Have you been planning an elopement but can’t wrap your head around what it might look like if you still want your top 20 people there? Well Derek and Monica pulled off this absolutely stunning and totally minimalist beach elopement at Spanish Banks in Vancouver, BC and it was every bit as beautiful as a wedding full of fancy decor or with epic mountaintop views.

It was a hot summers day when I rolled up to the Spanish Banks West Extension area where on any given day you can witness three or four weddings happening back to back. On this particular day I arrived as Derek and his helpers were unloading chairs for their very chill and very DIY elopement. Florals from The Wildbunch sat on stumps under what I call the “marriage tree” while Monica welcomed guests and tried to keep them away from the beer in the nearby cooler.

Once the “I do’s” were done, the champagne was popped and hugs were had I whisked them into the forest for a few portraits. When we were chatting about what they wanted for their elopement portrait session Derek and Monica both specifically requested not to get too mushy in front of their families so we hid amongst the trees while their families got ready for dinner.

I hear a lot from clients that are pivoting their original big wedding plans to elopements that they feel like they’ll miss the photos of people having fun at their wedding. Well, if this teeny wedding on the beach doesn’t show you how fun an elopement can be then I don’t know what will!