At the beginning of this year if someone had told you that we’d have a national stay-at-home order because of a virus and you’d have to cancel your dream wedding day, you’d probably tell them what a terrible April Fools joke that was. Because it IS a terrible idea of a joke.
If you’re someone who has had to cancel their wedding or this year, I’m so sorry. But I’m here to offer a possible solution, AND you can still marry the person you’re wanting to commit the rest of your life to!
Have You Considered Eloping?
Hear me out. Have you ever seen couples in their wedding gear who are in nature under the most romantic scenery possible? Maybe it’s something you dreamed up for your wedding too. If so, we can still make this happen—it’s what I do! I’m so passionate about giving the power & celebration back to couples on their wedding day. So let’s turn the most disastrous year of crashing your wedding plans into the best day of your life!
Here are my 5 reasons why you should consider an elopement in spite of the Coronavirus:
1. You don’t have to be an extreme hiker to get eloped
When you think of the term “Adventure Elopement,” you might either have one of two responses. The first is you’re nervous because you enjoy nature to an extent, or you’re excited because it’s secretly what you wanted to do anyway.
If you’re resistant to the idea of eloping because you’re not much of a hiker or would rather wear your cute booties instead of hiking boots, this experience would still be for you! There are so many locations where you can get the same beautiful scenery without much of a hike—if at all. I have several areas that are curated for the non-hiking couple, AND you’ll still get the most-dreamy backdrop to say your vows under.
If you’re excited about the possibility of having a slightly more adventurous location, this could be exactly the right time for you to explore what your heart has been longing for from the beginning. An experience that isn’t about the pressures and obligations of others, but for this experience to be on your terms—in the most adventurous way you want.
In either circumstance, you have been dreaming about your wedding day for months, and you probably don’t care as much about a big wedding because you want to marry the person you’re committing your life to. Now is a perfect opportunity to elope despite the coronavirus. And despite having to cancel your wedding. YOU get to take the power back. You get to marry your person still.
2. Elopement locations: Where CAN we get eloped?
Great question! I research and hand-pick specific locations that make sense to you as a couple and what kind of adventure you enjoy the most. I’ll gladly travel to Yosemite or anywhere in the U.S for your type of adventure.
Some things to think about when deciding on where you want to get eloped:
- What kind of scenery do you enjoy the most?
- Do you like:
- Tall, green trees?
- The desert in all of its glory?
- Hills and mountains that scale the heavens?
- What was your favorite adventure you shared as a couple?
- What kind of landscape makes you equal parts filled with joy, excitement, and utter disbelief that places like this exist?
Think back to those moments where you felt that way. Chances are there a few places that come to mind. These are important because that kind of landscape is what we’ll be creating for you when you say your vows.
A note on park permits: most of the state parks and national parks do require some permit. There’ll be a wedding permit fee attached to the application that could cost between $120-$300. I’d be happy to walk my couples through the process as I’ve had to fill out my fair share of them!
3. Can we invite other people?
Yes! You absolutely can invite a few of your closest and most intimate friends or family members. If you have a best man or maid of honor who you think would be an amazing officiant, then have them marry you!
When thinking about who you want to invite, ask yourself who you are authentically yourself around. If that means not inviting a close family member because you don’t have a great relationship—then don’t.
You want this to be as authentically about you as it can be. Eloping is very different than a wedding because you can quite frankly get rid of all the obligations and traditions that were weighing you down.
It’s not about them because it’s about you as a couple. And if you’re struggling on who to invite and who not to invite, then do it the old-fashioned way—elope with just the two of you. It’s really only about you and your commitment to each other.
And I have a tip below for you if you’re struggling with wanting to invite more people. Here it is:
4. Throw a huge (or intimate) reception in the coming months
This is my favorite tip for eloping couples who like having more people around them—throw a reception! You really don’t have to sacrifice anything when you’re eloping because you can still have your favorite people there to celebrate with.
And you have several options when throwing your reception. The first is to have it right after the exchanging of vows, or you could wait a few months. Even if you were to wait for a bigger reception, who says you can’t celebrate on the day of your elopement?
After you say your vows, where there might have been a traditional “reception,” there are so many things we can do on your elopement day. We can set up a picnic for you to enjoy your wedding day food and dessert, watching the sunset. Or we could partner with a florist so you can have a sweetheart table, and feed each other your favorite dessert that would act as the “cake.”
The food could be pizza, In-N-Out, or takeout from your favorite Greek restaurant. The dessert could be donuts, lemon bars, a pie, or brownies. There are so many creative and FUN opportunities we can explore when planning what celebrating truly means to you after you say your vows. This is what makes an elopement different from a traditional wedding. It’s very specific to you as a couple and who you are as an individual. And you don’t have to feel like you’re pleasing anyone out of obligation.
5. All you need is your marriage license
Great news! If you want to get married in the coming months—you still can! Or if you feel like waiting until 2021, now is a great time to book your elopement photographer.
If you’ve already obtained your marriage license in California—this great news! It will expire 90 days from the date of your planned wedding date. What this means for you—I wouldn’t waste any time and jump on this opportunity to get married.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have their marriage license yet, each county’s marriage license offices have re-opened (with certain limits). Which means you’re one step closer to getting married! But either way, I’ll be monitoring California Governor Newsom’s reports and will update the latest information so we can start planning your elopement!
(For those who don’t want to elope in California, when you connect with me, I’ll be sure to do some digging where you’ll be obtaining your marriage license, as well as the governor of the state you want to elope in to see what’s allowed and what isn’t).
Remember that love is not canceled. Marriage is not canceled. So keep your spirits up—we can still make this happen!
6. EXTRA TIP: What about florals, HMUA, & other vendors?
For anyone who knows me, I have a huge passion for flowers—I think it’s because they’re whimsical. Flowers are really important to me, and I have amazing vendor friends who I would recommend for some STUNNING flower arrangements.
BUT, if you think you want to DIY your flower own flower arrangement, my biggest tip for this is Trader Joes. Did you know you can custom order certain flowers?
My mom did that for her intimate wedding a few years back. And they turned out amazing! My recommendation is to create a Pinterest board for inspiration. Then talk to your local Trader Joes store to see what flowers are in season to see if you can recreate something similar. I’d also test it to see if you can recreate a small bouquet once. Testing and practicing are beneficial for the day of!
For hiring HMUA, and all other vendors you might want, there are so many local options available. And I have a few favorite ideas for a more boho look if you’re a free spirit. Or if you’re interested in a full hiking elopement, there are some EPIC options for you!
Regardless of all the other vendors, you want this moment to reflect you as a couple. When thinking about capturing some of your most intimate moments you’ll experience on your elopement day makes me excited. I genuinely believe in freeing couples from obligations and expectations so that they feel celebrated & fully loved while saying their vows on their terms—in the most adventurous way they want.
If you’re curious about what an 8-hour elopement would look like I have an article for you explaining every single part of what that experience could look like. Or if you’re interested in more elopement tips and guides, check out the special offer for you below!