Kelly Eileen Photo

Wedding Photographer

servicing pennsylvania & maryland + beyond

based out of york, pa

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my elopement story

September 28, 2018

Alex proposed while we were hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was our second day in Colorado, we went for a snowboarding trip. I will have to do another blog post about this day, because it was epic, and hilarious. Imagine this… *we park in a parking lot in the Rocky Mountain National Park.. kelly and alex both get out of the car and start walking towards the bathroom. Alex, knowing the ring was in his guitar case in the trunk of the car, and trying to figure out a plan to have enough time to get the ring box out of his guitar case, and still have time to hide it somewhere on his persons, made the split decision to push his loving soon to be girlfriend out of his way so he could make it to the bathroom first… alex full on sprints to the bathroom.. i was so confused? man, i thought, i guess he really had to go,,,, This day was March 14, 2016, we got married September 4, 2016, six months later. 

 

I began planning a wedding, that i soon realized was not what i wanted. Alex bought me wedding magazines, i wrote a guests list, knew who’d id hire as our photographer, picked out the venue and caterer, and EVEN BOUGHT A DRESS. Yes, as soon as we got back from Colorado, I made a bridal appointment with Anthropoligie, i mean, have you seen their dresses? I was smart enough to not put any deposits down, my heart just wasn’t in it. I then started dreaming of a backyard wedding. At my parents house, we could get a small tent, the guest list was now down to 45 people. Then my head started to spin while researching tent and chair vendors. I still don’t understand why it costs so much money to rent fold up chairs for less than 24 hours. I put the wedding planning on a hold… as i had no idea what i wanted. 

 

we had a trip planned to north caroline to visit our best friends. they moved down there a few years back. It was a few days before we went to North Carolina that we started joking about eloping while out of town. I even mentioned it at work, OUT LOUD. 

The night before, i looked at my wedding dress, and even debated packing it,....

The long drive there, we talked about it some more… still joking. 

The next morning, at breakfast, i mentioned the thought to my best friend Megan. She gasped with excitement and told me she would absolutely love to help me plan my wedding in one weekend, and her excitement alone was all the reassurance i needed to know deep down, this was what i wanted, and i should do it. At breakfast, it still wasn’t even set in stone. I kept saying, “i am not getting married without my dress!” it was impossible. i would absolutely not allow myself to get married if i wasn’t in that stunning, shoulders to floor lace, satin pink underlaying wedding dress. for some reason, that thought was more unallowable than the thought of eloping. i cried the first time i tried it on.. my sisters and my mom were there with me... no way was i getting married without that dress.

after breakfast, we went shopping, and while walking around Megan threw out the idea to call our good friend David, and see if he would go to our house, get the wedding dress, and over night it to me. FUCKING GENIUS! with butterflies in my stomach, and the realization that i might actually be getting married in the next few days, i dialed David’s number, (who are we kidding, we all have smart phones, i pushed a button, “dialed” just sounds better) he picked up… chipper as always.. and i asked him the favor, and without a hesitation he said yes, he would do it. WHAT?! thank you david!!! the rest of this story probably wouldn’t even be a story if it wasn’t for you! you’re seriously such a great friend, i am so so thankful and feel so grateful that you’re in our lives, i love you! man, UPS & FedEX ARE AMAZING. you mean, i can pay someone to deliver something to me that is 8 hours away, and pay extra so they deliver it the next day.. again, fucking genius. 

from that point on, it was on! 

we started googling eloping in Wilmington, NC. the rest is kind of a blur… we stumbled across a little B&B online in Wilmington, that specialized in elopements, and drove on by…. there was a guy outside trimming trees, and he politely told us i was insane to think i could get married by the end of the weekend. OF COURSE i would need more time, AT LEAST two weeks. ha, little did he know, i had a best friend with the mindset of Lesli Knope running for City Council… and we were not backing down that easy. so, we went to city hall. 

We researched and learned what we needed to do to obtain a marriage license.. we did it. We went to City Hall and WOW, it’s true what people say about the south, the people there are so nice. The lady who was behind the counter had big blonde hair, smelled like fresh picked flowers (i didn’t actually smell her, but in my memory she looked like she did) had a huge smile on her face, and kept saying how refreshing it was to see two people so happy about getting married. I take it, most people going to get their marriage license aren’t jacked with adrenaline, planning a wedding that might happen tomorrow… 

This is me and my husband right after we got our marriage licenses! ... keep reading below.. story continues! 

 

WHEN WILL WE HAVE THE WEDDING?!

it was a holiday weekend.. labor day.. as we were applying for our marriage license, i was google searching ordains in wilmington, NC. one of the first to pop up was this wonderful lady Penelope, she had a google rating of five stars, so, I called her, and wow was it easy. Just like that, we would have a wedding in three days, at Fort Fischer State Park, NC, right in the sand on the beach.  this is it… we’re going to elope! i was so happy. marriage license, check. ordain, check. dress, check. next, rings and alex’s outfit. 

