Why I “eloped”
Hello again friends, Rhiannon here and I have something personal to share!
As many of you know from either being in my chair or seeing on our Instagram, I am now a married lady! Nick, my husband and I had been together 5 and half years before getting engaged, so everyone knew our marriage would be happening sooner or later. Once he popped the question last December, like any girl who has just become a fiancé, I started thinking about the wedding planning sometime within the next 24 hours. We all dream about our wedding day, many girls start their wedding hope chest or Pinterest board at an early age...I’m talking 12. So of course when the day comes to start for real planning you’re ecstatic! Within 2 short months, I had my venue, florist, photographer, dress, hair and makeup (obviously SKMU), photobooth, llamas, ALL my decor, and more. I mean it was going to be out of this world awesome, and I was so excited about it.
Unfortunately, as the planning continued unforeseen stress and drama arose. Family and friends gave me unsolicited advice, which can make you second guess everything and honestly it made me want to do the opposite of what they wanted. I also could not get my head around paying so much money for food. I had 150 guests and $50 a plate was just ridiculous in my opinion, because if we went to a restaurant the cost would be more like $15/plate for the same exact thing. As soon as you say “wedding” there are extra fees for almost everything you book. Finally I hired a wedding planner to help everything seamless. Although the planner made my life 100 times easier, I still felt overwhelmed. I realized that my wedding planning process, and the thought of my wedding day should be 90% pure bliss, and for me it got to the point where it was not even close to that.
One day in May I went to visit my parents and my dad told me that he was going to take everyone on a family trip to Dubai! He asked if Nick would be able to make it, and it was then when my mom said, “Oh if he can come, y’all should elope while we are there!”. Que the, “ Wow that’s not a bad idea, I’ll consider it” thoughts. The thought of losing all of my deposits were gut wrenching, however, the overall cost of the wedding was going to be more than losing all the deposits plus our trip. I think my decision was made up the next morning, but I let it sit for a few more days before telling Nick. When I broke the news to him, he freaked out with excitement and immediately said “Yes!! This will be so much better for us.” From that reaction I knew I had made the right choice.
We let our close family and friends know the big news. Most were extremely happy and so supportive, which is all we could have asked for. I researched Dubai weddings, photographers, etc, however, I did not find much for something small, intimate, and last minute. I also found out that one person in the relationship has to be a citizen UAE to get married in the country which led me to the decision of just having the actual wedding be as easy as possible, a court house wedding! I called Ashley from Hey Pretty Baby Photography to see if she was available, and she was, so photographer=check! I went to HEB and got a bouquet, florist=check! I ordered my dress from Red Dress next day air shipping, dress=check! Everything was so relaxed, and absolutely amazing. After our courthouse ceremony Nick and I were driving to lunch and I looked over at him and started crying all the tears of joy. He asked me what was wrong and I explained that everything was perfect and I have never been more happy. My wedding day was not extravagant, but it was exactly what we needed.
Two weeks later we left for Dubai. Amanda, from Earth Below Photo (she had previously taken photos of Nick and I while we vacationed in Chicago), gave us great deal to be our Dubai photographer, so we took her with us. I mentioned that I was going to have llamas at the original wedding, which was something I was really looking forward to. Llamas and camels are cousins, and camels are the horses of the Middle East. I made it my goal to have camels featured in the “wedding” styled photo shoot. I found pictures on Dubai’s instagram of tourist riding camels on a public beach not too far from the resort. My dad knew that the camels were the one thing I REALLY wanted. He went to that public beach 4 times before finding the “camel man”, and once he finally did they made our sunrise photo shoot official. We woke up super early the next morning, got our selves all done up, and headed to the beach. As soon as the camels were in sight we all started running to them. Everyone was smiling ear to ear, we rode the camels to our photo spot... yes in my dress! It was the most incredible experience. I felt like was in a wonderland, and I was the queen or something which is so goofy and funny, but seriously I was riding a camel with my husband, in Dubai, while my family is walking next to us, and a photographer is following behind taking photos. The photo shoot flew by, but I soaked in every moment.
Under different circumstances I am sure I would have gone through with my original plan of a big wedding, but I do not regret doing what I did. It was completely different than I would’ve ever imagined my wedding, but it was perfect for me, my husband, and our situation. If any of you are contemplating an elopement, or small wedding vs. a big wedding, make your pros and cons list. That was a big help in making my decision. Also, only talk to non-biased people, and your partner; everyone has opinions but for this day, you and your fiancé are the only ones that matter. Once your mind is made, run with your decision and never look back. I wish all you brides out there a happy, stress free, exciting time planning your wedding.