My friends constantly surprise and impress me, but when one of them recently got hitched in a secret ceremony and then later posted pictures on Facebook, I was blown away. Like many people, I imagine that eloping, while exciting, might be lacking in the personality or style department. Not this one.
When Kyle, who I’ve known since childhood, and his now-wife, Tammany, got engaged last summer, they knew that a year of planning, thousands of dollars, and negotiating with multiple vendors wasn’t for them. So the Austin, Texas, couple decided to roll their ceremony and honeymoon into one, and drove the eight hours to New Orleans, where they tied the knot on November 17, 2012.
From the lush, vibrant bouquet (arranged with flowers bought at Whole Foods!) and the bride’s sweet, tea-length Bhldn gown, to the very spot where they wed (under a giant tree in Audobon Park), their day was charming, simple, and just so … them. Because they did want pro snapshots taken, Kyle and Tammany turned to San Francisco–based wedding photographer Alison Yin, who also happens to be the bride’s cousin (and one of their wedding’s only witnesses!).
The lesson: You don’t need a million bucks or a million guests to make your wedding special. You just need two people, a lot of love—and a great photographer to capture it all.