A new life for elopements

words by Emily Bailey // photography Christina Karst

Eloping used to mean running to the courthouse or catching a plane to Vegas. It was always assumed the decision to elope was on a whim. But over the years couples have embraced the choice and given it a new, sophisticated life.

“Committing yourself to another person for the rest of your life is potentially the biggest decision you’ll ever make. So, choosing to run away with them and make the day truly about just the two of you and your commitment to each other isn’t a bad way to kick off a life together,” says photographer Christina Karst, who has traveled around the world to capture elopements for Jacksonville couples.

“For me, shooting any wedding is all about documenting the relationship between my clients. An elopement allows me to get a closer look at that relationship,” says Karst. “You aren’t focused on everything else that goes into a traditional wedding. You’re out of your box, it’s just you and your partner discovering someplace new. Isn’t that what marriage is all about anyway?”

If choosing to elope some place beyond home borders there are a few things to consider: know which municipality your location lies within and where to get a marriage license in the area; book everything needed—and anything wanted (just because there’s not a crowd of hundreds doesn’t mean you can’t have your makeup and hair done); hire a photographer that will trek with you to the spot; and don’t forget about friends and family. Just because they won’t be there for the actual moment doesn’t mean they should be completely left out. Wedding announcements will always be appreciated. The actual day of the wedding, though, is all about you and your loved one.

“There’s something very special about knowing in that moment there’s nothing else that matters except for you two. You truly get to focus on making yourselves happy instead of worrying about what everyone else wants. Because in the end, you’re celebrating your love, and you truly get to soak in every moment,” says Cesiney Sapin, a Jacksonville native who recently eloped in Greece (pictured above).


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