Sunrise Elopement at Assateague Island, MD
A year ago, my fiance and I decided to elope to our favorite place on earth with just a small group of family and friends. Little did we know, a year later, the whole world would be considering doing exactly the same thing. Without a large wedding to plan (and pay for), we were able to focus on the details that made our day personal. Some things to consider when planning a micro-wedding are location, officiant, decor, attire, photographer and food.
For us, picking a location was the easy part. Assateague is our chosen vacation spot for the better part of the summer. We love the open space, the OSV beach, and seeing the wild horses, without a giant crowd. Now that you are planning a more intimate ceremony, you can get really creative with your location. Backyards, parks, restaurants, beaches…..all of these are great ideas!
When thinking about an officiant, we were actually lucky enough to be married by our dear friend. We called him and asked if he could get ordained online, and he agreed! To us, having a personal friend as our officiant made the day all the more special.
Just because there are LESS details, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to them. For me, there were some special details that we wanted for our ceremony. My new husband had children from a previous marriage, so we are now a blended family. It was important to me to make sure that I included them in my vows and also that they participated in the ceremony. Our officiant surprised us with a sand ceremony that the boys could participate in and now our collection of sand sits on top of our mantle, draped in the ribbons from my bouquet.
I knew that I wouldn’t have a ton of decor, but, as a wedding florist, I knew my bridal bouquet HAD to be special! And what better way to do that, than to have all the flowers come from the local farms that I patronize each week. It felt like such a tribute to those farmers to be able to use their flowers on my special day. For my wedding flowers, I chose dahlias, hydrangea, snapdragons, assorted greenery and other local flowers (all flowers and farms are listed in the credits at the bottom) **side note, I made my bouquet the day before, and transported it to the beach in a giant cooler!!**
I knew I needed a pretty dress, but I didn’t feel like I necessarily needed an “wedding dress”. I ended up going to look at dresses at BHLDN and went with this Yumi Kim Carmen dress. I don’t know if this dress was meant to be a bridal gown or a bridesmaid dress but I knew it the moment I saw it.
The one place where we did spend the most money was on a photographer. I knew from the start that I wanted to have a truly talented photographer to document this beautiful day. This, in my opinion, is not the place to cut corners. Stephanie from Stephanie Dee Photography was someone I had worked with on previous weddings and photoshoots, and bless her heart, she got up at the crack of dawn and drove to the beach so we could have a sunrise ceremony. Without her, I wouldn’t have these stunning images. When I got them back, I literally could not pick favorites. I printed SO many to place around our house!
When you elope, there are so few people that having a cake is not always the most practical option. For us, hauling a cake out onto the beach made even less sense. The perfect solution was beach themed cupcakes, made by the SUPER talented Voula at Blue Lace Cakes.
Here are a few other favorites of mine. I hope you can see that an elopement can be personalized and full of beauty and just as amazing as the bigger wedding you may have had planned. So, our ceremony took place on the OSV beach, which means that you can only get to it via pickup truck. We loaded the whole wedding party into pickup trucks, with coolers of food and drink (and one with my bouquet!), beach chairs, everything we would need for a day on the beach!
My littlest stepson JUMPED into my arms and screamed “I HAVE A STEPMOM!!!”–it may have been the best part of the day!!
Photography: Stephanie Dee Photography || Dress: BHLDN || Cupcakes: Blue Lace Cakes || MD grown flowers: Petal Patch Flower Farm – appleblossom snapdragons, Belle Blooms Farm – dahlias and cosmos, M and M Plants – hydrangea, autumn olive, Plantmasters – dahlias, nandina, statice, baptisia, gooseneck longstrife, Cut Flowers by Clear Ridge – orlaya, bachelors button