We walked around downtown Wilmington until we found our rings. we went to a goodwill and found alex these beachy linen tommy hilfiger pants that were just one size too small, a sky blue ralph lauren blazer, and a fresh white button up. that night megan took out the pants a little bit with her crafty skills, have i mentioned how much i love her? 

We went to the local grocery store and picked out flowers.. the vowels part was pretty easy… i had been brain storming and writing mine for the past six months. the night before our wedding, we went out to a comedy club and then went to some bars downtown and had a few drinks. we planned to get married at 8am on the beach, it’s HOT in the south in early September, and i did not want to be on the beach in my wedding dress in 90 degree temps. so we did it early! it was amazing…. 

 

when i look back, the real reason, the reason that trumps all other reasons to elope.. it was because i did not want to wait another second to marry alex. sometimes i worry that because we decided not to have a conventional wedding, people think that what me and alex have isn’t “marriage worthy”… we never celebrated our marriage with our friends and family, we didn’t exchange vowels with a room full of witnesses.. but, i can reassure you, our love for one another is the reason we wanted to elope. we just didn’t want to wait anymore.

 

people look at us like we’re crazy when we talk about how much time we spend together. people forget that a good chunk of our relationship, we literally spent every second of every day together. we woke up together, showered together, drove to work together, worked together, drove home together, lived together, slept together, then did it all again the next day. is it weird to say that sometimes i forget he’s another person? he is completely and 100% a part of me. he is my lover, my friend, my everything. yes, we fight and of course we push each other buttons and annoy the hell out of one another, we have bad days, i get mad at him if he’s grumpy, he hates how messy i am.. but we acknowledge when those things happen. we take the time to recognize why we are truly fighting… today, i got mad at him for leaving the bar of soap so “soapy” in the shower. is that even a fucking thing? today it is, and thats because i only got five hours of sleep the past two weeks (i can already feel all the mom eye rolls, it’s okay, i totally embrace them because you all are wonderful wonderful beautiful wonder women and deserve the galaxy, i will never understand how you do it) but i recognize that, and we are gentle with one another, and we WANT this, more than anything, we want to grow old together and look back at this crazy life we had together.… okay, this is turning into a dumb lecture from kelly .. 

 

my point is, i believe wanting to elope holds so much more value than what people think. I KNOW it does, because i’ve lived it. i get you. and i believe you get me too when i say, i could not wait another second to marry my soulmate. i had to be married to him. elope!!!

 

so, if you’re looking to elope.. my question for you is, can you wait another second not married to your fiancé? and if the answer is no, then me and you and your fiancé are going to discuss location, find you an officiant (if you don’t already have one) and go get married… and i will be there to capture every silent affectionate gaze, and every soft touch, .. so you can never forget the day you could not wait another second for. 

 

HOW I TOLD MY FAMILY

okay, okay…. everything up until this point of this blog post has been nice, but let’s face it.. what everyone wants to know is how did my family take the news?! That was always the first response when I told someone we eloped.. “What?! Is your family mad?” “What did your mom and dad say??” “What did your sisters say?” I thought long and hard how I was going to tell my family. My sisters didn’t even know I was married until a whole week after we got eloped! We knew we wanted to tell them in person.. which was the hard part. I had to think of a way to get my entire family to my parents house the weekend after we got home… So, I told my sisters that I made my “Save the Dates” for my wedding and I asked them to come to my parents house with their very organized address books and help me mail the suckers out. Little did they know…. I got prints made of a picture of me and Alex on the beach on our wedding day.. in my white dress, him all handsome. I put the pictures in two envelopes and handed them over to my sisters.. I said, “here, check out my save the dates and tell me what you think” I think Kaylas reaction was something like, “What the Fuck?! are you kidding me?!” And then came the happy tears… and Laurens reaction was .. well.. she was just very shocked. I don’t think she said much if i remember correctly. I think my brother said something like, “ah, no kidding. you guys got married last weekend? cool.” Now my parents… 

I did something similar.. I took a print of the picture and i framed it. I went to my parents house the first night we got back, I COULDNT WAIT TO TELL THEM. I told them i got them a gift from the beach and wanted to drop it off. I handed my mom the “gift” and waited….. “Not uh!!! YOU DID?!?! Oh my gosh, I knew you were my smart one!” and a big hugged followed.. I’ll never forget it.. (Sorry siblings, but yes, i AM the smart one) My eyes filled with tears and I told her all about it.. the over night delivery of my wedding dress, going to good will for Alex’s outfit, the flowers, Megan and Andrew being there, getting a marriage license, and no we did not plan this.. We decided on Thursday we wanted to elope, and we got married three days later. 

 

guys, if you're thinking about eloping, do it! you deserve to have this one day, the day of all of your days where it is supposed to be 100% about you, let it be about you!! do what you want, deep down, you will regret it if you don't! and your friends and family will get over it! it's better to ask for forgiveness than ask permission :)