nia chelsea photo elopement and portrait photographer


Truly, I'm grateful to be your wedding photographer! I'm looking forward to hear all the exciting details as your day comes together. Throughout this entire process, I'm here to help in any way I can so that you can fully embrace this sweet journey of yours.

Over the years, I have learned some honest advice that I want to share with you when it comes to planning your day. Let this guide be here for you to come back to as needed, for guidance, inspiration and reminders.

With love,

Most weddings are structured in a similar way, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to it. If you’re here, it’s most likely because you want to break traditions and avoid the cookie-cutter timelines. Below are things to consider when creating a meaningful wedding day experience and planning your wedding day timeline.

elopement wedding on the beach in pictou Nova Scotia


The morning of your wedding, you wake up in a rustic cabin overlooking the ocean.

As you sit down to read your favourite book, the quietness of sunrise hour allows you to prepare your heart and mind for the day ahead.

You grab your hot cocoa and join your friends on the beach for breakfast/brunch.

Afterwards, you take a drive, hike to a waterfall or explore a new place.

During sunset, you head back to the beach to say your vows, followed by a celebration of good food, meaningful conversation, bonfires and guitar jams.

You say your goodbyes and head back to your cosy cabin, as husband and wife.



As you plan your wedding, ask yourselves important questions, such as who do you envision celebrating with you on your wedding day? would your guests share the same level of excitement as you? Would anyone try to shift your focus away from what matters? what would be your ideal breakfast on the morning of your wedding? what would you see when you look out the window? Keep these questions in mind and consider the following, when creating a meaningful wedding day experience.


Decide if it's just the two of you or with family/friends. You can include loved ones and still have time alone - consider a private sunrise vow reading followed by a celebration with guests.


What meaningful moments of the day do you want to be captured? Slow breakfast mornings, beach bonfire guitar jams?


Plan everything you want to experience in the day including activities. For example: make breakfast together, pick wildflowers, visit local restaurants, hike to a waterfall etc


Go for a walk, read, and pick wildflowers. Get ready together, cook breakfast, and write love letters. Make time in your timeline so that you aren't rushed or stressed. Choose a location that best represents the both of you.

elopement wedding in pictou Nova Scotia


Lighting situations - lighting is everything when it comes to your wedding photos. It affects the overall mood of your ceremony and location. For example, if you want to elope in the woods, be mindful that the sun sets earlier behind the trees. Therefore, plan ahead to do photos earlier than you would at the beach or open field.

Multi-locations + Backups - Always make sure to have a backup plan. Choose a backup location you like as much as your primary location.

Travel Time + Accommodations - Don't forget to account for travel time between locations as these can add up quickly!

Permits + Restrictions - Be sure to check for permits andas some parks may have specific hours or rules in place. restrictions at your location,



Once you have your vision for the day and all the things you want to experience, then its time to bring it all together. Below are some key points to consider when creating your intimate wedding timeline.


Clear your getting-ready space of clutter and have natural light. Get ready at the same location to save time. I'll capture all the important details and final touches. Allow at least 30 minutes each to avoid feeling rushed.


First looks are perfect for couples who want to share a private moment together before the ceremony. It also allows for more time with guests after the ceremony.


Ceremony time, lighting, space, and restrictions are all important.


Allow for at least 30 minutes for family portraits, 15 minutes for bridal party and 60 minutes for bride + groom photos. These can be taken on-site or at a nearby location.


Choose your style - food trucks, formal sit down, mingle + appetizers etc. Consider the lighting, setup, and background for anything distracting.


Planning the main part of your elopement day around either sunrise or sunset will give you the best lighting. However, this decision will depend on various elements of your elopement, such as location, travel time between locations, lighting, weather, season, guests, and activities.

If you want a private or quiet intimate ceremony, you should avoid crowds. Therefore, I recommend that you research what season/time of day is the busiest and least busy, elope at sunrise, or elope on a weekday instead of a weekend.

Sunrise and sunset create different lighting scenarios. At sunrise, the sky transitions from dark to blue hour, golden hour, and daylight. At sunset, the opposite happens - daylight turns into blue hour, golden hour, and then dark.

If you would like to have your entire day to celebrate, a sunrise elopement is perfect. By saying your vows in the morning, you have the rest of the day to relax with your loved ones, explore the area, and do various outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that it's typically cooler in the mornings. If you prefer a slower morning - sleep in, take time alone, make breakfast with friends, etc. - a sunset elopement is perfect for you.

If you're undecided whether you want a sunrise or sunset ceremony, consider doing both! Book your vendors for part of the day at sunrise, take a break in the middle of the day to eat/rest, and finish your elopement experience at sunset.

halifax wedding near Lawrencetown Beach


Remember, every wedding is unique. Start with the ceremony and celebration/reception time and work backwards to fill in the gaps. If you need more or less time, adjust accordingly.

11:00am–12:30pm breakfast on beach with close friends/family

12:30-1:00 drive someplace to explore

1:00-2:00 go for a walk, hike or explore a waterfall

2:00-2:30 drive to cabin to get ready

2:30-3:30 get ready at cabin

3:30-4:00 drive to beach for ceremony

4:00-4:30 vows, ceremony

4:30-5:00 family photos

5:30-6:00 couple photos

6:00 7:00 celebration: dances, bonfires, donuts, guitar jams etc

Bridal Hair Stylist - Tanya Milnes
- or do it yourself!

Makeup Artist - Danielle Grasley
- or do it yourself if you're all for the natural look!

Florals - Megan Balodis (Marshdale Farms)
- or pick your own wildflowers!

Dresses - Halifax Bridal

Rings - Etsy has a lot of unique and beautiful rings for both him & her


personal + professional recommendations

engagement shoot in Thomas cove, economy Nova Scotia


Your online wedding gallery offers options to download, share and print your photos. Choose from various sizes, frames, albums, templates for cards and more. I carefully pick the professional printing company that I trust to deliver you high quality prints. However, if you’d rather download your photos and send them off to be printed somewhere else, thats fine too.

Personally, I believe in printing both my professional and personal work as often as possible. The feeling of holding these memories in your hands outweighs hard drives and phone storage. Celebrate by putting your photos in an album or display them in the cosy spaces of your home.


Choosing to have an intimate wedding is all about enjoying the process of getting married and making decisions that truly reflect your personality. I encourage you to put away your phone, grab a journal, and dedicate some time to being honest with yourself about what you actually want your day to look like. Above all else, prepare your mind and heart. Embrace the unexpected, and always remember the reason why you decided to get married in the first place – the commitment and joy of becoming one and celebrating with those closest to your heart. I am excited to be a part of your special journey and help you create a meaningful experience that truly reflects who you are. I can’t wait to meet you! In the meantime, feel free to ask me anything!