The idea of a wedding can be super daunting for a minimalist couple.
Everywhere you look, there’s potential for some other frivolous expense: engagement photos, save-the-dates, wedding cake AND groom’s cake, fancy invitations, will-you-be-my-bridesmaid? gift boxes, wedding party gifts, bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen tuxes, something old/new/borrowed/blue, a cute little pillow for an equally cute toddler in a tux to carry your rings on, centerpieces, decor you will never have use for again but will feel guilty for throwing away after the big day, and even the several-thousand-dollar wedding dress that will sit in your closet for decades to follow. . . .
The whole thing is a lot to take in!
So when me and my guy decided it was our time to take the leap, we knew we didn’t want to do it like everyone else. It just wasn’t for us.
Instead, we just decided to elope. To Ireland. On a mountain. Just the two of us.
And we couldn’t have been happier with our decision.
Despite being extremely close to our family and not wanting to exclude them, we still felt this was the right decision for us. We’re not frivolous or extravagant people, and the thought of having to spend (or having my parents to spend) such a large sum of money for only a couple of hours of showy celebration didn’t sit right with us.
We ended up getting a lot more bang for much less buck as we enjoyed a two-week trip abroad, and said our vows in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
My dress cost $80, and it’s something I can wear over and over again. We spent about $75 on his attire, using some pieces he already had in his closet. My jewelry wasn’t fancy, just some pieces I already owned, minus the bracelet I got on sale for $15–also something I can wear over again.
We ordered a simple 6 inch cake–chocolate with espresso Italian buttercream icing and chocolate ganache on top–that we ate in the middle of a meadow, and didn’t even bother fooling with something old/new/borrowed/blue or even a bouquet. (Although the little granddaughters of the B&B owners where we were staying picked me a handful of the most beautiful flowers from their garden!)
Everything was simple and perfect.
We didn’t stress much over the day at all. We took three months to plan the whole trip (much with the help of our amazing photographer and his wife), hopped on a plane, hiked up a mountain, and made it happen. Then after, we drove around southern Ireland for a week. Ah-mazing!
I recommend more people go this route. Of course, if you want a huge wedding with all your friends and family present, there’s nothing wrong with that. I think you should go for it! Just make sure it’s what the two of you really want and not what society has said you should do.
And if you have hesitations about doing it the “traditional” way, I hope that a story like ours will help you see that it’s OK to do things a bit differently.
I’ve heard so many married couples say they wished they had eloped instead of going through with the big wedding, but have heard none who eloped say they wished they hadn’t. There’s something very moving about it just being the two of you on that special day. After all, that’s what it’s all about. You two. Not all the hundreds of people (most of which you may not even know very well) you will have to impress and feed after the ceremony. It’s not about the mounds of gifts you will receive. It’s not about how fancy your dress, hair, or makeup is. It’s not even about the size of your diamond (mine is only .05 carat, and I couldn’t love it more!).
It’s about the two of you and the commitment you’re making to one another.
Another fun detail:
Due to the strict laws in Northern Ireland about getting married (you must have been a citizen for two years and can’t get married outside!), we actually legally tied the knot at the beach in Florida a week before we left for Ireland. We spent a four-day weekend laying on the beach, eating seafood, and drinking fruity drinks–a honeymoon in and of itself–before going on our actual elopement trip/honeymoon. Not too shabby.
Have we got you seriously considering eloping, now? DO IT!!!
If you want to know any other details about how we did our big day, please feel free to ask in the comments! I’d be more than happy to share with you all!
Now, for a few of the gorgeous pics from our day as well as a closeup of my simple rings–that I’m totally obsessed with!
Thanks so much for reading!