Choosing the Perfect Officiant: Elevating Your Elopement Experience with Elope Outdoors

As you embark on the journey of planning your elopement, every detail holds significance. At Elope Outdoors, we understand that choosing your officiant is a pivotal decision in curating an unforgettable experience.

Our officiants aren’t just there to officiate; they are the architects of a ceremony that mirrors your love story and the distinctive vibe of Elope Outdoors. In this piece, we explore why selecting our officiants goes beyond mere suggestion – it’s a fundamental aspect of creating the elopement you’ve always dreamed of.


The Significance of Your Officiant

In the intimate setting of an elopement, where only a select few are present, your officiant plays a vital role. They are more than mere witnesses; they contribute to the positive energy and natural flow of your special day. At Elope Outdoors, our officiants are chosen for their ability to seamlessly blend professionalism with the relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere that defines our elopements.

Choosing your own officiant, especially someone who is inexperienced with elopements specifically or new to leading a wedding in general, may interfere with the smoothness of your ceremony. Consider this scenario: a novice officiant, perhaps a friend recently ordained, might meticulously plan the ceremony out, believing the timing to be flawless. However, when they actually conduct the ceremony in real time, they may realize on the spot that it’s either excessively lengthy or surprisingly brief. The timing and flow is something you have to feel out and experience with the couple and guests present.

Our officiants have led hundreds of elopement ceremonies and have the timing down to science. Not only does it flow and feel good for our couples and guests, but the photographers have a sense of what is coming next as they have worked with these officiants before. Even though the content of the ceremony may differ from couple to couple, there is a general outline that each officiant tends to follow which allows the photo and video team to anticipate when the vows, ring exchange, readings, and the big kiss are happening and be prepared to capture.

One of the biggest mistakes a new officiant might make would be to jump to the final kiss and pronounce the couple married abruptly and quickly without warning, which has the potential to throw the photographer off. While our visual artists are all super flexible and adaptable, it is always smoothest when they can follow along to a ceremony format that makes sense where they know what to expect so they can place themselves in the proper positions and time their movements accordingly.



Crafting a Personalized Ceremony

One of the distinctive features of our officiants is their commitment to tailoring a ceremony that authentically reflects your unique bond. They act as guides throughout the elopement day, assisting with decisions on logistics, suggesting picturesque nature spots, and ensuring all necessary paperwork is in order.

Moreover, our officiants collaborate with you to customize the ceremony to your preferences. Whether you wish to pen your own vows, include poems, prayers, or incorporate rituals such as unity candles or sand ceremonies, our officiants are adept at making it happen seamlessly. They engage with you beforehand, discussing your desires and working collaboratively to create a ceremony that is not only meaningful but also deeply personal.



Experienced Advisors and Confidants

With a wealth of experience gained from working with numerous couples, our officiants become trusted confidants for your ideas. Beyond the ceremony, they offer insights on various aspects of your elopement, providing recommendations on scenic locations and offering guidance on the flow of the day. Their expertise aligns with our elopement coordinator Cassie whom she speak with before the day and making sure that your elopement unfolds seamlessly, allowing you to focus on the joy of the moment.

One of the biggest advantages of working with our officiants is that they can plan your day knowing exactly what to expect from the rest of the Elope Outdoors team key players like the photographer, elopement assistant, and videographer. Having worked with each other countless times, they have a strong sense of how the elopement will play out, in many cases knowing the location and go-to ceremony sites at your elopement site, how long the hike will take if there is one, and can even anticipate how things like loud wind or blinding sun. They have tried and true techniques to work around these challenges to keep their voices heard, making sure they can position themselves and you, with the help of the photographer, for best results.



Choosing Your Officiant

At Elope Outdoors, we believe in giving you the autonomy to choose the officiant who resonates with you. Our team comprises of officiants with diverse backgrounds and styles, each contributing a unique touch to the ceremony.

Jess, Julia, Rodney, Michael, and Jay are all amazing at what they do. Through bios, videos, and photos available on our website and youtube channel, you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with our officiants before making your decision. Once you’ve selected the perfect officiant for your vision, we handle the rest – coordinating with them to match your date and overseeing the logistical details.

Rather than trying to pull together random vendors who don’t know each other, or relying on a photographer to try to be your elopement planner, the beauty of working with Elope Outdoors is that we have an elopement coordinator totally focused on helping make your day a reality. From bringing together our trusted photographer, videographer, elopement day-of assistant, and to of course making sure you have gorgeous florals and even cake and champagne, Cassie will also help you choose your elopement officiant and arrange everything with them.

You are saving so much time by working with an elopement team and choosing an all-inclusive package, and with Elope Outdoors we give the total package while still managing to personalize your elopement, making it special and authentic to you. We do this by keeping things simple and beautiful- so that YOU shine in the backdrop of nature, ensuring that above all you have a memorable, relaxed experience where you can feel free to wander and roam. All of this plus stunning images you will want to frame or put into an album to see your love story in it’s highest light – that’s what we offer.



View the video below to see our officiants doing what they do best! 







Elopement Officiant for Elope Outdoors ~ Asheville

I became ordained in 2000 when I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Portland Bible College. Since then, I have pastored youth and young adults, curated art shows, emceed at conferences, conducted corporate trainings, served the homeless, and officiated and coordinated weddings.

