The latest wedding trend involves less tradition and more dirt

Originally published on June 10th, 2019 for Dyrt Magazine.

On her wedding day, Nicole Poulos called out to her photographer, Abbi Hearne.

“Hey! Will you come to the little girl’s room with me?”

Hearne immediately headed her way to help maneuver the white dress as Poulos crouched down behind a tree. Afterwards, she headed back to her fiancé, who stood at the edge of a cliff, looking out over the sweeping landscape.

Nicole and her husband got married at Top of the World in Moab, Utah, a famous lookout point at the end of a 12-mile dirt road only accessible by 4×4. They had no guests, no first dance, no dinner, and no toasts. Just them, two photographers, and an officiate, surrounded by nature.

The Pouloses and their photographers Abbi and Callen Hearne are part of a rising trend in the wedding industry. Or, more accurately, they’re the rebel response to the wedding industry.

Instead of an expensive, flashy affair, couples are opting for intimate outdoor elopements with an adventure twist. The goal: To buck tradition, remove the stress, and come away with amazing photos.

With the average wedding coming in at $44,000, it’s no surprise that millennial elopements are on the rise. Elopements are a cheaper option for young people like Poulos, who are riddled with student debt. They also allow the couple to avoid the stress of a big family reunion where politics and religion might clash.

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