Updated: Aug 25
Hi hello! Welcome to Eloping In Texas 101 with Nikole Velasco Photography! (aka meee) My name is Nikole, I am an elopement, adventure and couples photographer dwelling in Austin Texas but travelling all over the state to capture some epic stories.
I am here today because I have decided to create a series of resources dedicated to helping couples who are interested in eloping in Texas! Soooo welcome to the series! I am so freakin' stoked to have you here and cannot wait to offer so many awesome resources and build a wonderful community of like-minded humans who are willing to go against the grain of tradition and have the wedding day they truly dream of having. With each blog post I am also creating a video series that will be located on my Instagram Tv and Youtube accounts. Everything will be linked here to make it super easy for you to navigate! I have some pretty awesome things in the works for couples who want to elope in Texas and I am thrilled to start launching them with this series. So stay tuned! If you'd like to be one of the first people to know about these resources and opportunities you can sign up for my email list and get in the loop! No spam, I promise! You can click here to get on my email list.
I wanted to kick off this series with an introduction! Telling ya'll a little more about myself, my background, what I do and why I do it. So keep on reading to get all the deets.
I've had a camera in hand for over ten years now! I got my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel T2i, when I was fifteen years old. Living in a very small country town in Texas my early portfolio was full of hay fields, horses and abandoned farm houses that have since been demolished and replaced with busy highways and suburban neighborhoods. I really loved exploring those abandoned houses. On one occasion my foot went through the rotting floor boards and I ended up with a rusty nail sticking in my boot. It missed my foot thank God. Then at another house I was upstairs after the sun had set and I took one wrong step into a gaping hole where a staircase railing used to be, I tumbled down the last three steps and stood up and dusted some dirt off. As I got older exploring abandoned houses turned into hiking and camping. So I have always gravitated more towards adventure photography!
I did photograph people in the beginning, I would go back and forth from doing it as a business and just a hobby. When I graduated High School I actually went straight to college for photography but I did not do well! I didn't take my classes seriously so I never got a degree and ended up failing my photo class! Then in 2018 I decided that consistency is key. If I wanted to be successful as a photographer I had to be consistent! So I committed to being consistent as a business for at least one year to see where that would get me. So in 2018 is when I went into business and stayed! That first year was me kind of just getting a feel of what I enjoyed photographing and what I was good at! That's when I discovered my love for couples photography, adventure sessions and weddings.
Starting in the wedding industry
In 2018 I got a job working for a local florist who specialized in wedding and events and that is how I was introduced to the wedding industry. At the florist I was able to see the behind the scenes of wedding days and realized that weddings weren't so scary after all and that I could photograph them! So I began shooting weddings as well. And I learned pretty quickly that traditional weddings were all structured in a very similar way, In other words, they were all kind of like a "one size fits all" deal. The main similarities being a jam-packed timeline, a lengthy guest count, a plethora of material single-use objects and little to no quality time between the couple actually getting married. Think about it this way, if you're not having your "first-look" until ceremony and your ceremony isn't until 5:00pm that means you are spending over half the day apart. That structure and type of wedding is great for some people! But I knew that there would be people out there that looked at this and thought "Uhm, no thanks." So that is when I started looking more into elopements, adventure weddings and intimate weddings. They seemed perfect! They incorporated adventure, hiking, an intimate setting for the couple and a day focused more on experience rather than material objects. Not to mention the fact that they offered a much more laid back, stress and drama free option to couples looking to get married. But there was a catch.
These amazing elopements were happening in places like Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and so on. Not in Texas. Which I am not going to lie, that was very discouraging at first. So I didn't jump into that right away but it was always something I had in the back of my mind. The idea of incorporation adventure photography and wedding days seemed like such a perfect fit and I always knew that doing that would light a fire in me! So finally at the end of 2019 instead of wishing and being discouraged I decided "What the heck" and dove in. I completely rebranded and flipped my marketing towards elopements and adventure weddings in Texas instead. Which was kind of like a scary double niche, because niching down to elopements is one thing but niching down to elopements in Texas is a whooooole different and scary thing! And I just decided what the heck I'm going for it!
I saw a need and wanted to provide a solution
Along with elopements in Texas not being as well known or popular, resources for couples wanting to elope in Texas are pretty slim. And I wanted to help change that by providing helpful resources and tools for those couples! Which is how this blog/video series came about. Yay! I am here to tell Texas couples that you have another option, you do NOT have to stick to the traditional wedding structure. You can go outside of the box and have a meaningful, intentional, laid back and one of a kind wedding experience that honestly represents YOU. I have really loved diving into the elopement industry, I have such a passion for every single aspect of it and I truly feel that this is where I belong!
What I do and how I do it
I am a Texas elopement photographer and guide! What that means is that whenever you opt for an elopement you are cutting out a lot of vendors that would normally be able to help with the planning process. So for example you don't get your venues day of planner, your florist won't assist in planning, you don't get a big caterer and you're probably not investing in a rental company or DJ either. All of the planning assistance and responsibilities that those vendors usually provide falls onto my shoulders. So I have taken that responsibility and included it in my elopement packages for you. So yes, I help a lot with the planning process! I refer vendors, help craft timelines, location scout, assist with obtaining permits, help you decide what to wear and pack on the day of and more. I help create a one of a kind elopement experience that is built around you so that it is something you are in love with and excited about! I do not communicate directly with your vendors which is why I don't call myself an elopement "planner" and say elopement "guide" instead.
To Be Continued
So there you have a brief overview of who I am, what I do and why I do it! I am really excited to get this series going and start providing some amazing resources for ya'll. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to get even more information, stories and details over what I do on a daily basis. You can also subscribe to my email list to be the first to know as new resources become available. And as always feel free to contact me with any questions! I'd love to hear from you so that I can answer your questions in future videos and create relevant content for you to enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for the second episode of this series - Busting Elopement Myths Thank you so much for reading, until next time ya'll!