INTIMATE & ADVENTUROUS ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY THATS ABOUT YOU!

Asheville + Western North Carolina + Travel Destinations!

ELOPEMENT TESTIMONIALS

ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY IN ASHEVILLE:
More Than Just Photographs

Eloping provides the ultimate freedom. The freedom to get married exactly how you want, at the venue you want. The freedom to create an experience that is relaxed, fun, and represents your relationship. The freedom from worrying about pleasing guests and following traditions.

You’ve chosen who you will spend the rest of your life with. Now you get to choose how to celebrate with the elopement experience of your dreams and breathtaking photographs that capture your true love.

ASHEVILLE ELOPEMENT GALLERY

HOW TO GET STARTED

To make the photos custom and special, I need to connect with my clients, so we’ll get to know each other well before the big day. By the time I show up for your elopement, it’ll feel like you’re seeing an old friend!

Whats working with me like?

First, we start with a fun conversation. I want to know who the important people are in your life, and why they are important. I want to learn what passions you have, and how that has helped create the person you are right now. My goal is to capture your best possible self.  I want you to see that in each photograph. Get ready. You may learn some more things about me!

People and families are what give me drive.  I find passions that I have now, because of others. Humans are curious, and want to understand people’s unique point of view. That mentality drives my creativity, and the better I know you, the better I capture you.

 

THE PROCESS AND WHAT TO EXPECT

Start with a conversation

First and foremost, capturing what makes your relationship so special is all about getting to know who you are as a couple. I want to hear about your ideas, preferences, concerns, and why you’re excited!

The Elopement

This is the fun part! By the time your big day arrives, we will have had so many exchanges everything will be planned out. There won’t be any surprises and things run smoothly. Your elopement in the Western North Carolina Mountains will be everything you dreamt of, with your amazing portraits to immortalize the experience.

Hi Resolution Online Personal Gallery

After editing and curating a gorgeous collection of photos that perfectly capture the highlights of the day, all will be available online so that you can have them printed wherever and however you like.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ELOPEMENT PACKAGES

Because my imagery is more than a wedding photographer taking an image,  I make a point to talk with each of you in depth a few times leading up to your day. Even your parents if possible, a month or so before your date to get to know you better and build that trust.  By elopement day,  we will feel like old friends when we meet in person.

If you have any other questions about how my elopements work, feel free to check out the FAQ tab above on the navigation bar, or click here: FAQ’s on Photography

CONTACT US

Imagery That is About You!

Tell me a little about you! What’s most important to you, who is most important to you, what plans you’ve made for your wedding already – really anything that you would like to share to get us started.

Simply fill out the contact form below to check if I have your date available then we can set up a time to meet and see if we’re a good fit! If you don’t hear back from me within 24 hours please call 305-896-6314 or send me an email at info@michaelfreas.com

 
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What is an Elopement?

Sure, the technical definition of eloping is “running away secretly to get married”. And for a long time, an elopement was considered just that: a secret wedding, simply slipping away and getting married privately, without inviting friends and family to witness the ceremony. In reality, however, an elopement doesn’t have to be secretive or lonely—nor does it have to mean that you miss out on anything or look back and think “we should have…”

An elopement—especially an adventure elopement—is focused on making your wedding exactly the way you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be a spur-of-the-moment affair or something that feels thrown together. In fact, an elopement wedding could be the first grand adventure that you take with your spouse—and the perfect opportunity for you to make your wedding exactly what you want it to be.

In a traditional wedding, being surrounded by dozens or even hundreds of guests can make some can feel pressured to adhere to old traditions or do things just because of others’ expectations, like parents, siblings, and friends. However, with an elopement, especially an adventure elopement, the day and choices are all about you!

With an elopement, you have the opportunity to do whatever you and your spouse dream of. Do you want the long white dress, or maybe something short and chic? Either way, it’s up to you and only you. Want an Asheville Blue Ridge Mountain destination wedding (or another destination!)? You don’t have to worry about the budgets of guests when you elope since you it’s just you and maybe a few others. With an elopement, you truly get to choose your own adventure – with just the two of you or inviting a few of your closest friends and family, you have the adventure wedding experience of your dreams.

