Elopement Brag Thread – Share Your Elopement Story!

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
Post # 2
Member
28 posts
Newbee

We are eloping this Saturday. We aren’t going anywhere fancy, doing it right here in our town. We picked a church (that turned out to be surprisingly beautiful inside) about fifteen or twenty minutes from our house. I wanted our wedding to be completely about us and the love we have for each other so we our ceremony will be very intimate Just the two of us and the pastor. then we are going to spend the entire weekend just the two of us finding romantic/special things to do just the two of us. 

Post # 3
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

bumping to follow!

Post # 4
Member
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

GG_Vega:  Yes!  We had a destination elopement!   A few requirements: we had to be able to drive there (last minute flights and car rentals would have been outrageous).  We planned it in 15 days keep in mind.

We had to have spectacular mountain views and good outdoor weather.  We had just cancelled a previously booked/paid for Grant Teton wedding (my father died 45 days before our would be wedding day, and we knew a head of time he was dying – hence the cancellation of that guested wedding).  So anything less spectacular than the Tetons would have been a let down.

So with those rules, our options were Tetons still, Colorado Rockies, Cascades or the Sierras in the West, or Canadian Rockies.  We opted for the Canadian Rockies because we had never been there before so an adventure for both of us!  Plus there were countless elopement options up there near Banff and Banff NP. 

New Zeland and Iceland were on the list but due to the short time, they were not options in the end.

We did an 11 day, 2500 mile road trip from our state of Utah.  We got married on day 5 of the trip.  We did ask H’s parents to be our two witnesses.  They are retired, like to RV, so who else could be there in a different country on a Tuesday for a wedding!  We were surprised that they made it!

I had a box in the car that was just for wedding stuff (H’s suit was hung inside the car).  THen we had camping gear and suitcases.  We camped 3 nights, hotelled for 4 nights, and did the fancy cabins where we got married for 3 nights.  It was seriously one of the best trips!  We have really really fond memories of it all.

 

 

Link to photographers blog:

http://www.sarahkhalladphotography.ca/2012/12/26/shannon-erik-married-emerald-lake-wedding-photographer/

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 7
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

sienna76:  Gorgeous! I ‘ve been looking at Banff NP for a possible summer elopement. Did you have any trouble finding everything that you needed (officiant, photographer, etc…) or did everything come through the hotel where you were married?

Post # 8
Member
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

ezasabc123:  Banff and surrounding area have a lot of options for eloping couples! I had been in contact with 2 Banff area officiants before.  Rick Kunelius is one, and he’s the only one that does helicopter weddings out of Canmore.

I had seen MANY “romance packages” included at several hotels in Banff.  It included a bouquet of roses and a bottle of champagne and sometimes dinner at their hotel.  So that was our first idea: find a pretty outdoor location, an officiant that would meet us there, a photographer that would join us, pick up our champagne and roses from the hotel and get married!  That is very doable and I think lots of couples do it like that.  But you’re the planner in this case.

Eloping on a weekday made lots of things easier.  Weekends are generally booked everywhere months in advance.  We booked our Tuesday wedding with 15 days’ notice.  Photographers like getting extra work that isn’t on a weekend!

I did extensive reasearch on photographers and ended up going with a woman from Calgary, so it was a 2 hour drive for her to come to Emerald Lake.  But she never shot a wedding there and was VERY excited to do our wedding.  I like her style and she was a better value compared to some Banff photographers (who I almost used).  There are many in the area to choose from.

There is one officiant that services the Field, BC area/Emerald Lake.  Her name is Kim and she has a SWEET gig, so much that I am now ordained to officiate weddings myself.  If you google any Emerald Lake wedding, it’s pretty much her in the photos.  Kim and I emailed in advanced and formulated the ceremony.  I started with her base script and then modified it to our tastes.  BC officiants have a fixed fee (unlike Alberta), then she had a travelling fee (even though it’s like 20 minutes to Field).

With our elopement pacakge, they just bok Kim for the time of the ceremony we wanted.  Then Kim and I talked about the ceremony script through email.  The elopement package did not include a photographer.  It did come with flowers (I sent along inspiration photos), dinner, champagne, cake that we got to choose. Plus a wedding planner to just make it all happen and I did not have to worry any logistics. 

I thought about running around and geting my own cake and flowers, but this was WAY easier and more cost effective.  Plus it came with a rain back up plan where as my first Banff idea did not.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge and Deer Creek Lodge also have similar packages to the Emerald lake one.  If you do BML, you could walk across the street to the Tunnel Mountain where you see that classic view of Mt. Rundle. 

 

Post Hotel in Lake Louse Village hadseveral add on deals to your room.  I highly considred the 6 course meal add on and would have called that our wedding dinner.  Then get married at Moraine Lake.

In the end, I did like having a planner take care of it all – I had just dealt with cancelling wedding, my father’s funeral – it was just nice to be taken care of.

