Designing and Planning Your Elopement | Teal, Cream & Magenta Rustic Wedding

Every wedding is unique as a snowflake.  Even the quick ones in Vegas.

The reason being, each couple is completely different, bringing their special style, unique life experiences, tastes and desires to the table.  As trends are changing and eloping is becoming a popular option -due to time restrictions, budget or simply wanting to remove the stress from planning a huge soiree- there are endless options to creating your perfect elopement.  (Which, I know, can be overwhelming.)

Lisa emailed me recently and we started planning her Fall 2013 elopement.  As we’ve been communicating -and I’ve been receiving emails from other elopement brides who feel completely lost- I’ve decided to share Lisa’s planning process in order to help answer your questions and get you inspired!

Here’s what WE do when you hire me to style, coordinate, furnish and photograph your wedding, Dear.

Step 1:  Pick a Style or Style Combination

Classic, Rustic, Whimsical, Retro, Vintage, Modern.  Now choose a few examples, such as “My Fair Lady” meets John Wayne, or “Mad Men” meets a Fiesta Party.  Or FanBoy meets Barbie.  Heck, it’s whatever you two are and whatever you two want.

For Lisa, she had seen Bethany+Brandon’s backyard wedding I styled and shot and loved the elegance and detail.  Priorities: excellent pictures, lots of detail, non-traditional.  She also has two small children that will be attending, so I needed to factor that in for the location and design.  As we talked through her colors and the general feel, we nixed the original location she had in mind and I found the perfect option…

Step 2:  Pick a Location

At this point, if you don’t already have a location, this is when the squirrels in my head start running at lightning speed on their little wheels.

There are lots of factors in choosing your location.  Ease, environment, amenities (such as a room for you to get ready in) are all things to consider.  For Lisa, we needed to consider the kids, she needed a place to get ready, we needed a large, open outdoor area (preferably with gardens and trees) for the design and it needed to be economical.  I called one of my favorite San Antonio venues, Rio Cibolo Ranch, and they just started offering ceremony-only packages that fit our budget PERFECTLY.  It has everything on our list!

Step 3:  Wedding Design/Style

Lisa wanted elegant, lots of cream tones, using peacock colors as inspiration, but not going overboard.  Based on her original inspiration from Bethany+Brandon’s design, I created a mood board for her as well as started a Pinterest Board to help our visions align.


Whimsical, romantic, rustic and relaxed.

Step 4: Get Everybody/thing Else

The next part includes securing the officiant, live music (shhhh, it’s a surprise!), deciding on the treats and beverages that will be served and finalizing the design elements.

I try to keep everything as cost effective as possible, hand making many items, and am always on the lookout for design elements and details while I’m running around town or browsing online.

A Tip on Time:

The length of time you need for photography depends on what you want captured.  If you have no decor and just need the ceremony and some portraits done, one hour will do the job.  Adding in design elements and want to capture getting ready shots?  Two hours, for sure.  Want to go on the town, take portraits multiple places and go out to dinner or are you planning on having a small reception with a handful of family and friends?  Three or Four hours will have to you set and happy.

Getting great photos -particularly creative portraits and detail shots- take longer than you think, so make sure we talk about your expectations and the design of your day before deciding on how much photography coverage you need.

Your Next Step:

If you need a helping hand in designing your wedding or simply need it photographed beautifully, contact me and we’ll get the conversation started.

Congratulations, Dear, and may your heart be filled with peace, not worry.  We’ve got your elopement covered, now it’s time for you to just revel in your love!


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