Hi friends! How’s it going? This has almost nothing to do with what I’m going to talk about today, but I just have to briefly mention that NC weather cracks me up. I haven’t lived here long enough to know how much of this is just effects of our changing environment vs. that’s just how NC works, but lemme tell you a quick story from this morning. It is Wednesday, March 14. So far this year, it’s been as high as 80 degrees F. This morning, at 33 degrees F (don’t quote me on that), it snowed significantly (for here anyways). It was a heavy snow, and it was sticking! I think there was about a half inch on the ground. I was on the phone with my best friend, and I was shocked at how it was coming down. I made a comment about it, and she of course mocked me, b/c she lives in Chicago, and snow is basically life there. However, as we’re chatting a while, I suddenly turn and look out the window, and I see that it is now sunny, and all the snow is gone. All of it. And now it’s sunny and gorgeous outside. Still chilly, but still. And THAT, folks, is why I love NC.
Ok again, that was outside of what I was planning on talking about today. What I actually wanted to talk about was the hardest part of planning an elopement. I don’t mean the hardest part about eloping as a whole (that honor is usually given to dealing with family), but I mean the actual planning part.
Ready for it? The most difficult part of planning an elopement is (drumroll, please): …Picking a location.
Why? Weeelllllll…. with full weddings, you are somewhat limited on your options. Unless you’re thinking way outside the box, there are really only a handful of places that can hold 150-200 people. Or even 75 people.
With elopements, however, your options are numerous. I personally have a list of about 15 available locations within Charlotte and the surrounding areas, including gardens, breweries, vineyards, old converted mills, old converted houses, etc. In addition to that, the actual options are almost endless. I’ve researched rooftops, a GIANT old tree, even an actual battleship! Now granted, some of these locations have date limits, meaning days that they are and are not available for use. But other than that, HOW DO YOU PICK?
There are quite a few considerations that you want to put into your location, and while I probably can’t think of every single consideration you in particular will need, I’m going to list the most common below:
-How accessible is it? Do you yourself, or any of your guests have any difficulty in reaching a location (i.e. the top of a mountain, or down a long flight of stairs, etc)? If the answer is yes, you want to keep accessibility in mind.
-Is it indoor or outdoor? Outdoor is my fav. Like not even a question. However, it comes with risks of inclement weather. (such as today, when it ya know, randomly snowed). I always recommend having a backup, if you do choose an outdoor-only location. That being said, if you prefer outdoors, I say go for it.
-How far away is it? Do you feel like driving a bit for that extra special location? If it’s worth it to you, DO IT.
-Will I need seating? Elopement ceremonies are usually pretty short. Even so, sometimes guests have seating needs that some locations can or cannot accommodate. Ask me about that when we talk.
-Does it fit my personal style? While I personally hate being put in a box stylistically, I do know what is just 100% NOT my style. For instance, you’re never going to see me wearing cowboy boots (by the way, I grew up in Texas and used to own multiple pair). So I personally wouldn’t plan my own elopement in a barn. But you may love all things country and want your pictures sitting on a bale of hay. As they say in El Paso, YOU DO YOU.
-Is there a place that is meaningful to me and my fiancé? Remember that battleship I mentioned? That was for a couple who was in the Navy. Their plans for the battleship elopement sadly didn’t work out, but it was a damn cool idea.
Lastly, and I personally believe this is the most important question to ask yourself:
-When I envision getting married in my head, what is the backdrop I see? Is it a forest? Is it the beach? Do you truly not have a preference? ALL of that is ok. We can make your vision come to life. Or, if you honestly don’t care, we can give you some suggestions and help you pick. That’s the beauty of our packages; we take most of the burden off your shoulders.
Once you’ve picked your location, the rest of the pieces to an elopement usually easily fall into place. Whether you’re keeping it to just the basics or adding even more fun elements, we’re here to make your elopement and micro wedding dreams come true!
Wanna chat? Use the Contact Us button at the top of our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Hi friends! It's been awhile since I've posted (as usual). As you know, I don't like to frivolously post and share. I like to make sure the info I'm sharing is worth your time and attention. In an effort to share helpful knowledge with you, I recently reached out to several realtors in the area. See, I usually ask my clients why they have chosen to elope. Almost every one of my clients has told me that they want to make smarter decisions with their money, and for many, that meant buying their first home. So that got me thinking - Huh! I bet a lot of these clients could use some advice from a realtor!