What’s The Difference Between an Elopement and a Wedding?

The main difference between an elopement and a traditional wedding is simple: the size of the guest list. That simple difference leads to a lot of differences for things like price, catering, the venue, planning, expectations, and not surprisingly – stress levels.  However, as far as your Asheville elopement photographer (me!) is concerned, there are no big differences between an elopement and a wedding. What I do is capture your amazing day no matter the size, and make it everything you’ve always dreamt of. I provide you with incredible photographs that preserve organic the organic moments and experiences of the day.

As mentioned, the size of a wedding is the main factor when it comes to price. As of 2020, traditional weddings cost an average of $33,900. Elopements, on the other hand, have a minimal guest list (or none) so couples can splurge on the important things like location, food, and photography, while still paying less than half of a traditional wedding!

Price

As mentioned, the size of a wedding is the main factor when it comes to price. As of 2020, traditional weddings cost an average of $33,900. Elopements, on the other hand, have a minimal guest list (or none) so couples can splurge on the important things like location, food, and photography, while still paying less than half of a traditional wedding!

Intimacy vs. Being on Display

While this probably isn’t much of a surprise, elopements are definitely more intimate. Many of my clients talk about how they don’t like being the center of attention and don’t want to feel like they’re being put on display. Choosing an elopement means choosing yourselves, your preferences, and your comfort over being in front of a bunch of people (167 on average!). Elopements put a premium on intimacy, so if that’s more up your alley eloping may be the right choice for you.

The Focus is on Your Experience Not the Guest Experience

During a traditional wedding, much of the focus is on the guest’s experience, as opposed to the couple.  A lot of time is dedicated to things such as cocktail hour, speeches, family photos, toasts, the bouquet toss, and of course spending so much time thanking guests for coming you often don’t get to eat or enjoy the reception. There’s so much going on with guests, many couples say everything was a  blur and went by too fast! Elopements provide a counter by keeping the focus on the couple – your ceremony, your photos, your adventure. It is up to you how to spend the day, and the focus is on your Asheville elopement experience and photographing your day!

Flexibility & Customization

Because there are no or very few guests, you have much greater flexibility and freedom in how you set up your day.  You can truly customize the schedule to your liking and do things a traditional wedding wouldn’t allow, such as having your ceremony at dawn, hiking to multiple locations for dramatic scenery in your photos, taking your time getting ready, and even making some decisions on the fly.

Less Drama & Stress

Let’s be honest, as great as traditional weddings are, they may not be the best fit if you want to avoid drama and conflict during your wedding. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be some drama at a wedding, from standard stuff like family arguments or vendors not doing things correctly to rarities like a scrap after the alcohol is served.  However, the couples I work with are so happy with each other that drama isn’t even a consideration. They don’t need to worry about family or friends with “strong personalities” making things difficult – they get to focus on themselves and what they want virtually worry-free!

Adventure!

If you’ve found this page while searching for something like “best Asheville elopement photographer” it’s likely you have an adventurous spirit and love the outdoors. I know I do, which is why I love living and photographing weddings here.

It’s all too easy to get bogged down with the monotony of everyday life (wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat) and forget that we deserve to have fun. Eloping (especially in a place like Asheville!) is a way to emphasize the fun and free aspects of marriage. Don’t get me wrong, traditional weddings are also a great way to have fun, especially if you like big parties, but along with that big party comes a lot of stress and months of planning. On the other hand, Asheville elopements are just plain fun without all the “extra.”

In short: eloping in Asheville is a great way to keep stress low while customizing the day exactly as you like it and experiencing the beautiful Smoky Mountains and the one-of-a-kind pictures they create.

Newlyweds embracing in an open field at fort zachary taylor

What Does an Asheville Elopement Ceremony Look Like?

