On 8/21/20, we eloped! Todd and I had been planning a destination wedding for early next year, but thanks to everything going on right now, it didn’t seem like that would be likely to happen. We already had our wedding attire and it was for a beach wedding… so three weeks ago we were talking and decided, why not just have a small ceremony here in Vermont, just us and the two kids?
The decision was made so that we would have warm weather for our beach wedding attire choices. We began searching the web for different elopement venues and stumbled upon An Affair by the Lake, a b&b in Addison, Vermont with a gorgeous old barn, a humongous 200-year-old cottonwood tree, and a wedding gazebo overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack mountains. We reached out and they had availability on the 21st!
Lorraine, the owner of An Affair by the Lake, was fantastic to work with. She helped us find a Justice of the Peace to perform the ceremony. Cookie, the JP, was a retired High School teacher and was great with kids. We wanted the ceremony to include both Olivia and Mason and we wanted it to be meaningful for all of us. We worked with Cookie to decide on the vows, the ring exchange wording, and the blessing and she added a fun portion that the kids really responded too. It truly was the perfect ceremony for our family.
We also decided to walk down the aisle as a family, so after we did a “first look”, we all linked hands and walked to the gazebo together. We chose to walk to the song “Life is Better with You” by Michael Franti & Spearhead. The lyrics were a perfect fit and it was a fun, upbeat song. At the gazebo I passed my bouquet off to Olivia and Mason was the keeper of the rings. So they each played a part in the actual ceremony.
After it was all over, we took some time for photos. Our photographer, Art Up My Day, is so easy to work with. She approaches the photographs with such ease – we just do our thing, enjoying each other as she snaps, capturing amazing shots. Occasionally she’ll interrupt, asking us to move slightly for better lighting, or making a suggestion to the pose. The end results show how at ease everyone is – we look natural and happy and not stiff and forced. I am so happy with everything she captured and look forward to having these memories in the years to come.
Can we talk about my dress for a minute? I was so worried about the dress! I knew I didn’t want traditional. I wanted something feminine, soft and comfortable. When I first picked it out, I ended up sending it to 3 of my friends and they all responded with a resounding YES! After getting their enthusiastic replies, I decided to go for it. The dress came from Lulus.com and retailed for $95. Yep! $95! But with a promo code, I got it for $72! Awesome, right?
I paired the dress with a pair of Michael Kors heels that I got at Marshall’s for $25, and a pink pearl necklace, bracelet, and earring set from Kohl’s that retails for $200, but I got for $80. As soon as I saw the first picture of this post, I knew I had made the right choice in dresses!
I DIY’ed mine and Olivia’s bouquets with florals from Michaels. I also made the grapevine wreaths that adorned the gazebo, the cake stand, and the DIY We Eloped Sign. The cake came from our favorite bakery, Sweet Vermont Treats, and was a simple chocolate with vanilla buttercream. I added greenery from our garden and some flowers from outside our gym. I also made the cake topper using my Cricut.
Following the ceremony, we headed to Burlington for dinner on the lake, where we were joined by family and friends. When we arrived at the restaurant, the staff greeted us and congratulated us and got us seated right away. We were garnering a lot of stares from other patrons, and throughout the evening we would receive congratulations and it culminated in lots of glass clinking to get us to kiss. That was a fun twist that we hadn’t expected. I received even more compliments on the dress, just cementing in my mind that I had made the right choice!
The day was laid back and perfect. Not totally stress-free, but pretty near it. I never thought I would be one to elope, but I’m really happy we did. It was a fun secret to keep for two weeks! No one knew! We told my parents the night before and everyone else learned about it when we posted the announcement to social media along with photos and a video.
Elopements and micro weddings are becoming more and more mainstream. Although they may not be for everyone, I am so happy it is the route we took. It made the day entirely about the two of us and the two children and coming together as a family and I have only fond memories of the entire day! We are 100% happy that we eloped.