As I hear about couple after couple canceling or changing their wedding plans due to COVID-19, my heart breaks. We're in this collective grief, and even though worse things could happen than having to postpone a wedding date, I do think the heartbreak couples are experiencing because of this pandemic is still valid sorrow.
My husband and I got married inside of a church building on a dark winter's Friday night, and had our DIY reception at a local golf course clubhouse. Sound familiar? It really is for so many couples who have a large guest list and a small wedding budget: church weddings with an indoor reception.
Can I tell you a secret? I really wanted to get married on the top of our local mountain and ski down the "aisle." You see, I'm an outdoor girl, and if I had a choice to be inside or outside, I'd pick outside every time. When I got married I was an avid snowboarder and rock climber. I practically lived outside.
At the time, I presented this idea of a mountaintop wedding to my mother and she said, "No, grandma would freeze." Granted our wedding was planned for January, but in the desert where it doesn't get that cold. Grandma probably would still have frozen, nonetheless.
But what if you could get married someplace epic right now? What if having an amazing wedding wasn't just a dream for another year?
As an elopement photographer, I see a crazy amount of opportunities for couples to have a wedding they didn't even know they could have — right now.
As an elopement photographer, I see a crazy amount of opportunities for couples to have a wedding they didn't even know they could have — right now. One that can be someplace epic, one that gets to be about you two, and one that allows you to still have an epic dance party. So, before you write off the idea of eloping, consider the fact that they're weddings centered around a couple's experience. Elopements are not just what you see in the movies — you know, running off without your parents' permission to get married or doing it because you're pregnant. While there's no shame in doing either of those, elopements are also elegant, romantic, and should absolutely not be associated with shame or time constraints.
When I got married, I wish someone would have given me permission to realize my wedding day could be about my husband and I's love story. We've all heard the line that weddings are about the bride, but what if you could have a wedding centered around your journey together as a couple? That you could go get married with or without your family and besties, but go someplace epic that's safe for you to get to right now? (I'm just going to leave Colorado and Oregon on the table here because they are just freaking amazing places and a one- or two-day road trip away from almost anywhere in the US).
Gazing into an audience of faces I didn't recognize on my own wedding day was stressful, let alone planning for all the guests attending. Elopements are less stressful because you have fewer guests and less people to be concerned about catering a party for. Your wedding day is suddenly about you two instead of making sure you have enough food and figuring out the ratio of people who haven't RSVP'd versus the ones who have that won't actually show up.
And I know what you might be thinking: what about a party? I get it. I will fully admit that my favorite part of my wedding was the epic dance party we had with all our friends. But ask yourself this: what if that was the only piece you postponed until next year?
Having been in the wedding industry for over a decade now, most of the couples I've been so honored to work with say that they love their photo time because it's the first time in their whole wedding day they get to slow down and just be together. This is why I love elopements, because your day suddenly becomes about being together and focusing on you two instead of a wedding party.
So, what do you think? Would you exchange your canceled wedding plans for an epic elopement experience and a party later? Or stick to postponement? You better believe I'm already day-dreaming about my vow renewal with my husband, and you can bet I'm making him freeze his butt off to go someplace magical and have the wedding I wished we'd always done — one about us.