weekly wrap up + beautiful elopement video

With the wealth of beautiful weddings shared online, one can easily forget how private, personal and special that moment is. We’re allowed to poke through the couple’s pictures, comment on the most intimate details of the day and feel as if we were actually guests at the ceremony. Despite all of this apparent access to their big day, I still feel lucky each time someone chooses to share pieces of their wedding with anyone online. And today I feel incredibly honored to share this touching video of April Powell and Jeremy Crantek’s elopement in San Francisco — not only because they chose to work with Studio Choo for their flowers, but because this video feels so genuine and personal that it’s hard to watch without tearing up.

Shortly after April and Jeremy’s engagement, they started to plan a small wedding in Tennessee. Within three months of planning, the wedding had quadrupled in size and budget because of outside pressures. Distressed about the progression of things, April and Jeremy looked at each other and said, “What are we doing?” After discussing how they envisioned marrying each other, they sent out an email with the subject title, “Reclaiming Our Wedding 2010.”

After that, April says there was only one right way — just the two of them. So they flew to Los Angeles, rented a car, spent three days driving up Highway 1 and got married on a Monday in San Francisco. In planning, there were a few elements that were important to them: the flowers, the video (shot by Britt Simmons, to be shared with friends and family) and making sure to keep it simple. If anything stressed them out for over 20 minutes, they decided to just let it go.

On Monday they woke up, ordered room-service, drank mimosas, got dressed, jumped in a car, picked up the flowers (from the Studio Choo girls!), then the cake and were married by noon. As they exited the City Hall, Jeremy surprised April by hiring a guitarist to play their first dance on the sidewalk. Then they had lunch at a small bistro near Golden Gate Park and spent the day exploring. April explained, “By 6, we were back at our beautiful hotel suite ordering Indian food delivery. The day was full of romance and spontaneity, and all day, we were wrapped up in the simple ease of it all. Perfect.” I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day and I feel so lucky to have witnessed part of this in the video above. (And I love Rogue Wave‘s amazing rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Everyday”.) I hope everyone can experience this sort of feeling in their lives; it is so special and, for me, is the perfect way to bring this week to a close.

AC and I are heading into Manhattan for a weekend “stay-cation” to celebrate our seven-year (dating) anniversary, so I couldn’t resist ending today on a sweet note. Thank you so much to April and Jeremy for sharing their day with us. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend and lots of love. xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

Luisa

So lovely!! It’s amazing what people are generous enough to share. Thanks for posting their story.

C.Alicia

I was skeptical after reading your tweet in regards to this video (the bar was indeed set very high with the stop motion video). But when they were saying I do, I’ll admit I had to wipe a tear or two away. And the story behind it is so very sweet. I wish the couple a long and happy marriage :)

Jane Cardie

How absolutely beautiful. My wedding got a bit silly and watching this video I wish me and my husband had done the same. What a lovely Friday treat. Thank you.

Jess

Never mind tearing up. More like tears running down face. Just beautiful. So wonderful they reclaimed their special day. My best friend just eloped and I was lucky enough to be a witness. It was beautiful and so private. I think it’s the way to go.

hmr

To April & Jeremy: Thank you for sharing this with everyone, and thanks to D*S for bringing it to me.

As a woman who has had her fill of big fancy weddings, I know that I want something smaller and more intimate. My friends disagree that anything that involves City Hall could be beautiful or romantic. Thank you for restoring my faith that every person knows what is right for themselves, and that City Hall can be beautiful when the two people involved really want to get married.

Thank you.

Carolyn

These two people are as amazing as their video. This is just a glimpse of the many adventures to come their way.

elizabeth

My husband and I also eloped to San Francisco (also from TN!), and this video let me relive it just a little bit. We hired a photographer the day we got there – called photographers in the phone book until we found one willing to share her assistant – so we have a few lovely pictures. The airport shuttle driver was our witness – he offered! After the quick Wednesday afternoon wedding (on our 10th anniversary!), we walked to the pier and took a ferry. It was so nice just to be able to space out and enjoy the feeling of knowing we’d be together forever.

Casey

That was amazing, I definitely teared up. Congrats to the couple!!

nadia

thank you so much for sharing this. as someone who takes photographs for marriages, i sometimes feel sad for the lack of intimacy of such a special day.

this as so beautiful!

Molly Payne-Hardin

Better than I even thought!! I want to know them :). So lovely!!

Andrea

So beautiful. Your tweet yesterday was absolutely correct … I teared up. Congratulations to them. So tender and just perfect.

Agnes VanCartier

April and Jeremy are perfect subjects for this beautifully shot video. Being recently engaged, I too had tears pouring down my cheeks! I am SO excited by this video, I want the same thing for our day. I’m emailing Britt Simmons right now.. Thank you D*S

Ellen

That couple is genius! and with fabulous taste! I’d do it their way if I could re-do my wedding (shhh!).

kelly

I LOVE that we don’t hear what they said to each other. April and Jeremy, I don’t know you, but wish you a whole lifetime of that.

