A True Romance Meets The French New Wave Elopement

Mandee Johnson Photography

December 15, 2023

When asked to describe their elopement, Jenna and Thomas knew exactly what to say, “True Romance meets The French New Wave, with Stardust pulsing through its veins. The scene where Alabama and Clarence walk down the steps of city hall after and their impromptu nuptials provided inspiration for our elopement. But the sweeping, romantic fantasy of our unique relationship – that’s all stardust.”

Married at San Francisco City Hall with just a few close friends as witnesses, the inspiration came primarily from their own conversations about how they imagined a their perfect day. More than anything, the elopement reflected who Jenna and Thomas are. “We embraced the elements that felt suited to us and tossed the rest”, Jenna continued. “In an industry that often embraces tradition, it can feel pretty radical to decide that what works for you isn’t something you’re used to seeing – especially in media. Eloping is so incredibly romantic and I would do it a thousand times over but it’s fair to realise that you’re trading in many of the moments you may grow up thinking you want for the simplicity and intimacy of an elopement.”

The ceremony, a mere four minutes atop the steps of San Francisco City Hall, was a brief yet beautiful moment. Jenna reminisces, “As short as it was, I still fantasise about looking into my partner’s eyes and realising the step we were taking together. The morning of the elopement, we got up and went to the hotel bar where we individually wrote out our vows for each other. Then – after we got ready we shared a custom blended tea (we’re big fans of tea!) and read our vows to each. Or rather he read them to me and I sobbed through mine.”

Their was no reception, instead they shared cake and sparking juice with their friends on the steps of City Hall. Afterwards, they shared their first dance in amongst some trees in Golden Gate Park.

What the couple really loved about doing their wedding this way, was the element of self-discovery they found along the way. Thomas in particular enjoyed how they were able to take their two separate tastes and versions of what would make a good wedding, and merge them together.

“It was like our own branding assignment. I love branding!” Jenna continued. “Something I knew even before we started planning is that I wanted to wake up together and fall asleep together. I know traditionally, the to-be spouses spend the night apart, but getting ready together was something that I deeply wanted. And it was absolutely worth it. Some of the most intimate – and sexiest – moments of the entire day.”

“A lot of people have opinions and ideas on how something like a wedding should be accomplished”, she concluded. “Some of those opinions have value, but ultimately, I wish that there would be less opinions and more acceptance for whatever works for the people directly involved in the marriage. I also recommend giving yourself the space and time to figure out what you want in the first place! I thought I wanted a big party with lots of people. Families, friends, DJ, catered food – the whole thing. And for a while, we went down that path. It took a lot of reflection and time to realise that wasn’t what this version of us wanted. Maybe in another universe…”