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I’m not a fan of the wedding industry, that is no secret. It may seem weird that I have spent much of my professional life working in this industry, but it shouldn’t. I’m very different than most wedding planners because while I may be an expert and follow all of the trends, know all of the ins and outs of the traditions, I also recognize who each of my clients are and custom design and plan a wedding that is right for them. This industry needs a massive disruption and to recognize that it isn’t about anything but the couple who is getting married and exactly what matters to them.
Enter Gen Z! I’m so incredibly excited to see my kids’ generation enter the key demographic for this industry. They are unlike any challenge this industry has seen before. Millennials came along and killed off terrible chains and forced super stores and malls out of business, or at the very least to downsize or be replaced entirely by brands they prefer to find in small stores or online; Gen Z is likely to do something similar to the wedding industry.
Gen Z finds it disgusting, as we all should, that about the only issue Congress has taken up since 2022 is how to kill TikTok. They’ve seen nothing but inaction on key issues that have encouraged them to vote in record turnouts. Protecting students from guns in their classrooms, student debt, global climate change, choice and the Supreme Court, these are issues that motivate Gen Z.
TikTok is probably not an actual bigger threat to our people than assault rifles, just saying. TikTok and all of social media could use some regulation, but what scares those in power is anything that gives a voice and influencing power to the voiceless and the powerless. TikTok is a threat because normal folks can actually influence others in mass – for good or evil. Valid concerns like data mining government officials, reporters and trade secrets from people who work for large corporations, could be easily protected by encouraging employers to supply their employees with work exclusive phones that don’t have social media on them, it’s probably the correct simple fix for this particular problem.
Back to weddings, friends of mine have recently watched their kids get engaged and plan their weddings. They’ve been a little surprised to learn they aren’t interested in spending every penny they can pile together to get married. I’m not at all sure how this is surprising. This generation graduated from College in their living room instead of in a stadium. They went in to a pile of debt that is bigger than their parent’s mortgage to pay for a degree that they never needed to get the job they currently have. They have to work where they can to pay the bills because nobody else is hiring right now. They’re getting advanced degrees, hoping that will help them find the type of job they actually want, and going further in to debt.
They were promised action on issues they cared about, but not one thing they were promised has been realized. It’s a miracle any of them have enough optimism left in them to be willing to get married in the first place – much less to spend any amount of money to do it.
The little things matter to them, and so do the big things. We live in Oregon – we have amazing places all around us where one can elope without going in to massive debt. If you can get married on the coast with just the people who matter most, then celebrate with your loved ones at a BBQ in your parent’s backyard in the different towns you are from, and save tens of thousands of dollars – how is this choice at all confusing to anyone?
Everyone does not have $85,000 to spend on a wedding. In fact MOST people do not have $40,000 to spend on a wedding.
Nobody should look at this industry and give up and go to Las Vegas or the Courthouse to elope, when they live in Oregon! If you are obsessed with Elvis or live in San Francisco or Santa Barbara, those other options are OK. For the rest of you, please hire an epic photographer, buy the perfect attire, hire me, and have a hell of a lot of fun doing this just exactly right for you. You can buy a perfect buttercream retro frosted cake and eat dinner at your favorite Pub, or other fine dining establishment, wearing a cute second look, while all the lovely people of Oregon you see on your wedding night congratulate you and offer to buy you a pint. Then fly off on a honeymoon with all of the money you saved.
With all of this in mind, I researched eloping on the Oregon Coast. I went to one of my favorite places on Earth, Lincoln City. I put together the greatest team of vendors. It was a lot of fun and some of it was private (i.e. the pub and taco night at the Airbnb). If you were thinking of eloping on the Oregon Coast, contact me and we’ll start planning!
With this very long post that is very close to my heart, I’m happy to announce that I am now offering complete custom elopement planning unlike anything anyone else is offering. You tell me all about you, I custom plan exactly what will work for you. It can be in the Gorge, on the Coast, in the Mountains, you decide. My favorite photographer partner has offered special rates just for you. Weekdays or during the off season are ideal for eloping in Oregon because otherwise permits are harder or impossible to get, people will be everywhere and your photos will suck, and the cost is dramatically increased.
Credits for The Team:
Planning, Design and Florals: Vareus Events by Sadie McIntyre
Photographer: Krishna Muirhead Photography
Cake: My Petite Sweet Lincoln City
Groom’s Tux: Stitch & Tie by FT
Dress Bride First Look: Ania Bridal Love By Enzoani – Alyse
Dress MOH and Bride Second Look: Princess Polly
Rings: MiaDonna & Co.
Special Note – there should have been more shots at dinner at the pub, the bride model got ill so we had to shift some things. A very special thank you to Tailored Tulle who lent us a veil that was supposed to be worn to the pub dinner but could not be. Here is an amazing photo we got of model Lily wearing the first dress Alyse and the Tailored Tulle veil.
Models: “Groom” Cameron Reames, “Bride” Taylor Batten, “MOH” and step in bride model in veil – Lily Atwell, “Best Man” Jonah Gwazdacz, Guitarist and “Officiant” Ronan McIntyre
Stay tuned, coming soon – “The Short & Sweet” custom wedding planning ideal for those who want a truly custom intimate Oregon wedding.