newlywed couple share kiss on rock in gordes france

Luminous Spring Elopement in Gordes

April 22, 2024

I’m always really excited to photograph elopements in Gordes, so when this lovely couple got in touch to reserve their spring elopement photoshoot I knew that it would be spectacular.

The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, on a late April day, Gordes, in the Luberon, in Provence, was nearly perfection.

newlywed couple share kiss on rock in gordes france
view of gordes village france

Elopement Plan

I met the couple online to discuss their wish to speak their vows to each other in Provence, as they were planning a wonderful trip to France and Spain in early spring. As a professional elopement photographer, I always have consultations with my couples to learn more about them, and ensure their photos reflect who they are and the special connection they have with each other.

newlyweds posing in front of green wall in gordes france

They’d been to France many times before, but not this part of France. This beautiful couple living in Detroit, Michigan, have a love story ten years strong, and what a perfect idea for elopement photography in such a beautiful place!

The Perfect Elopement

After our initial video meeting, I enjoyed writing with Ashley to discuss her perfect elopement. She told me they were really looking for a low-key affair, just the two of them, a vow exchange and wedding photos in a lovely place. Gordes, one of France’s most beautiful villages, seemed to tick all the boxes for a perfect elopement photoshoot.

Spring, the Perfect Season

The great thing about Gordes in April is because as it’s the off-season, you have a lot of Gordes to yourself in the morning. In the the off-season there aren’t as many places to stay in Gordes or restaurants to dine in, but that just means that you can discover the beautiful town of Avignon, a mere 45-minute drive from Gordes, which is where Ashley and Kevin decided to stay First, it doesn’t really close in winter and spring like some of the the villages in the region. With over 90,000 residents, Avignon also has plenty to do even in winter. Lots of restaurants to choose from, and places to stay. Also, if you’re flying into Paris, it’s a quick and smooth two and a half hour train ride to Avignon TGV station, which makes it an ideal hub for the region.

newlywed couple sitting on a bench in gordes
newlywed couple walking in gordes after their wedding

Transportation Options

I again partnered with the wonderful Veronica of ProVans Tours. Veronica and her husband operate a seasonal tour company that’s just fantastic. We all met in Avignon, and then set out for Gordes. Unfortunately, we were facing a rare cold spell, and the fierce Mistral winds were kicking up. They can gust upwards of 50 mph, the wind wasn’t that strong on this day, but it was still quite windy, making it feel quite chilly.

The Sunny Elopement Day

The good news is that the sun is strong, and we had the sun in full force. By the time we got to Gordes, the wind had abated a bit and the sun felt nice. The light was exquisite, as Ashley and Kevin said their vows to each other on the famous overlook of Gordes.

wedding rings on wedding day with flower bouquet

Gordes has been said to resemble a wedding cake, with several laters. We explored much of the town which we happily had to ourselves for the most part. I so enjoyed getting to know this vibrant and beautiful couple a bit better as I took them to some of my favorite spots. No matter how many times I visit Gordes, I still love it! It had been since last summer, and I missed it!

bride and groom say vows to each other in gordes
bride and groom exchange rings in gordes france
newlyweds kissing in gordes

Gordes is so elegant, it’s hard to describe. There’s a castle and a church, and so many beautiful stone buildings. Additionally, in season, you’ll find many wonderful artists working and selling their art. You’re sure to find something amazing for your home to take back with you.

groom kissing bride with view of gordes village
newly married couple laughing in front of old door
newly married couple holding hands in gordes provence
newly married couple sitting on bench in gordes france
newlywed couple laughing with castle in background
newlywed couple dancing with view of gordes village
newlyweds after their elopement in gordes france
groom kissing bride in gordes france
bride and groom walking arm in arm in gordes france
bride and groom smiling and walking in gordes france

After we stopped at all of my favorite spots, we had time for a quick visit to another one of the most beautiful villages of France, a colorful villages called Roussillon. Only 10 kilometers (roughly 6 miles) from Gordes, it’s in another world. Many years ago, this area was covered by sea, but when the sea receded, it left iron deposits called ocre. In the soft sand you can see the bright orange deposits, and the buildings in this village are painted in it. All of the buildings are super colorful and much different than Gordes, which is only stone.

elopement photoshoot in roussillon france
newlyweds embrace in roussillon france

We paid a visit to my favorite city hall in all of France, the colorful Roussillon city hall in shades of salmon color. Then, a short walk up the hill to the town center, to see the bell tower and the church. Roussillon is another one of those villages where you can spend a lovely morning or afternoon and just soak it all in. I highly recommend it!

It was now time to return to beautiful Avignon, and bid au revoir to this wonderful couple. I wish Ashley and Kevin so much happiness and joy in their married life together, and I’ll be forever grateful for this morning we spent together in Provence!

bride and groom smiling at each other after wedding

Karina Leigh Photography

I photograph elopements and intimate weddings in Provence and throughout the South of France. If you’re thinking of a European adventure for your elopement, I’d love to hear from you!





I adore capturing love stories in France! From the grandeur of the most romantic city on earth, Paris, to the colorful and lively seaside city of Nice, to the lavender fields and olive groves of charming Provence, France is filled with stunning beauty. To better understand my approach and my style, have a look at my work, by selecting a category below. Here, you'll get a better idea of how I can tell your love story, too!




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