A week ago today, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary at San Francisco City Hall by marrying in an intimate ceremony. While the term “eloping” is probably more on par with our arrangements, I don’t want to imply any sort of escape from obligations.
We definitely wanted to surprise everyone with our news, so we made the announcement the morning before the wedding with details on how to watch. We wanted an intimate ceremony with the people most dear in our lives to be present, while imposing the smallest impact on their lives. We know that this unorthodox wedding was painful to our families at first, but it was of the utmost importance that we stay focused on what we want for our wedding. This day was not about the merging of families (Jeff has been welcomed in the family since day one), or the parents of the bride, or even me, the bride. This day was only about us. It was our celebration of being a “we” for ten years and wanting to continue forever.
As much as I am social media illiterate, we used on Periscope to broadcast our wedding live with family and friends. I know some people watched from meetings, from a bar in Prague, from a cruise, and many from work, and it was perfect! We could not be more happy with the way everything turned out. Not only were we able to have friends and family watch from all over the world both live and with a rebroadcast, we were able to see the comments and hearts from our guests as things progressed, and now we have a permanent video of what everyone else saw.
One of the best parts of our Periscope wedding was that we were able to say thank you and goodbye to everyone immediately following the ceremony so that we could take professional photos and video, guilt free! We did not want anyone to pay for travel and accommodations, or get dressed up, or take time off for us, only to spend a few brief divided moments with us before we left for our honeymoon the next day, nor did we want anyone to feel bad about not being able to attend.
While our wedding was just as close to perfect as you can get in terms of low stress, and high support, there are a few tips that would make it a perfect, as well as some of the things that we did that made a huge impact for success.
- Ladies, get your nails done about 24 hours before.
- Create a detailed, but brief wedding website with information for all the possible questions, and plan for answers that the older generation may have. (This includes links to resources and information that is common for weddings, even if it doesn’t apply, like a registry- we don’t have one, but thanks for thinking of us!)
- If you don’t plan to be available to field calls, emails, and text, kindly let your guests know that you may not able to respond until a certain date. Also give tips for troubleshooting as much as possible.
- When inviting guests to dinner, no matter how casual, if you want a limit on the number of guests, be sure to mention that the invitation is extended to the addressee, or household of the addressee only. I know that most people know not invite other guests to someone else’s dinner party, but it’s far better to be safe than put in an awkward position by people for whom this rule of etiquette is not obvious. Most brides will tell you, one of the biggest causes of strife when planning a wedding is the politics of the guest list, and our intimate wedding was no exception.
- Hire professional video and photo. I’m so glad we did! (while I love the photos here, taken by me and my brother, I know we have some gems coming our way, that we will proudly share with our friends and family. Not because the quality will be better, but because they show as as we truly were on that day- happy and totally present in each other.)
A note about professional photo and video
Being on the other side of things, I am so glad that we prioritized everything the way we did in terms of vendors. I know that I strive to get a fast turn around for my clients, but I feel like I’m savoring the wedding still. I can remember so much of the day and I love it! We’re also so focused on spending time with our family and friends that I’m glad that we don’t have photos or video to share with them yet. I feel like it would detract from depth of conversations we’ve had. We want a small guest list for our dinners because we genuinely want to catch up with the people we invite, and not just about our marriage, but about everyone else’s lives too. Have I mentioned this is not a traditional wedding?!
Additionally, Jeff and I exchanged vows privately, back to back, so we haven’t seen each other’s reaction yet, and it will be so exciting and new to watch later. I feel like we are dolling out little love bombs for ourselves for the rest of the year as photo and video get released!
We are now making the rounds up the West Coast to have small dinner receptions with the people closest to us in SoCal, Bay Area, and Seattle. We’ve said it repeatedly, and I don’t think it can be said enough, thank you to our friends, family, and clients who have become friends for your love and support, and for indulging us in our unorthodox wedding!