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Intimate Arizona Elopement | Mike Olbinski Photography

What do you do when you’re a couple living in a city far from most of your family and friends, trying to plan a wedding that you want and balancing making it work for you and for all of those out-of-town friends and family? If you’re today’s midwestern couple living in Phoenix, you elope! And you hire Mike Olbinski to document your intimate day perfectly. The bride shares details and advice on choosing and planning an elopement below.

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About Ryan & Kat’s wedding day: On the day of the elopement, Mike met Ryan and Kat at their apartment to take some photos, and then they headed to their favorite restaurant in Phoenix, the Arrogant Butcher. There they were met by their first witness, a friend from Kat’s program, and their officiant. The ceremony took place in the Butcher’s back room before the restaurant opened for the day. The couple heard their wedding song read aloud (“Not Fire, Not Ice” by Ben Harper) and exchanged rings and vows. It was short, sweet and perfect. The newlyweds enjoyed some a celebratory handcrafted cocktail and then lunched on hot dogs from Short Leash, a popular Phoenix food truck at the weekly Food Truck Friday in the Phoenix Public Market. Mike accompanied Kat and Ryan to a number of their favorite street art sites around downtown, then to the new (and gorgeous) Irish Cultural Center, and finally to Tonto National Forest to capture some of the distinct and beautiful landscapes that Arizona has to offer, even in winter.

Why an elopement? Ryan and I had some huge decisions to make when we were choosing whether or not to elope. After reading a ton of blogs and articles, we decided to let our families know the week before to let them process (and give them the opportunity to book flights if they wanted). Everyone was extremely supportive, and though no one was physically with us that day, they were in our thoughts and hearts all day long. Given the fact that it was just Ryan and me, all day, we had the freedom to tailor nearly every single detail to our individual tastes and styles. We tried to incorporate handmade Etsy finds whenever possible– from the gorgeous silk rosette hairpiece and boutonnières to the “pocket token” with Ryan’s mom’s signature inscribed on it. One particular feature I enjoyed was our witness’ rosette– Hailey from Brydferth attached a white ribbon to signify White Knot, a marriage equality organization.

Some advice from Kat about deciding on an elopement: My advice to any couple who is worried about an elopement is to think about it, weigh your options, and once you decide, just go with it! Once we made our decision, it was exhilarating to plan every detail and to indulge in ourselves for a change. In my opinion, too often weddings become what everyone else wants or expects– and for Ryan and me, it was a chance to remember what this union was really about: each other. I wanted to share with other brides that you CAN have the marriage celebration of your dreams, on a really tight budget, and still make it the most special and love-filled day without all the large-scale madness.

Congrats to Ryan & Kat on a lovely day and doing it their way!

{Vendors} Photographer: Mike Olbinski Photography / Restaurant: The Arrogant Butcher, Phoenix

Mike Olbinski is a handpicked member of our Lovely Vendor Guide.  If you would like to be considered for our guide, apply here.

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