We have several upcoming couples opting for an "elopement" ceremony BEFORE their reception, and we like the idea so much we thought we'd share it with you
At Clark & Kelly we value the ceremony above all else and always encourage couples to think deeply about their commitment to each other (and each other's families and friends) before deciding how to best put their vows center stage (or, in this case, choosing not to).
Traditionally, couples start their wedding night off with a ceremony (or in New Orleans a cocktail party and THEN a ceremony, ha!) which leads into a kiss, which leads into a rad party. Most venues that can accommodate both ceremony and reception encourage a booking time of 4 hours: 1 for the ceremony and 3 for the celebration. A lot of our couples have been telling us that they don't like the idea of splitting up their time at the venue and would prefer to keep the ceremony separate for that reason. Also, for folks drawn to New Orleans, sometimes a 3-hour party just doesn't seem long enough.
Sometimes, we hear from couples (especially ones who are shy!) that they would prefer for their ceremony to be super intimate, prioritizing their privacy by only inviting a few key witnesses.
In 2018, we have a few couples choosing to do a courthouse wedding on a Thursday or Friday, followed by a great 4-hour party on Saturday, which offers a solution to both of these complaints. Read on to see why we love this idea so much!
Cheap and Sweet
Booking a venue specific to the ceremony, whether that be a church, art gallery or restaurant, isn't cheap (especially in the French Quarter). Of course, these costs can range widely typically you're looking at a minimum of $1,000. Finding a sweet courthouse to substitute can alleviate these costs while still providing a special backdrop for photos.
Wedding Dress Switcharoo
Picking a wedding dress for a courthouse wedding gives you a ton of flexibility. You can be casual in a white jumpsui,t or classic in a white skirt suit with gloves and a smart hat, or totally traditional in a mermaid gown. Nothing looks out of place at the courthouse--AND you can wear a different dress for your party. This is a great option for couples who don't feel comfortable in conventional wedding garb.
Family Photos Kick the Can
Family photos can be an intense and emotional (and also annoying) part of the day and having a small ceremony takes the heat off of these larger family portraits that may have taken place on the altar. Now you can call groups out to the dance floor for the shot instead!
Five star meal
The smaller the courthouse group, the fancier the meal after the ceremony can become and will still be affordable. Imagine getting married in the morning, treating your tribe to a truly epic four-course meal hosted by you in an iconic restaurant and then getting a great night sleep before the wedding! Win, win, win!
Photos or Video Replay
Technology is so quick today that there are videographers and photographers who can whip up a highlight reel or album in 24 hours that you can put on display during the reception so that the revelers feel like they were there.
Pressure Release Button
So many couples have anxiety on wedding day and it eats up their morning and afternoon when they could (should!) be relaxing. Getting married before "wedding day" is the ultimate pressure release valve for folks prone to jitters.