Oh how I love sweet + simple elopements! So romantic – and Liz + Jamison’s elopement totally fits that bill. While eloping might not be for everyone, I love their reasons behind why they choose to elope…
For us there were several reasons to elope. It was an extremely romantic and exciting experience. We planned on eloping for several months but only discussed it one night a week, on Tuesday nights, which we used as a set “date night.” On these nights we would get dressed up and go out for dinner, or maybe stay in and have a candle-lit dinner during which we would share each of our ideas and research for the week. Since we decided to not tell anyone, this became a very romantic and private experience. Jamison and I were both fully involved in each and every detail of our wedding and honeymoon. I’m smiling as I recall those evenings. Another reason is that we saw all the extra stress that goes into weddings and we didn’t want that for ourselves. We saw weddings becoming more about the party, the dresses, the venue and the guest list, and so many people become involved in something that should truly be about a life-long commitment between two people. Also, we are from two separate states and we would be asking so many people to travel if we had a formal wedding.
Finally, we remember hearing stories of our grandparents’ weddings. In each story it was only the two of them, sharing vows that lasted for 40-60+ years. Neither of us needed a big affair to show the world our love, we simply wanted to spend the day together, exchange vows, and start our lives together. It was perfect for us. You often hear brides and grooms say they “had no time to eat” or “never saw each other” or “were totally exhausted” after their wedding day, but we got to spend the entire day together. We definitely ate. And, I actually got to hang out with my new husband All Day Long! That is exactly what we wanted.
Thanks so much to The Why We Love for the gorgeous photos and Super 8 film!
After discussing this with Jamison, neither of us could come up with one moment, but rather a feeling of calm. We woke up, went for a run, had breakfast by the water, walked to a market to pick up food for our post-nuptial picnic, hung out on the beach until we went to lunch, and then we started getting ready together. We felt very calm and happy. I guess we had anticipated that we may be a little nervous or something, but we both felt overwhelmingly peaceful. The day had the most surreal feeling of perfection. It felt like it was a day written for a movie. It was the most perfect day of our lives.
We currently live in Arkansas and wanted to elope somewhere in wine country, but when we found The Why We Love photographers (from this magical elopement post on GWS!) we immediately scratched that idea and decided to marry in Malibu, site unseen. Danielle and Kevin (of The Why We Love) recommended Malibu and we trusted them. We planned our honeymoon and elopement together. We did a road trip up the West coast on Highway 1. We flew into LA, married in Malibu, and made our way up to Seattle over the course of two weeks. It was a blast.
And their Super 8 Film captured by The Why We Love also!
Eloping was the best decision we ever made. We had a reception a few weeks after we married, and though it was tons of fun, the weekend involved meeting a bunch of people, setting up tables etc, and hosting a big party. It was fun, but when Jamison and I would actually get a moment to see each other, we would say " Oh my, aren't you so happy this isn't our real wedding weekend?!? Eloping was the best decision we ever made!" We say that because we were constantly tired, constantly around people, and we never got a moment alone, which is how I hear a lot of weddings are. We showed a little film at our reception to show everyone our wedding and honeymoon photos. It all seemed to work out very well, and it was a great way to share our experience with our loved ones.
But, here is some advice for those planning to elope:
1. Think of others & document! Even though we wanted our wedding to be as intimate as possible we always kept our family and friends in mind because they are so important to us and we wanted to share everything with them. That is why we wanted to work with Kevin and Danielle Snelson of The Why We Love photography. It was very important for us to have not only great photography but to also have excellent cinema to capture the day so we could share our day with everyone upon our return. We also told our parents the day before we left for California so they felt included, and we luckily have awesome parents who were excited for us and supportive. My dad was so excited I wasn't asking him to pay for a big wedding! Otherwise, we sent announcements out after our elopement with invitations to an informal reception.
2. Plan Ahead. Unless you are eloping in Vegas, you need to check marriage license rules to be prepared for your big day.
3. One tiny regret I have, in retrospect, is not planning to have my flowers dried. I had the most beautiful little bouquet, and I never even thought about preserving it. If you are eloping you can locate a business near your destination that will dry your bouquet and ship it back to you. Oh well.
vendors: photography: The Why We Love // venue: We married in a canyon in Malibu, CA. Solstice Canyon // floral design: Julianne deSilva // wedding dress: Rebecca Schoneveld Cheek // shoes: RAS, purchased from Trashy Diva New Orleans Boutique // hair + makeup: done by bride with MAC products and Cover Girl Long Last Lipcolor // groom suit: Vest, Tie, Shirt from JCrew; Shoes from Hudson; Pants from Calvin Klein