Valerie & Jesse

Secret Elopement at San Francisco City Hall

* Valerie (Neuroscientist) & Jesse (Software Engineer) * Photographer: Little Bat Photography, San Francisco * Soundtrack for reading: Bright Eyes, First day of my life *

yellow wedding dress

city hall elopement

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The Info— Photography: Little Bat Photography / Dress: ABS by Allen Schwartz (2008 graduation gift from older sister, Jessie) / Veil: Little Bat & Bride DIT / Shoes: Something Bleu via Bhldn / Suit: Express Men / Ceremony: San Francisco City Hall / Wine: Arlequin Cafe / Cupcakes: Miette / Ring Bear: Kennedy Space Center

Other cool stuff: We decided to elope the week before, to be married on the anniversary of our engagement. We live in Wisconsin and our county requires birth certificates and has a waiting period for marriage licenses, so we ran away instead to somewhere with simpler policies. I tried to make a dress in that week and gave up on it just 5 hours before getting on the plane to SF. Eloping brides—just use a dress you have, or buy something you like. But seriously, instead of sewing, get a massage. Little Bat Photographer Jillian made my bouquet, helped whip up my veil, and was so incredibly amazing on every front. We had gotten rings in December… just in case. My something borrowed was a hairpin from my friend Kim who I got to see the day before our wedding for the first time in well over a year for sushi and beers. Jesse’s timepiece was his engagement pocketwatch (our initials are engraved on either side of the hunter’s case). The lace at the top of my veil was from the wedding dress I’d planned to wear to the big wedding that wasn’t. Jesse was super cool in every regard.

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: An entirely personal and vivid day.

Hardest thing about the wedding: Val: Getting ready alone. I didn’t expect to feel so lonely on my wedding day. I’d been planning it since girlhood (I have two sisters; Vanessa the younger was going to be my Maid of Honor, and I’d helped my older sister Jessie into her wedding gown two years before). Or even eloping with my favoritest person by my side (like, how can you feel alone when you’re with your best friend?). But suddenly I remembered that all brides are essentially alone in that particular liminal state. It was my transition to make. And then I felt brave enough to go on. Also, there was definitely fallout afterwards, but it is dissipating with time. Jesse: Nothing. It was awesome.

Favorite thing about the wedding: Jesse: Val’s smiles. Val: We had each other.

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