Meet your

ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

“All we had to do was relax & enjoy thanks to Adventure Instead” – one of our amazing couples

We’re your…

Photographer

EXPERIENCE ADVOCATE
TRUSTED ELOPEMENT EXPERT
Location Matchmaker

Vendor Network

Adventure Buddy

Pack Mule

Cheerleader

Best Friend

We’re Maddie, Amber,
and Tori.

And we’re in this for YOU.

We bring a LOT more to the table than our photography skills: A lot of passion, a lot of experience, and a whole lot of love.

18

Years combined experience photographing elopements

40

Countries
traveled to

682,619

Miles hiked, flown and driven

We are elopement photographers, sure.

But that’s not what gets us up in the mornings.

While the photography part is fun (and we’re like, REAL GOOD at it), you are what we care about most.

  • Helping you focus on what matters most when you get married
  • Giving you the very best elopement experience possible
  • Creating the space for you to make this commitment to each other with your hearts wide open

That’s what makes this more than a job to us.

So yeah, we’ll give you some seriously incredible photos. But more importantly, we’ll provide caring, judgement-free expert guidance. We’ll form deep and meaningful relationships with you, and we’ll make you feel safe to have an authentically YOU wedding day surrounded by nature.

We Believe Elopements Matter

“The wedding industry made us feel like we had no choice.”

One of our couples said this and it broke our hearts. Because it’s true.

The big wedding industry is designed to keep you from breaking the mold and “adventuring instead.”  When you get engaged, the automatic expectation is for you to invite your family and 200 friends, with bridesmaids and groomsmen, obsess over table decor with a planner, and hire a DJ for a night of dancing.

So the choice to elope can feel scary. But that’s why you’re here.

  • You don’t accept the average, default choice.
  • You don’t let other people’s expectations determine your decisions.
  • You don’t settle for “the way things are always done.”

You want more out of life, and you want more out of your wedding experience.

And what’s more extraordinary & free-thinking than eloping?

It’s a whole day crafted around what actually matters to you. It’s a day that represents your relationship, allowing you to choose:

  • to actually have fun and enjoy every minute of the day you get married
  • to say your vows exactly as you want, unaltered by anyone else’s opinions or judgements
  • to look back on your wedding day every year on your anniversary with zero regrets

And that’s incredible. That’s heroic.

The only reason we exist is to help more couples like you make that choice. Because you do have a choice!

Meet Your
Photographer

3 individual artists, 3 areas of expertise, 1 shared goal:

to help you create a wedding day that you truly enjoy every minute of
one that you never want to end

Maddie Mae

Don’t tell anyone, but I have a bit of a rebellious streak. Since I was old enough to get on a plane, I haven’t been great at keeping my feet on the ground. I’ve traveled to 37 countries, and photographed couples in 20. I believe in a life of creativity and curiosity, as well as doing everything I can do to live outside the status quo.

I love to push the boundaries of what’s possible: that’s why I founded Adventure Instead and “helped spark the adventure elopement trend” – Forbes

Home Base:Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Specialty:2-person “honeymoon-style” elopements for travel-loving couples in international destinations, Alaska, & Hawaii
Fur Babies:Fionn (pronounced “Finn”), mini goldendoodle, and Rosie, mini bernedoodle
Current “Bucket List Elopement”:A hot-air balloon elopement in Cappadocia, Turkey
Favorite moment
of every elopement:
That moment sometime during or right after their vows, that a couple realizes, “holy crap, I just married my best friend!”
Why I do this: To create beautiful and peaceful safe spaces for you, so that just by showing up and being yourselves—you can experience a deep sense of worthiness, belonging, and unconditional love.
Client quotes:“Truly a genius in her craft and a hell of an artist.” – Olivia + Justin

Amber

True story? I’m a serial hobbyist and am always trying new things. I’ve been to circus school, taken metalsmith classes, and have jumped out of planes over 200 times–my husband and I actually met while skydiving! I absolutely love the great outdoors, especially paddle boarding, backpacking, and adventure races.

Don’t let all that excitement fool you though: I love a good night on the couch, watching Netflix while snuggling my rescue pups.

Home Base:Estes Park, Colorado, USA
Speciality: 2-person elopements, hiking elopements, and intimate weddings in the Colorado Rockies and the Southwest USA
Fur Babies:Olive & Cooper, the most loveable rescue pups
Current “Bucket List Elopement”:A backpacking elopement on the John Muir Trail.
Favorite moment
of every elopement:
The purely magical moment when the couple arrives at “their spot”. When they take in the beauty of it all, and it feels so real and exciting. It’s happening, they’re finally about to marry their best friend.
Why I do this:To create inclusive and welcoming communities that value outdoor play and fun, so that we can all find our pure excitement in life and enjoy the world around us.
Client quotes:“From the minute we spoke with her, we felt like we hired one of our best friends.” – Joe B.

Tori

The mountains have my whole heart, and the outdoors, my soul. Backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, camping on the side of a mountain: outside is when I am my absolute happiest. I have an obsession with finding the best ice cream everywhere I go (I ate a blueberry lavender ice cream cone on a farm in New Zealand a year ago and I still think about it).

Though I love a good hike to see some epic scenery, I believe travel is as much about the food, the people, and the stories as it is the setting.

Home Base:Bend, Oregon, USA
Specialty: 2-person elopements, hiking elopements, and small weddings in the Pacific Northwest (OR & WA) and California
Fur Baby:Murphy, aka happy fluff cloud, Husky Mix rescue
Current “Bucket List Elopement”:A hut to hut backpacking elopement through Alaska!
Favorite moment
of every elopement:
When my couple sees “their spot” for the first time. The one where they will plant their feet and say their vows to each other.
Why I do this:To create high quality, meaningful outdoor experiences by prioritizing deep connections and guiding without judgement, so that you feel valued as your authentic selves.
Client quotes:“Just seriously the sweetest lil badass you’ve ever met.” – Sami E.

Fun Fact:

we all Adventure’d Instead for
our weddings. We all eloped! 

Amber’s was next to a lake, Maddie’s was in Peru, and Tori’s was on a snow-covered
mountain. The days were perfect because they felt like us, just like yours will.

Having us at your wedding day means you get a best friend, cheerleading you and
making you feel freaking awesome (because you are) so that we can capture you
at your best—having the genuinely best time of your life.

What it’s like to Adventure
Instead with us:

Five star rated     150+ Reviews

Read more on:

What makes us Different

6 Ways We Stand Out

We are all ordained officiants—we can sign your marriage license (in most U.S. states) so you can keep your elopement as intimate as possible.

We are all lifelong outdoor adventurers and CPR/First-Aid certified. You can trust that we’re experienced & prepared!

The environment matters to us. We source eco-friendly products and ensure our business is sustainable at every level.

We practice & educate about Leave No Trace principles for all our elopements and donate a percentage of proceeds to protecting public lands!

We believe love is love is love. Without hesitation, pause, or question, we will document an elopement for any two humans in love.

When you hire us, you’re supporting a proudly women-owned and operated small business.

What does
“Adventure
Instead” Mean?

Ad·ven·ture
In·stead

/adˈven(t)SHər inˈsted/ Verb

  • … to question the well-worn path … and forge your own.
  • … to make brave choices … because you know they’re the best ones for you.
  •  … to have a wedding day that’s all about you … because you choose each other over everything.

Where to Next?

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Photos

Elopement
Packages + Pricing

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