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Real Wedding | Simple Blue Quarantine Elopement |Simple Joie Photo

From the Bride – My husband and I were engaged in September of 2016 and wanted to throw our dream wedding the following year however tragically my older brother passed away in 2017 and we were in no mood to celebrate so we held off on planning.

The following year, Somdeth’s mother passed away so we were also not in the right mind to have our wedding. We celebrated my sister’s wedding in 2019 and realized we wanted to be with each other more anything else so that we would just go and get our marriage license this year and will plan to throw a big party for our 10 year anniversary in 2026. Me being a wedding photographer however was not satisfied with just heading to court to sign our papers so I asked him if he would entertain the idea of putting together a styled shoot in honor of our marriage license signing on 04/04/2020 because the number 4 has a strong connection with love and is usually a symbol of stability.

I started to curate a beautiful list of vendors from the Portland Metro Area to participate in our styled shoot including all the fancy things from a dress and tux rental place – to cake, flowers, invites, decor & linen rentals. We were even going to drive out to Bandon, Oregon to elope against the beautiful views of the Sea Wind Estates when all the Stay at Home regulations because of COVID19 were put in place one week before our planned elopement. I reached out to the vendors to inform them that I would still be able to have this event because the guests present were going to be folks in our household however a few vendors did not want to violate any regulations so asked to no longer participate so we had to get creative because we knew we didn’t want to wait any longer to get married!

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So since we were no longer able to travel to the venue, we decided we would just elope at the nearby trail from our house. Instead of rentals and other decorations, we simply dressed up the dinner table with what we had as well as with odds and ends I’ve collected from previous weddings. We were able to secure our invitations and our florist was still able to get us a bouquet since they were practicing safe business with pickup/ delivery precautions. We also picked up a cake from Whole Foods bakery and decorated it with some flowers. My husband wore one of his old suit jackets and dress pants while I had nothing in my closet resembling anything like a wedding dress so I threw out an idea of my sister possibly sewing something simple for me because she graduated with a fashion degree several years ago.

My sister and I were able to sneak into JoAnne Fabrics and buy some white fabric and lace — since they were still allowing shoppers with caution because many people were buying fabric to make social masks. In the midst of us making a ton of masks to send to our friends and relatives all over, my sister and I cut lace and tulle and fashioned together my wedding dress in a week. On our wedding day, we walked over to the nearby trail and my husband and I exchanged personal vows while my sister and her husband officiated the wedding. We didn’t even have a photographer because only members of our household was present so of course I had to help take my own photos with my sister’s assistance!

How did you all meet? We met on Tinder like everyone else these days. We had both went on a few dates with other people we met on the app but when we met each other, we knew instantly that we were made for each other as everyone else soon faded away. What is your proposal story? After we’ve dated for a little over 6 months, he asked me to move in with him. Like every bachelor, when I moved in, he had little to no furniture and the bare essentials so of course I made our place feel more like home. A few months into settling in, we made our first big purchase together of a new living room furniture set and as we laid in each other’s arms watching TV that night, he turned to me and said “I love this feeling. I wish we can do this together forever… you want to do this with me forever? Will you marry me?” And of course the feeling was mutual so of course I said yes! Fill us in about your attire – Our first choice of attire was going to be a tux rental for him and second hand dress from a local bridal store. We had dates marked on calendars to go in for trials and fittings and the Stay At Home (Shelter in Place) regulations were set in place and so we were going to scrap the whole thing and perhaps just go reapply for another marriage license down the road. I the. casually asked my sister, who had a fashion design background, to see if she can sew me a a simple dress. She agreed to as long as we helped her sew face masks to donate to the local hospitals in need social masks and she put together my dress in a week as we pumped out over 100 masks and shipped them off to our friends and family as well as donate locally. So my husband ended up wearing one of his older blazers and suit pants he had from being a groomsman to a dear friend from a couple years back and I got a brand new custom fitted dress made specially for me! Thank goodness JoAnne Fabrics was open at this time so we were able to get all the materials we needed for both projects. What are your favorite parts of the day? The day started out like any other quarantine day with coffee and lounging around. My sister and I had spent the night before sewing on all the lace to my dress so we were very tired. My husband and I did a cake run to Whole Foods and swung by our florist to pick up the bouquet. I was exhausted again from staying up all night and wanted to push the wedding to another day but my sweet sister, who got ordained for this very wedding, pushed us out the door in the late afternoon, brought her little wireless speaker, and coordinated the whole thing since we lived together with her and her husband. We eloped at our favorite nearby neighborhood trail; I walked down the trail to “Faithfully” by Journey and met up with them where my husband and I then exchanged personal vows among passerby’s, squirrels, and no one else present but the people in our household. Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding? I think that if there are any couples right now thinking about planning their weddings, they should still move forward with it if they practice safety and of course either celebrating with just a few household members or family but practicing social distancing. My one regret was not working hard enough to find a good photographer to come out because there were lots of great shared emotions and parts to the ceremony that I wished I had captured. It was just unable to find anyone with the quarantine, but very thankful that I was able to assist my sister in capturing my own elopement. Any advice for fellow plus size brides? In making my dress with my sister, one thing we both realized for plus size gals is that there are a lot of pretty styles out there but one thing to consider in picking out your dress is whether or not the dress has support for “the gals”, covers the areas of your body you find unflattering, and in general feels good on. Beware of trying on a dress that is way too small to start out with and then ordering it to find out that the design lines And placement have changed! Lastly, go shopping for the dress well in advance to give you enough time to get it back and sent to a seamstress for adjustments accordingly.

Photography: Simple Joie Photo | Ceremony Venue: Hiking Trail | Floral: Coy & Co | Stationery: Crave Design | Ribbon: Kate Cullen Styling | Wedding Cake: Whole Foods | Ring Box: Belle Box Boutique | Vow Notebooks: Ling’s Momemt | Wedding Dress: Mai Vang-Spruit | Headpiece: Tessa Kim | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson* | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka* | Submitted via: Matchology [* Denotes Affiliate Link]
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Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.
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