of really capturing photos in the moment so you barely even know she's there at times. On top of that, she was extremely flexible and so creatively navigated around any of the small obstacles we encountered on our day. In addition to all the amazing skills and talent, Shanmari is a loving and super fun person that anyone would be so lucky to have plan and photograph their special day. She will make sure that you are getting everything you want, and I'm certain that you'd only have regrets if you didn't book her!

Garrett & Michael

I'm not sure where to start or how I can concisely write what an amazing time it was to be photographed by Shanmari. From day one she kept my fiance and I informed of the whole process and later provided us with a detailed itinerary, packing list and more - which for someone like me, is VERY important ;). Our day with Shanmari was beautiful. From the moment we met, it was like meeting up with an old friend. She made us feel extremely comfortable, she let us do our thing and she captured some of the most beautiful moments I've ever shared with my now, husband. We will forever remember that day. The photos she took will be ones we can always look back on and actually FEEL the emotion and love we have for each other. If you are trying to decide whether or not Shanmari is the one to photograph your special day, she is. She is incredible at what she does and I know you will be as grateful as I am that I took the leap and chose to go with her!

Jordan & B-J

I am a black queer bride and I was absolutely blown away by the artistry and humanity Shanmari shared with me and my fiancée leading up to and during our engagement shoot. It started with her questionnaire to get to know us—we got the chance to talk about our relationship and introduce ourselves to Shanmari while spending some time together—it was a built in date! Shanmari was patient welcoming and understanding and made the day and absolute blast. Her suggestions for attire and location were spot on and she even helped me orchestrate my proposal! I appreciated her ability to make us feel safe and beautiful during the shoot and then present us (right on time btw) with photos that are nothing short than magical. I would recommend Shanmari’s talents to any couple just wanting to be themselves, be ethereal and have a great time! It was an absolute pleasure. 10s across the board!

Chennelle & Chelsea

Shanmari was absolutely an integral part of our wedding, and we were so thrilled she was able to share it with us! I love looking at our wedding pictures because Shan captured so many incredible, authentic moments. Nothing felt staged, and the love and joy just radiate through the pictures. Shan was super easy to work with and just did a phenomenal job. She also was great in making sure that our guests felt affirmed and comfortable at our wedding. Absolutely hire her.

Kate & Ben
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This is me, Shan, & my best friend, Alpen.

I am truly honored to even show my face here to you, helping eloping couples create memorable experiences and documenting those memories is the best part about my life, every time.

I want my couples to be able to look at their images and feel everything again. The smells, the love, the adventure, the at awe of nature and the touch of your partners’ hand in yours. And truly, that’s what my photography is about.

I hope I'll be able to give that experience to you as well!

Wandering Since 2021

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