20 Budget Weddings - #3


Arynn & Devron
Scottsdale, Arizona
Wedding Date: June 1, 2012
Number of Guests: We only had 2 witnesses; which also happened to be our fabulous photographers, Amy & Jordan Demos. :] A true elopement!
Wedding Cost: $3,500; including our 1 night mini-moon expenses, designer wedding gown, groom attire, hair, makeup, hotel, venue rental fees, butterfly release, photography, transportation, & intimate reception dinner.
Ceremony Location: Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens
Mini-Reception Local: Hyatt Regency on Gainey Ranch is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in Arizona. We chose to have a photo shoot on the Italian Gondolas & dinner at Alto’s Italian restaurant on the property.

Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Seriously, why wouldn’t someone want an intimate wedding? More time, effort & resources go to making a blissful experience & intimate moments instead of just another form of entertainment for others. Personally, for the two of us, who had recently moved thousands of miles away from family & friends, it made complete sense. We had just embarked on a new stage of life, in a new state & we were off to take on the world together. The moment we stood in front of our Pastor we both looked at each other & we could see it in each other’s eyes — this was truly the intimate moment our soul’s had been craving. It was finally here. I’m not sure how many other people understand how incredible it is to feel so much emotion crammed into an instant.

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
We literally planned our wedding in three days! It’s still mind boggling to think we pulled it off!
I, the Bride, had my heart set on a July 7th ceremony, but my Devron’s work got in the way. About May 25th I decided I was done being loony over his job making our wedding date uncertain. I had planned four different weddings, in four different places & this whole planned-elopement-thing wasn’t going smooth & stress-free as I had imagined. So- BAM. I just threw out all my ideas & asked him if we could elope the next week. We already had an engagement photography shoot planned, so why not turn it into an elopement instead? The news confused my man a little bit, but by Tuesday {the 29th} he was on board with the wacky plan & crazy excited! It was a bit intense – I even had a size 12 Maggie Sottero gown tailored to a size 0 with 6 bustles in one night. We married that same Friday with a kind of spontaneity that took our breath away.

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Not at all. We didn’t offer to fly anyone down in the first place because we knew everyone would want to come if we did. You really can’t pick & choose from large families without having hurt feelings. We wanted live streaming {perfect way to share the moment} but because we planned our elopement in three days it just didn’t come together in time.

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
No issues. We had a long two-year engagement & everyone was just excited to see us married.
When we called to tell them all {the day of} most of them expected us to elope anyway. We didn’t get anything but tears of joy, over-the-phone smiles & best wishes. It also helped that we are planning a vow renewal in our home state that they can all attend. We never wanted to ‘exclude’ anyone, anyway. We ended up successfully creating an intimate day for us to celebrate & another future event to share our journey with those we love.

What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Dev {the handsome Groom}:
The bride reveal specifically. Our photographers were quite experienced at creating the perfect moment for us to see one another. We prayed without seeing each other first and after some playful photos, I finally got to turn around and see my beautiful bride in her dress for the first time! I couldn’t stop saying how perfect and beautiful she looked.
Ary {the Bride}:
Smiling in the moment with just the two of us was priceless. He wiped away my tears during the vows & it seemed like I couldn’t breath until I heard “I now pronounce you husband & wife! – You may kiss the bride!” Overall, it was a beautiful day, with many beautiful moments; all well spent with my best & truest friend.

What were the highlights of the reception?
We had a moment to relax on the gondolas over the water, we had a butterfly release in a palm tree grove on the Gainey Ranch property & then a classic & intimate “you-feed-me-&-I’ll-feed-you” dinner during the sunset hour & lasting until we were under the stars.
The butterflies were anxious to get out so we had the groom & our photographer Jordan fiddle with them until they all communed in our little rose box. We even had two little girls wander up to us who said, “Wow – you look so pretty!” …so we gave them some butterflies to release & enjoy too. :]

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
An elopement is couple-centered, just like a marriage is. When did weddings turn into a performance anyway? Marriage is about two people & two people only. Why intentionally invite unnecessary conflict & stress? Honestly, if you are having a hard time planning, budgeting, and coordinating extra shenanigans & people… then take a moment to consider what this day REALLY means. There are traditions that no longer serve a purpose & there is no good reason to be in debt at the beginning of your marriage by paying for nuances that don’t mean anything to you. So, just keep what’s important to you both, consider your soon-to-be-spouses feelings & realize that as long as you are married to your beloved by the end of the day… it all went perfectly.

Cake: The little devils were actually “cake pops” for two, which incidentally got lost by hotel concierge! {we both envisioned the front desk employees getting hungry} …Alto’s made us original brownie pops instead – which were fabulous.
Photographers: Amy & Jordan Photography
Groom Attire: H&M {no joke}
Butterflies for the Release: Swallowtail Farms {overnight delivery}
Reception Dinner: Restaurant e bar at Alto’s
Shoes: None; just bare & beautiful
Husband Gift Basket: 6 Miles Etsy Shop Picnic Basket

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