Elopements & Intimate Weddings
What a week it's been. Last Saturday we were helping a couple get married with the fear it might be the last time for a while. With the CDC's restrictions of 50 people or less and the White House saying 10 or less, it has shaken up every aspect of life - including the wedding industry. So what now? Do you postpone your wedding? Should you narrow your guest list down to 50 or less? How long is this going to last?
We asked Chaise Tinsley, owner & lead photographer of The Tinsley Co, a while back to write us a blog about Elopements & Intimate Weddings since that's where her heart truly lies. She is the queen of soft smiles and words of encouragement while getting photos that blow us away. Although we've never worked with Chaise, we love the time we spend with her over drinks and good food! Chaise and her husband eloped themselves which makes the knowledge she brings to the table even more precious.
She's written us a blog about why Elopements & Intimate Weddings matter now more than ever with COVID-19 throwing curveballs left and right.
And just like that, everything changes. I’d had every intention to write about the joy and excitement of planning an elopement. About how interesting and authentic it is. And just like that, we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic threatening to take it all away. We’re asked to suddenly take something we’ve dreamed of for so long and pause, cancel or postpone - literally overnight. We’re asked to make impossible, heartbreaking decisions amidst a sea of rapid change with no sign of answers in the future. If you feel like giving up, I’m here to suggest that an elopement or intimate wedding is more valuable now than perhaps it ever was. Here’s why.
It’s intentional. Why do we even get married? Honestly. I’m sure no one’s first answer is that they saw it on Instagram. No, the reason we get married is because we have found someone that we want to spend our lives with. Not the day with, not the year with, our lives. Forever.
I’m sure your vows don’t include ‘survive a pandemic together’ in them, but here we are. We’ve abruptly arrived at a time that forces us to evaluate what’s important. Marriage looks like a lot of things to a lot of people, but we can all agree that it’s about you and your person. You don’t need the traditional wedding, the crazy decor or the 300 person guests count. Those things are nice, but when you strip it down those things don’t matter.
An elopement allows you to focus on each other. It allows you to dream up an adventure made specifically for you. It gives you the time and space to simply be in the presence of one another without all of the noise. You and your partner can take it slow. Plan a day that’s true to you. Create a memory that will last far beyond these crazy times. Is it your original plan? No. Can it still be something beautiful? Absolutely.
It’s still beautiful. For couples looking to have an elopement or intimate wedding, you’re in a position to choose a stunning location. The world is your venue. Even now, with the bans and the social distancing and the ever-changing restrictions, you can still go out into nature and have a lovely ceremony. If you are local to Georgia, the Appalachians are some of the most inspiring landscapes in the country. You don’t need to hop on a plane to create something magical. If you have the luxury of waiting a few months, your options will only grow. Choose a location that means something to you. You can come out of this with an incredible day and amazing photos to remember it by.
Didn’t have the budget for your favorite florist for a big wedding? Guess what, now all you need is a bouquet and a boutonniere and you’re set! You can have exactly what you wanted all along. You don’t have to worry about all those details that didn’t really matter to you in the first place. As stressful as the current times are, I hope that you can let go of some of the wedding day stress and just focus on you.
Don’t be afraid to lean on someone for help. Wedding planners don’t just plan huge weddings, you guys. They can help you plan and design your elopement or intimate wedding. They’ll still work with any vendors needed to make your day a success.
It’s practical, now more than ever. With guest count restrictions getting lower and lower by the minute, an elopement or intimate wedding is one of the most practical things you could do right now. You don’t have to postpone or cancel your wedding. You can elope and have your reception later when things have cooled down. It’s like having the best of both worlds.
Consider hiring a videographer to come alongside your photographer. This is an awesome way to still be able to share your day with friends and family who couldn’t make it. You can use your photos and video at your reception to bring everyone together and share in your story. Tie in little aspects of your elopement at your reception and make your guests feel like they’re a part of it, even if in a small way.
So what now? I encourage you to take a deep breath, sanitize those hands, pour yourself whatever random wine was left at the grocery store and sit down with your partner. Talk about what matters most to you. What means the most with this new perspective? You have the unique, albeit forced, a chance to craft and curate a day that is solely yours. You get a blank page to write whatever story you want.
We’re all here cheering you on and we’ll be there for you. Whether that’s on a mountaintop or a year from now at your rescheduled reception that’s going to be more rad than you ever imagined.
We have so much appreciation to Chaise for taking the time to write us this blog of encouragement during this uncertain time. Follow along as she continues to capture wedding days, no matter how big, small, or location! You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website.
These restrictions & calls for self-quarantine are new to all of us - wedding pros included. Just know that whatever decision you make is the right one. At the end of the day, you are marrying the love of your life and nothing could ever dampen that. Remember what Chaise said, "You get a blank page to write whatever story you want." How beautiful is that?! Just make sure you keep all your wedding vendors in the loop as you proceed in this uncertain time. Your wedding coordinator is here to help take some of the weight off your shoulder and relieve you from the stress - we are here for you and we want what is best for you!
- Megan & Mallory