Meeting engaged couples, hearing their stories, and guiding them through the biggest commitment of their lives is deeply rewarding for me. Over the last decade of officiating weddings, I have listened, learned and developed how to make each and every ceremony unique and memorable. The most important things to me is that the couple feels welcome, accepted, and comfortable. Every couple brings with them unique desires and expectations that need to be heard and validated.

My style focuses on the majors like Love, Equality, Patience, Commitment and Unity, and is very supportive of each couple’s belief system. I’m a strong advocate and believer in marriage equality. I approach every wedding ceremony with grace, practicality, and joy, and would be delighted to be a part of your wedding day.





Hi there! I’m Julia, and I’d love to officiate your elopement ceremony!

I believe that words, when woven together with heart and intention, can truly create magic. I am a “space holder” (as I like to call it), mostly taking form as a yoga and mindfulness teacher, for over 12 years and I am also a writer. For me, words, both written and spoken, are important. I truly feel in my bones that the exchanging of vows is a sacred contract that should fill you up with joy, love, and purpose.

My goal as an officiant is to pull out the essence of the love that you share as a couple, and turn it into tangible poetry that will leave a mark on your hearts for the rest of your lives. I want to represent you both as individuals, as well as a unified couple, in a way that is genuine to who you are. I enjoy getting to know couples, whether it’s through an email exchange or over the phone, and taking the time to create a customized and unique ceremony.

I am also happy to simply provide a ceremony without personalization, if that is what the couple prefers for the sake of time and ease. Please note that no one ceremony is the same, either way. I love weaving together elements of nature, ancient traditions, and spirituality, without being dogmatic. If you call it God, The Universe, Spirit, or feel unclear as to whether or not a higher power exists, I believe we can create a beautiful ceremony that resonates with you.

I look forward to meeting you and holding space for your special day!





I go by the nickname “Jay” and would say that I’m a creative soul that has a healthy obsession with painting anything and everything with a rainbow of color. If our paths cross, you’re welcome to ask me what’s the oddest thing I’ve ever painted, as I know the answer will probably surprise you!

Growing up, I’ve been raised in a military family and have lived in memorable places all across the United States…Florida, Maryland, & California to name a few. I’ve settled with my family in Western North Carolina over two decades ago, and I comfortably call Asheville home.

I am deeply devoted to my family and I believe in love at first sight –sometimes you just KNOW. I’ve hardly met anyone who I can’t make smile and I love building lasting friendships with folks from all walks of life.

One other thing I’ll share is that we have an instant commonality – I, myself, have eloped! It was a perfect fit for us and I will always remember how special our day was for me and my Beloved.

I’ll close with trying to convey what kind of Officiant I strive to reach for. I liken it to having you take a moment and envision your favorite song or movie. There’s something that just draws you to it because it has a rhythm or beat you can’t escape, or maybe it’s a heart-pounding scene that has an unforgettable phrase…that exchange of words truly impacted you and your life. Well, that’s exactly what I hope to capture when I support my couples in their elopement ceremony. I strive to listen and understand you and your partner’s unique love story and work to meaningfully express that with my wordcraft and expression. I love being involved in watching my couple’s elopement adventure unfold. I promise and commit to do my best to find your “love song”.




Jess is double-ordained through The Spirit of Love Ministries & Universal Life Church.

Drawing from her degree in Religious and Spiritual Studies, her experience as a yoga teacher, bodyworker, and wellness professional, her passion is holding and creating space for meaningful ceremony.

Having been married for 12+ years, She loves inspiring others towards a life of unconditional love.

She is a mother, mountain biker, world traveller, and animal lover. Her church is nature and being in the forest.

Jess welcomes all religions, nontraditional/secular approaches/perspectives, and all genders. She believes: “If there’s ever an answer, it’s more LOVE”.




I am an open-minded and eloquent Officiant, who feels blessed to be doing what I love. It brings me great joy to be a part of people’s happiest day, and I seek to bring enthusiasm, style, creativity, and personality to your wedding ceremony.

I am originally from Nashville, Tennessee, where I grew up in the Baptist church. After living all over the States, I finally settled in Asheville in 2015. I love the outdoor activities, the cooler weather and the breath-taking scenery, not to mention the vibrant restaurant and brewery scene! A lifetime music lover, I spent quarantine time learning to properly play the guitar. I have a passion for travel and exploring other countries and cultures.

I was married in a castle in Scotland, so I knows the challenges of arranging a destination wedding and how special and rewarding it can be. My relaxed, yet dignified style will keep you confident and cheerful through the process. I particularly love to include family and cultural traditions with those who would like to honor their heritage during their ceremonies. Whether you choose a short and sweet ceremony or elaborate and grand, I would be honored to be a part of your special day.




Choosing Your Officiant is more than a Formality

Your elopement day is a celebration of your unique love story, and every aspect should mirror your special connection. Choosing an officiant from Elope Outdoors ensures that your ceremony is more than a formality – it becomes a heartfelt, personalized experience.

Our officiants are not only skilled professionals but also passionate individuals who consider it a privilege to be part of your journey. Trust Elope Outdoors to elevate your elopement, creating memories that will linger in your hearts for a lifetime.

Reach out today and let’s make your adventure elopement a reality!

Let’s Plan your Elopement Reach





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