Operation Dope Elope
Wanna know a secret?
Matt and I planned to elope.
About 7 or 8 months ago, we booked plane tickets to Europe super late at night. It was a spontaneous decision and one that I will never forget. I think it was a Tuesday night. I was falling asleep and Matt was on his phone. All of the sudden, he shook me awake and said Britt, there’s a really good deal on flights to Paris-I think we should go.
I was half asleep, but sat up and said yea, let’s do it.
But first, we had to pause for about 10 minutes so I could have my customary panic attack that accompanies any change in my life--good or bad. This one consisted mainly of pointless questions like how will I get that much time off work? and how will we pay for this?
Matt snapped me out of it and before I knew it, we had 2 tickets for about 9 months out. We had discussed eloping in the past. Pretty often actually. I knew I didn’t want a wedding. It’s not my cup of tea. All the dressing up, the attention, the money, the asking for help, the PLANNING. No thanks.
So I code named it our Dope Elope and started down the process of getting married in a foreign country. I discovered that Denmark is the easiest place for foreigners to say I do. There’s the least amount of restrictions and requirements. The least amount still means a large amount though. For someone who didn’t want to deal with planning in the first place, it quickly became too much. Plus, we would have to make our way to Denmark after getting in to Paris. It was doable, but not the easiest solution.
Still, I persevered. I found a company in Denmark that specializes in facilitating elopements for Americans and other English-speaking couples. I reached out to them and got a quote. I asked them about securing me a photographer and hair/makeup appointments. Where would I get my bouquet? I needed the name of a florist too. I wondered how we would pack my wedding dress and Matt's outfit, along with all the other clothes we would need for the trip. I started thinking about all of the details and then all of the money. The tab went up and up. So did my anxiety.
I even started designing our announcements-with the intent of having them letter-pressed in rose gold foil on the softest blush paper. I wanted them to be really classic-something completely different than my usual, hand-painted style. But I still wanted them to be personal and fun, so I included a quote that I love on the back. The plan was to have them with us and mail them from Denmark the day we wed, so the postmark would be a cool touch. Again-more stuff to carry and things to do.
Did I really envision getting all dolled-up in a foreign country by myself? And did I really want to lug all that baggage around while we hopped from country to country?
After a few months, I said enough. This is not the easy, carefree, romantic elopement that’s in my head. This is just as stressful as a regular wedding! And that’s when we called off the Dope Elope (it became the Nope Elope) and decided to make the trip our honeymoon and have a small wedding here in Phoenix before we left.
Matt formally proposed a few months after that with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen in my life and we entered into a more traditional engagement period. So yes, the proposal was a surprise. But I’d known we were getting married for quite some time. I mean, we've been dating since 2009. I think under common law we're already married.
We are now in the thick of planning a backyard party that is extremely casual and as small as possible. Of course, Matt comes from maybe the largest family I've ever seen, so "as small as possible" is already over 100 people. It's going to be quite crowded cozy. Our house and yard can comfortably fit about 14, so...
It will be held 10 days before we jet set off to Paris, London, Amsterdam and Hamburg for a few weeks of adventuring. We are taking nothing but a backpack each, which is really more of what I had in mind. No lugging around my wedding dress or worrying about makeup/hair stuff. No need to worry about getting the correct paperwork or stressing about securing our appointments. Just the two of us, roaming about Europe, newly married.
And, on the bright side, having the ceremony at our house is a nice excuse to spruce things up and buy a new sectional…which is really what matters. Marriage Scmarriage. I want a new living room.
So, that’s my big secret. We had some pretty cool elopement plans in the works and now we don’t. Some dreams change and that’s ok. Cause either way, I’m still marrying the best guy in the world for me.
And you know what's next....BABIES!!