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  • Writer's pictureAshlyn Peters

"Sand + Sky" Indiana Dunes National Park - Vintage Romance Styled Elopement

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

I've always been drawn to "west coast" scenery. I dream about the beautiful beaches and mountains of California, which is why this concept came to mind. I wanted to create a gorgeous beach elopement that you'd NEVER know actually took place in Indiana?!

Maybe you or someone you know is hoping to have a beach elopement/micro wedding but can't ask friends/family to travel far. I hope my images can bring some inspiration.

Thankfully it was the most gorgeous, sunshiny day at the Indiana Dunes. We crafted this shoot on a Thursday evening and beach traffic was moderate-minimal. The water was blue and sparkling. From this beach, you had a beautiful view of a Chicago skyline silhouette in the far off distance.

I felt totally in my element shooting neutral, raw and natural earth elements.... at the dunes your main view consists of sand, sky and water. I love the simplicity of this location because there's so much natural beauty that makes the photos stand out against a lot of my other Indiana shoots, featuring lots of green. It was a fun change of pace to bring some focus to the sliver of sand and sky that exists in Indiana. It was stunning to capture the evolution of "golden hour" at this beach.

My friend Dani, of For the Beauty Floral, totally knocked it out of the park on this one. Her vision for the color palette and design created such an organic feel and enhanced our scene. She created an airy bouquet featuring local blooms from Laurilyn Farms, and other floral from The Floral Reserve. Dani also crafted a statement headband, and a small tree-hugging installation. The florals added a summer-y, romantic touch to this shoot.

Madison, owner of The Frock, lent us the perfect dress for this shoot. Designed by Daughters of Simone, it completely fit the vibe. The eyelash fringe and floral lace on the dress gave a romantic, vintage feel. Honestly, this is the dress of my dreams... and if it's catching your eye too, you can find it here > DOS Leo Dress

Here are a few lessons learned and tips I want to pass along for anyone planning an elopement, micro wedding, or any other photoshoot at the Indiana Dunes:

  1. Expect lots of wind. Like... more than you think. Especially at the top of dunes, creeping into the evening, the wind gets gnarly, so plan accordingly. I posed my couple in front of a tree, and again later behind some dunes to block some of the wind while photographing.

  2. Research how far the parking lot is from where you're wanting to take photos. There are many great photo spots at various beaches, however, some of them are a mile hike from the parking lot. Sometimes that's the move-- but it's necessary to know when you're planning.

  3. Research which beaches are busiest and at what times. You can typically check the National Parks website. Also - know the fees for having an elopement and/or fees for entrance into the park and plan accordingly. We paid a 1-day fee of $7/vehicle into the State Park entrance.

If you're interested in eloping, or want to connect, reach out-- lets chat!

Location: Indiana Dunes National Park

Photographer/Concept: Ashlyn Peters Photography

Floral: For the Beauty Floral

Models: Vova + Nina Lindman

Dress: Daughters of Simone

Bridal House: The Frock


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