We just shot a Washington DC elopement.. so we thought we’d talk about the craziness that is adjusting wedding plans during COVID. It’s no secret that the wedding industry is looking very different these days. Huge weddings with all your friends and family in attendance just isn’t as much of a no-brainer as it used to be. We’ve pivoted to small ceremonies, intimate family gatherings, “mini weddings” and elopements. But the wonderful thing, is that even though this isn’t how SO. MANY. of our couples originally envisioned their wedding days to go, they are loving it.
COVID-19 pandemic or not, there is something really magical about entering into marriage with only those few people you love most in the world.. or even just the two of you. Wedding planning can become extremely overwhelming in normal circumstances.. and large guest lists and over the top events can only add to those stressors. Add in a global pandemic with coronavirus and you’ve really got yourself into a pool of anxiety.
And if you’re sitting there wondering what in the world you’re going to do for your own wedding and are leaning towards an elopement, we wanted to give you a few things to consider.
Well, traditionally it’s running away to get married.. but these days it could be lots of different things. You could run off to a waterfall somewhere.. but it can also be going to your favorite local park and having your own ceremony, or heading to the courthouse. It could be that you didn’t tell anyone.. or maybe you have a few family members or friends with you. Maybe it’s just the two of you.. and maybe meet up with some friends and family later in the day. It’s really up to you!
Yes, it will take away a lot of the stressors of planning.. but there will still be a few things to arrange. You’ll want to think about what you want your ceremony to look like, who you’d like involved, and all the legal details (you want to make sure you’re really married!).
Think about how your families may react. We have always said weddings should be what you want, and not what you think they should be. Just because something is the traditional way to do things, doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. That being said, think about how your family will react to your decision. If you really want it to be just the two of you, but know your family will freak over that decision, maybe plan to get in your wedding attire again for a nice dinner with your family (or something similar) or just Facetime them in for a portion, so they can feel included.
You can still have a party. We love the idea of having a simple ceremony then planning an anniversary party to celebrate with a larger group.
Make it personal and special. If you’ve always envisioned a gorgeous gown, go for it. Want to hike to a mountain top? We’re there for it. I think it can be easy to say that an elopement is simple, but it doesn’t have to be boring. You can go as over the top as you want. You’re likely going to be saving a lot on the cost of a larger wedding, so splurge on a gorgeous small cake, a huge elaborate bouquet, an extravagant meal, or a suite at a nice hotel. Luxury elopements are definitely on the rise.
Because the courthouses were closed, this couple chose to have a Washington DC elopement with a “self officiated” ceremony. They planned out all the readings and wrote their own vows. They had the attire, a cake, flowers, and photographers to make it “feel like the real thing”. Both their families live far away so they sent pictures and video chatted with them on the day so they could be included. They chose a favorite spot at Rock Bridge Park to have their ceremony by a bubbling stream. Once they were married, we headed to Meridian Park (another special and favorite place of theirs). Then we ended at the National Mall monuments for sunset. They treated themselves to an amazing steak dinner and got the most beautiful cake to share afterwards. They will have an anniversary party next year to celebrate with family and friends.
See other small weddings: