More Charlotte couples are foregoing traditional large ceremonies and receptions in favor of intimate, affordable micro-weddings under $2,000.
Charity Parrish launched The Elopement Co. two years ago, offering Charlotte couples beautiful elopement photos and micro-wedding packages.
The business has grown faster than Charity thought possible — in 2018 she did 47 weddings.
Charity said she defines a micro-wedding as having 15 or fewer guests, though sometimes couples end up having a little more. The idea, she said, is to keep the ceremony intimate and totally focused on the couple.
“My couples are really laid-back and just want to focus on getting married,” Charity said of who typically uses her services. “The experience is about them, as opposed to their 150 guests.”
Todd and Davin (the two men featured in the cover image) told me they had been in big weddings before and it wasn’t their style.
“We’d been together for twelve years and wanted the day to be unique and meaningful, but not about a lot of details,” they said. “The Elopement Company made it ridiculously easy to elope in a location we loved without the stress we’d seen so many others go through. In the end, our memories are all about that moment between the two of us. Not about distractions of invitations, seating charts, and caterers.”
Having a smaller wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing special moments like the first look, wedding dress shopping and glamour shots.
The Elopement Co. has two main wedding packages — one for the courthouse and another for elopements or micro-weddings — that run under $2,500. Here’s what you’ll get:
Courthouse Wedding Package: $600+
- 1.5 hours of photography at courthouse ($150 additional for a second location within Charlotte)
- Cupcakes for two
Charlotte Elopement Package: $1,500-$2,000+
- 2 hours of photography
- Bouquet and boutonniere
- Cupcakes or cake pops for up to 15 people
- Officiant provided
If you want to get married outside of Charlotte, you’ll have to pay more. Charity says many of her couples also opt to have a bigger party after the wedding to celebrate with more family and friends — another cost to consider if you’re going this route.
Charity told me most couples don’t come to her specifically because they can’t afford a larger wedding — they just prioritize their finances differently.
Most of the time they’re hoping to buy a house or spend big on their honeymoon. Smaller weddings simply allow them to focus less on the act of getting married and more on moving forward together as a couple.
“During our nine years together we have always valued our time together traveling and experiencing new things over material items,” Casey Wellmon, one of Charity’s clients, said. “For us, the cost and stress of planning a major wedding just wasn’t something we wanted. All of our money and time saved has been spent on adventures together.”
One couple traveled all the way from New York because they loved the idea behind the The Elopement Company.
“We eloped to create the beauty and magic of a wedding without the high price of a traditional wedding,” Rahsheda Warner said. “Charity’s elopement package gave us the opportunity to enjoy all the trimmings of a traditional wedding at an affordable price. All of our family and friends who have seen our pictures cannot believe that it was a tiny wedding elopement in Charlotte.”
“Really take a moment to think about what you want or what pressures you’re feeling,” Charity advises. “And for those who really don’t want that, it’s important to explore alternatives.”