The Offbeat Bride: Hilary, Artist
Her offbeat partner: Isaac, Ceramicist
Date and location of wedding: The Montague Book Mill, Montague, MA — December 14, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Isaac and I met at an art gallery, which is appropriate since he is a ceramicist and I'm a painter. About 12 hours into our first date (we ended up staying awake for 36 hours straight) we were joking about how we should elope. The joke continued, and quickly it became less of a joke and more of a “let's do this!” Isaac surprised me by proposing in August and presenting me with a stunning 1920s-era white gold ring (it never occurred to me that when you agreed to an elopement, you could also have a proposal!). We were married in a private ceremony — just the two of us and a wonderful reverend — at an old bookstore in Western Massachusetts.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Although we went about the elopement with absolutely no following of traditions, the one thing we did do was to get ready separately and then meet at the bookstore. I walked in to see him in his beige suit with a fuchsia boutonniere, and he got to see me flounce in with this gigantic pink quinceañera dress.
Our biggest challenge:
Deadlines were our biggest challenge. We actually had our first wedding license expire; we were so excited to get married that we kind of forgot to plan anything out. What got the ball rolling was meeting with the reverend who married us. She was so kind and good-natured about the fact that she was dealing with two totally disorganized artists whose second wedding license expired in three weeks. We hadn't picked a date, a location, or even a state (it was between Massachusetts and Vermont).
Rev. Hannah helped us figure out what kind of a ceremony we wanted by interviewing us about our thoughts on marriage, vows, etc. Hannah was truly a godsend, and we later joked that if she could get the two of us married in under three weeks, she could get anyone married!
My favorite moment:
Although our ceremony itself involved no friends, family, or witnesses of any sort, we managed to include as many people as we could. Right after the ceremony, we drove to a friend's house for a “reception” (she made us a wedding cake out of four cupcakes topped with two ambiguously-gendered Christmas tree elf ornaments). We then spent the next four days driving a total of 943 miles to visit family and friends and have a bunch of parties.
But the most incredibly serendipitous part of our elopement turned out to be the photographers. Our whole wedding, from license to dress to flowers, cost about $700. We couldn't afford a photographer, which we knew we'd later regret not having. Minutes after we were married, we were having coffee at the bookstore's café when we were approached by two young men who are students at the Hallmark School of Photography. They'd gone out that morning to come up with a project idea for an assignment, and saw us all dolled up and glowing. They asked if we'd mind posing for some pictures. We spent the next hour and a half being photographed by Adam and Jeremy, which was incredibly fun. They shortly thereafter sent us 41 stunning portraits. And the best part is that they did it all for free! We helped them with their project, and they ended up being our heaven-sent wedding photographers.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I've witnessed a lot of my newly-engaged friends insist that they're going to elope, and then they end up with a gigantic, expensive wedding they never really wanted because they got pushed into it by family members. Both of our families were incredibly supportive of our decision to elope, which allowed us the freedom to do it all our own way. So I suppose the lesson we learned from all of this was that yes, we could get married the way we wanted.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Officiant: Rev. Hannah, Grace Ceremonies
- Photography: Adam Balfour and Jeremy Matthews of the Hallmark School of Photography
- Venue: The Montague Book Mill
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!