My Kinda, Sorta, Almost Weddingiversary… Why Eloping Felt Like Our Only Option


May 22nd would have been my 14th wedding anniversary… If only we had gotten married. The plans were coming along beautifully. We put a deposit down at the venue (for you Bostonians, it was our very favorite restaurant, Michael Schlow’s, Radius), I went dress shopping with my mom, and we started to solidify our wedding vendors. So, why didn’t we get married on May 22nd? Well, my bridey drama queens, it’s definitely not what you’re thinking. There was no crazy controversy. There was no scandal or deranged lover or pregnancy, or whatever. I love the shit out of my husband; the one I was supposed to marry on May 22nd. But, I didn’t love the idea of planning my wedding. I know, I know, the wedding planner who didn’t want to plan her own wedding! Could I have “hired” one of my fellow wedding planner friends? Sure. But, that wasn’t the problem. Well, that wasn’t the only problem.

In 2012, I wrote an article for Huffington Post called, 5 Reasons Why I Eloped. And six years later, it all still holds true. Go read it, it’s quite good (if I do say so). But, the two major points of contention (which I still think about almost daily)? Family dynamics + budget. These two points are the biggies… Like, ruinyourfuckingwedding biggies. The power of family dynamics combined with the whole money thing can be brutal. So, to avoid dealing with the inevitable,  we proactively took ourselves out of the epicenter, and ran like idiots to Vegas. I know it’s not for everyone, and I know it’s not something everyone can do without some serious repercussions. But, in the spirit of staying true to ourselves, eloping felt like our only option.

I’m not gonna lie, there were some pissed off people upon our return and celebratory announcement. But, looking back, I still feel like we dodged a bullet. I still feel like we “won” somehow. We have a day that was truly for us, and only us. But, the most important lesson here, bridey? Do what’s best for you. That’s been my motto lately; as a wedding planner/writer and personally. Your best interests lie within you. Listen to them. Does that give you license so be a selfish asshole? No, but it does give you permission to stay true to yourself and your sig other. Filter out the noise, and listen to your inner voice of reason. You get one fucking day, bridey. ONE. Use it wisely… Which leads me to my other major point. Budget.

Oh the budget…. The fucking budget. The collapse of all things based in reality. I could go on and on, and I have. But, here’s the thing, and the “thing” is pretty basic. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. And, even if you can, think about your financial goals after your wedding. It seems far away now, but I can afford my life now because I didn’t fuck it up then and spend all of my/our money on a wedding. Even if it’s not your money, have some respect for whomever’s money it is. Don’t buy just to buy. Prioritize your needs and wants and go from there. You definitely don’t want your benefactor(s) (ahem... usually your parents) to harbor any resentment because you took advantage of their generosity.

May 22nd will always have a special place in my heart as my kinda, sorta, almost weddingiversary. But, it also reminds me of how I (we) stayed true to what we wanted, and didn’t go for broke in the process. You should try it, bridey!

Photo by Tom The Photographer

A Mauve and Moody Elopement... A Truly Gorgeous Styled Shoot

I love when real life and design overlap. See the B+G above? Well, even though this is a styled shoot, Samantha and Justin are a real life couple. They are engaged, and while I'm not sure if they are going to elope or not, this is certainly a good way to get into the wedding-y mood. I mean... How cool is it that they get to practice getting married? Right? OMG, can you imagine if we all got a dry run?  Bitchless Bride would probably not exist if all of you brideys got to experience a practice wedding! Anyway... 

So, I put it out there that I was looking for a moody and edgy styled shoot or real wedding, and I jumped at the chance to show you this spectacular mash up of the two. I am OB SES SED with the color palette, the cakes and Samantha's tea length wedding dress. Seriously, I highly suggest that you steal from this shoot, bridey. Take everything! Take the cake (no pun!), take the gold and definitely take the fucking velvet linen! This shoot completely encompasses why I show you styled images... Because they dare to be different and rock the shit out of the norm. So, go! Steal!

The font + the gold... OMG!

My mouth just watered! I LOVE the mauve colored cake and the simple design!

It's like a little bit tie dyed, right? 

Gotta love the aeriel shot! 

Bridey, there is no reason you can't dress up your sweetheart table with velvet linen and fancy chairs! This is 100% an idea worth stealing!

Lovin' the gold flatware.

Gorgeously real shot of the B+G!

