I'm Kimberly, a wedding, elopement and portrait photographer based in State College, Pennsylvania and available for travel worldwide. Welcome to my blog, a collection of my photographs and thoughts that I openly share with you!






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Why Elope in Pennsylvania | COVID-19 | Kimberly Wright Photography

Planning a wedding during a global pandemic? Awesomeness!

You’re engaged! Normally you would be bursting with joy and planning your dream wedding. However, due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), you are not quite sure where to begin with the wedding planning process. Have you ever considered eloping? If not, you should hear me out! While many people might not consider Pennsylvania to be an elopement destination, I feel it is PERFECT!

Why is Pennsylvania the perfect place to elope? Because, well, who does mountains, forests and fields better than we do?! We have beautiful places right in our own back yard. We often take these places and the beauty in Pa for granted because we see it often. I know that I am guilty of not appreciating what is right in front of me. 

Think about this for a minute. Why are you getting married? Why did you say yes? Did you say yes because you wanted a huge church ceremony that lasts for over an hour? Do you want to have your reception in a massive ballroom surrounded by possibly hundreds of folks you have met maybe once? Do you dream of an open bar and an all-night party with these people? If you are truly getting married for the right reasons, that is not the main reason you said “yes” to getting married. 

Aren’t you getting married because no one makes you feel the way he does? The quirks that no one else appreciates about him except for you, and the way he hugs you from behind. You said “yes” because you have waited your entire life to meet him, and you knew from the moment you met, that he was the love of your life. If you find joy in the small things and in the simple moments, do you really need a huge wedding? 

I don’t think you need a big wedding!

Sure, big weddings are fun, and really beautiful sometimes! We are living in different times, and thus, we need to adapt. Not all change is bad. So you’re engaged in 2020 and we now have a global pandemic happening (thank you COVID-19!) As if wedding planning wasn’t stressful enough, we add that to the mix!

Why you should consider elopement:

Due to the current restrictions on social distancing and mass gatherings, planning a big wedding might not be in the cards right now. 

Unfortunately, right now there are restrictions put in place by Governor Tom Wolf that are making big weddings seem like a thing of the not so distant past. Gatherings of less than 10 people are what we are dealing with at the time of this article, May 8, 2020, in Blair County, PA. When we move to the yellow phase, that still means that no more than 25 people can gather in the same location and all social distancing guidelines must be strictly adhered to. Until we know more, you might want to consider planning a smaller, more intimate wedding with only your closest family and friends in attendance, provided that it is safe for them to come.


Your catering bill…oh your catering bill!

Ok, so do you know the average amount a wedding couple spends on catering alone? According to an article found on The Knot’s website, the average cost is $70 per person, or roughly $9,170. Now, I am going to be the first to admit, I am a foodie and I absolutely love fine dining and world cuisine. There is actually nothing I love more than amazing food! However, think of what you could do with that money if you saved it and chose to elope instead! Would you be able to take that dream honeymoon once travel restrictions are lifted and it was safe to do so? Would you remodel your new home? The possibilities are endless with just the savings on your catering bill!


Your families from out of state/country might not be able to attend.

I am not sure about you, but I come from a family that is spread out all over the globe. My sister lives in Michigan, there is no way I could imagine getting married without her being there! Even though I am already married, the thought of my sister not being able to travel right now to be at my wedding is devastating! My husbands’ dad lives in Florida, he is an at-risk person, it is not safe for him to travel right now. Does this sound familiar? If so, you may want to consider eloping! Consider those you love and their health. If you absolutely must have them there, a small, intimate wedding of fewer than 25 people will still give you the most important people in your life there with you!


You don’t need a huge wedding to dedicate yourself for a lifetime to the man of your dreams!

What is your “why?” If you figure that out, you will know that this is 100% true. Think of the best memories you have with your fiancee. Are you surrounded by a ton of people in those memories? Or are you sitting with him at a movie theatre, coffee shop, or park laughing about everything and talking about nothing at all? If the other person is truly the most important thing in your life, being with THEM is going to be enough.

Do you really need to create a huge, expensive spectacle to say “I have spent many nights praying to meet someone exactly like you, and up until I met you, I never thought I would be meeting him, let alone being called his wife. I love you, I love all of you and I give you all of me and all I have forever.” No. You don’t need anyone to hear that except for him. I have found the most intimate and beautiful moments are the moments I spend alone with my husband. Thinking back on it all, I wish I had eloped myself. There is nothing more intimate than sharing your vows on a mountainside with just you two, the officiant, and your photographer. (Hi!)

Big weddings can lose the meaning of your ultimate “why.” It is easy to get caught up in the tangible, materialistic aspects of the wedding industry. Do you know, I actually stood inside of Hobby Lobby bawling in the ribbon aisle because they didn’t have coral ribbon without a wire in it? Yes, that is a true story! My best friend literally grabbed me by the shoulders and shook the bajesus out of me and said “GUESS WHAT?! YOU ARE STILL GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW!” Is that not crazy how those little trivial things can cause a bride so much undue stress? If I had eloped, I have a feeling that I would not have found myself bawling in Hobby Lobby like a bridezilla!

…but we really want to party with our family and friends!

I GET IT! I DO! But you can always choose to celebrate with your friends and family after you elope! Host a house warming party or a small reception at your new home later. If your house can’t accommodate the number of people you want to party with, consider asking a family member or friend to host! If you have that many people you want to celebrate with, I am sure you have plenty of options for where to have your function! Plus, you can have everyone bring a dish and not worry about catering a huge, expensive meal!

not all photographers are qualified!

I recently did a survey on social media asking what is one thing you wished someone had told you prior to getting married. The response was OVERWHELMING! 95% of the people I surveyed wished they had NOT let a family friend do their wedding photography, or that they had spent more on a professional photographer. 

When you choose to elope, because you are saving money in other areas, you really can afford the best photographer! An elopement photographer, like a wedding photographer, is a lifetime investment. READ. THAT. AGAIN! A professional elopement photographer is a LIFETIME INVESTMENT. 

Not every photographer who has created a Facebook page and Instagram profile is qualified to capture your once in a lifetime moments. You want to invest in a person who is going to capture these moments for you perfectly.

Ask them to see 3 complete weddings from start to finish, NOT an album, the actual client gallery. It is easy to hide behind social media and albums because the photographer is only choosing to show you the best images they have. However, when you see what they have delivered to 3 different clients, you will quickly notice if they should be in charge of your most important day. 

Is their style consistent in exposure and color? Are the whites blown out and too bright? Do the green trees look like Dr. Suess painted them pastel green? Are there strange angles? Awkward poses? Bad lighting? These are all things to look for when choosing which photographer to invest in. 

Find an elopement photographer you vibe with, whose style you love, and who is an actual adventurer! 

To learn more about booking your elopement with us or to schedule a consultation, please visit our weddings page!

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