About Us

Who are we and why do we care so much about photographing your wedding day?

Wilder Weddings Collective is a dedicated team of elopement and wedding photographers passionate about capturing wild love and real emotion. We believe wedding days are beautiful and sacred, and we want to cut through the chaos of the wedding industry and return to the heart of what weddings are supposed to be about: two people promising to love, support, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives. 

Founded over a decade ago by Carolyn and Jake Gann, Wilder Weddings Co has grown over the years to a team of 4 amazing photographers based in Western North Carolina, but willing to travel anywhere. We’re leading a revolution in wedding photography, bringing the focus back on couples, their commitment, and the whole experience of the day.

The Experience

What makes a Wilder Wedding? Learn more about how we help you make your day your own

The Photographers

Get to know these people who will be following you around on your wedding day

FAQs

How do we book? Do you travel? Get all your questions answered here!

The Experience

Let’s get back to what matters. What really makes a wedding?

You & The Love of Your Life

Showing Up Fully Yourself

Making a Lifelong Commitment

Marking it with a Celebration

What is a Wilder Wedding?

A Wilder Wedding can happen on a mountain top, in a secluded garden, or in a chapel, with family and friends or in private. A Wilder Wedding doesn’t have a tell-tale look. What matters is how it feels. A Wilder Wedding is one that feels 110% like you, free of family drama, societal expectations, and outdated traditions.

What is a Wilder Wedding?

About the company

Wilder couples don’t fit any one mold. Some want to rise before the sun and end the day sunburned and spent, and others may not want to break a sweat all day—but they’re united by their boldness. Wilder couples refuse to settle for normal. Wilder couples are willing to fling themselves into the unknown and create their own traditions. Wilder couples don’t want to act a part in someone else’s stage play or read from a tired script. Wilder couples want to recognize themselves in their photos.

Your wedding day is yours.

We’ll shoot any type of wedding, as long as it’s a wedding that truly reflects who you are and how you want to celebrate. If you’re going through the motions of a traditional wedding for the sake of meeting family expectations, it will show in your photos. If you’re unhappy with any of your wedding plans, feel trapped, or anxious about having a big or traditional wedding, we’d LOVE to talk with you and discuss your options to help you have a day that feels 110% you and your spouse. We’re in your corner.

What's the deal with all-day coverage?

What's the deal with all-day coverage?

Now, since you care so much about your experience, you might be thinking, “I want good photos, but I don’t want to feel fake and uncomfortable all day. I think we just need a few hours of coverage and a few quick pics.”

This may sound weird for photographers to say, but our top priority is not just taking great photos. Our goal is to help couples have a genuine, fun, authentic experience, and capture incredible photos that will help them remember it all. When you’re comfortable and enjoying yourself, your photos are going to inherently be better because of how you felt when they were taken. In our 10+ years of experience, we’ve found that all-day coverage actually allows the photos to take a backseat to the experience, which in the end, sets the stage for more powerful and meaningful photos. All-day coverage means you can plan your schedule around whatever you want to do without worrying whether it all fits into six or eight hours of coverage. We’ll be there for all the wonderful moments that happen along the way, instead of interrupting your day with a photo shoot. When you’re even aware of us, we’re basically just your rad adventure buddies guiding you across the mountains on an awesome adventure.

“Carolyn and Jake gave us permission and created space for us to plan a day that was perfect for us. I got to go hiking, I got to run around in the woods and my dress and get it all dirty and then I got to go do the beautiful bride walk down the aisle and party all night. It was just a perfect blend. A lot of that had to do with them and the communication that they had with us, not pushing us in any direction but really listening to what WE wanted out of our day, without any agenda of their own.”

Jess+Stefan

Wilder Weddings Couple

Jessica+Stefan

You can do whatever you want.

Do you want to say your vows privately on a mountaintop, and have that magical elopement experience, but ALSO dance the night away with your friends from college? You can do that! We’ve had couples go on trail rides, take multi-mile hikes, jump in waterfalls, enjoy gorgeous charcuterie picnics on mountaintops, dance in a wildflower meadow, cool off in a swimming hole, make coffee over a camp stove, and watch sunrise from a hot air balloon, all before even getting to their vow ceremonies. No two elopements or intimate weddings look the same, and our packages are designed to give you the maximum flexibility to plan your day(s) around your dream experience.

Sweet. How do we make it happen?

First step: fill out our contact form. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours to schedule a free phone consultation and learn more about you.

During the consultation, we’ll listen to your vision for your day, your dreams for how you want it to feel, and your craziest celebration ideas. We'll go over our photography packages, answer any questions you have, and give you all the info you need for booking.