One of the realtors I met was a super cool person named Costner Merrifield. Costner (which is an awesome name, BTW) is super passionate about many of the same things I am - creating happy clients and being a resource to make your lives easier. So I asked her to write a blog post with some helpful tips on buying your first home. Costner graciously agreed, and I'm sharing that blog post with you today!
You can find more about Costner and her services at http://newmelproperties.com. Her contact info is also at the end of this article. I hope you find this helpful!
A very old pic from my husband and my very first home back in 2013.
The Elopement Co. is going to give you the most fabulous elopement you could possibly imagine, but what about that next step in your newlywed life? Buying your first home! Not sure what to expect? That’s where I, The REALTOR, come in! I know it’s a HUGE step in your life, but believe me you've got this! Contrary to popular belief, real estate agents are not there just to collect commission! The RIGHT agent is there to make your home buying process as simple and enjoyable as possible, all while educating you along the way!
Here are 5 quick tips to help get you started:
DO IT! Seriously. Nothing is worse than falling in love with "the perfect home" and then finding out you can’t afford it. Start by finding a Lender. If you don’t know how to find one, I can put you in touch with some of our preferred Lenders that have shown proven success with previous clients. From there, the Lender will take you through the pre-qualifying process step by step. (Typically, it’s as easy as filling out a form online!)
2. CREATE YOUR CHECKLIST
What is important to you? Write out your wish list. Maybe you want a nice neighborhood with all the amenities, maybe you're a foodie that wants to be near all the hot new restaurants. Whatever is on your list, create it and set those standards! It’s nice to let me as your REALTOR know exactly what you're looking for, so I can help guide you in the right direction. **A bit of advice, it is smart to keep resale in mind while searching for your new home. You want to make sure this could be a good investment for you down the road.**
3. BE REALISTIC
We all watch HGTV right? SO addicting, Fixer Upper is my jam y'all! Just know you may need to see more than 3 homes to decide which one is best for you and that is ok! Compare it to finally finding your soulmate, finding a home is just as precious. That being said, the wish list you made...be ready to compromise (like relationships, am I right?!). Just because it doesn’t check all the boxes, doesn’t mean it isn’t "the one". Also, be realistic with your budget. Work closely with your Lender to decide a comfortable payment for you. There are many types of loans and your Lender will help you decide what is best for you. (You can visit www.newmelproperties.com and click the "Buyers" tab to learn more on this subject.) Save, Save, Save! You'll thank yourself later!
Be ready to be an open book not only with me, but your Lender as well. Communication is KEY because in this market, time is of the essence! Houses can literally be under contract in a matter of hours, so get ready to get friendly! That’s why it is SO important that you enjoy everyone you are working with! YOU get to choose those people, pretty cool right?
5. ENJOY THE PROCESS
Just remember, this is an exciting time for you and whatever home you pick out, it will be YOURS! So, take a deep breath and have a blast! The best thing as your REALTOR, is the pure joy I see once the closing is done, those keys in your hands and us celebrating together!
Congrats on this monumental time in your life! I wish you the absolute best on your big day and hope this blog helped even a tiny bit. If you have any further questions, reach out any time! Once you get to know me, you'll learn I love to chat!
This article goes out specifically to the dress-wearers out there. Let me start by saying I don’t think an elopement requires a dress; I believe you should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, gorgeous, and just damn happy. But if you WANT to wear a dress, listen up.
Quite a few people have asked for recommendations on where to find dresses that are good for eloping. And again, while I believe you can wear whatever makes you happy (if that’s a ballgown or a dinosaur costume, go for it), here are a few suggestions of some more traditional-style elopement dresses.
Modcloth is one of my favorite clothing sites for quite a few reasons. With styles from XXS-4X, this site caters to a wide range of people. And while it has all sorts of adorable clothing in general, their wedding section is one of my favs. It offers lace, tulle, cotton, short, long, mid-length… So. Many. Options. And so beautiful!
