To all the couples who are planning weddings + are having to adjust plans because of the pandemic, we just want to say we see you + this sucks. As we’ve walked alongside our 2020 couples, we’ve felt the weight of these losses ourselves, so we can only imagine what you’re feeling. Weddings are so personal; you’ve spent months curating a day that is such a representation of who you are. So to lose that, feels personal. It feels like you are losing a part of yourself.
Overwhelmed in feeling like you won’t get to experience all the exciting pieces of the wedding planning process— registering for gifts, having a bridal shower, having your own bachelor/bachelorette party, your honeymoon + even potentially your wedding. Don’t feel embarrassed to admit that you are bummed out that your wedding season doesn’t follow tradition. While non traditional wedding customs might be trending, they are only fun when it is by choice. You didn’t choose this.
We know you were excited to just be married + to not have to make another decision again for a while, but for now, your guests, family + friends are all looking to you for what's next. All that being said, we want to tell you about one of our favorite solutions to postponing. So many of our couples have opted to go this route and honestly, we're kinda hoping this is something that will be a new trend-- elope now + plan a reception party for when this is all over! As girls that make people celebrate our birthdays all month long (conveniently it’s the same month), we say why not both?! Elope now + party later. Postpone AND elope.
Since initially you weren't sold enough on the idea of an elopement to go that route, we want to tell you that if you have an intimate ceremony to make it official, you DO NOT have to sacrifice the details + vision. Your elopement can be just as much of a representation of joy and celebration as the big wedding you planned. Whether that be filled with bold colors + boho touches, or timeless details. We compiled a list of things that you have the ability to change now that you are eloping, while staying genuine to yourselves + your desired celebrations.
5 Things to do When Choosing to Elope Now and Have the Reception Later
1. Pick a location that's special to you guys.
Rolling with the ever changing plans can feel like it’s not going to feel special. That said, if things have to change, use this opportunity to make it even more sentimental. If it’s just going to be the two of you and your immediate family, you don’t need all the amenities that your venue had to offer. SO choose a place that is special to the both of you! Make it official in a place where you’ve shared sweet memories.
So he told you he loved you at the coast? Or proposed to you on the top of your favorite hike? Or you two have frequented a nearby city for mini-getaways? Or you’ve had countless dinners on your parents back patio? Get married there! Think of this as a bonus celebration. You’ll get the big party later, but you’ll also get the sentimental ceremony now.
Another option is to use this change up as a way to curate the vision you had hoped to, but budget wouldn’t allow. If you sacrificed the super modern wedding venue because the cost deterred you or the cabin in the wood vibe because you were afraid to inconvenience all of your guests, use this opportunity to get to do what you really wanted. This could be the time to get the aesthetic you really wanted + still get the killer party later. Bonus: you can stay an extra night at the rental for a mini honeymoon! Below are some of our favorite vacation rentals in our area— who says you have to travel far to elope?
2. Ask your photographer to be there.
This day isn’t any less special than the original celebration you dreamed up, after all, you still are committing to forever! You’re going to want to be able to remember the joy you felt from the sweet victory of getting married amidst what felt like such a storm. 30 years from now, you’ll look at your baby faces + remember what you used to think chaos looked like, and those reminiscent smiles on your faces might be just the reminder you need to withstand.
You are committing to life together— the good and the bad, why not live into the beauty now + document the crap out of it.
Pro-tip: Vendors are being so, so gracious in this time. Because of this many photographers are offering elopement sessions as a discounted rate for their clients that are making adjustments due to COVID. Totally ask, they already had the day blocked off on their calendar for you!
3. Wear your dress… or NOT.
So now you’re having two parties— the elopement and the reception. While the wardrobe change may have felt a bit too extra when planning a big wedding, you now have two separate celebrations! Maybe this means, two days, two looks! If that’s you, use the opportunity to try the jumpsuit or more casual, short dress. If this is a way that gets you excited about the idea of an elopement, run with it! Or maybe you want your elopement to be more relaxed, wearing something that makes you feel the most, well, YOU. Then do just that. Toss a veil on with your everyday high waisted jeans. You’ll remember that feeling of feeling so comfortable in your own skin while you committed to your soon-to-be spouse!
Some of you read that and are like, “That feels overwhelming. Like, we literally planned the perfect day, and the idea of treating this like a separate celebration just feels like more details to plan. I honestly don’t want to plan this elopement to be any different!” We get that two, and the best part is, is that it doesn’t have to be. You picked out the perfect dress with your closest gals, so wear it! Who says you only get to wear your dress once? amiright?! Guaranteed, when you finally get to wear it to your reception party, you’ll be able to reminisce about the person you were six months ago when you wore it for the first time + the person marriage has already challenged you to become.
4. Cook a good meal + drink good wine.
You just got married, so pop a bottle of champagne and freaking celebrate! Just because it’s not the big party you were hoping for, doesn’t mean that you can’t like you planned to. Rumor has it that a lot of couples don’t even get to eat the food they spent so much time picking out because they are overwhelmed or too busy on their wedding days. So take this time to have an amazing meal! We believe that when people gather around the table with good food + good drink, something beautiful happens. Choose joy + choose celebration, don’t just rush through this day because it’s not what you had in mind.
End the night with toasts to your future together, after all, you’re surrounded by the people that are going to be in it with you.
5. Party with your friends later.
Know that six months from now, your friends will still want to celebrate you both! They’ll still be just as excited for you. Honestly, they might be more excited as it may just be the first social event they’ve gone to in months!
People always say that the bride and groom rarely get to eat on their wedding day because they are so busy, so make a killer meal, keep the wine flowing and enjoy the summer sun beaming through the trees in the backyard.
You’ll get to celebrate with everyone soon, but for now, you have your forever right next to you.
photographer: Brooke Embree Photography
design + styling: Hosted By
florals: Fleurie & Co.
hair + makeup: Underwood Makeup
jewelry: Nordy Made
model: Shaynah Vandegriffe
dress: Free People