“You and Me are Awesome” – A Kick Ass Independent Elopement

I loved Matt & Brandy as soon as I read their email to me last week. “We are f***ing rock n’ roll because we had the balls to call off a wedding.
We originally got engaged in April 2009 and shortly thereafter set the date for April 2010. We wanted a simple affair which of course spiraled out of control. It became about every one else. We lost sight of what the day meant to us as a couple. The guest list kept getting longer…which meant more money…and more problems. In November it hit us…wtf are we doing????
We ended up calling off the wedding…and calling off our engagement. We became a bit disenchanted by the whole wedding planning and wondered if it was something we ever wanted to do. We absolutely became victims of the wedding stress monster. We never thought it would happen to us!”

See? love them?! Lucky for them (and us!) they did decide to continue down the wedding path, but only if they could do it their way! “Months passed and we still loved one another. We still planned on spending the rest of our lives together so what now?” they continued. “We couldn’t imagine planning another wedding. Ugh. Well…Matt ended up winning free tickets to anywhere within the continental U.S. that had to be used before May 31st 2010. We decided on San Francisco and then we decided…hey…lets elope while we’re there!”


The pair had a month to plan the whole thing so they found a photographer on Craigslist, Brandy got her dress made by an Etsy seller  Spookykitten, Matt bought his suit from Zara, they made all the needed reservations at the courthouse…and didn’t tell anybody about their plan! “It really added to the excitement and romance having this secret” they told me “and it really felt so special leading up to that day. All of the uniqueness we were attempting to create for the original wedding day (which ended up feeling so contrived-duh!) just felt so organic on the actual wedding day we ended up having.”

As a final adorable touch, the pair both (independently) decided to surprise each other on the day. Brandy bought a cute and fun ‘You and Me are Awesome’ sign from Vahalla Studios that ended up in a lot of their pictures (they coloured it in together on the plane..aww!) and Matt surprised Brandy with a first dance in the courthouse, complete with an Ipod to play the music.

God I LOVE them! Enjoy these…and remember you stressed out brides-to-be…you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to! Do it your way!

Thanks so much to Brandy & Matt for sharing their kick ass-ness with us today. I love you guys!

Credit: Robert Hatch Photography
Dress:  Spookykitten on Etsy
Flowers: Fresh 
Her ring: Vintage from an estate sale
His ring: Etsy


  1. Ana

    Wow! Amazing! Some couples get lost un the big wedding plannig nthing… Great that they finally did things their way! They both look so happy! Cobgrats! Beautiful pics!

  2. britpopbaby

    Argh! I’m SO tempted! Not because I’m stressed but because it’s all so romantic and sincere. Adore it.

  3. jojo

    love love love love this one! just shows you don’t need a massive wedding for it to be special! they both look so in love, cuteness personified 🙂

  4. kristen

    having the privilege to be friends with matt and brandy – i can tell you that they both rock the m-fing house. they are awesome friends and fantastic human beings. we are all so happy that they had their day their way – the only way it should be! we love you b&m!!!

  5. deddie

    I’m brandy’s mom….i love the wedding…they were into each other ,and not worried about anything but the moment..i think it was beautiful..they looked very happy..a non traditional wedding for a nontraditional couple….PERFECT…..LOVE THEM BOTH….

  6. kelly

    beautiful! they are so stinkin adorable! i wish i could do the same right about now!! …all that’s holding me back is the deposits we’ve already made

  7. brandy

    thanks so much for featuring us kat and thanks for all the lovely comments (you too mom:))! i sooooooo love your site, and really only looked here for inspiration!

    i just wanted to correct one thing…while i did surprise matt with that amazing sign, i cannot take credit for the design. i bought it at a craft fair and finally dug up their business card…

    they are called vahalla studios http://www.vahallastudios.com/store/detail/you-and-me-are-awesome/

    we did color it though:)

    i can’t believe i didnt think of crediting them originally! their sign was the star of many of our pics!

  8. faith

    these are utterly gorgeous! their love is so evident in the pics. so glad you didn’t let the wedding madness stop you. Blessings on your beautiful marriage!!

  9. where do i begin? well, id like to take credit for brandy and matt being together… thats a start! haha! but seriously…. LOVE LOVE LOVE them and LOVE them being married and LOVE the photography!! amazing people, amazing love, amazing story and amazing wedding! soooooooooooo happy for these two fabulous people, they are part of the cool kids crowd and i wish them all the most super cool stuff that life has to offer! xxxooo

  10. YAAAAY! This is soooo cool! The cutest couple I’ve ever shot, if I could just shoot cool people like Matt and Brandy all day long I’d be in heaven. We had such a blast from start to finish, uncomfortable silence, none, barrels of fun, yes! People Like these two cuties here keep me in love with what I do. Thanks guys!


    Your photographer

  11. Lallie

    congratulations – takes some massive nerve to call off your wedding and your engagement and then some massive love to get hitched all on your lonesome in San Fransisco. Love it – wish I’d done that… xxxxxxx

  12. Nicola (Simplep1xie)

    This has just become my new favourite wedding on this blog! This couple are fabulous – I love that they decided to hell with the more traditional idea of having a big wedding and all the heartache that goes with organising it – kudos to them for deciding that after the wheels were already set in motion – that takes some guts. Their day looks brilliant and totally full of love because it was all about them as it should be! They look so cute together and I love her dress and the totally laid back vibe of the whole day. The pics of them having their first dance at the court house got me a wee bit choked I have to say (and I may even copy Matt’s idea with the ipod as we’re running off to New York to get married in central park in November and I would like to have that first dance in the Ladies Pavillion!) Love, love, love this wedding and wish this lovely couple all the best for their newly married future!

  13. Louise

    Wow, what an inspiration this story is and what a beautiful couple Brandy and Matt are. Your lovely, relaxed pics have given my fiance and me (totally sick of planning already and we’ve not even booked a venue vet) more than a glimmer of an idea. Well done both of you for being true to yourselves and here’s to the fab future you deserve!

  14. Kate Jett

    Robert these pictures are too stink’in cute. What a great story these two have.

  15. Emily

    I LOVE you guys. I am having the EXACT same issue…Im even getting cold feet due to all the wedding crap! Maybe I need to elope….

  16. I couldn’t have come across this post at a better time! Feeling slightly guilty from friends’ and family’s gentle prodding into wedding tradition hell was making me have some serious doubts about mine and my fiance’s plans for a private ceremony this fall. And then with the doubts and the reconsidering came the STRESS and the thinking more about everyone else and not the two of us anymore. So in short, this story has reaffirmed our decision for me. 🙂 Rock on to those couples who do what THEY want!

  17. Therese

    Matt and Brandy – THIS IS SO PERFECT!!!!! Wayne and I are beyond thrilled for both of you. How great that you shared your story and pics with the whole world through this island-of-sanity website.

    Way to go!!!


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