I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here!  Here, you'll find inspirational stories of clients, my journey as a wife and first-time mother and other adventures I have that makes my world go 'round. So please, sit back, grab some coffee ( or my personal favorite, a good ol' fashioned Arnold Palmer!) and enjoy exploring my latest work! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

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City Hall Weddings, Destination Elopements, Destination Photography, Elopements, TeamHarris, The Wives Club, Wedding, Wedding Wednesdays

November 13, 2015


When Ethan and I first talked about eloping, let me tell you…I was NOT on board. I really had to pray about it. As I reflected on this past year and all the things I’ve learned since, looking back on it,  it was the best decision I had ever made and even made our bigger celebration a LOT less stressful. If you’re a beautifully engaged woman and you are thinking about eloping, trust me, it’s more than just simply getting an official piece of paper. Here are a few things you should probably take into consideration:

How do you see yourself getting married? 

Do you want to be surrounded by the sounds of the ocean or do you prefer trees and mountaintops? Elopements aren’t limited to just courthouses anymore. Nowadays, an intimate wedding can pretty much be done any and everywhere. So take some time to really decide what you and your hubby want your elopement to look like. And once you’ve decided on a location, make sure you get as much information as you can about what you will need in order to ensure everything goes smoothly. Things to consider include:

  • Cost: How much are wedding fees? If you’re planning a destination elopement, how much is the cost of travel?
  • Residency: Is there a minimum residency requirement for a legal marriage?
  • Legal Requirements: What documents must be presented for a legal marriage? Are witnesses required? Is a blood test necessary? Is there a waiting period?
  • Officiant: If you have a friend who you want to officiate your wedding, are they allowed to perform your wedding in the state you’re getting married?

Eloping in Alaska was cool…(ALL puns intended) and after experiencing the ease of our own elopement, I now see why it’s such a popular place to elope. There was still some research that needed to be done, but after getting our questions answered and ensuring we were able to have the elements we wanted available to us, it became an even easier process.


Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer


Do you want the special moment documented?

When Ethan and I eloped, there was no audience.  It was intimate and it really allowed us to focus on the two most important people: ourselves. Because of this, it was really important to me to document the day.Who says that if you’re going to elope, that it can’t be documented? This is why I love photographing elopements. There’s something so special about being able to tell this story to your friends, family and future children and not just tell them the story, but to SHOW them as well. I cherish the images taken on that day. They are absolutely priceless and to be honest, I may be a little biased, but it’s my favorite elopement I’ve ever shot. If you plan to elope, make sure you think about how your day will be remembered, not just for you, but for those who couldn’t be there as well.

Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer

Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer

Be prepared for strong reactions from others.

The thought of upsetting close friends and family is probably what holds most people back from eloping.  No matter how much you try to anticipate how people will react, there is no preparing for what will actually happen.  Some people may surprise you with their reactions, for others it may be better or worse than expected. But you must realize that regardless of the reaction you get, that is their decision, much like eloping is yours.  Ethan and I decided to elope because we loved each other and didn’t want to wait. Simple as that. Yes, we thought it through, prayed about it and had our other reasons, but we didn’t feel the need to explain it to anyone, plead our case, or back out of it because of what other people may think. Acknowledge the feelings of the hurt party and realize it may take them some time to share your joy, but don’t feel the need to justify yourself. If you’re going to elope, it’s important for you to stand in your truth and do what’s best for you two…and let everyone else’s opinion fade into the background.

Be prepared for unexpected feelings from yourself.

In the weeks after our wedding, I admit it: I was worried we had done the wrong thing. I felt slightly guilty knowing that not everyone we loved was there. Nevertheless, I got over myself and the feelings passed, especially when I realized we had done the right thing for us, even if it left some people unhappy. I knew we were planning a big celebration for later, so I didn’t allow the sadness to settle in. Instead, the sadness soon morphed into excitement. Like…holy schnikies batman: “We are married!! I am Ethan’s WIFE!!!” There may be a moment after where you feel a little guilt, but remember why you chose to got married in the first place.

Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer

To Party or To Not Party? That is the question.

After you’ve eloped, have you thought about how you will celebrate your marriage with family and friends? It doesn’t have to be anything grand, but you will have friends and family members who will be overjoyed for you two and want to celebrate your elopement!! And for those who do have hurt feelings because they missed out your wedding, having a celebration afterwards allows them to feel included and gives them an opportunity to be included and fully present with you as you celebrate your new marriage. Consider having a small gathering at your home or  a nice restaurant and if you really want to go all out, rent a reception hall, get dressed up and have a more traditional reception! Whether it’s big or small, you have the right to party!

Don’t: Downplay Your Elopement
I saved this for last because its one of THE most important things to consider!! Listen, just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean that the day isn’t special — it’s still your wedding and there is reason to be excited and celebrate. Sure, we had a wonderful marriage celebration this past August, but I became Ethan’s wife in November of 2014 and that day is the day that means the most to me. Your elopement deserves to have all the bells and whistles too! Get a special dress, a fabulous pair of shoes, a bouquet and anything else you want!! Take moments to step back and enjoy what is happening around you – smell the air, enjoy the view, focus on your new hubby…enjoy a nice glass of wine. IT’S YOUR BIG DAY!! Don’t be afraid to give it the reverence it deserves. 🙂

Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer

I can definitely understand the reservations people may have about eloping. It’s not for everyone. Eloping can mean so many different things to different people, but isn’t that the beauty of it? Eloping can mean many different things, like planning in advance to run away together and get married, or having an intimate ceremony at a local park, etc. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, what matters most is you two…taking a leap and letting your love be the star of the show. If you’re seriously thinking about eloping, take it from a woman who has been there and done that: elopements are awesome. Seriously…they are just ALL-kinds of awesome. 🙂


Alaska Elopements | Anchorage Alaska | Sachel Samone Photography | Women's Portrait and Elopement Photographer


Sachel Samone Photography | Alaska Glamour and Elopement Photographer | www.sachelsamone.com