Posted BY FRANCES MAY ON January 28th, 2013

Weddings are great. We already know this. But not everyone wants a wedding. For the couple who can’t stand the idea of waiting another second to be together forever; for those who don’t want to get their moms involved, or to even entertain the idea of a seating chart; there is eloping.

VINTAGE: If you are looking for vintage or estate jewelry, go to Antoinette Antique and Vintage Jewelry. Antoinette learned everything she knows about gems from the Antiques Road Show people, and she can help you find you find the right ring for your lady even if you are shopping all alone and have no idea what she’s into. (If you don’t pick exactly the right ring, she will let you bring your fiance in and help you find the right one. She gets it.) Since you are eloping, you’re already skipping so many traditions maybe you will just want to buy the rings together. I think this is a great idea as you will be wearing them forever, hopefully. She has other options than just diamonds, but she has some really good diamonds too. Fancy as you wanna be.
MODERN: Una has beautiful and unusual rings for stylish women. I found my band here and I love it so much stacked with my old fashioned engagement ring.

CLOTHES: Eloping is fun because you can wear whatever you want. There are a few small bridal shops in Portland, but they definitely cater to wedding-wedding type brides. If you want to shop local, there are some great non-bridal wedding stores to consider.
Frances May is, of course, a great place to start, and not just for the ladies! Gentlemen, why not wear great jeans with fancy boots and some shirt? It’s your thing. Also, I think you could elope like crazy in this:

 If I was a little more of a straight-line body type I would have worn this dress with some big jewelry when I went for it:

Yo Vintage! is another great alternative. They have lots of different styles of non-wedding dresses that can be worn as eloping dresses, and they force you to get creative with your styling.
If Portland lets you down, look to our sisters in the north, Totokaelo. They have a shop open now in Seattle, or you can look on line. I wouldn’t kick this dress out of bed:

FLOWERS: Get some flowers to carry around and wear- it’s really fun. You can have a florist make you a bouquet, or you can do it yourself. My friend- and Frances May model- Nic made me a bouquet from flowers he got at New Seasons. He also made boutonnieres and garlands for us. New Seasons really does have the best selection for flowers year-round. In the summer, obviously you’ll have a lot more choices. Sammy’s and City Market are also good options.

LOCATION: Once you have your marriage license (get it here you are ready to get married anywhere in the state. If you are eloping out of Oregon, you’ll have to make a few phone calls and prepare for the typical three day waiting period for your license to be valid.
You have a few choices for your private ceremony. You can hire someone (often a judge, or you can get a friend to get ordained) to go where ever you want it to happen. This would be great if you have some beautiful location in mind. Otherwise, the court house is the way to go. You have to call ahead and schedule a time slot in most cases. You will need to bring two witnesses to be there when it happens. If you really want it to be a secret, the court house can supply you with stranger witnesses! The lighting and decor of a court house might be terrible, but boy, is it ever romantic all the same.

When I eloped, we decided we wanted to turn it into an adventure and drive up to Astoria to have the ceremony there. We brought two of our favorite people to bare witness, stayed in a great hotel, had drinks at a dive bar before the ceremony- it was great. We sent our parents letters that they opened right as we were getting married- surprise!

A few pics of our friends Kim & Gus of Windowwall eloping. We are so on trend!


Written by Jenny Cook


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