Did you do any DIY Projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?
While I did not personally create any DIY projects for our elopement, Etsy was my best friend during this planning time and this is where I purchased many of the smaller items (i.e. vow books, veil, faux flowers for our dog, etc).
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
My husband, Wil, and I are both born and raised on Kaua’i, HI. For many celebratory events in our culture, you may find a maile lei, which is what you will find around my husband’s neck. My mother placed a lei po’o on my head, otherwise known as a flower crown, and in our culture, many women wear this for celebratory events. This was such a special and meaningful aspect that we included in our elopement, and it was a way for us to embrace our culture while still being away from Hawai’i.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Every part of our day was memorable for the both of us. Instead of feeling stressed the day-of, we had a laid back morning with our dogs and loved ones that were there with us for this day. There was a slight sprinkle of snow the morning of our wedding, which made it even more cozy! Towards the end of the evening, we enjoyed great steaks made by my husband and we took time to read through cards that our loved ones sent us. I truly believe that because we had an elopement, we were actually able to be present and enjoy the moment.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Overall, having an elopement was the biggest thing that we did to save money. The amount that we spent compared to the cost it would’ve been to have a traditional ceremony and reception saved us so much money, time, and stress – we wouldn’t have done it any differently. Another thing that helped us save some money was purchasing my dress from Brides For a Cause. I was able to buy a beautiful dress for a greatly discounted price.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge was the cost for photography and videography but it was worth every penny. We wouldn’t have been able to vividly remember our special day without our beautiful photos and video from Taylor and Nathan Ochoa. We are so grateful that we can relive this special moment.
What were your favorite details?
My favorite detail was the fact that instead of a traditional cake, we decided to celebrate with some good ol’ s’mores! Who doesn’t love a good s’more? Till this day, we enjoy eating it so much because it reminds us of our special day.
Additionally, we knew that many of our family and friends that would have joined us if we had a traditional wedding would not be there. Before our elopement date, we requested that they send a card to us to share any memories, words of wisdom, and any words they’d like to share, as a way for them to still be a part of our special day, and we promised to read them the night of the elopement.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
My best advice for anyone planning a wedding is to make it about you and your partner. No one else. While it is great to celebrate with all of your loved ones on this special day, remember that this day is about you both only.
A special note from Taylor, the photographer:
Tia and Wil’s vision for an elopement at an a frame cabin in Washington state came true at this cozy riverside stay near Mount Rainier National Park. A cabin like this one is the perfect option for an Airbnb elopement; a lot of Airbnb stays offer a more personal touch to your experience!
This couple was hoping for a snow-filled elopement day at their Airbnb. It looked like the Pacific Northwest weather was going to hold out on us, but at the last moment on the morning of their ceremony, the flurries began to fall! Tia’s heart was filled with endless joy that in a way, her wish for snow came true.
This cabin by the river was the perfect place to provide seclusion for their ceremony, while also allowing them to get married somewhere beautiful. They wanted to read their personal vows to one another prior to seeing each other, so we set them up for their first look with their backs to each other. After they read their vows, they turned for their first look, and presented each other with such thoughtful gifts!
After their ceremony (officiated by Tia’s sister), Tia’s mom presented Wil with a lei, and Tia with a Haku. Incorporating these traditions from their Hawaii heritage was so special! The couple shared s’mores over the bonfire instead of a traditional cake cutting. And of course, I stayed to have one or two for myself — obviously!