Post # 1
So I’ve been engaged for exactly 128 hours (lol) and I’m already thinking wedding plans. Realistically we’re looking at something probably at least a year down the road but I’m looking for ideas.
Neither my fiance nor I want a big wedding, in fact, we’ve always talked about eloping. The problem is, we’re both poor college students who are facing two years of nursing school before we have any kind of money to spend on anything. Usually when I’ve known people that elope, they’ve gone on a trip to get married or they have just gone to city hall and tied the knot. I kind of want it to be a special day (yes, I know it will be special even if we just go to city hall) but we can’t afford a trip anywhere really. So I want to know: have any of you guys or will any of you guys “elope” without leaving your city? If so, what did you do/will you do to make it a special day? Just a nice dress and go out to dinner? Or is there anything else we could do that wouldn’t cost much but would make for a nice day?
Thanks in advance! I have asked one other question here and you guys have been terrific, so I know you’ll have some cool ideas!
Post # 3
I did a lot of serious thinking about eloping when I was engaged. I thought it would be very special to both get dressed up, hire a photographer, go to the courthouse, and have a romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Simple, very inexpensive, and memorable.
Post # 4
@Future_Mrs_Fierce: I’m a waiting bee but my BF and I have already discussed almost everything. We are going to elope. Like you we first thought of going to the beach or a romantic city. However we have since decided to get married locally.
We are renting a venue that lets you book by the hour, having a short ceremony (because although we wanted to be simple we wanted to dress up), hiring a photographer, having dinner and spending a night or two in a hotel downtown for a “minimoon”. hopefully we’ll take a real honeymoon this summer.
Depending on what you want you can definitely get married in your home town. State or city parks are great because for a simple elopement you usually don’t need a permit or if you do its cheap. you can also search your area for chapels or community centers that may have reduced rates. Add to that a fancy dinner and a night in a nice hotel and there you have it!
Post # 5
Congratulations! Back when we were deciding up on locations and somewhere that all the parents can go to, we were thinking of having it in our current town. We would go up into the mountains, have the ceremony at a beautiful (free) viewpoint, then come back into town and go to dinner. The problem is that there weren’t really any super fancy places, and the one I had in mind I usually go to once a month anyway! But that’s where we would have gone, maybe asked to have the private room to ourselves and have them make a cake for us. Then H and I would go to a hotel and let my mom, and H’s parents sleep in our house (we have a few spare rooms). After the parents would have left, then we would have done a honeymoon.
So that was a plan at one point but it was scrapped for various reasons!
So a dress, a bouquet, a nice location (free if possible), a nice dinner, champagne is a MUST! Then a photographer for sure! If you have the funds, get a nice hotel room for the nice and order room service breakfast.
I was married before 11 years ago. I had no dress, we had no rings or photographer, had some $5 lunches because that’s all we could afford for 4 people, and went back to work. UGH. I would not suggest doing it like that (unless you truly are that poor!).
Post # 6
We went to a park literally 15 min from our house and then went out to dinner at a local steakhouse for dinner later that night. After our vows and some pictures we stopped off at a local pub to have some drinks and much needed food (it was around 3pm by then). We did everything within a 10 mile radius of our house. 🙂
Post # 7
I had been married before as well, and that wedding was AWFUL! I had to compromise on absolutely everything and wasn’t happy with any of it because it felt like nothing was what I wanted!
Our plans are to have a small ceremony with our parents – including a dress (David’s Bridal), bouquet (silk flowers from Michaels), and a photographer (2 hrs). After the morning ceremony, we are going to have a special dinner with them at a upscale resturant, then running away for a weekend mini-moon in Orlando. Our entire budget is about $1000 (Dad is paying for photos). Nothing fancy, but the important parts for us are there.
DEFINITELY get a photographer. No matter how big or small your wedding is, you still want reminders of your special day. My grandparents eloped (WWII and he was in the Navy), my grandma wore her “good” dress and my grandpa wore his Navy uniform. They only took a couple of photos at the courthouse but those pics are treasured in our family. They look so happy! If you ask, many will do a small package (usually 2 hrs) or will use their price for an engagement session for an elopement. It never hurts to ask! Also, many prices are lower if you choose a Friday or Sunday date and/or an “off” month.
There is definitely nothing wrong with a local elopement. Eloping doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a destination wedding. Sometimes less is more, and it will be a great story for you to tell later! Good luck!
Post # 8
We did! Kind of. We rented a chapel, a limo, and stayed at a nice hotel in town for two nights (the night before and night of). We just had two witnesses that were photographers and had cake and champagne and everything. Everything was just a mini wedding, with just us. After the ceremony we took some candid pictures outside and then went for a limo ride. That night we cleaned up the chapel and ordered pizza. It was awesome for us. I wore a full wedding gown and everything. DH was already at the chapel because he decorated it prior, and the limo picked me up at the hotel and took me to him and we walked down the aisle together. It was really perfect and we just improvised our own vows and then we were married!
Post # 9
@cbee: That sounds really fun!!!
Post # 10
Eloping was our plan A. At first it was going to happen in Europe and then it moved to the mountains (2 hours away) and then back to the city we live in. This wasn’t a cost thing, but largely other complicated factors.
Eloping in the city I live in started to make me really sad… it wasn’t special enough for me combined with it not being of interest to anyone else anymore (been engaged for several months). I wanted to be somewhere really nice for photos and have a place indoors if it was bad weather. I found a nice place and suddenly it’s large enough to have a small wedding…. bing bang boom…. I’m checking out some costing for feeding more people and suddenly I’m having a wedding. I want to keep it inexpensive and small… but I made it special by having some of my family there.
If I could have found a way to make it special in my city I probably would still be doing that… but it started to feel too every day for me.
You are in seattle… you have nots of beautiful options while staying very local. vineyards, mountains, beaches…. I’d say there is a good chance you can still make it a great day.
Post # 11
You don’t have to go somewhere far to have your day feel special. I’m sure there’s lots of lovely places in your area, like a state or national park, where you could get married at for free or nominal fee (like $50). You can also treat yourself to a nice dress without breaking the bank – Nordstroms has nice dresses for not that much (especially relative to traditional wedding gowns) or you could Rent the Runway. I would definitely try to get a photographer, with elopements you can usually get an hourly rate. And I would definitely treat yourself to a good meal 🙂
If you want to stay somewhere special on your wedding night, even if its local, Tripadvisor has lots of reviews on B&Bs and rentals that are usually much less costly than hotels.
Post # 12
We are going to the courthouse in our city, then having dinner at a fancy restaurant with a few close family and friends. Not a true elopement.
The day before I am getting my nails done with my sisters, best friends, and moms. Then the day of, FI and I are getting massages/facials in the morning.
I got a cute dress from Nordstrom. Bought a mini tulle veil. I’ll have a small bouquet of brooches mixed in with fresh flowers. A friend’s sister agreed to take some photos.
Of course we are getting some grief from my family, as they don’t think it’s right that we are having a wedding in town and not inviting everybody. But I have a huge family and we just don’t want that honestly.
Post # 13
@CocoLoco523: sounds fantastic! congrats and have a fabulous time!
Post # 14
My daughter had a intimate city hall wedding (8 guests, mostly immediate family). Afterwards we all went to a local restaurant, it was lovely, everyone got to talk together. The cake wasn’t a traditional wedding cake, it was a carrot cake from her local bakery. Afterwards I took them to a local park for a photo session. (I also did the flowers as a gift). My husband and I gave them a night in a local hotel and a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant for the two of them to celebrate.
Hers the photos: from their wedding: