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My Elopement Story

March 24, 2010

I thought I should share the story of my wedding since it’s a little unusual. Plus we got pictures back Monday so the memories are flowing 🙂

As I mentioned a few times, Neil and I eloped on January 15th, 2010. We had gotten engaged less than 3 weeks earlier.

As soon as my mom began planning things, and everyone I knew began giving their two cents about what I should do, I knew a traditional wedding wasn’t for me. I was never the girl who dreamed of the white dress and the big wedding. Also, I have been to a ton of weddings since I graduated college and to be honest they started to feel the same after a while.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE going to my friends’ weddings and this is in now way an insult to people who have traditional weddings. I usually tear up at the ceremony and am always so happy to see two people get hitched. But both me and Neil are a little uncomfortable with all eyes on us, so a ceremony in front of tons of people just wouldn’t be “us.”

So a few nights after the engagement I woke up in a panic, thinking about how this was going to turn into some huge, traditional wedding completely out of my control. I was tossing and turning in bed, wondering if we could elope. Then it dawned on me that we had a trip to Portland, OR planned in just 11 days. About 4.5 years ago we introduced my high school best friend to Neil’s high school best friend, and they have been together ever since. They (Lauren & Dave) are now living in Portland together. How perfect would it be if we could get married while we were there?

On Monday (Jan 4th, so cutting it close to our trip Jan 14th) I called the relevant office for getting a marriage license in Portland. They had a three-day waiting period for licenses, but that could be waived if we asked for it! After that I began calling judges. We would need to do it Friday in the courthouse, unless we wanted to pay for a location for the judge to come on Saturday. Judge after judge was booked. Finally I reached the last judge on the list – who would do after hours on Friday at the courthouse – and he was available! The stars were aligning.

It was hard not to tell my family and friends the days leading up to the trip. The weekend before Neil and I went shopping for clothes for the big day. I bought two sundress-type dresses, but wasn’t in love with either. Two days before we left I ordered a dress from J.Crew in a panic with overnight delivery to Lauren & Dave’s, which is what I ended up wearing.

My mom and I are super close and she asked me a few times if I was planning something, but I played it off. I told her that we might elope but we could still have a party to celebrate later. We got into Portland late Thursday night. Dave and Lauren surprised us with wedding goodies and flowers.

Friday, the wedding day, was a busy one. First Neil and I had to pick up our marriage license.

Lauren and I got manis/pedis and got our make up done.

Lauren and Dave were the best hosts ever – they got us a room at an adorable bed & breakfast for the night AND hired an acquaintance who is a professional photographer!

We got ready at the B&B and took pictures.

Then it was off the courthouse! The judge actually had a very moving speech and I teared up a bit. Dave managed to videotape the entire ceremony. And afterwards, we broke a glass (Jewish tradition) in the courtroom hallway for my mom.

We called our folks, who were shocked but excited. I think that’s the number one question I get – were our parents mad? I think they understood that this was the best way for us to do it. Plus my mom said she would have embarassed me and cried too much if we had a big ceremony!

The rest of the night was spent at an amazing dinner then out to a bar with friends. It was a great night and if you are considering eloping I can only say good things! We are still planning on having a party in June, but it will not be like a wedding in anyway, just a big, crazy party.


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