This is NOT the thing wedding fantasies are made of. But for me it couldn’t have been more PERFECT. My husband (Andy) and I eloped in Bug Sur, CA with an intimate ceremony for just the two of us.
Once we were engaged we started to DREAM up some pretty amazing wedding plans. We were going to have two private ceremonies, one in Bali and one in Thailand. Then we would celebrate in New Zealand before heading to Colorado to PARTY with our friends and family. Quite the elaborate scheme.
Then Andy landed a new job and his schedule was very restrictive for the first year. So we put the wedding plans on hold and decided to make a baby instead. By the time Andy got enough days off to embark on our wild wedding extravaganza I was 7 months pregnant and not excited about the idea of many hours on an airplane and questionable foreign food.
After lots of discussion and contemplation we decided to stay in the U.S. and ROAD TRIP down the West Coast for our wedding/honeymoon trip. So we flew to San Fran, rented an RV and headed South. We stopped in various little towns along the way and finally made it to our destination, Big Sur.
Being that neither of us had ever been there it was an interesting choice for our elopement. However, upon arrival, we knew it was the PERFECT place. We stayed in a tree house and got married on the most beautiful beach under a giant Cypress. We were wed by a hippie mamma named Soaring.
The ceremony was exactly what we wanted. A moment for us to share with each other what our love means and cement the foundation for our life together. It was BEAUTIFUL.
The next day we hopped back in the RV and kept road tripping until we hit Santa Barbara. The highlights of the trip included card games in the RV, fires at the campsite, many coffee shop stops, secluded beaches and seeing dear FRIENDS along the way.
We ended the trip in CO with a CELEBRATORY dinner with our families and a baby shower with our awesome friends. We’ve almost been married two years now and I don’t regret our decision to elope in the slightest.
I still think it was the best choice for us!
There were a few people that were not thrilled with our decision to elope and that was hard for me but I’m glad we got married in a way that felt right to us.
Although we were HAPPY to not have spent a fortune on a huge wedding, that was not the reason for the elopement. And it also had nothing to do with resisting cultural norms. We both actually LOVE weddings and will attend any and all that we are invited to.
Our reasons came from self-awareness and personal values. I know myself well enough to understand that planning a wedding would stress me out immensely. I would be inundated with tiny DETAILS that really didn’t matter much.
I’ve done enough event planning throughout my career to know that I do not ENJOY it. The fact is, I really do not like being stressed out. I would much rather spend my time doing things I love like riding my bike, hiking, reading or hanging out with Andy then sending out invitations, tasting cake and writing out name cards. I APPRECIATE all the people that do put this much effort into their big day but it’s just not for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still put together the most gorgeous PINTEREST board to reflect my vision for a grand wedding. I enjoyed fantasizing about the colors and location and reception. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to EXECUTE.
I’ve witnessed so many friends drowning in the last minute arrangements that they have a hard time enjoying the actual ceremony and reception. I wanted to look back at my wedding as a time for us to pause as a couple and SOLIDIFY our commitment without any other distractions.
The other reason we decided that a PRIVATE ceremony was the way to go is because neither Andy nor I wanted to have the attention all on us for a full day. It felt uncomfortable for us to stand in front of a big crowd and PROCLAIM our love for one another.
Our relationship and marriage is something very sacred that we don’t feel needs to be blasted out for the world to see. We realized that with a private ceremony we could be more open, HONEST and emotional than in a big group setting. We were able to focus on each other and connect deeply the whole ceremony without wondering what other people were thinking. It was very raw and REAL.
I will say that on the morning of our wedding we were both feeling anxious and missing our families. We wondered if we had made a huge MISTAKE by eloping and isolating ourselves. Yet, as the day went on and we spent time alone in nature we felt at peace.
When the ceremony was over, before we went to a romantic dinner, we called our families and were so happy to share with them our EXCITEMENT and happiness.
I certainly am not saying that eloping is right for everyone. We definitely SACRIFICED a lot by going that route. But it was very important for us to be true to our desires and beliefs and do it in a way that felt right.
I love looking at the photos from that day and reminiscing on our epic trip. Big Sur will always be a SPECIAL place for us and I hope to renew our vows there someday.
It’s important that we all learn to make decisions based on what is TRUE for us and what feels right. It can be hard to tune into our intuition if we don’t know ourselves well. That is why self-reflection is so important in building a life worth loving.
Don’t follow the CROWD because you can’t think for yourself or you’re scared of what others might think. Carve your own path in this life…you won’t regret it.
If you need help making a decision or getting CLEARER on your motivations try the Reality Check worksheet and instantly have an answer. Or leave a comment below and tell me your unique wedding story!