day twelve. do what makes you happy – unique wedding ideas.

I have been so excited to write this blog post because it is what I love most about weddings – making them a reflection of who you are as a couple. More and more we are seeing a shift away from the traditional wedding. When once elopements were rare and even looked down upon, couples are scaling back and taking a look at what a wedding really means and how that reflects their relationship. I love alternate wedding ideas, from destination weddings, to “weddingmoons”, to elopments, to backyard celebrations – nothing gets me more excited than a couple who has a unique idea and does things that are a little out of the norm – outside of the box.

Jamie and I started planning our wedding as a destination wedding in Costa Rica, and that has recently changed to renting a house in Big Sur and having a small ceremony followed by dinner and drinking. To be honest, I always have eloping in the back of my mind. To me there is something so beautiful about sharing that intimate moment between you and the person you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with. No bells and whistles, just you and that person. It’s the epitome of romance.

What it really boils down to is doing what makes you happy. At the end of the day you have to be able to sit back and think: yep, that exactly how I envisioned it and I am so happy with how it all turned out. That’s what it is all about.

Since I am into alternative wedding ideas, I wanted to share with you a few ideas and resources that I have found along those lines for you unique alternative wedding idea seeking brides to be. : )

Before Jamie and I even got engaged, I fell in love with Becca and Nate’s (fellow wedding photographers) wedding in Salerno, Italy. They dubbed their ceremony as “weddingmoon” and traveled Europe for a week and a half before exchanging vows they had written themselves. It is honestly the most romantic wedding I have ever seen (check out her post and photos here) and their idea of such a personal ceremony really resonates with me. On Becca’s blog Life as an Artistpreneur she explains the whole concept:

For those confused by it all, we decided to have a very private wedding. We also decided to do it completely how we wanted without any concern for what was traditional, normal, or expected. We signed the official papers before we left the country (which is why there is no minister with us in any photos) and had this special vow ceremony where we read each other vows we had written and exchanged rings. It was perfection. The venue was decided the morning of our wedding date. The hotel we stayed in was directly across the road from the bed and breakfast I had stayed in when I was in Salerno in college so the view we had from our balcony was the same view I had for 6 weeks. The view overlooked the mountains, the coast, and a little golden castle on top of one of the peaks. We told the cab driver to take us to the castle. We had no idea if it would be accessible until we got there. There was a path around the side facing the water so we walked over there. There was no one around and the spot we found was perfectly positioned on the side of the mountain with the water to our left and castle to our right.

Please go and check out her whole post to see the whole story and their beautiful photographs.

A destination wedding was another option that Jamie and I considered. This idea still lends itself to be an intimate celebration attended by your closest family and friends. Jamie and I envisioned renting a villa in Costa Rica where we could hold our ceremony and our guests could stay there with us. The site that I found while researching this idea was Welcome Beyond – it is mind blowing. If you are thinking of doing a destination wedding I would definitely check this out. The collection of properties on this site is out of this world. You can search by location, interest, how many people you need to accommodate (they even have a “wedding venue” category!) They feature everything from rooms to private estates around the world, so it could also be a honeymoon idea resource as well. A little more about the concept behind Welcome Beyond:

We hand-pick places that we feel are truly original. Many reflect their owners’ passion for distinctive architecture and design. Some border on quirky (and may have crossed over the line). Several are quite posh. And a few are downright rustic. But what all of our properties have in common is that they’re exclusive – in the best sense of the word. Each is singular, memorable and definitely worth writing home about. Or at least a tweet or two…

Above all, Welcome Beyond is about venturing beyond. Not just geographically, but beyond the obvious, the predictable, the expected. It’s about gaining new perspectives on regions, on cultures, on places of incredible beauty. On what really matters in a holiday — and in our lives.


Did you have a unique wedding or have any unique wedding ideas? Please share!

Are you having a unique wedding or elopement? I would love to document and be a part of your special and unique day. Check out my portfolio and please contact me – let’s make it happen : )

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