When it comes to elopement, you have the freedom to make your ceremony look like whatever you want! Make the choices that reflect you and your spouse the best so that you can create the wedding ceremony of your personal dreams.

Your Vows

Your vows are one of the most important moments in your ceremony. They give you the chance to share what you love most about your spouse and what makes your connection so special. Writing those vows is an incredibly personal experience.

Are you feeling stressed about your vows? Try this simple hint: instead of trying to write them out all at once in a single evening, try working on them over a period of several weeks leading up to your wedding. Write down the things you love most about your partner or the special moments that you love. Make notes about those amazing, precious moments. Jot things down on your phone or in a journal. Then, when you’re ready, put together personalized vows that truly reflect who you are—with less pressure to come up with things in the moment.

The Officiant

When it comes to hiring an officiant, there are three options to choose from. You can choose to hire an officiant, which is a great solution for many couples. In fact, there are plenty of officiants out there who focus on adventurous elopements! Their expertise can help your ceremony flow more smoothly and ensure that you don’t miss anything on your big day.

Many people, however, prefer option two for an intimate ceremony: bringing in a friend or family member to officiate that special day. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your ceremony and keep it more private.

Finally, check out the regulations in your chosen state. In some states, you can choose to get married without an official officiant—or you may choose to have the official “wedding” at a courthouse, then bring the real ceremony—the one that matters to you—to the location of your choice.

Do You Have Guests?

Your guests may slightly alter the way you choose to have your elopement ceremony. If you’re having an entirely private ceremony, for example, you may want to focus heavily on the private moments between the two of you: the vow exchange, the ring exchange, the first kiss. Maybe you want a walk down the aisle or “first look” moment so you and your partner can fully soak up the moment. Additionally, if you’re going to have a few guests at your ceremony, you may want to share a story about your relationship with your guests: a silly or sentimental story that explains why you are so precious to one another and what you’ve accomplished by coming together on your special day.

Want to loop your guests into the ceremony? Have them pronounce you married in order to add a special touch to your day!

After Your Asheville Elopement Ceremony

If you don’t have guests at your ceremony, you may want to take a few minutes to take it all in. This is the perfect time to connect with your partner as a spouse for the first time. Look around and soak in the scenery. Hold each other close. Connect with one another. Share a special, private moment. This time not only makes for some of the best memories, but it also helps create amazing photos for you and your partner to cherish.

If you have any guests, post-ceremony is a great time to bring everyone in for a hug, celebrate with one another, and take some shots of everyone!

Why Should We Elope in Asheville?

Generally, couples who want to elope choose it for one key reason: they want to have an intimate, intentional experience that is just for them. Is elopement the right choice for you? Here are a few key questions to help you decide:

  • Do you want an intimate experience: one that is just between you and your spouse, and perhaps the close friends and family members that you really want with you on your special day?
  • Do you want more time to take in the special moments and memories, instead of having to worry about what everyone else wants?
  • Do you want to shake off traditions you find unimportant or and reduce stress levels?

If these are appealing to you, then an elopement might just be the perfect choice for you—and it could be the best way to make your special day even more amazing. Make it uniquely you, whether you want to hike to the top of a mountain or dance the night away with the one you love most.

WHAT IS IN A PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE?

My style in “my words” is artistic journalism.  To most it’s called “candids” or “real moments.”

I started in photojournalism in high school and a few free papers in my late 20’s early 30’s. I use that same vision to photograph your wedding day as it unfolds naturally without interference. I add artistic elements to what I document and put a lot of energy and time into creative portraits of the two of you. I also like to be on the dance floor!

YOUR STORY

I’ll reproduce the smiles, laugh, and tears of this emotional day through photographs you can cherish for a lifetime.

I’m not here to just take photos. I’m also here to relieve stress so you can have fun and feel comfortable in front of the camera. You can rest easy knowing my lens will catch all the organic, intimate moments between you and your partner, freezing them in time for you to relive for the rest of your lives.