This site has some simply stunning gown options. With a wide variety of styles and sizes (US 2 - 26), you can find a gorgeous dress without taking out a third mortgage. It seems like each dress is made custom, and the site has information about how to figure out your measurements. While I have personally never ordered from here, I have heard really good things.
Price point: Short dresses typically start at $600, long gowns start at $900, skirts start at $200
These next two options are local to Charlotte, although Erin of RCB will of course ship. Erin makes some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. Her tulle skirts have basically become their own celebrity, but all of her dresses are stunning, and her prices are great. I’ve worked with Erin on numerous occasions, and I am always happy to recommend her to anyone.
RENT A DRESS! Why spent hundreds of dollars on a dress you are going to wear once? Bernadette of Dressed Charlotte wants to give you access to beautiful dresses for a fraction of the purchase cost. She takes care of the dry cleaning, and she offers accessories too! She has an office building with office hours, so make an appointment today to see her gorgeous inventory!
Speaking of renting, if you’re looking for a high-end dress at a low-end price, rent with Rent the Runway!
And JUST in case anyone wants to make my dreams come true and elope wearing a t-rex costume, I found on on Amazon: http://a.co/dHaqAEb. Just saying.
Until next time,
P.S. Please note: I am not currently receiving any kickbacks from any of these companies. I am just making recommendations based on my own experiences and observations. Should this ever change, I'll be sure to make it known. Much love.
We've all seen those people who are just really talented at having their photo taken. They always know how to stand, how to have enough of a smile without looking deranged, and the perfect place to put their hands. All of these talents combine to make this super-human look like a freaking angel in every photo.
For the rest of us, however, as soon as a camera is turned our way, we forget how to human. We have no idea how/where to stand, our smiles look like a bad performance of the Joker, and what ARE those weird things at the ends of our arms?!?
I'll be honest- I'm part of that second group. I love being behind the camera, but when it gets turned on me, I just freeze up!
When I met with Christina (pictured), she was really concerned about this. She told me she had never had professional pictures taken before, and she had no idea what to do.
So here's the big secret to getting that perfect, relaxed look in all your professional photos... Ready?... Don't worry about it.
And by that I don’t mean, “Oh stop worrying; just relax… you’ll be fine!” (I kind of want to punch people when they say that to me). What I mean is - YOU don’t have to worry about it, because that’s MY job! I’m the one who should be worrying about whether or not you are comfortable.
I’m the one who will tell you where to stand, where to put your hands, which way to look, etc., etc.
I will make you play games, make you tell me stories, make you laugh. We’ll joke, we’ll hang out, and we’ll have fun.
And in the end, you’ll have beautiful pictures to remember this amazing day you just spent with your love.
So if you’ve been worrying about getting your picture taken, just start blaming me instead. “Oh, that’s Charity’s problem.” I’ve got you. ;-)
Hi there! I’m trying so hard to be good at this blogging thing. So here we go… Story time.
A few days before June 29, I was at my wit's end. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere in my business. I felt like I was spinning my wheels, unable to reach couples that I knew were out there looking for something like what The Elopement Co. offers. Now, months ahead, we know about the Good Morning America piece and all that. But back then, that wasn’t even in my wildest dreams.
Frustrated, I reached out to a good friend and fellow business woman, Bernadette Maulion of Dressed Charlotte. Bernadette is an amazing business woman, and I knew she had done some business coaching for others in the past. I needed to vent, and I needed some direction. She was kind and gracious and set up an appointment for us to meet on June 29. We met. We had an amazing talk. I vented all my frustrations about being an entrepreneur, and she both understood and gave me guidance on what steps I should be taking. I felt better.
Upon leaving her office, I decided to stop for groceries on the way home. This was just a few days before July 4, and the grocery store was hopping. My husband Adrian and I were having some people over for the holiday, so I decided to go ahead and get party supplies. As I’m quickly filling up my shopping cart at Aldi, I get a phone call. Now, most people who know me personally know that I hate talking on the phone. My hearing isn’t great, so I’m always afraid I will not understand someone. In person is definitely my thing. But since I’m trying to be a better “business person” (haha yes I used quotes on that), I decided to answer it. And lo and behold, it was a client! Fabiola had found me through Google maps of all things, and she wanted to get married to her fiancé Wevilsom at the courthouse on July 10. I. WAS. ECSTATIC. After just having been feeling like I was getting nowhere, I got a client call. And she was SO sweet. I could just tell I was going to love working with her.
I got off the phone, finished getting my groceries, and ran home to complete her paperwork. On July 10, this sweet couple got married at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse with their two children and two of their closest friends.
They perfected The Dip:
As always, we laughed:
And they enjoyed delicious cupcakes by Gigi's!
So a big Thank You to Fabiola and Wevilsom for reminding me why I do what I do. Much love to you both!
Hi friends! As seems to be my habit, it’s been awhile since I’ve written. The last few months have been an amazing whirlwind! I hope to use the next few blog posts to clue you all in on what’s been going on with The Elopement Co. It’s been a really fun journey, and I can’t wait to share with you!
Back in July, I talked about some upcoming ideas with The Elopement Co. partnering with my friend Maliquea of Starnes and Co. Events. That idea is in full blast, and we are currently working on our first ever Tiny Wedding. I can’t wait to share more once that unfolds!
But the craziest thing by far to happen to me this year was the Good Morning America piece about TEC! Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to tell you how shocked I was when this all happened. Let me back up and start at the beginning.
I’ll start by explaining that, for the past few months, I’ve been working at a horse barn two days a week. I had decided that for my own mental health, I needed to make myself get out of the house a couple days a week. It is a way for me to work physically and rest mentally. I get to be out in nature, using my hands, and around sweet animals. It is really hard work, and I love it!
When Suzanne of Good Morning America called me, I was literally holding a shovel full of horse crap.
I don’t even usually answer calls from out of state. The only reason I answered her call was because it was the third time I’d gotten a call that day from New York. I assumed it was a telemarketer of some sort. I hit the “answer” button on my wireless headphones for the sole purpose of asking them to stop calling me. After I answered with “Hello, this is Charity,” however, I heard “Hi, this is Suzanne from Good Morning America calling, and …………” There were other words after that. I know she kept talking. But my mind froze. So I stood there, holding a shovel full of horse crap, and tried to mentally process what I had just heard.
I heard her ask “Is this a good time to talk?” I stammered… “Uh… yeah….” But she could tell it wasn’t (wise woman), so she rescheduled a time to talk later. She called me the next day, and we chatted. Apparently, the New York Times had recently done a piece about eloping (which is a great piece - read it here), and Good Morning America (GMA) wanted to cover the topic as well. Suzanne had started Googling elopements, and she came across The Elopement Co.! (That in and of itself is a small miracle.)
She asked me lots of questions about how TEC works and what I thought the was the current definition of elopements. I explained all about my vision for the company and about the amazing clients I have had the privilege to work with. She said they wanted to cover a live elopement and asked if I thought I could do one the following week.
Mentally, I screamed “NEXT WEEK??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? How am I supposed to find a couple willing to get married NEXT WEEK?!?” Out loud I said something like “Yeah I think I can do that. Let me see what I can do.”
I threw out a plea on Facebook. I’m fairly new to North Carolina, and I don’t even know that many people here. I called every client who was either booked with me already or had recently inquired. No one was available! A few people re-posted my Facebook message, including my amazing lawyer (also a client), and someone responded to her message and was willing.
The plans were put into motion. I reached out to Erin Foley of RCB Fashion, easily one of my favorite people in Charlotte, to see if she wanted to be involved and supply a dress for the bride. She was immediately on board! I started researching locations and figuring out details.
A few days into this process, the bride called me and told me they were dropping out. For reasons of their own, they couldn’t go through with the elopement. My heart plummeted. The day before getting this call, I had worked a 10 hour wedding (through my other brand, Whimsicle Photography), and my dog of 12 years had passed away. I was exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I decided I couldn’t make the GMA shoot happen.
I messaged Erin to let her know and apologize for wasting her time. Erin, being the amazing human being that she is, responded “Let me see what I can do.” I had a glimmer of hope, but I wasn’t expecting much.