See what I mean? That dress! Totally LOVE IT! And Justin? So dapper! 

Thank you to all of the FAB vendors who teamed up to give us such great inspiration! And, thanks for sharing with Bitchless Bride!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Tara Nichole Photo 
Event Designer: Ryann Lindsey Photography
Design & Décor: The Amburgeys
Event Planners: Bloom & Blueprint Event Co. + KDP Events
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Everything Angelic + Meg Wedding Jewelry + Robbins Brothers 
Groomsman Attire: Magro Clothing
Invitation Designer: Paper and Posies
Equipment Rentals: Phoenix Classic Party Rentals
Heirlooms & Extras: Prim Rentals
DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Silk and Willow
Event Venue: SoHo63
Cake Designer: Suzy B'z Homemade Goodies
Other: The Mrs. Box 
Dress Store: Uptown Bridal & Boutique 
Makeup Artist: Vidogi Salon & Boutique

What Would Happen if We Hit the Wedding "Reset" Button?

I was sitting at a birthday party for a six-year-old little girl, sipping a delicious glass of wine (things have certainly changed since my birthday party days!) minding my own business (totally lying), when this kickass woman struck up conversation with me. After we figured out how we were all connected to the birthday girl, we started the typical "What do you do, and how do you balance it with all of the family shit?" banter, and when I told her about Bitchless Bride, we obviously started talking about weddings, and how we tied the knot. This chick? She had a dinner party for 17 guests at a beautiful restaurant in Lake Tahoe. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, it was. And, considering that she broke away from the "norm", she still had an amazing wedding day.

After I drilled her for the details (a fancy sit-down dinner, stunning wedding dress, and beautiful cake), I told her how my hus and I eloped in Las Vegas. Ultimately, the other moms around the table began chiming in, and even though all of us are on a similar path (raising six-year-old little girls) livin' it up in the 'burbs, we all had completely different wedding experiences. Which got me thinking about the bigger picture. Life after your wedding; life in general. Because, somehow, we all made it here, to V's birthday party, despite our differences, and despite the pressure to have the perfect wedding. The funny thing is that although we all viewed "perfect" a little differently, the pressure was the same. 

My Tahoe wedding friend? Well, she took some serious heat for breaking the norm and not including everybody at her wedding. And, me? OMG. I took some major heat for eloping with just my hus. The other ladies? Well, they got shit for doing certain weddingy things the way they wanted to do them, as opposed to the "norm". By the second glass of wine (it was a long birthday party), I announced that my goal was to reset how we "did" weddings. Erase what we knew to be normal, and start the fuck over. Let's get naked! Not literally, but figuratively! I mean... What would happen if we stripped everything we knew about weddings, wedding planning, and weddings in general and started over? Clean slate... No rules, just two people who love each other figuring out the best way to celebrate that love and their future together?

As somebody who is in "the industry", and has been for several years (and who can't seem to get the fuck out no matter what I do), I've seen so much. Too much. The good, the great, the bad and the worst (usually in people)...  And for what? One day. One super expensive, super inflated day that has morphed from two people celebrating something as simple as love, into a big fucking circus. I've watched couples deteriorate under the pressure to keep up with current wedding trends, and how they think their day "should be", versus staying true to who they are, and what they want to achieve in their future together. So, let's hit "reset". Let's erase it all... Let's start over. Let's dump the "how it should be", and focus on the "how you want it to be". 

Because one day, bridey,? You'll find yourself drinking at a kids birthday party with the other moms (and dads), comparing notes about life, and realize that your wedding day was only one of the best days of your life. So, give yourself permission to hit the "reset" button. Let go of the "my wedding should be", and allow yourself some room to determine "how you want it to be". Got it? Good! Stay bitchless!

Image via sujanpatel.com

A Vintage, Nordic Mountain, Dark and Fabulous Styled Elopement Shoot

You know those times when it rains or when the weather isn't cooperating, and you're secretly happy because of it? Like, it somehow reflects how you're feeling or the moodiness of the day? Well, this styled elopement explicitly expresses the perfect atmosphere for feeling moody. It's bold without being bitchy. It's edgy without being overdone. It's cool without being trendy. And, frankly, I fucking love it. 

