For way too long there have been two options: spend all your money and time planning a giant, time-consuming, debt inducing wedding day.. or run away to Vegas.
But what if you could have the best of both worlds and completely cut out the downsides?
What if you could have a few close friends and family, the most amazing dress of your dreams, and a ceremony out of a magazine for less than half the cost and yet all the warm fuzzy memories and moments to look back on forever?
Elopements and micro weddings are on the rise, and the reasons are easy to see. I have created a step by step game plan to making all your dreams come true with the person you want to spend your life with!
Check out this guide on how to plan your dream wedding day.
Step One: Location, location, location!
Dream up your location.
The best thing about eloping or having a small and intimate wedding day is that with the limited number of guests you don’t have to stress about a big and costly venue! Typically you can elope for free wherever you want, and with fewer than 15 guests you can easily accommodate any meals with ease and a reservation. Some national parks will have permit prices or fees but unless you want to close off a trail they can be extremely budget friendly!
Step Two: Find your perfect photographer and videographer!
In this case I would splurge, and I’m not just saying that because this is my expertise, but also because this is what you will have that will last, besides your marriage. The photos and videos from this beautiful day are not just another Facebook post or something pretty for your Instagram feed, they are your lasting memories of one of the most intimate and special times in your life.
In ten or twenty or thirty years when you are reminiscing on your wedding day, these heirlooms of your life will not go unnoticed, and this is something you cannot redo. Invest in a photographer and videographer who cares about your memories, who can make you feel comfortable and seen, who can make you laugh!
Step Three: Make A Guest List.
Make a guest list; keep it short! 15-20 people max! This is one of the most beautiful parts of keeping your wedding small. In a large wedding you have to invite your family, extended family, guests, their significant others, often their children, your co-workers, and the list goes on. This would be all fine and dandy if it didn’t mean a lot of pressure on your pocket book as well as your performance during the ceremony, and the content of your vows!
The beauty of a small wedding day is that the lack of guests can mean a lot more intimacy, and a lot more genuine interaction with the people that matter most. The shorter the list, the less expenses you will be responsible for.
Step Four: Find Your Gown.
You’ll want to keep in mind the weather that you will be in as well as the location and what comes with that. Thin lightweight dresses with sandals or barefoot are perfect for the beachy locations in summertime, whereas the long-sleeved and thicker materials, accompanied by a custom leather jacket or your grandmothers antique fur coat are better set for winter climates and mountain settings!
The dress in these photos is a two piece set from Amazon that cost $47! Do what feels good to you!
Step Five: Vows or No Vows?
This is your day. If you and your partner want to write love letters to each other the night before, do it! You can have the other person read them aloud or you can keep them private and for your ears only.
You want to make it funny and walk down the aisle together while you rap to Baby Got Back? FREAKING DO IT. Do not let yourselves get caught up in the Hollywood expectations of long sappy vows that you can tearfully make your way through if it is too uncomfortable for you. The love matters, but the show does not. Not everyone deserves access to your inner most feelings just because it’s your wedding day.
Florals by: Fire and Blooms
There will still be planning and fine print, but make it simple and enjoy the process. If florals are stressing you out then grab a bouquet of eucalyptus from the grocery store and call it good. Book your Airbnb or hotel stay in advance to save some cash.
Want to have a small yoga sesh the morning of? Maybe a wine tasting with your small gathering of humans? Do you love the thought of a candlelit underground abandoned brewery? It’s all you babe.
A few more things to consider:
Your stay: Airbnb or hotels
Food, do you plan on eating out with everyone? Make reservations ahead of time.
Your hair and makeup. For some this is easy to do on their own, but factor it in!
How long you’ll stay. Stay a few extra days and count it as a honeymoon too!
Officiant. You can always have a friend or family member look up your state regulations, in some areas you can simply go online and get ordained, and how fun would it be to have a close friend or family member marry you!
Reception; Do we need one?
If you’re worried you’ll regret skipping the party with friends, don’t skip it! Plan it for a few weekends past your wedding day and get another chance to wear your dress! Play your wedding video on the big screen so that everyone gets to share in your day and you and your partner can actually focus on spending time and interacting with your friends and family that isn’t pressured or time sensitive!