Terri & Sebastian's spontaneous, intimate European elopement

March 24 |


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!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

  1. I love the pics! We've booked David McNeil too for our Edinburgh wedding in November. Can't wait!

  2. I love it! We are doing something very similar with our wedding-getting married in Greece and having a reception in the US following that. You look beautiful and congrats!!

  3. My dear, you are ROCKING that veil. Everything looks so romantic!

    1 agrees
  4. I also love the letter-writing idea. Sounds like it was simple in all the rights ways and that you and the hubby had major fun. What wonderful ideas!

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  5. I agree with Ann D, mantillas are my favorite veils but I feel like they are hard to pull off. Yours is SO lovely and looks like it was made for your face.

  6. the back of your dress made me squeal!
    and you're shoes are divine! DIVINE!

  7. *siiiigh* I love Barcelona! My family keeps asking why my Barcelona-born fiance and I don't get married there. Probably because it wouldn't be the breathtakingly intimate way you got married – it looks like it was an incredible time!

  8. I love this wedding. not only is it beautiful and elegant, but it is just so sincere. many years of happyness to you both!

  9. Parc del Laberint is one of the most beautiful places in Bcn… almost unknown and much more quiet and peaceful than any other park! I love it! Congrats for your wedding and for these cute pics.

  10. This is picture perfect, it's exactly how I want to be married. Thank you for sharing!

  11. hi! we're thinking of doing the same thing! Did you use any local wedding planner? or get an elopement package??

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