So, what’s the deal with
intimate weddings & elopements?
Intimate weddings & elopements have such different connotations than they did decades ago. Today, those terms embody the idea of having a smaller wedding that better accommodates to the couple, whether that be for their personal values, budget, etc. It’s true that having an intimate wedding/eloping isn’t for everyone. I always tell brides that at the end of the day, the things that matter the most are: 1 - that you married the person you love the most. 2 - that your day is centered around the things/people most important to you. If you can put that to paper, the rest will fall into place, regardless of if you have 3 or 300 guests. No matter what you decide, you are probably going to hurt someone’s feelings. You are probably going to do something that someone else doesn’t like. You are probably going to have people giving you input for a billion different things you should/shouldn’t do. You are probably going to have people paying for things that tell you what you should/shouldn’t do. But that’s all secondary. Yep, I said it. Secondary. It’s your day. It’s about you guys. Because the people who love & value you are going to want the best for you, regardless of if it’s to their taste or not. When it’s all over, the dress will get put in the closet. Your flowers will die. The decor will be gone. The food is eaten. The dancing is over. The people are gone. And you are left with memories. What do you want to remember?
You do need to know that if you are not planning an intimate wedding or elopement, that’s 100% okay if that’s what is right for you. Me telling you this isn’t to convince you to do anything other than what is best for you guys. If it’s right for you, then it’s right for me and I wanna be there to tell your story.
Why I Love Them
At the time that Jake & I got married, we had been together for almost 9 years and I had been working in the wedding industry for over 5. We had been thinking about our wedding day for a long time, but when we started planning, we both felt that we needed to just do what was right for us. I’ll be honest…we didn’t care about tradition or trends. And of course living in the South makes that tough because the wedding culture is huge here. We started out with a guest list of over 175+ and counting, had no idea where we were going to get married (because I didn’t want to get married in a church or barn), & knew the budget was a big deal. Just the stress of those things alone made Jake & I rethink the whole process. Just a few days into planning (we were only engaged for 5 months), we decided that having an intimate wedding was the most ideal. It was right for our beliefs & values. It was right for our wallet. It embodied everything & everyone that was important to us. It looked like this: 40 guests (closest family & friends), on a mountainside (a rainy one), our own decor from home/thrift stores, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no first look (debated this one), a mixture of officiant’s vows + our personal vows, worship + everyone praying over us, the big kiss, quick family/friend pics, bride & groom pics (guests already eating), first dance on an ihome (bride & groom only), mingling with guests, cutting of the cake (we didn’t want to keep the top), no bouquet or garter toss, sparkler sendoff, & we grabbed a plate from the bridal cottage before we left for our honeymoon. It was the BEST DAY EVER. I will never forget how I felt when I stepped out of the car to walk the aisle & locked eyes with Jake. The love of Jesus has never been clearer to me than it was in that moment. We have zero regrets about how we planned our day, even if the weather didn’t play out like it was supposed to (was said to be 69 degrees, partly cloudy & ended up being like 40 and rainy/sleeting).
Pictures mean a lot to me. More than because I have something concrete from our wedding day, but because I’m carried back to most important words and commitments I’ve ever said or made on that mountain. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and a glimpse of where we are headed to. It’s a reminder of the goodness and love of God. Every time I look at these, I feel the weight of those moments all over again. I want to give to you guys, what has been given to me.
Photography: Rock Sandretto
Hair: Lynsey Richardson
Makeup: Casey Troulias
Dress: Bustle Gowns
Kimono: Hippie Massa
Earrings: Sozo Trading Company
Shoes: Free People
Groom’s Attire: Belk
Groom’s Bow Tie: Rose Gal
Groom’s Shoes: Sozo Trading Company
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bluff at Ephesians Farm
Catering: The Bluff at Ephesians Farm
Chairs & Lighting: The Bluff at Ephesians Farm
Cake: Cakes by Kim
”Reserved” Signs: Paper & Pine Co
Decor: Provided by me & my mom