Robert and Kerri wanted to marry on their own terms. That meant no big, flashy party or extra expense – just the two of them and a few witnesses. They chose to elope at Phoenix Municipal Court last April and spent just $1000 to do so.
“I wanted a 1960s style courthouse elopement”, wrote the bride. “I’ve always adored pictures of my grandparents courthouse wedding, particularly my grandmother’s mod above the knee dress. Both of us are atheist so a church wedding was out of the question, and I’ve never envisioned a large wedding with lots of family and friends. We wanted something quiet and private.”
“We each invited our closest friends to be our witnesses and didn’t tell any other friends or family until a few days later. We wanted it to be a day that celebrated our relationship and do away with all the big wedding plans that can add stress and anxiety. It was really wonderful having my best friend as our wedding photographer. She came over early in the day and took photographs of us in our house getting ready together, it was so special and intimate and we’re lucky that she could capture that for us.”
Kelly and Trish chose the Analogue Gallery, in Toronto for their elopement last September. Exhibiting at the gallery was a music photography show and they both wore 1950s inspired dresses made by British designer Oh My Honey.
“At the point when we finally decided to take the plunge, we had been engaged for a few years”, Trish told me. “Our long engagement had become a long-running joke amongst our friends who presumed we were never going to go through with it. The main reason for our supposed trepidation was that, at the time, same-sex marriage was not legal in England – where we are based – and we felt that although we do not have anything against civil partnerships, we wanted to have the option to get married. Little did our friends and family know that we had decided to combine our wedding with our dream holiday in Canada!”
“For two years, we planned our secret Toronto wedding and the month-long RV road-trip honeymoon”, she continued. “For a split second we considered keeping it very low key and contemplated tying the knot at City Hall given that it was just the two of us. However, after a Skype session with our photographer, Tara McMullen, we quickly discarded the idea as she reminded us that it was still our big day and we had the right to celebrate our love in style. So City Hall became a Rock n Roll photography gallery and plain clothes became 50s inspired dresses. Our quick elopement became the wedding we never knew we wanted.”
Wedding photographers Brooke and Tavis wanted to do their own wedding differently. So they took eight of their closest friends to Iceland where they eloped overlooking the ocean. Their friend Ryan officiated the ceremony, Samm Blake capture the magic and Luke Lindgren filmed the day.
“Like all good modern day love stories, Facebook played its role in how we met”, Brooke told me. “We are both photographers and ran in the same circles. I have to admit, I lied and said I was in desperate need of new headshots… all so I could get to know him better. We became best friends first and then lovers. I have never felt luckier to have both a lover and best friend as my husband.”
“We chose Iceland because in 2007 I saw a documentary by Sigur Ros called Heima, which is Icelandic for ‘home’,” she continued. “I always said if I was ever to marry again… we would go get lost in that magical place and start our journey as husband and wife there. We had just a handful of our closest friends with us and spent a amazing week together exploring the countryside. We didn’t have a theme at all. There was a lot of personal symbolism for us though – the contrast of fire and ice and extremes in nature.”
Gillian and Stephen eloped at Scarborough Registry Ofﬁce in October. They had a minimal budget, no formal reception and no guests bar their photographer, Laura. After the I dos they went for afternoon tea at Francis Tea Rooms.
The couple met in America when Stephen’s band were on tour. Despite living on opposite sides of the world they decided they just couldn’t let each other go! “We eloped because of a visa process and all the costs that and an international move racked up”, began the bride. “We spent about two years doing long distance between England and America. I then decided I wanted to pursue a ﬁancée visa so I could ﬁnally settle in England with Stephen. It was supposed to take about six weeks but it ended up taking seven months! The visa process also required both of our passports so we weren’t able to make visits to each other the whole time! Without knowing when (or if) the visa would return to us, we couldn’t plan a proper wedding. We eventually got the visa and I planned my return to the UK, but we were only given six months to get married, so we went ahead with an elopement.”
“We decided on Scarborough because we had spent some time here together while Stephen was doing a guest lecture at his old university”, she continued. “It was such a special, quiet day where we could focus just on each other after so much time apart. Before we got married we always spoke about getting matching tattoos, but never followed through with it. Stephen has some old friends he met at university still living in Scarborough, so on a whim we tracked down a mutual friend who is a tattoo artist and got matching moons on our ring ﬁngers and he got our wedding date on his knuckles.”
The bride wore an Alice Temperley dress with a flower crown made from spray roses and gypsophila. “We didn’t choose a theme, but it ended up feeling that was somewhat vintage. My dress was 1930s in style. After the ceremony we went to an amazing little tea room that used to be a hair salon and the building has been preserved and feels like something out of that time period.”
Erin and Tony met 10 years ago. He moved in to her building as the on-site caretaker and when Erin went to pay her rent that month she was met with a very handsome, topless man! It was a hot day and she actually though she was a friend who was popping over. I guess after that there was no going back! They couple got together soon after and married in NYC this January.
“The biggest inspiration for our wedding was really just a celebration of winter”, said Erin. “But it became so much more than that. Ever since Kate Middleton married Prince William and Pippa was in white I have loved white in a non-traditional role for a wedding. Then I came to love the idea of a white tuxedo because I for sure knew a white dress wasn’t for me. We found Tony a white tux three weeks before we left for the wedding. We bought tickets to New York City on a seat sale in October and booked enough time to get there for New Years Eve in Times Square. We weren’t getting married till the 8th of January (on Elvis Presley’s birthday) so we basically had our honeymoon before the wedding and took in every site that we could see. After the ceremony we had a quiet dinner out and celebrated with a fruit flan from the bakery next door to our hotel.”
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.”