I love how the elements of the day + the elements of the "set" come together to create a welcomed moodiness. It feels romantic and ominous with a touch of drama. The design elements are totally exquisite and elegant. Seriously, gold and green are rockin' in this shoot! And, the flowers, both the bouquet and the off center centerpiece, are amazing. Bridey, if you're looking for some edgy and stylish inspiration, you got it! Enjoy!!

OMG... That bouquet! That greenery! Amazing!

Fabulous boutonnière!

Okay... Clearly, I'm a little obsessed with the bouquet!

Damn sexy.

Like... How badly do you want to sit at that table, and dine on the food and booze??

I can't... The cake is spectacular!

Two, please!

Such a FAB shot!!

Thank you for sharing this amazing elopement shoot with Bitchless Bride!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Suzanne Rothmeyer Photography
Dress Store: Wai Ching Studio
Apparel: Butcher & Tweed
Floral Designer: Flowers By Shamay
Equipment Rental: Vintage Ambiance
Hair: Kelsey Ekstrom
Bakery: Hoffman's Fine Cakes and Pastries
Booze: Old Ballard Liquor Co.
Design + Décor: Silk and Willow
Invitation Designer: Robinson Paperie
Props/WardrobeRainchild Stylist

Fantasy Friday ~ A Vintage, Steampunk Elopement... Quite Simply, a Very Cool Styled Shoot

I love this styled shoot. Like, everything about it! I love the "models" (they are girlfriend and boyfriend), I love the fantastic DIY elements, I love the creative photography... OMG! I really love everything about this shoot! Seriously, it's just so fun and clever! And, in typical BB form, I'm kind of obsessed with the cake. It's beautiful, and I found myself wishing for a fork so that I could dig in... Anyway, I love this post so much that I am going to let Veronica Rose of Roni Rose Photography tell you more about it the inspiration which lead to such fabulousness. (PS - Totally love how Roni starts the convo!!)

RRP: "Every year I like to set up a styled shoot that reflects what the modern wedding world has become; A place for personal expression rather than a traditional template that needs to be followed. I immediately had Serena and Kent in mind as models. Serena is my tattoo artist. She is one of the most artistic people I know. My inked skin is a testament to that. During our sessions together she's spoken so fondly of her boyfriend Matt. I knew immediately that I'd love him. Matt is a chef, and one of the sweetest men I've ever met."
RRP: "Our vision for the shoots we do are based around trying to create an artistic expression of the couple, and they made that so easy for us. These two just ooze joy and love! I also like to keep our styled shoots in the realm of attainability, rather than a large production that would be difficult to achieve during an actual elopement, so much of what you see is a DIY by yours truly."
Serena, you look beautiful! LOVE LOVE LOVE your red lipstick!!!
RRP: ..."the boutineer is made out of some of our old film negatives and flash bulbs."
I think it's fair to say that the camera likes Matt. And, a chef too? Oh dear God! Serena, you're a lucky girl! 
Let's take this outside...
This is creepy awesome!
So cool!
RRP: "I used a pair of ape hanger handle bars to create an alter."
Right? Doesn't that cake just scream, "GET A FORK!!"?
Thank you Roni, for sharing such a kickass shoot with Bitchless Bride! I think we are all much cooler now.

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Roni Rose Photography
Second Shooter: Kristina "Dolly" Danitz Photography
Hair Stylist: Blondie Hair Artistry
Floral Designer: Emily Nallen
Ring Designer: Homesick Harbor
Makeup Artist: Simply Perfect Makeup Artists
Event Venue: Starline Factory
Cake Designer: The Cake Lady

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FLASHBACK*** Mother of the Bride Blues

August 13, 2013:

So... I received this "Ask Bitchless" in my mailbox the other day and feel as though the only way I can possbily respond is "in person"... And considering my own parents were married on a Tuesday, I have a few words of wisdom for the "Internal Eloper". Here's her dilemma:

Hello BB,

I’m in need of some advice. My fiancé and I have decided our wedding date (yay!). It’s Wednesday, October 29, 2014, the exact date of our ten year anniversary. SCREETCH! Did you say WEDNESDAY?! Yes, Wednesday. We wanted to keep our original anniversary date, but have only one hold up... my mother.

My parents are traditionalists and believe that weddings are reserved for Saturdays, and that the parents of the bride should be the ones funding the soiree. That being said, they want us to change the date to sometime later in 2015 so that they have time to gather the funds, and for us to choose a weekend date so that my grandmother (and all of her extended family who I have never met) can see her only granddaughter get married. As my mother said, "this day is not about you. It is about your grandma. Don't take this pleasure away from us." Am I crazy? Am I turning into a bitchy bride by wanting to keep my original date? Please let me know.

