How to Elope with Style and Verve | Real Hindsight Advice

Hindsight Advice for an Intimate Asheville Wedding

Oh my, oh, my! I have a wonderful treat for you today. Remember that wonderful courthouse wedding Amanda published on Ruffled last month? I fell in love with it when I first spotted it on the wildly talented Kat Braman website and was thrilled when the bride agreed to a Hindsight Bride interview. Many thanks to the Kat coordinating that!!!

Bride and groom elope to Asheville

Those who know me well know I'm intrigued by elopements. Overwhelmed by the pressures of planning a modern-day wedding, D. and I almost eloped. We were seriously looking at plane tickets and elopement packages in Montana. Ironic that we ended up having not one, but two weddings in the end.

While, with 25 guests, this wedding is betwixt and between a classic elopement with just two marrying partners and a witness, it is nonetheless infused with the spirit of elopement through and through. The spirit of keeping things intimate and meaningful. The spirit of choosing the closest most beloved people to be by your side. The spirit of envisioning something other than the typical consumer-driven vanity fair that the "wedding industrial complex" is guilty of peddling like crack. (Yes dear readers, I'm well aware that I'm part of the machinery that makes the wedding industrial complex run. I never said I wasn't a complex woman full of contradiction!)

The long and short of it is this: this wedding and Chelsea's hindsight advice is thoughtful, insightful, and downright spot on. My favorite is her best hindsight advice.

Elopement in Asheville courthouse

Waiting to get married in the Asheville courthouse

Real Hindsight Advice:

Things you’re glad you did:

  1. Hired a photographer that understood my vision. I can’t stress this one enough. I think I spent the most time researching this aspect and in the end it really paid off. There’s nothing better than getting your photographs back and feeling like they completely captured the energy of your wedding day.
  2.  Kept it small and intimate. We went back and forth on this issue a lot. Looking back we both agree that keeping it small was the right decision for us.  It really kept the day feeling comfortable and casual which was a priority for us. For those of you who aren’t keen on being the center of attention – 25 guests is perfect!
  3. Wore something old. I’m not much for wedding traditions but wearing something old was something I’m glad I did. It was a way for me to honor my family and my past, while creating a new branch on the family tree. I used my grandmother’s handkerchief to wrap my bouquet and also wore a piece of jewelry from my mom, grandmother, and great grandmothers.

Things you wish you had done:

  1. Prioritize. The blog world can be an amazing yet scary place, with so many options you can easily veer away from your original intent. Make a plan and stick to it throughout the entire planning process.
  2. Trust my first instincts. If I had a quarter for every time I changed my mind in the planning process we’d be taking 3 honeymoons this year! In the end our wedding consisted of details thought of in the first few weeks of being engaged…and we were engaged for almost 2 years.
  3. Bring a guest book. This wasn’t something that I thought much about and, in focusing so much on all the other details, I forgot to bring the guest book. Now that the day is over I’m really sad that I didn’t document all the well wishes.

Things you wish you hadn’t done:

  • Let the groom cut his own hair. Nate attempted to shave his head 2 days before the wedding and forgot to put the guard on, resulting in a 3 inch bald spot on the side of his head. Pre wedding jitters? Perhaps. Grooms, if there is ever a time to splurge on a professional haircut it’s your wedding day.

Things you wish you hadn’t worried about:

  • Other people’s opinion of what our wedding should be. So many times throughout the planning process we heard “Just do what makes you happy BUT you have to have a *fill in wedding tradition here*.” And of course we tried to fulfill every request made. It seemed like everyone had some tradition that had to be included and next thing we knew it had spiraled into the wedding we never wanted. Sure, we want everyone to be happy but, trust me when I tell you, nothing will make them happier than seeing you happy on your wedding day…even if you don’t walk down a proper aisle.

Your very best hindsight advice:

Plan the wedding as if you and your partner are the only ones attending. Throw convention out the window and make the day be a reflection of the two of you!

Asheville wedding portraits

Asheville Elopement with bridal bouquet and cupcake

Wedding Invitation for Asheville elopment

Team Wedding: