How To Get Married Now

Elated Still Photography

We have no idea when things will return to normal. A lot of couples are holding out hope for 2021. I truly hope next year is better but for right now we are not doing so many of the things we need to do to get this pandemic under control from consistently wearing masks and social distancing, to actually having an adequate testing system and public health system in place to handle this the way they have in other countries.

My best advice continues to be get married when you want to get married. Eloping in Oregon is beautiful and easy to do – you don’t need to spend a bunch of money on expensive prepackaged things with a team of vendors you can just do the following:

  1. Decide on a date. Week days will be the easiest if you do plan on having any paid vendors. But do it any day you want.
  2. Pick a meaningful place you want to get married, on the river on a dock, at a favorite park, in the forrest, on the coast, or in your own yard.
  3. Pick your key people who must be there. You should plan on just the most important people. The only rule is you need two witnesses, an officiant and yourself. Your witnesses can include a photographer.
  4. Hire a professional officiant, choose a family member or good friend to be your officiant and get them ordained if they are not already. If you work with us not only am I a wedding planner and floral designer, I am also an ordained officiant. I did this three years ago just to be safe as a back up plan but my major in college was English – I am a writer and I enjoy helping you write your perfect style and type of custom ceremony. I grew up going to Sunday School and have studied and planned all types of religious and non-religious ceremony but my comfort zone is the non-traditional non-religious ceremony.
  5. Write your ceremony and vows. Elopments are my favorite, you know why? Because they are all about the actual commitment, ceremony and love expressed as you vow to be a team for life. We can help you compose your perfect ceremony and give you pointers to write meaningful vows you will cherish for life.
  6. If you have a dress already wear it – doesn’t matter if it was designed for a huge celebration or a cathedral. Wear it! If you are planning a later celebration when you can and want a new dress for now we whole heartedly endorse having fun with this! Wear something fun, simple or colorful, or get a second wedding dress from a store like Blue Sky Bridal where you can go all out while saving.
  7. Choose flowers. If you are going to a public place where otehrs may be – we recommend keeping it very simple just a beautiful but simple bouquet and boutonnieres no extra decor needed. If it is in your backyard we can design an on site floral foam free floating arch, decorate an arch you have on site, or build a ceremony circle in the middle of your grass.
  8. Chairs and rentals are not needed! But if you are doing this at home and want them we recommend just small rounds 36″ round max and 30″ tall bistros with 2 – 3 seats per table. Get a six’ rectangle banquet for families of 4. Everyone should be seated by household. If you are only going to have a few tables we recommend you buy white tablecloths on Amazon, or get them in color. If you are just getting a few you’ll now have them for future Thanksgivings or gatherings and it will cost about the same as renting them for one day. If you were having 100 people of course you would rent them, but for 10 just buy them and use them again! Here’s the math 108″ rounds cover your 36″ round 30 ” tall table. A 6′ rectangle needs a 132″x 90″ rectangle cloth.
  9. What about the food? Order a charcuterie plate per table for pick up from Elephants Deli and give each table a split sized bottle of champagne. Pro tip order champagne glasses on Amazon so everyone can have their own glass at their table, you won’t spend a lot, and your house will be stocked for years of fun memories everytime you use them int eh future. Everyone gets their own table charcuterie plate! For desserts just get a small cutting cake with all white frosting – we can decorate your cake with a topper and flowers (yes I have a food handlers certificate and I’m a licensed florist so you’re safe and covered with one person). Order desserts and set a dessert plate per table. We recommend preordering your favorite treats from The Hungry Hero or just roll the dice stop in and pick out favorites available the day before your wedding day. Get your perfect white cutting cake from The Cakery (you can order an 8″ Vanilla Dream Cake online) in Hillsdale or go all in and get one from Dream Cakes. If you want dinner opt for a pizza per table vs. trying to safely cater and feed people in a pandemic – they’ll be ok with it. Or go to a nearby outdoor seating restaurant and sit at a couple of nearby tables.

Side note Halloween is on a Saturday this year. That could be a fun day to elope.

Our elopement services available:

Just flowers – the package is local seasonally available flowers in a color pallet you like with a bouquet, boutonniere and cake topper built on melted white chocolate so you can just place it on your cake – $200. Custom floral packages can include bouquets, boutonnieres, cake flowers, arch or onsite decor, table centerpieces with rentals or purchased vessels, and hair florals or crowns.

Planning – Assistance choosing your favorite spot, selecting vendors from officiant, food options near where you will elope in Oregon, videographers, streaming set up with zoom for you to have a friend or vendor run, rentals, and a mood board. $250 All of the above plus me at your elopement with set up of any allowed decor items, and assistance with clean up $500 (within 50 miles of Portland)

Elopement Officiating – assistance writing your custom ceremony and pointers for writing your own vows. Performing your ceremony and filing the papers – you must get your marriage license at least 3 days (but not before 60 days out) through any Oregon county. In Washington County you can order it by mail. $500 (within 50 miles of Portland)

All inclusive – assistance planning, flowers (1 bouquet, 1 boutonniere, + a cake topper), and officiating = $950

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