Real Wedding: Jennifer and Andrew’s Courthouse Elopement

Simple. Beautiful.

Two words that sum up Jennifer and Andrew’s Georgia wedding.

Like an increasing number of couples, Jennifer and Andrew opted for a low stress, inexpensive elopement -  with a party planned for a later date that would include friends and relatives who weren’t invited to the wedding.

“We had an amazing wedding ceremony, spent a couple of hours with our photographer and then had a special romantic dinner for two. The day was all about us!” says Jennifer.

Thanks to Photojenik Photographer for sharing the amazing photos from this l’il wedding!

Georgia Courthouse elopement
Jennifer, 33 & Andrew, 34

Atlanta, GA

Wedding Date: June 14, 2012

Number of Guests: 0 (except for the officiant, violinist and photographer!)

Wedding Cost: $1,500 (venue, photographer, officiant, violinist and flowers) – does not include wedding day attire

Wedding Ceremony Location: Old Courthouse on the Square (Decatur, GA)

Wedding Reception Location: We didn’t have a reception since we decided to elope, but we did go to the Cator Woolford Gardens at the Frazer Center (Atlanta, GA) for beautiful pictures after our ceremony – this was also where we got engaged a year before so it had extra special sentimental value for us.

blue wedding earrings

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Short lace elopement dress

grey elopement suit

Blue suede wedding shoes

 

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

This was my second wedding, so I was very intentional about keeping the wedding small, meaningful and special for us; a day to celebrate life bringing us together and the future we have together. Also, my husband has lived in lots of places and has family and friends all over the country. We knew it would be hard to get everyone together for one day and we knew we wouldn’t be able to focus on everyone there during the rush of a traditional wedding day and a reception. We decided it would be easier to have an intimate wedding with just the two of us, and a couple of months down the road  throw a party inviting all those we would have included at a wedding.

rose elopement bouquet

blue suede wedding shoes

Georgia Courthouse elopement

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Really none. It was an easy decision for us. My husband works a great deal internationally so finding time to plan a traditional larger wedding would’ve been challenging. The hardest part was choosing a date and from there the rest of the details just fell into place. We chose a Thursday afternoon to get married. Bonus: It’s amazing how much money you can save getting by married on a week day.

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

monogrammed blue suede wedding shoes

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Our families were understanding of our decision. We had an amazing wedding ceremony, spent a couple of hours with our photographer and then had a special romantic dinner for two. The day was all about us! The next morning we gathered with our immediate families for a lovely lunch at a local restaurant, enjoyed our “wedding cake” (from a Piece of Cake in Atlanta) and then headed off to the airport for our honeymoon. It was the perfect sendoff and way to include our families during our special time.

Southern courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We worked with our officiant in the months prior to our wedding to really customize our ceremony. Though our ceremony was very traditional, we also included letters we’d written to each other, special readings we each chose to include, and the addition of some personalized vows that we had not shared until our ceremony. It was an incredible way to really make our ceremony personal and meaningful.  Unbeknownst to both of us, we had quotes from song lyrics in our letters to each other that really summed up our relationship. We also spent the better part of our year engagement living apart due to our jobs – me in Georgia and my husband (then fiance) in Switzerland. We chose to do a unity ceremony using sand from the Rhine River in Switzerland and the local lake in my hometown – this represented not only us and our unique backgrounds coming together, but also was a nod to the hard work and perseverance it takes to keep a relationship alive and thriving while physical distance keeps you apart. Last but not least, we had a family friend, who is also an amazing violinist/studio musician, play songs during our ceremony. He helped set the mood and played a medley of songs we had decided upon beforehand: Can’t Help Falling in Love (UB40), I Do (Colbie Callait), Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole), All You Need Is Love (The Beatles), All Your Life (The Band Perry).

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

wedding high fives

What were the highlights of the reception?

After the ceremony, we took pictures outside the Courthouse. A local street musician saw us and started playing “Here Comes the Bride” on his trumpet! It was sweet and special, especially because it was so unexpected. Also, our photographer brought along some amazing vintage props when we went to the Cator Woolford Gardens after our ceremony and we had such a fun time using them, along with the gorgeous grounds of the garden.

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Bride and groom bicycle portrait

bride and groom picnic portrait

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Focusing on us and only us. It’s easy to get caught up in all the details that people think are necessary for a wedding and reception (trust me, I’ve been there!) – but in reality, you are making a lifelong commitment to someone. When you wake up the day after you get married, the outcome is still the same, whether you’ve had a grand affair or just gone to your local Justice of the Peace. You are married! Enjoy the day and all the days ahead!

