ARE YOU READY?!
Alright guys, THIS IS IT! The blog where I spill every little detail about our elopement, so grab your coffee, wine, a snack or whatever you need to sit still for a while because this is going to be a LONG ONE! --- Okay, so I take it if you're reading this you're interested in getting eloped or just really loved ours.. If you haven’t seen ours let me show you real quick— here is a link to our website,
That, that right there is how we announced to everyone we had gotten eloped a month prior. And I knew from the moment we agreed to get eloped on the West Coast, that was how we were going to do it.
So here are our 6 simple steps to getting eloped.
Step 1- HAVE A PLAN
Step 2- TREAT IT LIKE A WEDDING DAY
Step 3- DOCUMENT IT
Step 4- VENDORS/MAKE IT WORTH THEIR TIME
Step 5- STAY CALM YOU GOT MARRIED!
Step 6- ANNOUNCE IT
STEP 1: HAVE A PLAN
Okay you're getting eloped, now what? First thing we did was sit down and list all the reasons we wanted to elope, and why we didn’t. We thought about the things we wanted to incorporate in our wedding day, and what was important to us, made a budget for our elopement, and finally… planned the dreadful how are we telling everyone thing. ( which I KNEW from the get go I wanted to announce it on a website!) WE PLANNED EVERYTHING OUT.
STEP 2: TREAT IT LIKE YOUR WEDDING DAY
This is probably the biggest one. I mean eloping isn’t anything new, people have been doing it forever. Some people plan it out, and others drive to a courthouse and wing it, there is seriously no right or wrong way, its really whatever you feel like doing. But in my opinion, I think its still YOUR WEDDING DAY, a day that should be remembered and a day where the bride and groom should feel like absolute stars, and you should still get beautiful, wear a nice dress, get your make up done, and the groom should wear the best suit he has. I think that is what people really loved about our Elopement. The fact that we still treated the entire day like we would our wedding day. So, get your pen and paper, and write it down because that guys, thats step number 2. TREAT YOUR ELOPEMENT LIKE YOUR $60,000 WEDDING WOULD OF BEEN TREATED. ( or however much your wedding budget is) Plan everything out just as you would your wedding day, just because you're getting eloped doesn’t mean you have to be lazy about it and half ass things, in my personal opinion, I think you should work just as hard to make this the most epic, memorable day ever. We thought about every little detail; what are we wearing, what is our venue, who is going to document it, how are we going to announce it, should we have a cake, do a first dance? LITERALLY WE DID IT ALL.
STEP 3: DOCUMENT IT
This was an absolute no brainer for us, I mean hello, I’m a photographer. I photograph weddings and I preach to my brides how important it is to document their love stories, how could we get eloped and not show our loved ones photos of it?! Now if you’ve read the previous blog post, you know that I had already reached out to vendors for an NC wedding and that B and I got incredibly lucky when our photographer Kayla Coleman said she would hop on a plan to the west coast In January to freeze her booty off on a beach with us, again THANKS GIRL! So we had photos covered but one thing we didn’t have was a videographer. And I get asked all the time about this on wedding days STILL, and I cannot stress to you enough the importance of a wedding video. I mean honestly, its so important. During our travels over seas, we met people in every country we went that had seen our wedding video through someone we knew, that's right, we met people and heard them talk about how much they LOVED our wedding day, how they wanted to do something just like that, how it made them cry because it was just so sweet, and we didn’t even know them. Now, does that help explain to you the importance a wedding video can hold in your heart?
STEP 4: VENDORS/MAKE IT WORTH THEIR TIME
Now your expensive wedding was going to have a list of vendors, why shouldn’t your elopement?
