I bet you didn’t know that five years ago when we were planning our wedding I wanted to elope. Not like the “run off to Vegas” kind of elope but I wanted to get married out in the Black Hills (5 hours from where we live) and bring only our closest family and friends along! That was MY DREAM! But why didn’t we make that happen? Let me tell you why and what I would do if I could go back.
photo cred: Tricia Cain
So Justin and I ended up getting married on the local golf course. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and it ended up being beautiful but I definitely regret not researching more knowing what I know now. You see, when I was looking at eloping I was googling places and venues to have our wedding. Most of them cost thousands to rent and the a minimum of $5,000 for the meal (you had to have them cater). I knew if we got married in the hills, our wedding would be maybe 50 people. We would want to keep it small and intimate but how can you justify paying $5,000 to feed 50 people! No way right.
So that my friends if why I gave up my dream wedding. If I could do it over, here is what I would do or at least look into! I hope this helps you if you are dreaming of eloping or traveling to have your dream intimate wedding!
I would start by jumping on AirBnb and checking out cabins and lodges to rent. There are beautiful huge cabins in the hills to rent for about $500 a night and it would be big enough to have my immediate family stay (there’s about 20 of us). But because it would be our wedding night, I would personally book a private small cabin somewhere near by for my hubby and I. I would plan the ceremony either at the large cabin in the yard overlooking the gorgeous hills or even driving into the state parks and hiking up to a cute secluded area. We would be chatting, snacking, and drinking beer throughout the day with no crazy limiting schedule. Just surrounded by family and love. That’s all that really matters, right?!
Since we would have such a small wedding, I would hire someone to come out and grill or even have some family or friends do the cooking right at the cabin. We hired a family grill at our actual wedding so why didn’t I think to do the same out in the hills (I have no idea) but it would be so easy to get a few people to bring over grills since we have family out in the area.
And that’s it. Maybe if I was really planning the real deal I would have a local reception too but to be honest, when we decided to stay local we also did so to make it easier for family and friends to come but now looking back, I know the people we really wanted to come would have made the trip for us. So I hope this little imaginary wedding planning helps you plan your dream wedding and gives you some ideas on how to plan a small, simple intimate wedding without a huge price tag and inspires you to make that dream come to life. Much love my friends. XOXO