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Intimate Elopement with Red Details

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Emily and Chinua didn't want the pandemic to delay them getting married so they decided to elope just the two of them! They happen to work at the university where they met, making it the perfect venue for them to say "I do!"

Emily + Chinua

Williamsburg, Virginia
- 08/08/2020
Total wedding budget $1,100

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Attire
  • Flowers
  • Officiant
  • Photography
  • Total wedding budget

How did you meet?

My husband and I are both academics, and we met while he was a postdoc and I was a visiting professor at the same university. I ended up moving to another state for work less than a year after we started dating, and we spent the next eight years commuting cross country to stay together.

What is your proposal story?

When my husband took me to dinner at the restaurant we went to on our first date, I knew he was probably going to propose!

Tell us about your attire choices.

Because of the pandemic, I bought my dress and shoes online. I purchased my dress from Lulu‘s for $25 after a lot of research. The dress came and fit perfectly without alterations, so I actually wore the first dress I tried on! I spent more on shoes and earrings because I knew I could wear those again. I was so happy with the ensemble and had a lot of fun putting it together.

Even though I couldn’t go dress shopping with my mom and best friends, I texted a lot of photos back and forth, and it became a fun experience even though we weren’t together in the same place. My earrings came from a local jeweler and are made of Sri Lankan moonstone, which I had never seen before. They are so beautiful and perfectly completed the ensemble. The gold bracelet was a find I had purchased in a boutique while we were traveling to attend my husband’s childhood friend’s wedding right before the pandemic, so it had special meaning too.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

We had our photos taken on campus at the university where we first met and fell in love, which happens to also be the place where we both now work. I love the fact that every time I go into the office, I walk past places where we took our wedding photos. A few days ago, we visited campus with my in-laws and showed them some of the spots we had photos taken and even recreated some of the photos for fun.

I love that our wedding memories are woven into our daily lives and we constantly get to relive and be reminded of those beautiful moments by the environment around us. Every time I drive past our county court where we had our actual marriage ceremony, I remember our wedding day too.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

Don’t be afraid to do what you really want. My husband and I had a vision for a simple wedding that would be low stress but also give us very special memories between the two of us. We will most likely have a reception in the future once things have returned to normal, but I’m so happy we didn’t let the pandemic delay our marriage.

What is the of biggest thing you did to save money?

Because we eloped, we did not have any guests, and our expenses were very minimal. Our only expenses were attire, flowers, marriage officiant, and photographer. This doesn’t include our wedding rings. We used the money we saved to put toward the down payment on our first house, which we totally love!