Jessica Husted Photography travels the world for small, but adventurous elopements and intimate destination weddings. With her expertise we’ll be chatting about destination mistakes couples often overlook and tricks to plan for dreamy sunset photos.
Q: What mistakes do couples often make while planning destination elopements?
The biggest mistake couple make is assuming that elopements are cheaper! With so many travel costs, permits and investing in your favorite vendors it all adds up quickly.
Permits and guest passes are very important and should not be taken lightly! It’s important to not only get these in advance, but to plan accordingly in case there are any park closures or restricted areas.
Another mistake couples often make is thinking that they have to use local vendors for their adventure elopements and weddings. Although the lower price may be appealing, investing in vendors you love + trust, covering their travel may reduce anxiety. If you fell in love with a photographer from Ohio, book her and fly her out! Don’t feel like you have to work with what you got… do some research and invest in the vendors and details that mean the most to you guys.
Q: How do couples find these breathtaking locations?
Jessica always suggests picking a meaningful location for the couple. Although researching an epic location is tempting, she suggests going there first to explore and making some memories to help make your vow exchange even more special. It’s always a good idea to plan an extra day or more time for exploring a new location before shooting, too! This way you all have more time to scope out the best locations BEFORE your shoot.
While you are searching for locations and utilizing hashtags, consider reaching out to the photographers that created those images. Some are private and prefer not to share their location secrets, but MANY are happy to share directions.
Google Earth and All Trails are great apps to explore right from your living room! Geotags are also a good choice, however because of the use of this tool many locations are over saturated and often don’t allow visitors for photos anymore!
Jessica mentions that the BEST way to explore is the old school boots to ground method! Get out, hike and explore!
Jessica also adds that often times brides dismiss these adventure shoots because they look like they require a tough hike! That’s not always the case. A lot of these EPIC locations can be found right on the side of the road, accessed by a 4wheeler or your vehicle!
Q: What happens when you don’t get service at these locations?
Jessica typically stays with her couple for the duration of the shoot or elopement. It’s a safer bet to drive together so nobody gets lost or loses touch. Often times she’ll have her clients meet up down at the bottom of the hill or in town before the wild adventure. Plus, this gives her clients an opportunity to chat, laugh and begin the experience before the camera even comes out!
Q: What are the pros and cons of planning an elopement vs large traditional wedding?
Jessica loves both and encourages brides to truly consider their stress level before deciding one or the other. Often times couples consider the stress level while wedding planning… all the details, investments and family drama…but it’s important to put yourself first on your wedding day. Does the thought of an intimate, tiny wedding make you feel at peace or will just the thought of that create FOMO, wishing you invited all your coworkers and extended cousins? Maybe the thought of the large wedding day gives you anxiety and you would prefer an intimate and sentimental vow exchange?
There is no right answer! Elopements are no longer the “runaway bride or shot gun wedding vibe” like they have been in the distant past. Many couples are opting for the more intimate wedding experience.
Either way Jessica shares that as long as you’re marrying your person, you’ll be HAPPY! Don’t freak out about the details. If everything was stripped away, at the end of the day you’re marrying your best friend and that’s what’s most important!
Q: What are your best tips for dreamy sunset photos?
ADD THEM TO YOUR TIMELINE! Build them into your day this way you’re prepared for them. Ensure your DJ is aware and if the day plays out and you decide to keep partying instead of pausing for more photos, the time is there – instead of wishing you had more time!
The best time for sunset portraits would be right after dinner (before the sun goes down!) while your guests are still eating and enjoying dinner. They won’t even notice you guys escaped!
Often times our favorite photographers share tons of dreamy and warm sunset photos. If you booked them for that type of style… take their guidance and follow their timeline suggestions. We cannot control the weather, but we can try our hardest to help create to most sentimental and special memories for you two! It just takes time.
Q: What should couples pack for adventure shoots?
Leggings under your dress are always a good idea! Consider packing all of the emergency kit items you would for a normal wedding: small scissors, extra deodorant, nail polish, bandaids, nail clippers, water and snacks, etc.
Don’t forget headlamps, flashlights and hand warmers.
Jessica also suggests breaking in your hiking boots before your adventure. Blisters are never fun! It’s also a good idea to include props like a fresh bouquet or wooden signs (“Just Married”) anything that brings joy and will add an extra element to your shoot. Just remember, whatever you pack you need to carry!
TIPS + TRICKS | Jessica Husted Photography
CHARGE YOUR WORTH Jessica encourages photographers to consider charging for their services and not just offering a trade for travel and accommodations. Experienced photographers should know their worth and charge accordingly.
PACK YOUR DRESS You don’t have to hike in your dress! Many brides shove their dress in a backpack and do a quick change out in nature! The landscape will be your only witness! Consider a dress that doesn’t look wrinkled when bundled up.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND Not all adventure shoots require a long, sweaty hike! You can still take EPIC photos just steps from your air conditioned car.
Q: What’s your favorite wedding day moment?
Jessica LOVES first looks. Those special moments between the couple make her cry every time! Many of her grooms ask their brides to twirl to see the full look and that makes her melt! Also, mother/daughter moments always bring on the tears!
“I just love love!” – Jessica Husted
Thank you Jessica for taking the time to chat! You have some incredible tips and we look forward to following along with your elopement adventures!
LIVE INTERVIEW | REPLAY
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