I’m really excited about today’s post!
There’s a history behind the idea I had for this shoot. It had been stewing in my mind for some time and I have quite a few couples to thank for unknowingly leading me to it. With the help of Yasmen from Yasmen Katrina Events and several other vendors from the Orlando area and even others from out of state like myself, we were able to bring my vision to life…at Walt Disney World!
Before I get into the highlights of this inspiration shoot, I want to briefly chat about the real heart behind it. Over the past few years I’ve heard this statement from many couples either before or during their wedding day: “We wanted to elope, but [insert reason here].” They usually say it under low breaths so as not to offend…their parents? or the lady serving us coffee at Starbucks? or maybe even me? They say it like they suspect their thinking is wrong or weird…like the idea they had to celebrate THEIR MARRIAGE was wrong. I don’t think it’s wrong at all, and chances are, neither do a lot of other people.
The soon-to-be-weds are not the only ones. When couples find out I am a wedding photographer, we will inevitably get to talking about their weddings. I hear things like ” it was such a crazy day, we spent way too much money…” At some point they’ll just come out and say “we loved our wedding,” (aka…we feel like not saying this makes us evil), “but if we had it to do over again we would invite our immediate families and a few close friends and just elope somewhere fabulous.”
One of my brides even said to me “our wedding isn’t even about us, it’s just a show for everyone else.” When I hear all this stuff, it breaks my heart! A lot of this nonsensical stress and second guessing has to do with the Wedding Industrial Complex, but I’ll save that conversation for another day. Couples hear the word elope and they get this vision of some really outdated idea of getting married in secret and against their parents wishes like some 1970’s movie. So they immediately shut the idea down and just do what they feel is expected of them. That is a crappy way to start a marriage. Just because the average cost of a wedding is $29,000 doesn’t mean that’s what you have to spend and just because your sister or BFF had 120 guests and chair covers doesn’t mean you have to.
So if you’re wrestling with the idea of what it means to “elope” this post is for you. Imagine you and the MOST important people in your life celebrating the way you really want. You can spend less and still be lavished, and really enjoy the company of your guests and the unfolding of the day. With that in mind, we planned this shoot at two resorts around Crescent Lake, Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Beach Club.
The Walt Disney World Resort has been hosting weddings for decades now. I know a lot of people hear “Disney Wedding” and they assume it’s crazy expensive and probably a bit silly, but Disney weddings can also be elegant, extravagant or simple, they can have Disney characters and Disneyfied cake and favors, or they can be free of any and all Disney references and just all about the location.
All about the location is the route we went, with just a few Disney touches thrown in. We cast newly engaged couple Kristie and Nicholas to play our bride and groom! Stone Werks made us the cutest stationary suite to set the tone for our shoot.
Since the Boardwalk has a vintage feel, Casa di Bella dressed Kristie, in a gorgeous tealength Justin Alexander gown. Laura Reynolds artistry swept her locks into a stunning vintage do that blew us all away. We added Minnie Mouse bow jewelry for a fun touch of color. Nick was festive in suspenders and bow tie! The Flower Studio crafted a stunning and unique bouquet and bout that incorporated all the vibrant colors of the boardwalk.
We started on the Boardwalk in the early morning hours. We made our way to one end where we stopped to incorporate the “We Eloped” signs (complete with hidden Mickeys) that Brittany Branson painted for us. We loved how this detail could be a perfect way to share news with extended family and friends and just to commemorate the day.
We worked our way around the boardwalk and over to The Beach Club Resort. The sun was rising and the light was looking epic. We settled onto the beach with the sweetest picnic basket full of treats from That’s Darlin’. With our intimate picnic spread, and the sand between our toes we watched the boats ferrying guests from the Boardwalk and Yacht Club to Epcot and The Disney Studios. It was the perfect way to spend the morning.
Intimate weddings and Elopements give couples the freedom to craft a day that’s all about their relationship and the people most invested in it. It also offers an opportunity for leisure and leeway so the day can be really lived in and not a whirlwind of stress that goes by way too fast. I can’t wait to share more initiate wedding and elopement inspiration in the future and I’m so excited to have had the opportunity to have our first official installment happen at the happiest place on earth!
Our lovely models – Kristine and Nicholas
Venues – Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Wedding Coordinator – Yasmen Katrina Events
Picnic Basket Decor – That’s Darlin’
Hair and Makeup – Laura Reynolds Artistry
Floral – The Flower Studio
Wedding Dress and Bridal Belt – Casa di Bella Boutique
Wedding Dress Designer – Justin Alexander (Style 8800)
Bridal Shoes – Nine West
Engagement Ring – Judith Ripka
Minnie Mouse Jewelry – World of Disney
Stationary Suite – Stone Werks
Prop Signage – By Brittany Branson