Broke-Ass Tag: elopements


Affiliate Disclaimer NewNatalie and Rich Laguna Beach elopement 13

Photos: Seth Heringer

Dear Liz,

My fiancé and I want to get married soon due to some recent transitions in our lives (moving, new job,etc.). Because of our (very tight) budget, We’re hoping to have a courthouse wedding and maybe a dinner with some family and close friends , about 20 people. What are some things we can do to make it special? I imagine we won’t have a first dance at a restaurant.


Classing Up the Courthouse

Dear Courthouse,

The majority of my wedding officiant gigs (yes, I marry people, too) are elopements and spur of the moment/last-minute weddings, and every couple has found ways to make it special, beautiful, and personally meaningful to them.

The best way to do that is to focus on what you can do, as opposed to what you can’t. There are benefits to doing this all on a smaller scale. You can actually have your first dance at a restaurant, depending on the restaurant, and if there is a private space that you can reserve. You could even have your first dance at the courthouse, if you wanted to.  You can have toasts, and you won’t need a microphone, because everyone will be able to hear. You can wear a beautiful dress. You can afford one gorgeous bouquet, and probably a centerpiece or two. You can eat a good meal, surrounded by people you love, who love you. You can still have a wonderful day, you just need to decide what’s going to make it wonderful. What do you want to see, and experience, in order for that to happen? Start there. I just created a board for Excellent Elopement Ideas, and maybe that will help, too.

Dear Liz, 


I got engaged on April 9. We have been in limbo ever since,  because we hadn’t been able to find a venue, but we finally found one last week! 

We are having a short engagement — we’re getting married on September 21.  One of my many problems is  that I can’t figure out what our color scheme should be, and, more importantly, I don’t know how to go about getting inexpensive wedding invites/rsvp cards/I don’t know the name of the other cards that go along with it…

Can you point me in the right direction? I would really, really appreciate it!


Questing For Wedding Clarity

Dear Questing,

Yup, one of the challenges of Wedding World today is that there are sooo many options out there, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I wrote about that a little bit last week. What I do when I’m not sure which direction to go in with an event or vendor,  is to see what has been done before I got there. Best way to do that, of course, is pictures, so google/bing, for instance “(your venue) wedding photographer” and see what comes up. “Photography” instead of “photographer” works, too. And hit Pinterest and search for your venue.

Now, I want to make it very clear that I’m not saying you should just copy what other people have done, but this is a good way to find inspiration. Pay attention to what you like, and especially what you don’t like. Maybe you like the color scheme from one wedding, but you don’t like the flowers they used to bring it out. And you really don’t like the linens, but what if they were…a deeper shade of blue? You see what I mean. It’s like any shopping trip, you go into the store, looking for a dress, and seeing all the dresses helps you decide which one you really want. It’s a process.

Invitations. Again, you can start with the closest and easiest thing to get to, which would be invitation kits at stores like Target, Michaels (or the craft store nearest you), even Staples has kits. Those include the invitation, RSVPS cards, envelopes, everything you need, and they’re very affordable. Even if you don’t find anything, it will narrow down what you like and don’t like. It will also give you a chance to compare prices to anything you find online. Oh, and searching for “affordable wedding invitations” on Google and Pinterest  (I’m only slightly obsessed) brings up a slew of stuff, too. Try not to stress if it takes a while to find what you want. It’s there, you just have to keep looking.

So, BABs, do you have suggestions for affordable invites? How are you making your tiny wedding special? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,

  • 2/11

    These are the kind of pictures I think every bride should see before she starts planning a $25K wedding in earnest. Because you know, if this is all you need for your wedding — a beach, a dress, a beautiful bouquet, the person you love most in the world, your pooch and a few BFFs, well then, why not just elope? Natalie and Rich pulled together a gorgeous elopement in Laguna Beach for almost nothing. Natalie’s dress was $200. The flowers were $80.  The officiant was a dear friend, and performed the ceremony for free. The wedding party all went out for dinner afterwards, and of course, no one let the bride and groom pay for their own meal. We’re so pleased to share this celebration with our readers, because BABs, this is what it’s all about.

    From the bride: “I’ve always dreamed of a small, intimate and meaningful wedding for as long as I can remember. One that is about the love of two people and where there is no distraction away from that. The stress of extra details and spending thousands didn’t make sense to us because it didn’t feel like us. We just wanted to make the most important day of our lives be about how much we love each other and not about if the napkins match the chair bows. I’m a Yogi and Rich is so laid back so it didn’t make sense to us to have the one day of our lives that is the day we make our love and commitment officially known to the world be a big, fussy event.”

    When we talked about our wedding and what it would feel like, it was no discussion- an intimate, oceanside wedding was the right choice for us. With a couple dear friends and the focus on the most important thing; Our Love. A smaller wedding really suited us – I’ve always had a special connection to Laguna so it was the perfect place for our special day. I arranged my flowers myself and my best friend from Canada came down to get ready with me and be there for us.  My dear friend Gigi sang a beautiful song in Sanskrit which I hold dear to my heart. We all joined in as everyone stood in a circle around us. Then our friend Seth said a prayer for us. We wouldn’t change a thing.”

    A gajillion thanks to Natalie and Rich for sharing their beautiful day with us! And special thanks to their photographer friend Seth Heringer for sharing these fabulous photos!

  • 7/22

    What and how and a HELL YEAH! This may be my favorite wedding idea I have ever seen! If you haven't met him yet, please allow me to introduce you to Best Man! The folks at Best Wedding Chapel had originally purchased a 1942 American La France Firetruck. Nine years later they wrote into the T.V. show Trick My Truck and low and behold Best Man…

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