When you’re ready to make it official, we require a $1000-$1500 non-refundable retainer and a signed contract to hold your date exclusively. Then the real fun begins. We’ll send you a get-to-know-you questionnaire—we recommend filling it out over a bottle of wine and your favorite cheese—and start helping you plan your day.

Meet The Photographers

Experience curators

We are a dedicated team of adventurous photographers passionate about capturing wild love and real emotion. We’re leading a revolution in wedding photography, bringing the focus back on couples, their commitment, and the whole experience of the day. We don’t want you to do anything on your wedding day “just for the photos”. We use an experience-driven approach to wedding photography to help you feel like yourself on this incredibly important day.

No cookie-cutter wedding days

As a collective of photographers with different passions, experience-levels, and bed-times (some of us have littles at home), we offer a variety of packages to accommodate almost any kind of wedding. We don’t have a pre-formed idea of what a wedding should look like; we’re here to help you figure out what feels right for you and capture that day as it unfolds.

Carolyn + Jake Gann

Founders,
photographers

Specializing in all-in epic adventure elopement experiences. Sunrise first looks, hot air balloon rides, cliff-jumping off waterfalls, you name it. If you want to pop champagne in the wild somewhere with a spectacular backdrop, and get back to your airbnb exhausted, sunburnt (or rain-soaked!), and deliriously happy, then we’re the photographers for you.

Kelsey McGovern

Photographer

Specializing in gorgeous elopements in the mountains without you having to work too hard for it. Think luxury picnics with your family, gorgeous ceremony views without miles of hiking, intimate dinners in airbnbs, you name it. Want a little adventure for your wedding day, but not TOO much adventure? I’ll help you put together the elopement day of your dreams…without you having to break a sweat.

Caroline Stanley

Photographer

Specializing in both gorgeous elopements and weddings packed with all your family and friends. Maybe you want a sunrise vow ceremony in the mountains, just the two of you, and then a crazy dance party with all your friends that night. Does being surrounded by friends and family, having a crazy fun huge bridal party, and dancing the night away sound like your dream wedding? I’m the photographer for you.

FAQ's

Most frequent questions and answers

Having an intentionally planned wedding is one of the bravest things you can do. If the typical elements of a traditional wedding don’t resonate with you, you’re not going to regret leaving them out of your day. In fact, when you free yourself from others’ expectations, you open yourself up to experiences that are memorable for the genuine emotions you felt—not just the ritual you performed. And there are many creative ways to incorporate special people and meaningful traditions into an intentional wedding or elopement.

There are no limits to how far we will go! We’ve traveled to over 20 countries between us, and photographed epic adventure weddings in Iceland, Scotland, the UK, St. Lucia, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Hawai’i, Bermuda, Portugal, and all over the continental US.

Want to sizzle your dress on the edge of an active volcano in Japan? Say your vows in a cavern 800 feet underground in Bali? Ride into the sunset on the back of an elephant in South Africa? We’ll design a custom all-inclusive destination wedding package that includes everything, so you won’t have to worry about our travel arrangements. And we’ll help you plan your adventure!

Technically, yes, if you’re in a state like Colorado where you don’t need an ordained officiant or any witnesses to legally get married. In states where you do need officiants and witnesses, there’s still options to make it more personal than hiring an ordained stranger. We can help you find the best option that matches your vision for the day and satisfies local legal requirements, whether that’s getting married by a friend, an ordained religious leader, or no one at all.

We consider ourselves wedding guides, but we’re not wedding planners or day-of coordinators. We don’t book vendors, set up centerpieces, or make sure that your cousin Johnny walks down the aisle on time. On your wedding day, the only people we’ll be paying attention to are the two of you, so if your plans involve more than three or four people, a day-of coordinator can take the stress of communicating and people-wrangling off of the two of you. With small groups, a detail-oriented and responsible friend may be all you need, if they’re willing.

That depends on how many different activities you plan. All-day coverage yields about 600 images on average. The more guests you have or events you schedule, the more photos you’ll get, but choosing to spend the day together just you two doesn’t mean you wont get a ton of amazing images! Your gallery will be full of photos of raw emotion, epic views, tender moments, unexpected delights, laughter, smiles, portraits, candids—you get the idea.

Your photos will be delivered to you in an online gallery with high-resolution digital images (with print rights) 6 to 8 weeks after your epic adventure wedding. You’ll be able to share your adventure with family and friends, allowing them to relive the fun or experience your day for the first time.