This summer will mark my 4th year throwing elopements and Pop Up weddings. We initially started offering these in 2012 when we were traveling the country in Priscilla, our Airstream, and then continued them after we settled in Michigan full-time. These days most of my elopements are in Leelanau County, but they are available around the state as well for folks who might have a different location in mind.
Eloping is really rad. I'll just be honest and say that part of me wishes we had eloped when we got married in 2008. While I loved our wedding at the time, and looking back I have fantastic memories of the entire day, I also have pretty intense memories of how much stress led up to the day. I remember distinctly conversations with the owners of the cottage where we eloped about really unromantic things like insurance and potential drownings, or my dad sending an email mere days before our event on Lake Michigan asking if I had a plan for food poisoning if the mayo went bad and everyone got sick. Not exactly the way you want to step into your marriage, worrying about your guests puking behind sand dunes.
Still, when Ian and I got married in 2008, eloping in the Midwest was not a thing at all--we would have been the first of any of our friends or family to consider such a thing. Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, that is starting to change, and I am starting to see more and more Midwestern couples consider elopement.
A significant aspect to eloping is the willingness, on the couple's part, to keep their wedding all about their marriage--and often that means excluding some folks who otherwise might have received a big wedding invitation. This is always the hardest part when considering an elopement--who gets an invite, and who stays home. Inevitably, there are going to be folks who are disappointed, but what I try to ensure every couple remembers is that a marriage is about THEM, not the guests, and it is not THEIR responsibility to ensure that no one's feelings get hurt.
If you simply want to say your wedding vows in the most private of spaces with only a photographer and a minister, that is JUST FINE. It's awesome, actually, because it means that you two are celebrating something that is truly special to you--not to your great Uncle Rick who might drink too much anyway.
Eloping with us means that we will take your love story, and celebrate it the way that you intend for it to be celebrated. It can be a super intimate ceremony on top of a dune and then a wonderful dinner at a great restaurant with just yourselves. Or it can be a big post-party on a beach with over 400 guests. It's your call.
But the thing with an elopement is that the CEREMONY, which is the most important part of the entire day, is just for you--just for your story and for yourselves. It's not in any way about standing up in front other people to show off your love--it's to show your love to one another and the few folks you have opted to include--it's personal and it's private and it's beautiful.
If eloping sounds great, but you need to be talked into it, just ask. I can point you towards many other couples who have eloped with us, and I can almost promise that EVERY SINGLE ONE will say, "It was the BEST decision we made."