Within two hours, Erin told me she had found a couple! I was dumbfounded. It was Sunday night, and the shoot was supposed to be that Wednesday. I had little hope of it all coming together, but IT DID. Erin also brought on Lindsay Pizzuti of Mirror Bomb Studio to do hair and makeup. My favorite officiant Kristy Yetman was available! Erin made a custom dress for Lorie (bride) in TWO DAYS. I found a local girl, Betty Cona of Bright & Lovely Blog, to make a custom elopement sign! There was a threat of rain, so I initially went through some contacts and found an awesome local coffee shop called Trade & Lore who was willing to let us use their space. On the day of the shoot, however, we saw that the rain wasn’t supposed to hit until the evening, so we went ahead with the original plan of using McGill Rose Garden.
I was a bundle of nerves on the day of the shoot. I am really good at imagining all of the bad things that could happen, and I just imagined making a fool of myself on national TV (with like, a booger hanging out of my nose or something). Or you know - somebody canceling, a car wreck, etc. However, everything went through exactly as planned. Lindsay did an amazing job on Lorie’s hair and makeup. Erin’s dress fit Lorie PERFECTLY. John looked incredibly sharp, and the boutonniere I had made matched everything exactly.
We met Suzanne at Erin’s shop where Lorie was getting ready. Suzanne was gracious and kind, and she was excited for Lorie and John. Then we all collected at McGill Rose Garden, and the ceremony was beautiful! There were some people in the garden having a book club meeting, and as the ceremony wrapped up, they all cheered for Lorie and John.
After we wrapped up their newlywed pictures, Suzanne interviewed first Lorie and John, and then me. I was SO nervous. I remember thinking “What do I do with my hands?!?” But I got through it, and I was pleased with the results!
Lorie and John were SUCH a sweet couple. There’s so much more I could say about the time I spent with them, but I figure I have to wrap this up at some point. I will say this - I am so thankful to everyone who participated in helping pull off this amazing adventure. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the piece yet, there’s a link here. Or it’s also out on the website!
To end this amazing story, I’m going to tell you what happened on the day the piece aired. I was at the barn. Doing chores, including shoveling horse crap. How fitting!
Back in April, I photographed one of the sweetest elopements ever. Theodore (Teddy) and Amanda’s story begins when they met in elementary school. As both of their fathers were in the military, Teddy and Amanda met at Camp Pendelton in California. Teddy was in the 6th grade, and Amanda was in the 5th. Though they started dating at that young age, they were sadly separated when their families were transferred to different states. Though separated, the two both believed they would somehow make their way back to each other.
Teddy and Amanda lost touch for quite a few years, and life went on. Then, four years ago, Amanda looked Teddy up on Facebook and decided to reach out. Wait a second, you might ask - looking up an ex on Facebook actually worked for someone?!? YES! Teddy and Amanda reconnected, and on April 7, 2017, they were married!
Teddy and Amanda chose Jetton Park in Cornelius, NC as their elopement location. A beautiful park surrounding a large lake, Jetton Park is a perfect location. We discovered a small peninsula just large enough for Teddy and Amanda’s closest friends and family members, and officiant Kristy Yetman performed the ceremony on a beautiful (and slightly chilly) April day.
Amanda's father walked her down the "aisle" and gave her away.
Amanda's and Teddy were surrounded by their closest friends and family members.
The couple each wrote their own vows. Amanda's vows were beautiful as poetry and included the lines "You've taught me that I don't have to be perfect, you've taught me how to love life and it’s ok for someone to save me, I don't have to do everything alone."
They exchanged rings.
Look at that beautiful view!
And the kiss!
After the ceremony, the couple enjoyed cake pops with Amanda's sweet daughter.
Then we explored Jetton park for the couple's portraits!
The custom bouquet by The Elopement Co. matched the purple theme perfectly!
Lastly, Teddy and Amanda changed into their just married shirts, and we finished off the celebration with a bang!
This sweet couple is a perfect example of how fun and beautiful an elopement can be! I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Hi!!!!! Surprise! I'm still here! It's been a little while since I've posted. I'm pretty bad at doing this regularly, and for that I apologize. I'm working on it! Let me give you a brief catch up on what I've been up to.
