A small wedding doesn't mean a wedding with any less romance, any less glamour, any less love, any less fun. Sometimes an intimate wedding, a small wedding, a two person micro wedding, is just perfect.
An elopement is romantic - its all about keeping things simple. You have each other, and you get legally united and then you acknowledge it with a two person celebration. It's a wedding stripped down to the essentials. There is a romantic component to being all the other person need for this major life milestone.
Planning a wedding can stress people out. Negotiating what you want and what your families expect isn't necessarily easy. Sometimes you just can't wait any longer to marry the love of your life. I've known couples who, in the middle of planning a big wedding, decide to elope and keep it to themselves. And then have the big party anyway - keeping their elopement as a secret between them.
Micro-weddings or City Hall elopements do require some etiquette. Even if you value keeping things small, you won't want anyone to feel excluded. This calls for a joyful announcement made that evening or the next morning. Either with paper mail or by email or by social media post.
In this case, I was booked a few months in advance and the couple planned out how they wanted their wedding day to unfold. A New Year's Eve City Hall ceremony and then the night at the Fairmont Copley, a beautiful and historic hotel overlooking Copley Square. I was sworn to secrecy. Their plan was to announce the marriage to family and friends in with emails and phone calls the next day. Both families live out of state and this couple wanted to share their joy the following morning, on New Year's Day. A pretty romantic and meaningful time to wed, at the final moments of one year awaiting the next.
The bride wore a tailored gold brocade dress and kitten heels - and this amazing vintage faux tiger coat. The groom wore a grey suit paired with a light purple shirt with tuxedo collar. After the Boston City Hall civil ceremony, we picked up their rescue dog (one handsome, if skittish French bulldog who wore his bowtie like a champ) before we made some portraits at the Copley Fairmont. I love this dog friendly hotel - their lobby and staircases were a warm and lovely space in which to make portraits. And the light coming in from Copley Square, purple and pink, worked to set the stage for a dramatic and colorful portrait in their luxury suite.
Boston makes a great destination for an elopement. We have a beautiful, if postage sized, city that is rich with history and beautiful architecture. Yes, I'm even talking about our concrete beast of a City Hall. Within a short walk you can hit the waterfront, the Boston Common, find cobblestone streets and wonderful views of the skyline.
There are still, of course, a zillion reasons to have a giant awesome party. There's something to be said for the unforgettable experience of being surrounded by your friends and families and reveling in all the togetherness (and perhaps unwinding after a months long planning process). Maybe you can do both. :)