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  • Rev. Brandon Rich

My History with Elopements

Barbara Mandrell's song said, "I was county when country wasn't cool." Well, I was doing elopements when elopements weren't cool. Long before the pandemic and social distancing, I began offering elopements at Belmont Mansion in Nashville in January 2010. I had a ten-year head start on everyone else who pivoted to elopements in March 2020. I hosted, coordinated and officiated large weddings and receptions alongside elopements during those ten years, so I know both sides of the business quite well. Large traditional weddings require so much work from so many people, and so much expense for the couple, their families and their guests. Yes, they can be joyful occasions to mark the beginning of a new marriage, but the amount of stress and financial strain can be overwhelming. All the way back to 2018, I was ready to transition to more elopements and less traditional large weddings. Then March 2020 happened and traditional weddings all ground to a halt, along with the rest of the non-essential world. My elopement infrastructure had been in place for a decade, so I just kept on going. We are now more than two years past that dark time, and couples are back to a place where they have a free choice between traditional weddings and elopements. My choice is to stay with elopements only. I see how happy the couples are, how relieved they are to be free from all the personal and financial burdens that big weddings cause. Couples who choose one of my elopements or my micro wedding ceremony are able to be as formal or as casual as they want in their attire. They can still have their ceremony in a beautiful and elegant setting, with a properly sanctioned officiant (yours truly), and beautiful professional photos (Elopements of Nashville) all without the months of planning and certainly without the tens of thousands of dollars required in most traditional weddings. Eloping isn't for everyone. Some couples still want the big event and are willing to pay the price, and that's their choice. As for the rest, Rich Events and Elopements of Nashville have everything you need!

Just Married Elopement at Skinner Chapel
Skinner Chapel

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