From the travel bugs to the homebodies, there are a ton of things you can do with the money you've saved for that giant wedding that you may no longer want to throw. You desperately want to get married, but planning a wedding during a global pandemic is, well, still not fun. Maybe you’ve postponed it (maybe even multiple times), rescheduled it, or downsized, but if you’re just plain done with the constant change of plans, here are some suggestions of things to do instead of having a big wedding.
Tricia and Tracy only hired me for a few hours for their Dayton backyard wedding, but those few hours were nothing short of hilarious spectacular joy. There may have been oppressively relentless 102 degree heat in the desert, wild fire smoke caking the mountain views, and crying uncomfortable children (#lifeishard), but the rest of us had the greatest time ever. More from this boisterous LGBTQ microwedding here!
What started out as an micro wedding with a family style dinner under the stars in Bend, OR changed plans and iterations and dates quite a few times before it morphed into the absolutely perfect intimate Sedona elopement that it was, bringing no less joy. At the end of the day, Jacquie and Doug just wanted to get married and I was thrilled to be there for them.
Seven years after meeting, my best friend Kelly and her love Andy were wed in a Fort Worth Civil Ceremony at the 2nd District Court of Appeals. We managed to keep it a secret until the very last second as it was attended by immediate family only and myself, which made me feel very special and as we all know, it's all about me. It was a wonderful way to start the holiday week and I am overjoyed to see my friend so happy.
When Kierney and Will originally planned their wedding, it was going to be a completely relaxed BBQ beach adventure. They wanted games and good times, socializing and tequila. As COVID hit, it became increasingly clear that their wedding dreams were going to be dashed and they completely changed course: calling me out of the blue and deciding to elope at the county clerk's office. It was the perfect afternoon, in my opinion: beers, bikes, and beach champagne. When they finally celebrated they did so with a private backyard Tahoe micro wedding and it was absolutely perfect in every way.
Jina, Lucas, and I originally bonded over bikes: a love of them, the desire to ride them as much as possible, and the idea that bikes belong in every part of your life. This includes your wedding! Their original plan was to get married at Roundhill Pines, have everyone bike down the bike path to a cocktail hour at the Nevada beach pavilion, and ultimately, end up on the backyard of the Basecamp Hotel, which is one of my most favorite wedding venues in South Lake Tahoe. I think they were sold on me when they asked me how I would plan on getting from one venue to the other and I responded with enthusiasm, "ON A BIKE OF COURSE!" Covid, of course, has different plans for all of us though.
Julia and Vitaliy met in Alaska when she was having a brief love affair with becoming a pilot. Vitaliy was her flight instructor. As she tells it, they "fell in love the minute we crawled into the two seat sea-plane and that was that." Julia no longer felt the need to become a pilot since she had one now. And then in an unfortunate, but expected turn of events because of 2020, what was supposed to be a private backyard destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, CA turned into an intimate Orchard Park elopement in Vancouver, WA that was perfectly delightful in every way.
Molly and Chris were originally going to hold a large destination wedding at Granlibakken in Tahoe City. It's a charming event center and retreat with endless outdoor space that backs up to the Tahoe forest. It's a great spot for a wedding because all your friends and family can stay on site and there's plenty of space. When COVID changed their plans, Molly and Chris pivoted quickly to something that seemed all too perfect for them: a small, intimate Tahoe City backyard wedding at the cabin that has been in their family for generations.
Melissa and Austin had planned their wedding at the Chart House in Lake Tahoe and modelled it, or, in Melissa's self professed words "copied" it from Ashley and Tim, down to the dancefloor. They even stole their photographer (me!) and are claiming to keep me as a friend forever. When their destination wedding was cancelled due to the pandemic, Melissa said she was "expecting some shit to hit the fan but man oh man this went above and beyond!!!!" When Melissa and Austin came up with a new plan, it was completely and totally reflective of their personality, which Melissa said has "always been a wild ride" and I was fortunate enough to have the ability to make it to Missouri to capture their revised wedding day.
With SO many of my clients faced with the tough decisions to cancel, postpone or downsize their weddings, many have decided to go this route: just get married and I am 100% here for it. Like so many of my clients, Kierney and Will are still planning on partying later (now in their renovated and redone backyard, thanks to COVID house projects), but they were overjoyed to just go ahead and solidify their union in the most Tahoe-esque way possible.
In the face of a global pandemic, many couples are having to make difficult choices regarding the days they have, in some cases, spent their lives or at least the last year or two, dreaming about. As wedding vendors, we are incredibly aware of how difficult these decisions have been for folks as they also directly affect our livelihoods. Downsizing your wedding expectations without downsizing your excitement is possible, I promise! Head here for some suggestions on reframing your expectations but not minimizing your joy.