The Difference Between an Elopement and a Bridal Session

February 21, 2023

Earlier, I published a blog talking about the difference between my elopement and wedding packages! You can read that here. Now I’m going to explain the difference between a bridal session and my elopement package.

The biggest difference is than an elopement means it’s your wedding day. A bridal session could either be done a few weeks before your wedding, on your honeymoon, or even on an anniversary. A bridal session is not on the wedding day and the purpose of the shoot is not “getting married” like the purpose of an elopement is. The purpose of a bridal session is usually to get more photos of you in your wedding attire in a pretty location. Click here to read another blog I wrote that explains more about what bridal sessions are.

Even if you have no guests and it’s just you and your lover but you’re getting married that day, that counts as an elopement! So why is that?

My couples don’t just hire me for my photo style, they hire me for the knowledge and experience that I offer from beginning to end. And that experience varies for elopements vs sessions. I usually have a big hand in helping my couples bring their elopement together, especially when it comes to Zion and other Southern Utah elopements. I help them construct their itinerary, give them location ideas, vendor recs, and so much more. I also send my elopement couples various questionnaires, blogs, and guides to help them plan and to help me be prepared. Sessions are a little more straightforward. I’ll send you my Location Guide and a questionnaire to help me get to know you, then we shoot! If you want to know more about my client experience, click here.

Going along with that, the prep time is also very different for a session vs an elopement. The prep time for a session is usually pretty simple! I look over the questionnaire I sent you and spend some time creating inspo for the shoot. But for elopements, there’s so much more that I need to be prepared for. I look over your Get to Know You form, print the itinerary, memorize your shot list, etc. The nature of shooting an elopement is just very different from that of a session. And the pressure is much greater!

Elopements also require so much more gear: my flash, 70-200mm lens, both cameras, more SD cards, etc. If you’re a photographer and want to see more of the gear that I use, click here. My elopement couples also receive a personalized gift from me to say congratulations and thank them for choosing me to capture this big day.

The next biggest difference is that my base elopement package starts with more hours than a session. A session is 1 hour, 1 location, and no “events.” But an elopement is going to be longer, have multiple events that I’ll be capturing, location changes, and more. Since we’re shooting longer and capturing more at an elopement, this also means you’ll get more photos back in the end than you would if it was just a session. And a bonus: elopements also get sneak peeks before they receive the full gallery!

These are things that you’ve probably never thought about! But now you can see how much more goes into shooting an elopement than a session, regardless of guest count!

If you have any more questions about my elopements and sessions, fill out my contact form here and let’s chat!