OUTDOOR ELOPEMENTS IN ASHEVILLE

I am lucky enough to say that I grew up in the Western North Carolina mountains, so it’s a privilege and an honor to capture elopements in a place that means so much to me. The mountains provide an opportunity to have an elopement that is truly stunning.

Bride and groom walking through tall wild grass in Asheville NC
brides veil blowing in the wind

Want to have the sunrise in the background for a dramatic skyline shot?

I’ll bring the coffee.

Prefer to hike to the top of a snow-covered mountain for a striking winter landscape?

I know the trails.

Dream of being surrounded by the burning colors of Autumn with trees covered in red, yellow, and orange?

I know just the place.

Whether you want your adventure to include mountaintops or waterfalls, stars or sunset and sunrise…
…your elopement photos should represent your journey finding true love.

And that’s exactly the story I’ll photograph. No conventional, canned, unremarkable photos. As you look at your portraits for years to come, I want them to help you relive the experience. The feel of the wind, the aroma of the pine trees, your partner’s embrace – That is what I provide – not just photos, but a moment frozen in time.

YOUR ASHEVILLE VISION & VENUE

To plan and execute your perfect elopement photos, we’ll need to talk about what that looks like to you. By getting to know you and your inspiration, I’ll create photos that showcase your authentic love story.

If you have a venue or location picked out that’s great! But if you’re unsure and would like to ask about different venues or outdoor location ideas, I’m here to help. I’ve gathered some of the most popular venues and locations and grouped them by theme. You can also rent out an Airbnb or cabin for an intimate elopement without having to leave the house!

WHAT IS IN A PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE?

My style in “my words” is artistic journalism.  To most it’s called “candids” or “real moments.”

I started in photojournalism in high school and a few free papers in my late 20’s early 30’s. I use that same vision to photograph your wedding day as it unfolds naturally without interference. I add artistic elements to what I document and put a lot of energy and time into creative portraits of the two of you. I also like to be on the dance floor!

YOUR STORY

I’ll reproduce the smiles, laugh, and tears of this emotional day through photographs you can cherish for a lifetime.

I’m not here to just take photos. I’m also here to relieve stress so you can have fun and feel comfortable in front of the camera. You can rest easy knowing my lens will catch all the organic, intimate moments between you and your partner, freezing them in time for you to relive for the rest of your lives.

OUTDOOR ELOPEMENTS IN ASHEVILLE

I am lucky enough to say that I grew up in the Western North Carolina mountains, so it’s a privilege and an honor to capture elopements in a place that means so much to me. The mountains provide an opportunity to have an elopement that is truly stunning.

Bride and groom walking through tall wild grass in Asheville NC
brides veil blowing in the wind

Want to have the sunrise in the background for a dramatic skyline shot?

I’ll bring the coffee.

Prefer to hike to the top of a snow-covered mountain for a striking winter landscape?

I know the trails.

Dream of being surrounded by the burning colors of Autumn with trees covered in red, yellow, and orange?

I know just the place.

Whether you want your adventure to include mountaintops or waterfalls, stars or sunset and sunrise…
…your elopement photos should represent your journey finding true love.

And that’s exactly the story I’ll photograph. No conventional, canned, unremarkable photos. As you look at your portraits for years to come, I want them to help you relive the experience. The feel of the wind, the aroma of the pine trees, your partner’s embrace – That is what I provide – not just photos, but a moment frozen in time.

YOUR ASHEVILLE VISION & VENUE

To plan and execute your perfect elopement photos, we’ll need to talk about what that looks like to you. By getting to know you and your inspiration, I’ll create photos that showcase your authentic love story.

If you have a venue or location picked out that’s great! But if you’re unsure and would like to ask about different venues or outdoor location ideas, I’m here to help. I’ve gathered some of the most popular venues and locations and grouped them by theme. You can also rent out an Airbnb or cabin for an intimate elopement without having to leave the house!

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