I'm Krystal Moore, a wedding and lifestyles photographer based in Moose Jaw, SK.
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May 22, 2020
From the Saskatchewan prairies, to the Saskatchewan sand dunes, to the Saskatchewan forests, and anything in between, Saskatchewan elopements are quickly becoming a huge wedding trend for people that want to get married without the big fuss of a wedding day.
“AN ELOPEMENT IS AN INTENTIONALLY SMALL, INTIMATE, MEANINGFUL, AND AUTHENTIC WEDDING EXPERIENCE THAT IS A TRUE REFLECTION OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WHERE THE FOCUS OF THE DAY IS REALLY ABOUT YOU TWO. An elopement is about stripping away every ounce of pressure, anxiety, or obligation that has ever tried to weigh you down. An elopement grants you the absolute freedom to commit your life to your partner however and wherever you choose.” Adventure Instead Elopement Photographers
Elopements are the perfect time to think about what you both really love. Where is your favourite place to go together? That would be a great place for your vows! Would you like to hike to your elopement ceremony location? Do you both prefer the wide open prairies or the river banks or some place else? What type of season do you both enjoy the most? What time of day do you want to get married (Golden hour is amazing for lighting!)? Are you planning on including a small group of family and friends, or will it be just you two during the ceremony? What’s your budget? Are you having an after party? All these questions you need to ask before you plan your elopement.
You might be wondering how to even elope in Saskatchewan or what you need?
Let me help ya out.
Here is what is covered in this post:
First off though, here are some amazing reasons to have an elopement! These awesome tips came from the talented @livh.photos and I couldn’t have said it any better!!
“1. You get to use nature as your backdrop. We’ve got some pretty stunning places in this world, yes, even in the prairies. Without the burden of 100+ guests, you can go wherever you want (with the right permission of course) and that’s pretty special.
2. You get brought back to the core of why you’re getting married. To spend the rest of your life with the one you love. You don’t have to please every guest. You don’t have to stand in a line for an hour hugging every single person. You don’t have to run around at your reception making sure you talk to everyone but also stay on schedule. You will have so much more time to focus on what matters, and that is YOU and your love.
3. No more fear and anxiety of reading your vows in front of 100+ people. It becomes more intimate and special. Just you and your hunny, and a few people who really matter and will actually be there for you to keep you accountable for your vows. Everyone always says they are most nervous about reading their vows, well now you don’t have to be.
4. More time to do what YOU want. You can do anything (following restrictions). What is it that you and your hunny just LOVE to do together? Maybe it’s going for a canoe ride along the river? Maybe it’s going to get ice cream cones? Maybe it’s having a picnic for lunch? Maybe it’s going hot tubbing in the morning? Enjoy the freedom and do something special to YOU!”
Whatever you chose to do, the biggest question I get from brides is how to go about planning their own elopement. Here is everything you need to know about planning your elopement in Saskatchewan.
What you need to elope in SK to make it official:
A Saskatchewan marriage license is only good for 90 days and becomes in effect the day after it is purchased. This means that you must get hitched between 1 and 90 days after the license is purchased. The fee to purchase a marriage license is $60 and you can get then from Sask jewellery stores or town administrators. Two pieces of government issued ID must be presented to the marriage license issuer. This ID can be any of the following: birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, treaty card, or citizenship or permanent resident card. Of the two pieces of government issued identification, one must be photo identification.
You will also need a marriage commissioner to make it official. Here is a link to the Government of Sk page where you can find a list of all registered marriage commissioners in SK.
You do need to have two witnesses to at your little ceremony to sign your documents. They also must be over 18 years old. Bonus, did you know, your photographer can be your witness? Yup! I would love to be one of your witnesses!
What is your Budget? Determining your budget is a major step for eloping. Even though you have more flexibility planning an elopement versus a traditional wedding, you still need to plan for this. This is the least exciting part of wedding planning, but is very important. Setting a budget helps you prepare and prioritize things on your wedding list. Once you set your budget, we then suggest making a list of things you will need to account for. (Scroll down to Vendors for an Elopement for this list.)
Depending on what you are looking for, elopements can typically range from $2,000 to $5,000. This is just an estimate, but it is definitely cheaper to elope than to have a traditional wedding.
Do you want to elope somewhere meaningful to the both of you, or do you want to travel to and explore somewhere new you both want to scratch off of your bucket list?
This is the best part of eloping because you can literally choose anywhere to exchange vows. Want to get married in a canoe on your favourite lake? Do it! Want to get married in the middle of a field? Heck yes! Want to get married in the Northern Forests? Why not?! When it’s just the two of you and someone to perform your ceremony, you can go anywhere. No permits required, but do ask for permission for going out on private land.
My advice is to have your vows take place in a spot that is very meaningful to the two of you. Or a place with a beautiful backdrop what will just make your heart go pitter-patter when you look back at the photos!
Here are some beautiful more well known places that you could go to for your elopement. (If you know of more places that I should add, let me know and I will add them to this post!) But really, any place in SK is so beautiful! (Images are not mine – taken from the internet, except for the Wascana Trails, South Saskatchewan River and White Butte Trails photos, those were taken by me.)
Wascana Trails (West of Regina)
White Butte Trails (East of Regina)
Claybank Brick Plant (South of Moose Jaw)
South Saskatchewan River Banks (South of Saskatoon)
Great Sand Hills (North of Maple Creek)
Castle Butte (South of Bengough)
La Roche Percee Provincial Historic Site (East of Estevan)
Buffalo Pound Lake (North of Moose Jaw)
The Crooked Bush (East of North Battleford)
The Boreal Trail (North of Meadow Lake)
The Lighthouse at Cochin (North of North Battelford)
I still can’t believe all these places are in Saskatchewan! Now I want to go traveling to all of these places. I am going to be putting all of these on my bucket list for sure! FIND INSPIRATION ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE.
Just make sure to leave no trace that you were ever at that location during your outdoor adventure elopement. Leave the gorgeous scenery untouched, and make sure to not travel or have your ceremony on a fragile environment.
There are some wedding vendors/items that you may want to include on your special and intimate elopement. The following are what I would recommend:
Now it is time to share your new marriage with your family and friends!! Bring your teaser photos! Have a party to celebrate! Some couples want to celebrate with their closest family and friends for a supper at a local restaurant, or a backyard bbq. Others will want to get away to the honeymoon right away. Whatever you do is right for you!
Also consider sending out elopement announcements to shout out your new relationship status for your family and friends with the sweet photos from your session!
Relive the experience over and over again! Get an album from your elopement! They are a great way to display your printed photos and to remind you of your perfect day!
Eloping means that all of the wedding day choices you have to make are yours entirely. There are no rules. You can truly make your day any adventure you want—it can be a day that reflects the two of you instead of being focused on everyone else’s needs, opinions, and expectations. So what are you waiting for?!!! Start dreaming and have the best elopement day ever!
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All images © 2021 Krystal Moore Photography