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Georgia Courthouse elopement

Vintage inspired short lace wedding dress

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

see above

Georgia Courthouse elopement

 

Vendors:

Ceremony location: Old Courthouse on the Square

Photographer: Photojenik Photographer

Officiant: Reverend Dawn Smith

Flowers: Rona’s Flowers

Violinist: Erik Rostad

Bride’s shoes: Aldo

Groom’s attire: Nordstrom

Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands: Benny’s Diamonds

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16 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Elopements, Real Weddings, Second Weddings

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Comments

  1. Posted by kristen on October 10th, 2012 at 6:22pm

    i am absolutely in love with your dress! this is the exact dress i have been looking for, i'm having a courthouse wedding too, but still want to wear something pretty. i hope i find something as gorgeous as that!
  2. Posted by shirleen on October 12th, 2012 at 1:17am

    i sooo love the dress! best wedding I've seen so far.. so intimate so simple.. very beautiful :)
  3. Posted by Bill on October 13th, 2012 at 1:01am

    Looks like a lovely couple to spend the day with. Great photos!
  4. Posted by Stephanie on October 14th, 2012 at 2:04pm

    I'm positive I want to elope and seeing this has really helped me with sticking to that decision.
  5. Posted by Christina on October 14th, 2012 at 10:20pm

    Glad this wedding inspired you Stephanie!
  6. Posted by ines on October 18th, 2012 at 2:36pm

    Oh my good, what a beautiful wedding. Thank you for an inspiration. All best !
  7. Posted by gretchen on October 22nd, 2012 at 12:55pm

    i want that dress! I looked on Lord & Taylor's webside and it isnt there. anyone know where to find it? it is the perfect modest dress!
  8. Posted by Jennifer on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:29am

    thank you all so much for the kind words and compliments! the dress is by Jax - the cream color may be discontinued, but i have seen it in other colors since then. i added the custom silk belt - it was made by my seamstress.
  9. Posted by Melody on October 23rd, 2012 at 1:23pm

    I was able to order the dress in cream color at Amazon. I believe that 8 is the smallest size available. I'm a size 4 and will have to see what my seamtress can do. Fingers crossed!
    Jennifer, thanks so much for supplying the designer's name!
    Your wedding was intimate, meaningful and romantic. Such an inspiration.
  10. Posted by Viki McDonald on March 4th, 2013 at 6:49pm

    Awesome pictures, awesome couple. I totally loved this, the dress, the shoes, the vintage appeal. I'll be sure to pass some of these ideas on to my own wedding clients.
    Perfect!
  11. Posted by amy on March 26th, 2013 at 11:39pm

    Perfect. Such a beautiful and meaningful day for you both, minus all the fluff! I have been in 6 months of wedding planning hades...all I ever wanted was exactly what you did...finally got it when we realized it was about US, not everyone else. Thanks for your inspiration...love the dress. You two are the cutest couple.
  12. Posted by Future Mrs Sims on May 9th, 2013 at 4:30am

    Your posting of your wedding was like an "aha moment" for me. It put the whole wedding thing into perspective, the marriage, the bride and groom focusing on each other that day and taking the entire moment in. I have completed decided to copycat your wedding with a few tweaks...Lol, I hope you don't mind...thank you for sharing your special day with us
  13. Posted by Sarah on June 8th, 2013 at 1:48am

    So beautiful :) I loved your outfit too, and am seriously considering buying the dress at Dillards.com. Thanks for the sharing the brand name!
  14. Posted by Megan on August 25th, 2013 at 9:32pm

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Beautiful wedding & fanulously intimate idea to elope! Love it! I truly adore the bracelet & earrings you wore. Can you tell me where you got these/designer please?
    Congratulations!
  15. Posted by Lu on September 19th, 2013 at 4:44pm

    This wedding is such an inspiration to me! Having gone through a big wedding and subsequent divorce, my current love and I dream of the courthouse elopement. I feel I have so much in common with this bride. I wish I could have coffee with her.

    Congratulations and much love and luck on your journey!
  16. Posted by Corinne on February 9th, 2014 at 5:57pm

    These pictures are stunning! It makes me wish we had eloped..it looks beautiful, romantic, so personal...amazing pictures!
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