The wedding world is changing.

Millennial and Gen Z couples are saying “fuck the rules” and getting married their way, not the way our society is conditioned to think is “right.” More and more people are choosing to elope, and intimate weddings are becoming hella popular too. Obviously I support whatever you and bae choose, but let me throw another option into the mix – a hybrid elopement. 

What is a hybrid elopement?

I’m not really sure if this is an actual term or just a Kenzie term, but I’m going to be like Gretchen in Mean Girls and make it happen. A hybrid elopement is a two-day celebration to get the best of both worlds when getting married. Or at least that’s how I’ve been describing it to my couples. Choosing between an elopement alone or an intimate wedding with family and friends can be freakin hard. I get it. Your friends and family can be important to you, which is why hybrid elopements are *chef’s kiss*. Don’t let the elopement industry make you think otherwise.

Just because that’s my definition doesn’t mean it has to be yours though. Maybe you want the best of both worlds in one day – cool, let’s do it! Or maybe you want some breathing room in between and your two days are going to be months apart – sick, I’m on board! Whatever you decide, a hybrid elopement can make your day exactly the way you want it.

How does a hybrid elopement work?

Again, it’s all about what you and bae want and what’s important to you. With my couples, I’ve seen hybrid elopements play out in a couple different ways.

If you’re doing an out-of-state elopement and bringing friends and family with you, it may work best for everyone’s schedules to have a hybrid elopement in one day. Realistically, this would be having a small, intimate ceremony with your loved ones, saying vows, sealing it with a kiss, and then going off on your own for some intentional time, just the two of you. Maybe we escape into the mountains for more private, personal versions of your vows. Maybe we go get Taco Bell and take fun pictures with your Crunchwrap. Maybe you go back to a private Airbnb and celebrate with yummy dessert or hot tub hangs. It can be whatever you want, but it all happens on the same day.

If that sounds like too much excitement for one day, we can plan something more spaced out. I’ve had couples fly out to Colorado with their friends and family for a simple ceremony and share vows in front of the people who mean the most to them. Then later that same day they all celebrate together with a catered meal or go out to a nice restaurant (I’ve got great recs for both, boo). While spending all that time with friends and fam, I still make sure my couples have intentional time alone too, whether it’s getting ready in the same space or sneaking away for some photos. Once their family celebration day is over, the next day, or even the next month, it will just be me, you, and bae for your private elopement. The best of both worlds!

Why should I have a hybrid elopement?

You should have a hybrid elopement if:

  • You want to honor your family, but also want your own adventure
  • You value your intimate time together, but can’t picture getting married without your parents there
  • You’re torn between an elopement vs. an intimate wedding

Can you elope and have a wedding? The answer is yes – it’s a hybrid elopement. Remember, marrying the person that will be your bestie for life is a big decision. It’s YOUR decision. So do it how you want to do it – I’ll be there to capture the memories. It may seem like a super simple concept, but it’s not something I hear much about in the elopement industry. So let me shout it from the rooftops.


"Hiring McKenzie to photograph our wedding was single-handedly the best decision we made when planning our wedding. Wedding planning and vendor research was so stressful, and once we had Kenzie, she stepped in as support and helped us with narrowing down things that were important to us and to figure out what we really wanted.  wish we could get married over and over again just to recreate these and work with Kenzie again! "

Nadia + Daniel

"You will not find another wedding photographer who has the McKenzie signature style- she can capture the absolute beauty of the area and people all at once. She can shoot in a variety of settings and lightings and the photos are all gorgeous. One of the main reasons we booked McKenzie was the fact that she showcases a diverse clientele and finds beauty in all beings- something not all photographers can say.As a plus size bride who was extremely worried about looking back at my wedding pictures with dread that I wouldn't look like those gorgeous girlies on Instagram- this meant so much to me. "

Sydnie + Nathan

"When we got engaged, we searched near and far for an elopement photographer - & we met with several different photographers but none felt right until we met McKenzie. My husband, my dog and I are avid hikers - we wanted a beautiful hike and view, but it was also very important that we could be our authentic selves and intimately celebrate our 10 years together in the way we wanted. I'll be honest, I was shy about wanting to elope (ya know, family opinions and such), but McKenzie made us feel so comfortable in our decision. She wholeheartedly welcomed us being.. us! We couldn't have asked for more."

Maranda + Sam