Many of you know I have two companies, one is The Elopement Co (my favorite!). The other is Whimsicle Photography. I do a lot of other types of photography under that company, including portraits, full weddings, maternity, headshots, family, and more. Well, in the past few weeks, I've been fairly slammed with weddings, including a wedding in Chicago, a bridal session, a family session which included the most adorable little boy in the world, and more. It's been a BLAST.
I've started working at a horse barn two days a week! Real talk: being an entrepreneur is tough. Many of my days are spent at home on my computer. And while I love the work I'm doing, I sometimes just need to get out of the house and out in nature. So I took a gig working two days a week at a horse barn. I grew up on a ranch in Texas, so the work is very familiar with me. And while it is HARD work, I love being around the animals. It's comforting in a way that few things are.
I'm moving! I'm actually writing this sitting in my new living room surrounded by boxes. My husband and I are moving closer to the heart of Charlotte. When we first moved here from Chicago last year, we had no clue what neighborhoods we would really like, so we ended up in the university area. And while we enjoyed our time there, we found ourselves in Plaza Midwood 3-4 nights a week. So we decided PM was where we wanted to be. We found an adorable house to rent, and I'm so excited to be here! There is MUCH unpacking and settling in to do, and we're still cleaning up at our old place. So right now, that's taking up the majority of my time. Soon though, I will be unpacked and will have my own office and studio space! I'm pretty excited about this.
QC Femme Fest - I had a vendor booth at Queen City Femme Fest on June 3! This festival was awesome. It was held in Plaza Midwood in front of The Dog Salon. The idea behind the fest was to highlight Charlotte companies with female owners. There were so many cool vendors there; it was truly an honor to work beside those incredible women. We had a pretty big turnout, especially since this is the first year for the fest. I'm looking forward to returning next year!
Ok so that's what I've been up to! Next week I'm going to tell you all about this really sweet elopement I did in April for two childhood sweethearts, then I can't wait to tell you about the winners of my giveaway from the ThenComesMarriage.LOVE wedding expo. THEN I have to tell you all about a brewery elopement! SO much to tell you! Talk soon!
Hi friends! I want to tell you about my latest hard work, aka tasting cupcakes. My most recent bakery visit was to Nona’s Sweets located in north Charlotte. The first thing I noticed about Nona’s was the name. I recognized Nona as a name for Grandmother, and sure enough, co-owner Dominica immediately mentioned the meaning. Family is an important part of this cafe/bakery, as evidenced by the numerous news clippings and art pieces found on the walls of the cafe. Dominica told me that the bakery, celebrating its 16th year, morphed from just a bakery to a cafe based on customer requests, and the new official name is “Nona’s Sweets and Papa’s Eats.” Super cute.
The second thing I noticed about Nona’s were the cupcake options. They offer something a little different - pre-made cupcake bottoms in multiple flavors, and you choose the icing! I love this as a concept - you get to customize key lime cake with strawberry icing, or strawberry cake with chocolate icing. With at least 8 cake flavors, the possibilities are vast!
Nona’s unfortunately does not offer gluten free or vegan options. They do however offer small cakes (think about the size of the top layer of a wedding cake) or mini-cakes, which were tiny and adorable. This is all in addition to their full-size wedding cakes. Dominica was warm and kind, and she spoke about how she loves that they can be a part of someone’s special day.
And now on to the important part - the tasting. I went with the bakery’s most popular choice, the vanilla cupcake with almond butter cream icing. The cake was so soft. In my very unprofessional opinion, it seemed almost as light as angel food cake. Definitely not dry, but not dense and moist. The icing was also creamy and sweet, and I would say on a little light on the application (so yes, I prefer as much icing as cake…). I am looking forward to trying other flavors and combinations, and I’m excited to offer these options to my clients!
If you're in the university area, check out Nona's!
For a few years now, my husband and I have been intrigued with the idea of minimalism. While we have never been extravagant people, at some point we decided to be very intentional about everything that we own. I think that is one of the reasons I am so drawn to courthouse weddings and elopement weddings. There is something so beautiful to me in the intentional act of foregoing spending $100/person on dry chicken, $15k on the popular venue, $5k on a dress, etc, and instead focusing on the essentials.
