Real Weddings

Real Wedding Collection: a Snapshot of Love

Photography by Diana V Photography & Film

There has been a distinct rise in elopements in recent times, allowing couples to walk on the wilder side of love. This shoot is a kaleidoscope of that romance, a collection of authenticity, capturing moments that few others have seen. With Diana V Photography & Film behind the camera, these snapshots are an honest reflection of how weddings and traditions have altered over the years. — Have elopements been more common since the pandemic? "Definitely!" she told us. "Quite a few people who have had to postpone their wedding once or twice just got fed up with waiting and constantly replanning their day, so they gave up on the big wedding and just went small. I think it made people ponder what's really important to them, and for many couples that was to be married, rather than having a big party. I had several couples who were relieved not to have this huge event where they would be the centre of attention. They felt that the smaller wedding with just their closest family members, and perhaps a few friends, was more "them" and they felt far more comfortable with their day." — What is the "vibe" or "atmosphere" at elopements in comparison to more traditional weddings? "I find that intimate weddings are often so much more emotional than a big event," Diana shared. "When you have over a hundred people watching you, the nerves can easily take over. When it's only a handful of your closest family - or possibly no guests at all - you can focus much more on what you are saying to each other and what it all means. Elopements also tend to be much more relaxed. You don't need a strict timeline; you can play things by ear a bit more and see what you fancy doing on the day. It takes a lot of pressure off." — Do you have a particular preference for shooting one or the other? "I really love both, so I wouldn't want to shoot just one or the other. I love the intimate nature of elopements, the relaxed vibe and slower pace. I have bonded more with my elopement couples than I usually do with bigger weddings, as we have more time together and are not rushing around so much. At the same time, I love the buzz of big weddings and photographing all the different elements of a day, like the details and candid shots of guests having fun, etc. There's more variety in terms of photography when shooting a bigger wedding, which I really enjoy too." — What are your favourite aspects of elopements? "The relaxed atmosphere and creativity for sure," she replied. "I was based in London for most of the pandemic, and the only weddings allowed were ones held in official registry offices, and these aren't always in the most scenic locations. Couples would really worry about where we can go for photos without having to travel for miles. I loved the challenge of that. I would arrive about an hour early and just walk around the streets and pick cool backdrops for their photos. And there is so much to get creative with, even in the direst locations. It's actually more fun than arriving at a wedding venue where everything is set up perfectly for photos, and my couples always enjoy that bit of adventure element of going off the beaten track. Plus, it means everyone's photos are always a bit different and unique." — Do you have any fascinating or fun stories to share related to any elopements you've shot? "During the pandemic, it became more common for families overseas who couldn't attend in person to watch the wedding ceremony via Zoom. During one elopement, the couple invited their families to join them online and expected around ten to fifteen people. Little did they know that their parents had sent on the Zoom link to everyone they knew, and they ended up having over one hundred and twenty virtual guests during their ceremony!" — Why do you think elopements are becoming more common today? "There's the pandemic, of course, putting certain restrictions on people's plans. However, in general, people are more and more interested in having a day that suits their personalities and style, rather than following the traditional wedding template. Doing something completely different, like eloping, gives couples much more freedom to do what's really important to them, and I think that's brilliant. I believe as wedding vendors, we can also adapt to that and be more flexible in what we offer." — Do you have any advice for couples looking to elope? "The great thing with elopements is that they are so much less formulated than big weddings. There's no template, and you can literally shape your day exactly the way you want, so I would fully embrace that," Diana said. "I also think it's really important to pick a photographer (and videographer, if you want one) that you're really comfortable with. When I shoot tiny weddings, I am very aware of how much I am part of the day. When there are only four or five guests, I can't blend into the background as I do with a bigger wedding, and I always make extra sure that my couples feel comfortable and are having a fantastic time. For me, this is a real privilege, and I would make sure you choose someone that you feel really relaxed with and who recognises the importance of your day.” Diana V Photography & Film is based between the UK and New Zealand. She’ll be back in Auckland between October 2021 and March 2022, and still has a few dates available for this summer.

Thanks to all the contributing vendors:

Photography: Diana V Photography & Film