Post # 9
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

sienna76:  Thanks this is so helpful!! Do you mind my asking the general costs for everything? Feel free to not answer but I am curious. 

Post # 10
Member
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

<br />ezasabc123: 

 I don’t mind sharing costs! <br /><br />So this is the PDF I saw advertising the elopement at ELL:  http://www.crmr.com/pdf/ELL-ElopementPackage.pdf

<br />SUMMER ELOPEMENT PACKAGE

<br />(June 1-September 30, 2011)

<br />Lodge rooms starting at

<br />$1424.02*

Plus taxes and fees.

<br />Prices are based on double occupancy and availability.

<br />Ours came to $1700 something total but mainly because we upgraded the room.<br />(my notes are added in Italics)

Two nights accommodation (standard deal was for a queen bed, but we upgraded to a King bed and a view of the lake)

<br />One three course a la carte dinner for two (this was our wedding dinner, we added on my MIL/FIL as our guests very easily)

<br />Two breakfasts for two (very nice breakfast buffet in the dining room looking at the lake)

<br />Flowers (bouquet and boutonniere) (I sent inspiration photos and desired flowers which translated into a stunning bouquet)

<br />Wedding cake (got to customize the flavors and appears through photos)

<br />Bottle of sparkling wine (enjoyed this during our wedding dinner)

<br />Fruit, cheese and chocolate plate (was sent to our room around 3pm while we got ready)

<br />Romance basket in your room. (we did not get this, instead we got two engraved toasting flutes with our names and wedding date in a nice wooden box)

<br />Please note: We will book the marriage commissioner, but the fees must be paid directly by couple, and are not included in the price of package (Kim Chapman does pretty much all the ELL weddings.  The license, her fee and travel came to $206 in USD total – went to her house the day before to fill out the paperwork and to pay.  She and I emailed before arriving to customize the ceremony script.)<br /><br />

 

If you subtract the cost of the room, the wedding portion of the deal came to about $550.  I valued it at $800 if I would have ran around and got it all myself.  Plus a wedding planner to organize it all for you is included!

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 11
Member
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Yikes – stupid formatting!

Post # 12
Member
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

ezasabc123:  The only other cost was the photographer.  She was $1200 for 3 hours of photography (and her 2 hour each way travel), plus 100+ images with printing rights.

I think all the wedding stuff together (all of our attire, photographer, his ring (I had no wedding band), officiant, elopement package minus the rooms) cost $3300 total.

Post # 13
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

That’s awesome. Now I am definitely going to strongly consider this option. I’d hate to spend any more than like $5k and even that seem un-necessary. That area is just so beautiful especially in the summer!

Post # 14
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I love that you made this thread! We have gone through just about every wedding option there is. We started with wanting the huge over the top wedding, then decided on vegas elopement, then vegas with friends and family, backyard, winery, everything!! Our most recent plans are to go to Savannah GA on a thursday, get married on a Friday in one of their beautiful parks (in October with beautiful colors and so its not so hot!) and then go to Hilton Head the next night for our honeymoon! The entire package price in Savannah for an elopement is $475 including photographer for an hour and pictures, cake for two, minister and flowers. The condo we’ve semi chosen is $720 for the week (off season) and literally right on the ocean! I’ve stayed in the condo building a few times before and LOVE it!! Any other ideas would be great! I love the idea of a wedding for two, just don’t want to hurt any family members feelings…

Post # 15
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We are eloping to Lake Louise on Moraine Lake. Our photographer and his wife/assistant will be our witnesses so it’ll be just them, us, and the officiant. I’m old friends with my photog so we will take them out to dinner afterwards in Lake Louise.

We will then head to Canmore to enjoy our weekend minimoon including a horseback ride that includes a steak dinner on a mountain ridge at sunset! Then some much needed soaking in the hot tubs with a goooorgeous mountain view in a lovely condo-style hotel (yay, I get to bring the dogs!) The next day we’ll be doing some stand up paddleboarding on a lake, maybe some hiking, and definitely going to some awesome restaurants in and around Canmore & Banff. 

Although we’re getting marred in Lake Louise, we’re staying in Canmore as it’s significantly cheaper with equally, if not more awesome accommodations available, plus much more selection. A room at the Moraine Lake Lodge is $600/night, whereas a Canmore condo is $450 for 3 nights and comes with a $100 spa gift certificate, plus you have more activities and restaurants close by. 

Our entire long weekend including my dress and accessories, his ring, officiant, marriage license, hotel, meals and entertainment, photog, all of it will come in under $2400! The photog is the most expensive part, but 2 hours with 100-200 finished files is still only $500 which I find is a great price considering they have to travel 1.25 hrs each way from the city. 

This is the “rock pile” we will be saying our vows on! I’ve been here many times and it seriously still takes my breath away..

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