Focus on the Essentials
That being said, I believe the "essentials" are different for everyone. Our friends S & J also pursue a minimalist lifestyle, and occasionally I wonder at the things they are comfortable living without. To them, those things simply aren't important, aren't necessary for every day life. For me, however, some of those things are. And that's ok. I have intentionally thought through "do I need this?", and the answer was yes. Therefore I kept it. The same idea goes for minimalism in elopements/courthouse weddings. For some people, having a beautiful, extravagant gown that makes them feel extra is essential. For others, having their favorite, special flowers mean the world. For some, they want that beautiful diamond stone that will be an heirloom for their family. If those items bring value and true joy to your day and your memories, if you are intentional in your decisions, and not simply pressured by traditions and societal standards, then you can still embrace the spirit of minimalism.
Bring Value and Joy
At The Elopement Co., I want to provide courthouse wedding and elopement wedding packages that allow couples to pursue the beautiful, the special, and the intentional. I cringe when I hear the all-too-frequent tale of "I wanted to do my wedding this way, but my mom said I had to have this." or "I only wanted this many guests, but my family said I had to invite XYZ." Saying no can be tough. Standing up for yourself is hard. But the rewards are big. Saving money, not going into debt, not creating unnecessary waste - these are just a few of the benefits of a tiny wedding.
So here are some things to think about when pursuing minimalism in your tiny wedding.
1. Will it make me happy?
I don't mean happy in the way wedding things are usually thought us as happy. I mean will it MEAN something to you? Are you passionate about this thing? Will you be able to savor this thing, that moment, that sensation? Will it bring you true joy? Or will it be something that happens so fast that you'll barely even noticed it happened? Is it meant to make everyone else happy, and not really mean anything to you?
2. Will it deepen my relationship with the people that truly matter?
The guest list is often the most debated topic of a wedding. Should I invite my cousin's barber's dog groomer's brother's dentist? If I don't, will my cousin's barber's dog groomer's brother be furious and never speak to me again? The obvious question here is WHO CARES? While this may be a BIT dramatic, I have heard countless stories of couples feeling pressured to invite someone that means no more to them than that dentist. And while they are paying $100 to feed that dentist dry chicken (I may have a vendetta against wedding chicken), the dentist is wondering why they had to dress up on a perfectly good Saturday evening to come to a stupid wedding of someone they don't know.
The truth is, you will know the people you can't imagine not being there for your marriage. So if you can't do without those people, invite them or involve them. Involving them may mean having them on Skype during your ceremony. Or maybe it means having a videographer capture your tiny ceremony so you can share it with your loved ones. Or maybe it means a giant BBQ sometime after the ceremony. Whatever that means to you, it matters as long as it is important to you.
3. Will I even remember this?
This is along the same idea of "will this make me happy?" Will you remember a church or a reception hall with nondescript interior? If the answer is yes, cool. More likely, though, is that that location would be a blur within a few months. But how about the backyard of your childhood home, the side of a majestic mountain, a peaceful beach, or a serene vineyard? What about that location that makes you feel the wonder of the world around you? Will you remember what favors you handed out, or will you cherish the moments you got to spend really focusing on your loved one?
4. Is this just stressing me out?
Wedding planning is often one of the most stressful events of a person's life. I have watched brides spend so much energy on making everyone happy and having the "perfect" event, that by the time the day rolls around, they utter the horrifying phrase "I just want this all to be over." If what you are doing or planning does not mean anything to you but is just stressing you out, just don't do it! And let us help!
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalistwrite in depth about living a life of minimalism and what that means to them. Their definition of minimalism were things that meet the following criteria:
Eliminate our discontentReclaim our timeLive in the momentPursue our passionsDiscover our missionsExperience real freedomCreate more, consume lessFocus on our healthGrow as individualsContribute beyond ourselvesRid ourselves of excess stuffDiscover purpose in our lives
If you apply these principles to your wedding, you can determine the things that actually matter to you. Hopefully you can find freedom in whatever those things are. So if a tiny wedding feels right for you, I'd love to hear about it. Ask me questions, give suggestions, or just leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time,
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