Hey y’all! Since my last post came out sharing how we have decided to postpone the wedding to 2021 due to COVID-19 and elope this year, I’ve had a lot of people reach out and ask about the new planning process. So, I figured I would share it here for anyone else who is curious but didn’t want to ask! As I said last time, after this two-year engagement, Jaren and I decided that we didn’t want to wait another year to officially tie the knot, so we decided we would move forward with an elopement this year.
Where to Start
So after making the call, where do you start? We didn’t really know either. All we knew was that we really wanted to keep things budget-friendly this year since we are still throwing our big event next year. With that in mind, we were trying to come up with free options to consider. Safety was also a big concern since we don’t know what the state of the world will be like come October. We decided that if possible, we really wanted to have our parents and siblings present still. We discussed back yards, state parks, etc. My mom had the idea that we should see if we could still have a ceremony at our original venue. We love the property and obviously have been picturing it the whole time, and knew that the date was available since it was currently ours!
We figured there was no harm in asking, so when I reached out to shift our plans to 2021, I also asked if it would be possible to still have a ceremony on the grounds this year. At this point, my mom and I were honestly joking about grabbing pizza or take out afterwards and just eating in the little common green area after. We don’t need anything fancy! Luckily, our contact got right back to me, obviously confirming that we could easily shift to 2021 and also shared that they were in the process of putting together elopement packages and that she would get them to me as soon as they were finalized. This was awesome. I’ve seen packages circulating over the last few months and have thought that it’s such a great idea. Small businesses, including wedding vendors, are hurting so badly through all of this, I love that there’s a way they can pivot and rally. I’ve seen some that are basically “turn key” solutions to an elopement. Everything you need is included — officiant, food, cake, photographer, flowers… you name it. They’re simple, but efficient. In our case, we didn’t need a full turn key option.
Choosing Our Package
Like I said, we did not need a full turn key deal. Honestly, for us, we know that next year is going to have all the bells and whistles. While obviously I still want this year to be beautiful and elegant, I have a much more laid back and casual approach to things. At this point, you have to roll with the punches, there’s a dang pandemic going on. So, we picked something that covers a ceremony, meals, cake, and a room for the night since our venue is also an inn. Melissa has maintained through this whole ordeal that she wants to do my bouquet and Jaren’s boutonniere and I would not have it any other way! The next step was deciding if we still wanted to have a photographer or not. While I know that this year isn’t going to be a flashy event, it’s still our WEDDING! So obviously we knew we needed something. Lucky for us, the amazing Melanie Zacek is also offering elopement packages, and once again we knew she was free for 10/10 since we already had her booked, so we added on a photography elopement package with her.
Like I said, this is going to be a much more laid back and casual event. I have decided that I want to save the wedding dress I already have for our big event next year. So, I ordered a more fun and casual dress to wear for this year. Jaren is just going to wear the suit he already owns and our families can wear what they are comfortable with. In trying to determine an officiant, we decided we were going to be most comfortable with someone we know, especially in this small and intimate setting. Also, with the virus, you have no idea where a stranger has been or who they have been in contact with over the last two weeks. That was something we just weren’t comfortable with. We’re very lucky that our friend Sara has volunteered to come out and officiate for us still despite everything going on! It wouldn’t feel right to have someone else do the honors. We’ve been joking that it will be good practice for her for next year with more of a crowd.
I’m honestly still working out a lot of the smaller details myself and trying not to get too stressed out. Things like how we’re going to play music for the ceremony without an official DJ (most likely some Bluetooth speakers), what I’m wearing for accessories (including what to use for old, new, borrowed, and blue!), and a million other little things. I know in the end that it will all come together and be a great day.
In terms of the honeymoon we have booked… well… we aren’t too sure. Ideally, we’ll be shifting that to 2021 as well, but it’s unclear if we’ll be able to do so. If we can’t, we’re hoping to take the trip anyways and then come home and self-quarantine for 14 days. But, we still have some time to try and work all that out.
So that pretty much wraps things up… next year we’ll have our 70ish person event, but this year it’ll be a cool 10. If you had told me a year ago that this is where things would be, I honestly would not have believed you, but here we are! At the end of the day, I’m just happy that I still get to marry my best friend.