This is one of the biggest days of your life! The LAST thing you want is to feel stressed the whole time trying to rush all the details together! Plus, the best dates fill up on vendor calendars FAST... so set a date for at least a year in advance & take your time planning. :))))
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Go out on a date (to your fav restaurant or coffee shop) to talk about the wedding. Make it something that you both look forward to & not something you both dread talking about!
Now time to sit your little booties down & prioritize WHERE you wanna spend your money (are flowers on every table super important to you? or would you rather have an extra hour of photo coverage? etc). Discuss what's most important to you guys + STICK TO IT. Same goes for the guest count! Mom & dad are gonna try to convince you that Aunt Becky from North Dakota whom you've never met HAS to come... but she doesn't. LOL
Your VENUE and your PHOTOGRAPHER are your first two to think about (because they book up the quickest).
A great place to start researching would be to ask your recently married friends who they recommend! Then search instagram, google, yelp + READ THE REVIEWS!! Your photog, venue, & wedding planner will have recommendations for everything else (florals, calligraphy, rentals, hair, makeup, etc) to make it easier on you! :))))
There are sooo many ways to customize your wedding details to fit your personal style! From the invite suite, table settings, to your signature drinks, your menu, ceremony site, etc! Everything is customizable :))))
Search Pinterest for creative inspo! And don't be afraid to ask your vendors to try something you've never seen before (we honestly LOVE new ideas!!)! :))))
Your wedding planner can help with this for the most part, but also make sure to ask your photographer when they think the best time for the ceremony photos will be (taking into account sunset time). ALSO make sure you've added some extra cushion time between the big moments so you don't feel rushed. Like if you think it will only take 5 minutes to walk from the getting ready room to the "first look" location... give yourself 15 minutes just in case! Sometimes things come up & it's better to have more time just in case!!
Your family + friends (+ photographer + wedding planner lol) WANT to help you make this the best day of your life!! I know you prob don't wanna give up control (cause SAME lol!!) but LET them help you!! :))))
The planning process seems daunting at first & there's def a lot to do... but it's all gonna go by before you know it! So remember to slow down, enjoy all the little moments, & remember that at the end of it YOU get to marry your person & that's all that really matters!! :))) NOW LET'S GET YOU MARRIED!!!! xoxox
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There’s tons of different reasons why someone might want to elope (to save money, to get married with the focus on THEM and not their guests, to avoid family drama, getting remarried, etc). If eloping is what you believe in your heart is right for you… don’t let anybody make you feel bad about it. This is YOUR day, not theirs!
Imagine... what would be your DREAM wedding day? Just the two of you, spending time adventuring together, taking it slow… WHERE would it be? The possibilities are seriously limitless!! Maybe it’s some place internationally that you’ve always wanted to travel to or maybe some place sentimental like your favorite desert where you have an annual camping trip with your family? Where ever that place is for you… make sure that you research the weather, how busy it will be during the season you choose, & get your permits (to get married + take photos) ahead of time (popular locations like Yosemite National Park book up fast).
Just because you’re “eloping” doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the typical “wedding day” stuff if you don't want to! You can still send out announcements, eat cake, pop champagne, wear a beautiful dress or suit, have a pretty/decorated ceremony site set up, play music, go out to dinner after, maybe even invite a few close friends/fam! It’s whatever YOU want to do! So don’t feel like you have to miss out on anything :)
OMG this is going to be MAGIC... you're 100000% gonna want to remember it with some bombbbbb photos!! :)))) Plus you're saving SO much money on not buying a venue, catering, etc... AND you're going to have a lot more time in the day to get your perfect photos.... so you should most definitely hire a photographer for your elopement! ***Also make sure you hire someone that you vibe with (someone who you could see yourself being actual friends with)! This is gonna be a super intimate experience for you guys so you wanna make sure the person you let tag along will be fun + make you feel relaxed. :))))
You’re def still going to need a marriage license to make this thing official!! The laws are different in every state, but in California… you’ll need to both appear in person & show valid ID to your County Clerk’s Office to apply for your license. And you’ll need an officiant (this could be a friend who literally just got ordained online lol!) and that person will need to complete your license & send it in to your County’s Recorder’s office within 10 days of your elopement. If you’re not eloping in Cali, make sure that you research the local laws so everything is legit!
This is going to be insanely fun and alllll about YOU TWO!! Elopements are sooo so beautiful & intimate with waaay less stress + I'M JUST SO EXCITED FOR YOU UGH IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!!!!!
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Especially if your shoot is on a week day…. Please don’t rush to it after a long, stressful day at work. Take the day off. Maybe your shoot is out of town & you can really get away from the hustle & bustle of your day-to-day craziness. Have a slow morning with just the two of you. Maybe journal your thoughts & think about all the things you love about your partner. Go out & get your fav lunch (maybe invite your photog so you can hangout before your shoot too!!). You can really start to set the tone for your engagement shoot later in the day by creating a relaxing/chill/love-filled day from the beginning. :))))
Maybe it’s the coffee shop where you first met or the bar you had your first kiss or the mountain top where they proposed to you… picking a sentimental location can really get the feels going too. :)))) ***and if you’d rather just pick a spot with some epic views… then make plans to turn this new place into some place that you’ll come back to (maybe for an anniversary picnic!) & MAKE it sentimental. :))))
Ultimately, you just want to feel good, look hot, and be comfortable. If it’s gonna be cold, add a jacket. If the location requires a little bit of hiking, bring extra shoes & change into the cute ones at the top. Everything’s a lot more fun & you’ll feel wayyyy more relaxed + like yourself if your outfits are comfortable. :))))
Bringing a prop can help tell the story of your relationship & give you “something to do with your hands” lol!! Whether you bring your dog to play with, or a guitar, or have a picnic set up with some cute charcuterie, or bring a bottle of champagne to pop, or sit on your motorcycle or lay in the bed of your truck… there’s a ton of different ways you can customize your shoot to make it your own!
You totally don't have to have anything professionally done, if you're more of the natural vibe type of bride... BUT this could be a good excuse to get alllll dolled up if that's your thing!! :)))) You can also def try to coordinate your wedding day trial with your wedding day hair/makeup vendors for your engagement shoot day.
Choose a photographer that looks like their clients are feeling comfortable + having fun. You can also ask to meet up with your photographer for dinner or something beforehand so you can all get comfortable with each other before taking photos! For me, specifically, I always give my couples “prompts” of things for them to do & I’ll direct them so they’re not left worrying “what to do with their hands” lol! A good rule of thumb is to always keep looking at each other, make sure your bodies are close or your hands are touching, + when in doubt… kiss!! :)))) **pro tip: drinking a little “liquid courage” before your sesh always help loosen up + make the sesh more fun lol!