Internal Eloper

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A FABU, Low Budget Elopement

You know that I am a sucker for an elopement, right? Because, as you all know, I eloped, so I have a total soft spot for the chicks and guys who say, "Screw what everybody thinks, we are going to this this our way!" And then they do that that. Take Cady and Sean for instance. They eloped one November day in their home city of Seattle, Washington. And, what better place than at the top of the Seattle Space Needle? Sooooo, with only their best friends present, they were pronounced them husband and wife high up in the sky where nobody could actually see them! How awesome is that?!

Lionlady (Photography): "Cady found her vintage, affordable dress on ModCloth, and her accessories in local boutiques. Her mother crafted her bouquet from flowers found at Pike Place Market, a downtown Seattle staple. After the small reception held at Ten Mercer, a local Seattle restaurant, Cady and Sean drove to Whistler, a ski resort in British Colombia for their honeymoon."

I'm kinda dying over all of the details.Simple dress and lovely plum shoes...Gorgeous flowers and I LOVE the birdcage veil!Wow... Sean, you're so handsome!BEST. LOOK. EVER.

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Lovely NYC Elopement

As much as I love showing off amazing weddings on Bitchless Bride, you know that in my heart, I definitely have a soft spot for those brave enough to just say "fuck it", and elope. Ahem... Like moi. However, this story isn't about me. It's about Serena and Steve, and how they threw caution to the wind, and ran to city hall! Don't you just love it? I mean...

I am positively dying over Serena wearing that 1950's gold dress and blue suede shoes. Plus... I'm totally lovin' the tattoo down her leg! And Steve? Well, Steve is quite a catch himself! So, brideys, if you are considering an elopement, I would HIGHLY suggest taking a que from Serena and Steve. Kickass dress, blue suede shoes, city hall and a photographer (oh... and a cupcake!)...

I would fight for that cupcake too... Looks yummy!

I love the vinyl. And I LOVE that they came packin' for the photographs!

Wedding or elopement, THIS is an extraordinary photograph. This is one of those pictures (that if your folks are still together, obvi...), that every couple should include in their album.

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ Retro Elopement in Vegas!

I love this couple! Seriously, I love them so much... And maybe it's because I'm a teeny tiny bit partial because I also eloped in Las Vegas, but seeing how they look at each other makes me feel like I know them! Or like I just want to be near them. Does that make any sense? C'mon! You know what I mean! Anyway... Tara and Tim met through friends, and just one year later, they got hitched! Amazing right? But, bridey, when you know, you know. Right?

The other thing I love? Their style. Tara looks stunning with her gorgeous makeup, the birdcage veil and her cool ass dress, and Tim rocks Vegas in his a fedora and suspenders. Check it out!

Look how pretty Tara is without makeup! As a self proclaimed girly girl, this chick looks hot even without the frills...  

I just LOVE Vegas. A picture with the sign is a must!

These two photographs make me happy. The emotion shining through the details is just beautiful. (Yes, BB can get a bit mushy... occasionally, bridey! Don't get used to it!)

Super Stylish Sunday ~ Eloping... Bitchless Bride Style

Brideys, I've been quite honest regarding the details of my own wedding, haven't I? You all know I eloped, right? Well, I did. So, I thought I'd show you how it's done if that's what you are planning to do. I must say, the only thing that I find annoying to this day is how many people ask us if Elvis married us... Really. No, Elvis did not fucking marry us... We just love Vegas, so that's where we wanted to get married. Because it meant something... Just us... Nobody else.

But, beware, I do have a few teeny tiny regrets that I will be sharing with you so if you've booked your tickets, then take some notes, bridey. Hopefully my experience will help you avoid regret and focus on what's important, you (and your man)...

Because everybody should take a picture on an old Mercedes! Just kidding, but I do absolutely love her dress, hair and shoes so I thought I'd show them to you.

This is a BIG one, bridey. I REGRET not wearing an actual wedding dress! I wore a bridesmaid dress that I purchased a week before the trip, and I totally regret not wearing a fabulous white dress. So, check out the two wedding dresses above. They are fantastic! Do yourself a favor and wear one!