Laura tells us a little bit about how she and Theodore fell in love and how surprisingly perfect eloping was for them!
“We met on OKCupid of all places! We think were like a “93%” match, which put me on Ted’s radar when he wrote to me. Ted remarked at the time that I was unusually thorough in explaining my answers to a series of questions that OKCupid asks about your opinions and interests, and I am now so glad I was so thorough because I think it paid off in connecting with Ted and having a lot in common in our beliefs and values right off bat! Instead of just uploading photos of myself, I added photos of art I did too, and I loved how Ted was complimentary of my drawing. I was ready to meet Ted right away and get offline but I got sick right before the first date that we had planned soon after connecting online. This turned out to be lucky because we ended up writing long messages to each other online for about two weeks before we even met finally each other in person, at a pub, and it felt almost old-fashioned and romantic the way we wrote multiple paragraphs back and forth getting to know each other. Already, I knew we had so much in common before we even met, including enjoying writing and engaging in long conversations, so I was thrilled when the in-person connection was as good as the online connection!
We chose to elope because we had to cancel our planned wedding due to Covid but also because of my grieving, after I experienced the sudden loss of both my grandparents who I was very close with. Ted and I and our families also suffered from other challenges that made wedding planning cease to be a top priority for us all. However, Ted and I had already dated for 7 years and in time finally realized we could still be eager and emotionally ready to get married, just not the way we had previously planned, in my grandparents’ backyard garden. We also didn’t have the energy to plan a big affair, especially with all the persistent Covid related uncertainty. One day, Ted told me about researching elopement packages, and I was shocked! I had had pre-conceived misperceptions about elopement and Simply Eloped made me realize that elopement might actually be the perfect answer to where we were in our life, and perfectly reflected how our relationship has always been somewhat intimate in how much time we spend one-on-one. Ted and I love nature and travel, and we are both pretty introverted people overall. The best part, however, was that in the end, we got to have a very special private ceremony that was emotionally cathartic, but at the same time we had the full support and knowledge of our family and friends at home. Plus, I didn’t have to lose out on the girly dreams I had of getting my hair and makeup done and walking down the “aisle” to surprise Ted. What’s more, we ended up getting the best of both worlds, because we actually just today threw a fun party with family and friends in NJ to celebrate our union at an ornate Chinese restaurant! We got to enjoy our loved ones’ speeches, share our Simply Eloped photos and video, enjoy Mai Tais and dumplings, and still keep costs a lot lower than a traditional wedding!
We chose Big Sur as our elopement location because Ted and I love to hike and travel near and far and we had already traveled together to a lot of other states closer to us. We are from NJ. With Covid restrictions, we knew travel was still more difficult to other countries, which further ruled out a more logistically complicated elopement abroad. Though Ted had been to Big Sur with his family, I had never gone there and he told me the redwood forests were gorgeous. To us, eloping this year in Big Sur was the perfect opportunity to enjoy serene natural scenes different from what we have on the East Coast, and cross various California locations off our shared bucket list! Because we are both teachers, we had the time to drive from San Francisco to Big Sur, get married, and continue on to LA!
Finally, we picked Colette’s cabin in Carmel because we loved the intimacy of the setting and the promise of a nice relationship with our officiant, and we both knew that Colette would be able to help us and keep us sane with all her own valuable wedding officiating experience (and we were right!). For us, though, the clincher was that after we looked through photos other couples had taken marrying at the cabin, we both saw an opportunity for me to hide from Ted as I got ready and have that walk I had always dreamed of down the “aisle” toward Ted. We thought we would also have an opportunity to have a first dance on the deck. All these traditional wedding elements were still very important to me and Ted even though we were eloping. A bonus for us ending up being close enough to the beach to take photos there l, after the ceremony, as well! The photos there ended up being some of our favorites and they were so fun to take. We got to run around together and I loved being able to kick off my shoes! The memories of setting up the moments with our photography and our videographer were just as fun as the photos look.”