WHY WE CHOSE TO ELOPE AND HOW WE PLANNED IT
Shortly after my fiance -now husband- and I were engaged we knew the stress and financial strain of planning a traditional wedding was not for us. financially we could either have a big wedding day, or spend the money on a two week honeymoon; but not both. With a busy summer on the horizon, we couldn't bear to think about spending our free time running from place to place picking out table linens, flowers, and stationery for just a few hours of celebrating. I already have a hard enough time deciding which ipa to drink -how was I supposed to decide on a small guest list? with all of those thoughts laid out, and the blessings of our families, we decided to completely forgo tradition and instead put our money towards the vacation of our dreams, with a little planned elopement in the middle.
We couldn’t have made a better decision.
Now that planning a big wedding was crossed off our marriage agenda, I did have a few things left on my wedding wish list, a mere three items long: for one, I wanted to feel beautiful and be married in a wedding dress; secondly, I wanted to have our marriage ceremony be legal; and lastly, I wanted to have an amazing photographer -a photographer that I had been crushing on because if we weren't going to have guests I wanted to preserve the joy and excitement of our wedding day and interpret the day via amazing photos to share with the family and friends we would not be inviting.
With a custom made dress on the way (all designed via e-mail with a dress maker I had found via etsy.com, who lived in Greece) and a friendly little budget, we just need to find an amazing photographer, decide on a two week travel itinerary and find a destination where we could legally marry, this all sounded easy enough.
Turns out the next step was as easy as picking out a dream location and finding some type of clergy to marry us. Every place we had initially picked had some sort of extreme requirement, some places required a length of residency, some required a blood relative for a witness, while others demanded a wedding date to be booked in person. These were all proving to be dead ends for what we were capable of. the idea of marrying at our local courthouse came up, until we realized we would have to have witnesses present for this, that then posed the challenge of who would that be. we had never intended to invite anyone from the start, now we would have to have witnesses and who would it be? We didn’t want to alienate family and be selective with our friends, so that ideal was quickly crossed off the list. With hope starting to fade, I set out on a mission to find out how numerous others have had a destination wedding. One of my biggest resources was looking through elopement posts on wedding blogs, and pinterest. One day while scanning through one of my favorite wedding blogs i came across a post titled "an elopement in spain," i read the entire post and loved the parallels of why they too chose to elope. i clicked on the photographer link at the bottom of the post and discovered my dream photographer, Andreas Holm. Andreas has an impressive gallery of wedding’s he’s photographed around spain and just about all of Europe, our ideal of marrying on the sun-soaked southern coast of spain was inspired from Andrea’s portfolio. after very little, to no discussion, we mutually jumped on the ideal of traveling and marrying in spain, yet another road block appeared; to legally marry in spain one must have blood relatives present. With a little faith left, we decided to reach out to the photographer and start the process of booking for photos even if not for our wedding we would like some in our wedding outfits. After discussing our dilemma and desire to have photographs Andreas advised us that the rock Gibraltar (located on the southern coast of spain) was an easy place for foreigners to marry as its U.K. territory and does not follow the Spanish laws. with that advise i first broke out in a happy seated chair dance, and then started to research the requirements to marry at the rock of Gibraltar (If you happen to know any beetles trivia, the rock of Gibraltar is where john lennon and yoko ono famously eloped before they had their famous bed-in). Given a quick internet search I found out that we would be able to marry while traveling about spain. after a few e-mails with the registrar’s office, we booked a marriage date, faxed over copies of our passport and birth certificates, summited a payment online to hold our date, and both installed skype to make some late night international calls to verify everything was in order. The next step was to arrive at the registrar’s office 24 hours ahead of our booked date to present our birth certificates, passports, and to have a few official documents notarized.
With over three weeks of vacation days stored up, a custom-made dress on the way, and the blessings of our families, we just needed to start building our fantastic little euro-lopement merry-moon. Thanks to the advice of our photographer andreas holm, our elopement dreams were all going to come true.
Stay tuned for details on our wedding day, and our trip about eurorpe; five countries in two exhausting and unforgettable weeks.
all photos above by Andreas Holm.