The Drawhorns

Guides

 

Elopement FAQ

We’ve gathered answers for the most common questions we get asked about all things adventure elopements.

 
 
 
This elopement couple chose a location in the mountains for their wedding. They’re perched on a rock, laughing and holding each other, looking into each other’s eyes. The groom on the left is wearing a suit with a bow tie, and the bride on the right is wearing a long dress with a veil. Behind them is a dramatic mountain, framing the couple in its sunset-lit peak.
 
 

Q: Who are you?

Hey! We're Austin and Jess, and we photograph/marry people all over Colorado and beyond.

We're vegan and love travel and helping people and food and the outdoors and movies and our adorable dog, Cooper.

More about us

Q: Do you perform/photograph LGBTQ+ weddings?

Absolutely.

Q: I'm not super comfortable in front of the camera! Or my partner isn't! What can we do? HELP!

That's totally okay! And super common (so common we wrote a guide about it). Being comfortable in front of the camera isn't something that comes naturally to most people.

To date we've never shot couples or wedding photos with models – every single one of our clients are normal folks, with normal nerves and human insecurities. We're not here to pretend that this is super easy for everyone.

But we are here to support you throughout, to provide some guidance and offer suggestions. We've got a knack for creating a space that helps folks to relax, to have some fun, and to stay true to who they are.

We're on your side and we're all gonna work together.

Q: Who do you work with?

We strive to be inclusive of all folks, period. We don't discriminate, because love is love.

That said —

Fit is really important to us! Meaning the vision and values for your wedding fit what we believe in and offer. We find that we really click with folks that:

  • Connect with the work we do

  • Love the outdoors

  • Love travel and want it to be a part of their elopement

  • Have some flexibility in their schedule, and are able to roll with things (elopements are all about rolling with things)

  • Are pretty affectionate with each other

  • Are equally engaged in the experience — elopements absolutely aren’t just for brides

  • Understand that getting married can be fun and extremely special, without needing it to be Your Special Perfect Day

  • Are into the idea of having a wedding experience centered on the two of you and what you love to do together, not stuff or performances or solely just epic pictures (though they're a bonus)

  • Might be nervous about photos, but value them, and are willing to roll with it (with help from us)

Also, we take time off to relax/travel! Which means we can't take on every client that wants to work with us. We tried this one year, and it led to some real burnout. It’s hard to say no!

If this sounds like what you’re all about, seriously reach out — we’re gonna have a great time.

Q: Where do you work? Would you be willing to travel to X location?

There are few things we enjoy more than traveling, so no matter where you are, or want to go, odds are we're in!

Q: Are you insured? Do you have backup gear?

Absolutely! We carry both business owners (general liability + equipment coverage) and professional liability coverage in addition to our backup gear.

Behind the scenes, we work hard to ensure that all bases are covered before, during, and after – and we take this part seriously.

Q: How do I get a marriage license in Colorado?

The process is easy!

We wrote a guide that'll walk you through it.

Q: What's the difference between an elopement and a wedding?

There's definitely some overlap between them, but here's how we see it:

  • Elopements are for the two of you (couple-centric). Maybe you invite some close friends or family members, but ultimately it's all about you two: where, when and how you want to marry your partner. Minimal stress/pressure/drama.

  • Weddings are generally traditional, communal celebrations of commitment in front of more family and friends (group-centric). More moving pieces, more stress.

Q: Can I bring my kids? ...my dogs?

Best answer here is maybe! We absolutely believe that no matter what form your wedding takes, everyone you want to have there should be there.

That said:

Very young kids especially have a way of forming a monopoly on attention during the ceremony and shoot – kids are cute, and we all tend to stare at them the entire time – but this brings the attention away from the two of you and onto them. And then the meltdowns start, and yeah. You’re the best judge on how they’ll do and if you want them along with you!

As for pups: some spots are more dog-friendly than others, and we can help with that. National Parks for instance tend to be pretty dog-unfriendly.

Q: Your dog Cooper is TOO MUCH. I can't take it. Can he come along?

We're right there with you, but Cooper is equal parts adorable and anxious/protective. He'll be snoozing at home. You can follow him on his hashtag though.

Q: What kind of fitness level is needed for an adventure elopement/wedding?

We can get folks of most every ability level into an epic spot for an awesome experience.

Some of our spots are get-out-of-the-car and you're there, some are short hikes, some longer treks.

Feeling winded or a little light-headed even after minimal exertion is super common at higher elevations if you're not acclimated – so we'll stay in good communication throughout. We’ll just take it slow if this happens to any of us.

Q: What's the best time of day to get married for wedding photos?

About an hour or so before sunset produces even, warm light that's great for backlit photos as well. Once the sun dips just below the horizon, the light's also super even and flattering, and we love shooting from golden hour into this sunset light.

This is generally our go-to time for shoots as it's easy enough on most folks' schedules, flattering as mentioned, and everyone’s sweating and squinting a whole lot less.

Earlybirds can catch beautiful light and interesting weather patterns (fog, etc) just before sunrise — it just takes a little extra planning (and willpower?) to be up and ready to go so early. Though it’s always worth it.

With overcast skies (which produce soft, flattering light), any time is the right time!

If photos are important to you, avoiding the hours of 10AM - 3PM is a good rule of thumb. This is when the sun is at its highest, the light generally the harshest and least flattering. Not to mention the squinting. Though if it's overcast, these times also work great!

Q: What happens if it rains on our wedding day? Or blizzards? Or hails?

We’ve absolutely come across all of these things (sometimes all on the same elopement session!) — Colorado’s weather is nuts, hard to predict, and changes quickly. It makes checking weather forecasts pretty stressful and often not all that useful (though we still do it). We're very accustomed to adapting to whatever the weather throws at us.

Day-of, we come prepared to shoot rain-snow-or-shine and our gear is weatherized — meaning these things don’t necessarily require plan deviations. We also have spare umbrellas in our car.

If it’s just too hairy out there, and especially if it’s lightning, we’ll roll with it and come up with a plan B together.

Rescheduling is always a possibility based on our availability.

Q: What happens if I get a monster zit on our wedding day?!

Monster zits, and regular zits, always seem to happen at the least opportune times. With the butterflies, potential stress, and maybe travel that go into getting married, zits are common.

Our advice: try to just ignore it the best you can.

When we edit photos, removing a zit takes literally just a second or two (per zit, per photo) – and bam, you're back to looking your best. We've got you!

Q: Can you make me look X in Photoshop?

Our editing philosophy is this: we'll help you look as you do on your best day. We don't remove things like wrinkles or curves or scars. If it’s normally a part of your body, it stays.

Between our direction during a shoot to help you look your best, nailing the most flattering light possible, and removing any blemishes that pop up (see above), you're in good hands.

Note on birth marks: we don’t remove these! They’re a part of you. We’ve gotten pretty damn good at differentiating zit from birth mark, though we’ve probably messed up a time or two.

Q: Can you suggest a florist/hair/makeup artist?

Yeah! We've got an ever-growing list of awesome vendors to recommend. Just ask!

Q: Do you have any tips for writing our wedding vows?

Sure do! They can be little stressful for a lot of folks. We wrote a guide that will help!

Q: How many images do you typically deliver, and how will we receive them?

We definitely have a quality-over-quantity mindset, because no one really wants to scroll through a thousand photos. So we trim the images down for you and deliver only the best.

On average, you can expect 125+ killer images from a 2 hr session. From a 4 hour experience, about 175+

We deliver images in gorgeous online galleries that are easy to share, download photos from, and make prints and albums from too.

Q: This all sounds great. What's the best way to reach you?

Awesome! Check out our handy contact form or shoot Jess an email if you prefer.

Can't wait to hear from you!