Our Acadia Elopement.
Why eloping was right for us.
Andrew and I have been together for over ten years, and that alone wasn't a good enough reason to be married, maybe for us that number hardly even matters. We have been a couple since 2007, since we were both in high school, since we literally had no idea how life was going to go (still don't exactly), and since we had no idea the type of people we were going to become. We spent the better part of the past ten years growing; growing up, growing into the people who we are finally starting to accept and enjoy and growing more in love. I still joke with Andrew that I've known for a very long time that I was in love with him, but I like him as a person more and more each and every day, because I've got to watch him transform into the man I was lucky to marry.
I think Andrew and I have both known for the past couple of years, but especially the past year while we've been reevaluating life here in Asheville, that we were ready and wanting to be husband and wife. We could've walked to the courthouse at any moment and been happy to legally affirm our commitment, but that didn't quite feel special enough. But on the other hand, I've never been one of those girls who dreamed about their wedding day, I never had long, enthusiastic talks with my mom or sister about what kind of dress I envisioned myself in, or the venue or the song for my father/daughter dance. Those images were just blank to me. The thought and stress of planning and throwing a wedding reception seemed very daunting to me; dealing with family issues, spending endless amounts of money, stressing over details I hadn't even thought about, no thank you. Don't get me wrong, I love weddings, getting dressed up, dancing all night long and don't even get me started on dessert, but my own wedding did not seem enticing at all. So on a random evening in March, when Andrew walked out of the shower and said, 'I just had an idea, what if while we were on vacation in May, we got married in Maine?' and immediately my perfect wedding day flashed before my eyes, I said yes, best idea I've heard in a while. I think for a long time we both thought if we don't have a wedding we can't get married and in that moment we realized how untrue that was, being married isn't about a wedding, it's about openly committing to spend the rest of your life with another person and we had been ready to do that for a long time. We were committing to each other just the two of us, so why not share in that moment just the two of us as well? And so, the planning began.
A lot of people romanticize the idea of running off and eloping on a whim, but there's actually a lot of planning and preparation to be done to make your day what you want. So, I broke down the logistics of our day below, if you have any other more detailed questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Marriage License: If you're getting married in the state of Maine, but are not residents of the state, you still need to apply for a marriage license in Maine, but only Maine not your state of residency as well. Our first order of business was getting our intentions form notarized and sending it to the town of Bar Harbor, so our marriage license would be ready to pick up when we arrived in Maine the day prior to our wedding, but still within the 90 day period while it was still valid.
Location: Since our vacation was leading us to Bar Harbor, Maine I knew I wanted our ceremony to take place inside the national park. In Acadia National Park if you're having a wedding ceremony with 10 people or less you are free to have your ceremony as you please, if your group is larger you do need to apply for a special events permit. There were only going to be six of us, Andrew and myself, our photographer, officiant and two witnesses, so we were good. I chose Otter Cliff, a well known rocking climb spot, because of it's vicinity to a parking lot; I wanted a spot with a beautiful view, but I didn't want us to have to hike in our wedding attire, or have to pay for additional time for our photographer and officiant to hike to a location as well. We got so lucky on May 8th, that it was a moody, foggy morning and we literally had the entire spot to ourselves; it really could not have been more perfect.
Officiant: Finding an officiant on a random Tuesday morning in May was actually quite difficult. I had reached out to a couple I had stumbled upon who were unavailable, before some googling led me to All in One Weddings. An all inclusive wedding company that will do as much or as little as you want for your wedding day including, booking you an available officiant from their directory, and for an extra $45 tracking you down two available, state required witnesses to attend your ceremony.
Photographer: For those who aren't familiar, Bar Harbor is located in the very Northeast corner of Maine, practically in Canada, and is a very seasonally based area, so finding a photographer up there was a bit tricky. I knew I wanted a certain, editorial style to our photos and after a few days of research I stumbled upon two, yes two, photographers with the style I was after. One, is bicoastal, and I knew immediately that Andrew and I would not be able to afford her travel fees to get her to Maine. And the second, who I reached out to, was way out of our budget (and rightly so, because her work is gorgeous), but the sweet angel that she is, recommended one of her assistants, Jenna. And that my friends is how we found, Dear Jenna Photography; and we are so lucky to have had her recommended to us, because she was such a pleasure to work with, but also perfectly captured our joy on our day.
The Dress: From the moment Andrew brought up eloping and I had a vision of our day, I knew immediately I wanted a dress that was long and flowy and with a bohemian, natural feel. No white, for both my personal skin tone as well as the aesthetic I wanted our photos to have, and something effortless so I could be relaxed, enjoy the moment and of course be able to move while wandering around a cliffside. I immediately thought of Free People and began browsing their White Dress selection, where I found the Jen's Pirate Booty dress I wore. Even after I received the dress I continued to browse what others were out there but I knew the Poppy Maxi Dress was the one, and the $220 price tag didn't hurt either.
The Rings: Since there was no real engagement, there was no engagement ring, and Andrew felt which I totally confirmed that I wasn't a dazzling diamond kind of girl. He thought just a wedding band wasn't exciting enough, and that I would want a unique but very special piece - and he found the Communion by Joy Smith Light of Joy Ring. A ring intended to 'remind one of the power of the new moon as a fresh start,' perfect for symbolizing our start as husband and wife, and of course my becoming a Wolf (moon, wolf, you get that right?). Andrew knew from the get go that long term he didn't want to wear a ring and was going to get a tattoo on his finger, so for the ceremony I purchased him a wooden band ring on Etsy for under $40 and called it a day.
The Flowers: Like I mentioned, planning a wedding really isn't my thing, so the afternoon before our wedding, we drove into downtown Bar Harbor when we were finished hiking for the day and I walked into, Queen Anne's Flower Shop, the first flower shop we could find. I picked one purple flower that I liked told the woman I needed a bouquet for my wedding in the morning and that I wanted to spend $20, and the lovely lady said okay and thirty minutes later I had my bouquet.
For many this probably didn't seem like the most conventional way to get married, but our elopement was so perfectly us I couldn't imagine our wedding day being any different. May 8th, 2018 really was the happiest day of our lives and I'm so happy to be able to share it with ya'll here!
Photographed by: Dear Jenna Photography