Terri & Sebastian's spontaneous, intimate European elopement

By on Mar 24th


The offbeat bride: Terri (OBT member)

Her offbeat partner: Sebastian, software engineer

Location & date of wedding: Parc Labarint, Barcelona, Spain — March 3, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: I'm from America and Sebastian is from England. We met while I was studying abroad at the University of Oxford and were instantly inseparable.

In summer 2008, we began the immigration process. Immigration visa restraints made it impossible for our families to fly to the same place for a traditional wedding so we decided to elope!

We both loved the idea of separating the legal ceremony from our personal commitment to each other. We decided to fly to Barcelona on a whim for our nonlegal vow exchange and then do the legal ceremony in a judge's office in Erie, Pennsylvania.

We were married, in all the ways that matter most, in a beautiful secluded park a little outside of the city. We then honeymooned in Barcelona for a week afterward.

I wore a lovely Maggie Sottero dress, a mantilla veil I bought from a vintage shop, blue lace shoes and a hat I DIYed the evening before.

We hired a professional photographer and makeup artist who flew in from England, took taxis and public transport all over the city in our wedding clothes and went to a flamenco show/gourmet dinner in the evening.

I made my bouquet with fresh flowers from a street market and I wore my grandmother's antique pearl ring.

A little over a week later, we had a small courthouse ceremony with ten family members. It took less than five minutes! After we had a nice lunch with family and called it a day.

Our entire wedding(s), which included the airfare for both of us, six nights in a four star hotel, a makeup artist, a photographer in Barcelona, a photographer in Erie, PA, my dress + accessories, entrance into five different tourist attractions, a flamenco show, a classical music concert + all meals/drinks came in at under $4000!

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was trying to find a way to incorporate our families. Many people think that by eloping, you miss out on family involvement. We wanted to ensure that wasn't the case, so we asked our friends and family to write us letters for us to read on the night before our wedding. We bought some fancy chocolates, a bottle of champagne and teared up reading over fifty letters just hours before the ceremony. It was the best decision we made.

My favorite moment: We were both pretty unsure about what to do for lunch. I was in my enormous wedding dress, so going to a restaurant didn't seem like a great option.

Our plan was to go back to the hotel and order room service, but everything on the menu had seafood in it (which I am not a fan of). So Sebastian decided to make a trip down to Pizza Hut and bring a pizza back for us to share!

When we entered the hotel, the front desk staff congratulated us and had a bottle of champagne waiting for us when we opened the door.

So my favorite moment is me and Sebastian sitting on the bed in the hotel room, with me in my enormous wedding dress, eating Pizza Hut and sipping champagne. Classy!

My advice for offbeat brides: Consider eloping! It was intimate, relatively stress free and economical!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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