Business + Marketing

The E-Mail Wedding Photographers Should Send Their Couples

May 28, 2020

By Brandon Fox

© The Foxes Photography

As elopement photographers, we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries lately from couples who have canceled their summer 2020 weddings (for obvious reasons we all know about) and decided to elope instead. This got us thinking: Every email inquiry we receive from one of these couples as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic means that somewhere, a wedding photographer got canceled on. And that sucks. As much as we love the new business opportunities, we hate the idea of so many wedding photographers losing out on that income this year. 

The solution? If you have weddings on the books that may be downsized, postponed or canceled, reach out to your couples first. While it might be obvious to you that you’d love to photograph an elopement in place of a wedding, how do your couples know that? You’ve got to tell them! 

This is a great opportunity to become the elopement photographer your couples need. Right now, couples are researching how they can still get married this year during the pandemic, which means they’re finding lots of beautiful elopement inspo. And they’re coming across all these dedicated elopement photographers’ websites, people who know what it takes to photograph adventurous elopements, and they’re thinking, I should reach out to one of these people, without even considering that you could help them have an awesome elopement. 

This one simple e-mail could be the difference between lost income and new, amazing portfolio work that will boost your business.

It’s a win-win: The couple feels a sense of relief that their photographer has their back, and you get to dip your toes into elopements. If you’re a wedding photographer who’s been wanting to get into elopements, this is the perfect year to do it.

Now if you’re thinking, but I’ve never shot an elopement before, how will they trust me?, remember this one very important thing: They hired you in the first place because they love your work! They’ll be stoked to hear that you can help them elope, even if it’s your first elopement. There are tons of great resources out there to help you learn how to put together an awesome day. We’ve included some helpful links at the end of the article that you can check out to build that elopement-planning confidence. 

When you’re typing up this e-mail, here are a few important things to address:

1. They can still have the party later!

A majority of our elopement couples plan a reception for all of their would-be guests at a later point after the elopement. It’s the best of both worlds: They get to have an intimate and stress-free wedding day and a party to celebrate with their friends and family.

2. They might be able to still use their vendors for the elopement, which could save them money.

Instead of losing deposits or paying rescheduling fees, couples can reach out to their vendors to see what they could do for an elopement setting.

3. You are the expert they can trust.

Let them know that you can help them find a beautiful location and plan out the day. They’ll breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that the planning isn’t all on them.

So what does this email look like?

Keep it simple and straightforward. You’re just letting your couples know about a great alternative to canceling or postponing in case they’ve been struggling to decide what to do. It might look something like this:

Hey [couple]!

Hope you two have been holding up alright and staying well during these crazy times. I can imagine how stressful it’s been trying to navigate planning a wedding on top of everything! I just wanted to check in with you two and see where your heads are at with the wedding. If you want to move forward as planned, or reschedule for next year, I’m still your gal/guy and can’t wait for the big day!

However, if you two are looking at other options, I just wanted to share an idea with you that a lot of couples are considering right now: eloping! It could be a perfect solution that could save you two some money, get you married this year, and we can still make it a really fun and memorable experience.

If you aren’t familiar with elopements, it doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the courthouse or a Vegas chapel 😉 We could go somewhere beautiful and still incorporate lots of the same elements from your wedding. The day could start with a magical first look, followed by an intimate ceremony with a view, and a little celebratory picnic afterwards with cake and Champagne. And then we could end the evening with a bunch of gorgeous photos during golden hour. 

You can still include your most important guests into the day if you want to, as long as our group number is allowed to gather. Lots of couples still plan to have the big reception party at a later date too, so once things are more back to normal, you can just worry about planning a fun party instead of the whole wedding. Some of the vendors you already booked might love the opportunity to do something for your elopement too, which might save some rescheduling fees and headaches. And I can help you find a beautiful location and plan an awesome day.

Totally understand if you want to stick with your original wedding plans too. Just wanted to throw out an idea you might not have considered. Let me know if this is something you want to look into! 

Okay, so you’ve reached out to your couples and you find out one of them wants to elope with you! Now what? Time to learn a bit about planning and photographing elopements. I’ll wrap things up with a couple helpful articles from our elopement photography education site, From the Foxes.

1. How to Pivot Your Photography Business to Elopements: This is part 2 of this article and definitely worth a read.

2. How to Become an Elopement Photographer: This article is full of info about what it takes to be a great elopement photographer and planner for your couples.

Good luck!

Brandon and Gabi Fox run The Foxes Photography, specializing in adventure elopements, and From the Foxes, a website dedicated to elopement photography education.