I always knew I wanted Kayla to photograph our wedding, so I didn’t have to search anywhere for a photographer, that was in the bag the day she told me her open dates! But a videographer, I HAD NO IDEA WHERE TO FIND ONE. SO what did I do? I turned to social media, thats right. SOCIAL MEDIA, you know that thing you're constantly on, I used it as a search engine, typing hashtags like “elopement videography” on instagram. I reached out to other creatives on facebook and was honest about what I was looking for, a videographer who doesn’t mind traveling to Washington right after the new year and freezing their ass off, and someone who had a drone — (Brandon’s request, which honestly was the BEST EVER! ) and then suddenly Brain of With this ring fims popped into my life. And I instantly fell in love with videos they had on their site, plus they had a drone and used it as much as they could in every video we saw. SO we talked to Brian, we let him know what we were planning, how we thought our day would go, and asked if he wanted to be apart of it, and he did. He and an assistant flew out to Washington, drove 4 hours from the airport to Forks, WA to help document our wedding day. Okay so those two vendors are taken care of, what else do we need? Well hello, I don’t have time to stress about every little detail, we totally needed a wedding planner! That is where we got pretty lucky, I had attended a local meeting for creatives in my area and I met Nicole and Amber, a wedding planning/officiate team right here in Washington. These girls were a total god send, they thought of things I had no idea I needed to think of and were totally excited to jump on board with this seaside elopement. You know that whole chocolate ceremony you love so much, yea, that was Ambers idea, us having our first dance on the beach, their idea. They referred a great rental company for table decor and knew exactly where we needed to grab our wedding cake from — okay photography, videography, officiate, planner, what else do we need? UH HELLO?! I NEED SOMEONE FOR HAIR AND MAKE UP! Because lord knows, I am not good at it! Again, I turned to social media for vendors, I knew I was going to be getting married in Forks, Washington so I knew I needed someone in that area or someone willing to travel there. I turned to my trusted hashtags again, and stumbles across Boho Fox Artistry, aka Alena, THE HAIR and MAKE UP GODDESS! I was up front about what I needed, and where it would be and she agreed. So with that we had filled all of our vendor spots. Now the second little snippet of this is, make it worth their time. To us, this meant let them express creativity here. Everyone in the wedding industry is some sort of creative, and we knew what we wanted and we conveyed that to them, and everything else we let them kind of do. We knew we wanted a ombre water colorist cake, We showed it to our bakers and they suggested a Semi Naked ombre cake, our initial thought YES PLEASE. That hair style so many of you love from our big day, all Alena, we went and grabbed coffee she showed some hair styles she was wanting to do and we picked one that would be best for me and my dress. Our Calligrapher Natalie, was amazing I found via social media and let her know what I wanted and boom a beautiful blue gold foil announcement was born. Video wise, I told Brian we wanted a drone shot, didn’t care what it was or how he did it, and guess what we have some pretty amazing shots throughout our entire video. So thats all I mean by that, let the creatives do what they do best. Its their job.
STEP 5: STAY CALM
Okay here it is, YOUR WEDDING DAY! So I know what you all are thinking “you got married on a beach but like where did you get ready?” We searched airbnb/bed and breakfast in the area, found one we loved and booked it. We got super lucky no one else was there our weekend, but again who the eff goes to Forks, Washington in January? The day has finally come, vendors start showing up the morning of. We meet Brian and Kayla, Nicole and Amber are texting pictures of my finished bouquet they worked on all night, Alena comes in hand with her boyfriend who kept Brandon company while I got ready. And Mimosa drinking had started! We had everything ready for our detail shots. Brandon’s cufflinks, his watch, fancy shoes, my something blue from my sister, my grandpa’s old pocket watch, and of course my dress. — now I know a lot of girls are still dying to know where I got my dress, and the truth is. I got it for $500 from Dillards, a department store. I looked ALL OVER for a unique wedding dress. I even bought one from BHLDN, (refer to previous post to see a pic) and guess what, I saw another girl wearing THE SAME DRESS, THE SAME EFFING DRESS. So I said, BUMP THAT, and I got online and kept searching for a dress I thought no one else would have. I searched all over google, went to every site I could think of and eventually had almost given up and then remembered I had gotten my first prom dress from Dillards and decided WHY NOT, and looked online there at all of their formal gowns. I fell in love with the one I wore, which is actually a MOTHER OF THE BRIDE DRESS, and bought it without ever seeing it in person or trying it on. — okay back to the wedding day. It went just like any other day, we got ready, we had a first look, we walked down to the beach together and got married, we ate cake and danced. We even got smoke bombs because again, why not?! After the whole getting married thing we were all starving and decided that going to the greasiest burger joint in Forks was the only proper thing to do. There we signed our wedding papers, texted our parents a photo of us on the beach holding up a “we eloped” sign so they could know the day we did it, and ate cake with all of our vendors, or should I say new friends. It was the most amazing day of my life, and I wouldn’t change a second of it.
STEP 6: ANNOUNCE IT
This is where those photos, videos and that website comes in hand. Do you know how much I hear “I can't get eloped, my family will flip, they won’t be there, peoples feelings will be hurt” and THIS IS MY SUGGESTION. Let them be there.. in spirit, our family/friends saw every moment of our wedding day through our video, and NO ONES feelings got hurt, they loved it. They were so incredibly happy to have something that showed them our day. Now I get it, everyone might not be that lucky, but we were and that's all I have to go off of. All I can tell you to do is what you feel is best in your heart, and in my experience people will understand. After all, it's your wedding day, and it's not about anyone else but you and your partner. Again, we knew we were announcing our elopement with a website, we knew it's what we wanted to do, something we also knew we wanted to do was include people. We sent out announcements to everyone who would have been invited to our wedding letting them know we got eloped.. So when they opened it, of course they thought it was a save the date or wedding invite but no, it was an announcement saying we eloped a month earlier on a beach in Washington. On that announcement we included our website and told everyone how important they were to us, but also how we wanted to spend the day just the two of us. We created a hashtag, and sure enough when people received their announcements they started posting on social media that they had gotten their's and finished their post off with #finallyaaron. When I tell you, we thought of everything I mean we THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!
So guys, thats its, that all I have to tell you. I have officially spilled our elopement secrets; how we did it, why we did it, how we made it so epic, and how we got our vendors out to Washington in the freezing cold. If your still not convinced to get eloped or your afraid to take the jump, watch this video it may help you make the decision. Again, Brandon and I are SO THANKFUL for everyone who helped make this day so special to us, it wouldn’t of been possible without each and every one of you!