Love Isn’t Cancelled: A Last Minute Elopement During Covid-19

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

What does it mean to be married if it’s not all about navigating life’s ups and down’s together?! Let’s just say, Covid-19 isn’t just a bump in the road and for many, it can seem like a mountain. However, for Gloria + Caleb, there wasn’t anything that could keep their love down! Faced with the same decisions as thousands of other couples, they decided to plan a last-minute, Covid-19 complaint elopement at Seal Beach. Their amazing photographer, Chrissy Gilmartin was onboard to help them pull it off. Chrissy shares:

Instead of getting crazy depressed or even angry, what did Gloria do… she realized that as long as she is marrying her BFF of all time, all of the other stuff means nada! And after a year of planning every last detail she borrows a dress, orders some Supermex, and says I do in front of those she loves most at the “entrance” of a CLOSED beach she has grown up going to. She made it work… and I can tell you without a doubt that it was the BEST WEDDING ever…

GWS Note: Please note that since shelter in place guidelines vary state by state and have changed over the past few weeks, it’s important to remember that if you plan on moving forward with your wedding during this time, to follow your state guidelines and do what feels safe for you and your guests & vendors. For more up-to-date guidelines, check the CDC and your state’s website. Ok, let’s see how this one all came together!

How It Came Together

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

G + C’s friends and family were 100% on board to help make their day a reality. Both the father-of-the-bride and the father-of-the-groom became ordained so they could officiate the ceremony.

Seaside Elopement

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Caleb- One of the more memorable moments from the wedding was waiting for Gloria to walk down the “aisle,” which was really an alley. Her brother played the theme from “Princess Bride,” my all-time favorite movie, on his phone. Although it wasn’t the string quartet we had originally hired, the sentiment was the same. And when I turned around to see her in her flowy dress, I was so stoked that we had decided not to wait any longer to get married.

Gloria- I have so many... building a champagne tower, taking wedding pictures in front of the garage that I grew up taking family pictures in front of, and having my dad and Caleb’s dad officiate our ceremony. One of my favorite moments though was before walking down the "aisle" to Caleb; everyone was gathered at the edge of the beach and it was just my dad and I at the entrance to the alley. Without any bridesmaids, my dad was the one who had to fix my train. He took his time making sure it was perfect before giving me his arm. It was so sweet and it made me feel so loved.

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

G + C grew up going to Seal Beach with their families. The beach was closed but they were still able to get a great view of the water, sand and palm trees on a side street and follow local rules. What a special place to share their vows and start their forever.

If you’re faced with the decision of choosing a new venue or wedding location as a result of Covid-19, think about a place that holds special meaning to your history or love story. Be sure to also check out our recent feature: Wedding Planning During Covid-19: Your Questions Answered.

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

G didn’t have her original wedding dress alterations done, so she went to Target and bought a fun white dress for the day. However, she ended up rocking this incredible Daughters of Simone gown and DSW heels. Her florist had a friend who recently married and offered to let G borrow the gown!

Looking for your own elopement gown? You can still shop for a wedding dress during Covid-19 with these tips!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

So much love for these two! Their closest friends and neighbors stood at a safe distance and held signs of congratulations and encouragement!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

Ky Flora designed the perfect beachy bridal bouquet featuring anthurium, orchids and roses. The perfect elopement bouquet, right?!

The Newlyweds

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

G + C took wedding portraits in front of the garage at G’s childhood home. After years of being the backdrop for family photos, it’s now the backdrop for these incredible newlyweds!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

Poppin Bottles

rose tower

An elopement reception champagne tower?? We’re here for it!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

Reception Details

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

simple white wedding cake

We headed back to her parents home, the FAB retro, completely original 50’s home that she has lived in her entire life… We pop some bottles of Champagne, munch on some Super Mex, and cut some cake!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

How adorable is G in her second dress from Target?? These two are the CUTEST!

just married car

Wedding Day Fun

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

We love how laid back, fun and casual this elopement day is. You can really see the joy on the faces of G + C and the love between them and their families!

skateboard couple

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

If you’re thinking about going ahead with a wedding, DO IT! It’s different than what you were probably expecting for your wedding, but it will be so worth it… you’ll be married!! I was worried that it wouldn’t feel like a “real” wedding, but I was so wrong. I honestly think this wedding turned out better than the wedding I was originally planning. It was simple, comfortable, filled with so much love, and just totally “us." Keep it simple; wear a dress that makes you feel like a bride, find some pretty flowers, play fun music, drink champagne and eat cake, and seriously, hire a photographer that will document the day and make everything look beautiful!

COVID 19 Compliant Elopement

This one is definitely an elopement for the books! Congratulations Gloria + Caleb! Two people in love, promising forever together! The GWS team is wishing you guys the very best!

Need more resources for wedding planning during this time? Check out our tips for navigating the current situation with Coronavirus + Your Wedding.

photography: Chrissy Gilmartin Photography // florals: Ky Flora // wedding dress: Daughters of Simone // bride's shoes: DSW // catering: Super Mex // second dress: Target