With this COVID mess, we have a number of weddings that are postponed with a new date to celebrate, but couples who are keeping their original date and eloping (here or elsewhere) to comply with the government mandates and/or suggestions to keep everyone safe.
On a positive note, you now have more time to plan, make a few changes, or just relax because you planned the big wedding already. The celebration date is different. So now, you are planning your elopement for your original date… what to do?
The beautiful thing about elopements is aside from saying “I do,” is that there are no written rules. Chances for personalization and creativity are endless.
It’s an opportunity to get creative with your vows. Due to their intimate nature, sometimes just the two of you and your officiant, sometimes just your parents or a close friend each, you can feel less shy about your vows and say things that might make you blush or are inside jokes that wouldn’t make sense in a larger gathering. Keep the ones you wrote already for the new big day, and make your elopement vows different.
Your outfit also doesn’t have any rules. Elopements don’t require a wedding dress or tux/suit. Pick a jacket, or a dress in your favorite color, and make it your “anniversary outfit” – something that you can wear on your anniversary every year. It’s also an opportunity to wear something one of you secretly wanted to, or that got x-nayed for your wedding: a kilt, a red dress, going barefoot… the possibilities are endless.
If you want, on your wedding day you can exchange something other than rings, or add a stack ring/secondary band. Technically, you could each exchange a trinket or object that has meaning to you, or something that embodies your relationship. We have couples who are potters, artists, woodworkers, climbers, hikers, collectors of all things nature, museum enthusiasts, future van dwellers. It can refer to your cultural heritage, or be a miniature spaceship Enterprise. The whole of the world of meaning is open to you.
Another great thing is, elopements can happen almost anywhere – on a bluff, while skydiving, a hot air balloon, on horseback… Our officiant friend Lynn Grand of A Grand Beginning has been performing ceremonies for 7 years, and she shared with us some of her favorites: At the top of Sandia Mountain in New Mexico at sunset, while her friend Ron played his Native American flute as they exchanged vows. In the water of the Hiwassee, on a raft on the Ocoee River, at sunrise, at sunset, at the spot where they met for the first time. Some elopements included a champagne toast, and in one, the bride and groom sang together.
If you choose to elope on your date here at Oakleaf, the two of you and your officiant can pick a spot anywhere on our land that speaks to you, and visit it on your bigger wedding day for more photos.
This trying time shall pass – Dave and I are trying to make the best of it and find creative opportunities that couldn’t present themselves before.
Big hugs to all of you, be you our couples or another displaced by this unimaginable mess.
Photo by Rachel Furland of Lux Amore Photography