If the idea of a small elopement, with just a few special guests there with you sounds like wedding heaven to you, then you’re going to adore today’s real wedding. The couple are super private, hence wanting to marry in this way. They only invited very close friends and family members.
“We met at College of the Atlantic, a tiny liberal arts school in Bar Harbor, Maine, and were just friends for years”, the bride explained. “Several years after we both graduated, I moved back from the west coast where I’d been for awhile and we started dating. We both had always had a slight crush on each other actually. We were together for three years when he proposed at the beginning of September and a month and a half later we got married.”
The ceremony took place at Acadia National Park in Maine and their ‘reception’ was on Hunter’s Beach. “We liked the idea of an elopement, but decided to have a small gathering for the ceremony and have a larger celebration with family and friends a year later”, she continued. “There was no theme. We let the locations speak for themselves. It was very unique. Not many people hike halfway up a mountain and get married under a towering stone bridge built on the carriage roads all over Acadia. And it was totally us, since we hike with our dog constantly and these carriage roads and mountains are right in our backyard.”
Thea and Cody both struggle with anxiety, so not wanting to be the centre of everyone’s attention, they decided to elope on their own. They had a small reception for their friends and family a month later.
“We knew we wanted our wedding to be small”, began the bride. “When we found out that we could have our ceremony at the House on the Rock, a location mentioned in one of our favourite books (American Gods by Neil Gaiman) and the site of our first vacation together, we knew it was the perfect spot.”
“We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of who we are as individuals and as a couple. We focused on what we love about one another, and the promises that we knew we could keep. We also bucked the system a bit by only letting 12 other people in on our secret before the ceremony, and 9 of them were invited. We only invited our very closest friends and family, because we didn’t want to feel like we were there to impress or entertain anyone. I think what made our wedding unique was our dedication to making it ours. We only included the things that were important to us, and we ignored the rest.”
I try not to be biased, but sometimes I just can’t help but fall extra in love with a couple and their story. I’ve actually met Kirstin a few times (and she’s a blogcadette – holla!) so when she told me she’s met and married Ash within nine months (!) and that her mum and his dad were also married to each other, I couldn’t wait to share their story!
“Ash’s dad and my mum got married a few years ago and we’ve vaguely known each other since then”, she began. “We only just started really getting to know each other Christmas 2013 and we ended up falling in love and laughed more than we had ever done before. Ash proposed not long after that and we decided to elope in September 2014 on a romantic adventure together to our favourite place in the world: the USA.”
“We wanted to elope because there is something about it that is really romantic and exciting. However we didn’t want Elvis to marry us, or it to seem like a whirlwind. It needed to feel like a real wedding like we would have back home and not a ‘runway’ wedding.”
“We spent around $10,000 on the whole trip (around £6,500) because was wanted to spend money on the things we really wanted to have”, she continued. “We also wanted to have fun together. Plus, we would have spent way more if we’d got married in England! Ash bought the exact clothing he wanted and I picked a Badgley Mischka dress from Rent the Runway. Yes…I rented my dress and it was awesome! I never thought I would rent my wedding dress, I always turned my nose up at the thought of it, but really it was perfect! I had pre-ordered it months before and they sent me three different sizes of the same dress just in case. Rent the Runway is HUGE in the States I wish we had it in the UK.”
Full disclosure: this isn’t a real wedding… BUT I had to feature it anyway because I love the idea of running away to a mountain and having an adorable and completely understated elopement ceremony!
“I have always wanted to photograph a real, true elopement and have never gotten the chance!” wrote wedding photographer Brittni Willie. “I think being from Utah, most brides think they must have elaborate weddings with everyone they know (and don’t know) in attendance and I wanted to challenge that and show people how beautiful and yet simple an elopement can really be.”
“I suggested the idea to one of my previous wedding couples two days before we actually shot the elopement. We planned the whole thing in two days which I also thing really adds to authenticity I wanted to capture in the shoot. There were multiple parts of this session that I didn’t want to feel forced, or include too many vendors (if any) and spend hours of shooting to get 5 ‘perfect’ shots. We spent $80 in total. I wanted it to feel REAL.”
Princess and Davis wanted to elope, but they also wanted to include their families – so they did both! The couple got ready together in their own home, the bride wore a dress from Modcloth (currently on sale for $32 by the way!!) and she even assembled her own bouquet.
They very much wanted a non-traditional wedding so they planned it in six weeks! They also went against all the traditional aspects of a wedding day. They woke up together, got ready together, and were able to enjoy every moment of their day together.
Brady and Sara both wanted a simple wedding that reflected their own style. They didn’t want to spend a huge amount, and their budget was just $2000, but they managed to pull it off. They kept their guest list tiny, and reused a lot of things they already owned.
“We didn’t have a lot of money to put into the wedding but that was okay with us”, began Sara. “It was laid-back, outdoors in the beautiful nature and just a freaking blast the entire weekend.”
“I wore my mother’s wedding dress that she wore in her wedding to my father in the early 1980s”, she explained. “It is also the wedding dress that my grandmother wore in her wedding to my grandfather (over 60 years ago). The dress was modified to fit my body and be a bit more modern, but it still held the vintage style as well. In my hair I had a handmade fabric flower hairpiece made by one of my best friends and her mother. It was made from extra material from my/ my mother/grandmother’s wedding dress. My bouquet was the same.”