Sally

wonderful! definitely tear worthy. I am horrified at the huge expense and pizzazz that goes with weddings these days but this was quite lovely, true and touching. Let’s not forget the cinematographer/editor who conveyed the emotion and charm of the day. Well done.

Monica

Wow. Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this today. As I stand here in front of my computer with tears in my eyes it is wonderful to remember what brings us together. After we get married and have children we often forget what is the one thing that started it all and it is this moment and this love that they captured. Amazing. I would love to renew our vows like this! Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Ann

How perfect was that ???? coming from someone who was married for 55 yrs, it was the best wedding I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot)…so personal and special, just for you two, as it should always be…best wishes to you both…you made my day !!!

Katie

This is why my fiance and I are going to Belize next week :-D

Thanks for sharing, it was really beautiful!! Congratulations to the happy couple!

d*s fan

So lovely and full of love!

I still have the raw footage from my wedding two years ago sitting on tapes somewhere, this has totally inspired me to have someone edit it, add music, etc. Any suggestions on someone who could do that in the D.C. area??

tyler hurwitz

this is so lovely. their expressions said it all. a wonderful idea, a spectacular song, and a great bouquet of flowers.

congratulations, april & jeremy !

Andrea

Love it. My cheeks hurt from smiling and the tears are streaming down. What a great keepsake that video is, too. Better than a dozen big, fat, photo albums.

april p.

thanks to grace for loving this video and writing such a kind post about our elopement.

and thanks to each of you for the comments and well-wishes!

we hope this encourages any engaged couples out there (no matter what type of wedding you have) to stay true yourselves and keep things simple- the less stressed you are, the more time there is to enjoy your day.

(and hire britt. he’s just amazing and a delight to be around.)

Jen

so beautiful and so special. thank you for sharing. now i have to dry my eyes before my coworkers start asking questions!

shelby h.k.

so perfect and sweet! thank you for sharing! and i’m glad i’m not the only person who commented on here that got a bit weepy over this vid! congrats to the lovely couple. :)

xx

Misa

that was awesome! my husband and i decided that a wedding was just too much for us to plan, so we flew to austin, texas in june and met a judge in his office in a small old house downtown during his lunch hour. it was the perfect thing for us and watching this beautiful video reconfirmed for me how special elopements can be. thank you for sharing!

kim

Oh this made me cry. But in a good way. I hope to be as happy/lucky one day.
(And I’ve always wanted to elope as well, I want to keep the most intimate moment in a relationship, well, intimate. Hard to explain to my mom though.)

louisa

What a beautiful reminder of what a wedding and marriage is all about. I watched it with tears and a smile. Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

Afi

Very touching… made me shed a few tears…so innocent…and the music was beautiful!

Jason

This is my sister-in-law. This video blew us away when we saw it, and April and Jeremy deserve all the nice comments that people have been posting. The comments have been as cool as watching the video for the first time. I have been married to her sis for almost 12 years now and am so happy Jeremy gets to be part of this family. Mazel tov, y’all.

Martha

I am so happy to see an alternative to the big weddings that I see all around me. It’s a relief and encouragement. This not-yet-wed girl is nervous enough to commit a lifetime to one other person that adding in a whole wedding to plan just terrifies me. This was beautiful. Thank you DesignSponge! This blog post was not just about design but about life- how we can live it to be our truest and best self.

Ashleigh

This completely warms my heart! What a great start to the weekend. :)

mosey

This is beautiful! My husband and I also eloped but invited just our parents at the last second. It was the most beautiful and intimate wedding. We both felt it was the perfect way to marry. I highly recommend it!

Kate

This brought tears to my eyes and a thumping love reminder to my heart.

Gretchen

Oh, everything a wedding should be and nothing it should not, congratulations and a wishing you a rich and joyful life together. Thanks for sharing your day.

Cori Cook Floral Design

APRIL! I love you and Jeremy so much. Thanks for sharing your elopement story with the world. It really is a good thing. I feel so fortunate to have you and a friend and partner in my business.

Love, love, love!
Cori

Soo

Thank you. This made my day. One of the best weddings I have been able to witness! What a lucky couple.

leslie

As was said many times already: perfection. Just perfection. And yes, I teared up. Thank you for sharing this!

KimRose

This struck a major chord. They bucked all societal and familial pressure and did it simply, meaningfully, and oh so beautifully. I’m glad I didn’t watch this in a public place.

Rebecca

How amazing. I really admire their courage to break away from what other people expected of them. The bit where they are reading their vows to each other made me cry :)

Hein

It did what you wrote at the end, teared me up. And took me back to April 1st this year when my wife and I got married. Eloped and well, best day of my life!

Johanna

This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Karen Ard

Wow, one of the sweetest little movies. Thanks for sharing. Great way to end the week… and wedding season!

Elm

Congratulations! The simplicity and beauty of this made me choke a bit. Now I’m fighting back tears. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Jackie

Me and my husband are celebrating 13 years today. We also eloped and were married in romantic and beautiful San Francisco. One of the flower vendors on the corner of Union Sq made me a lovely bouquet.
Congratulations to the happy couple!

David

This is such a beautiful video. Thank you to April and Jeremy for sharing it with us all.

diana

Incredibly sweet! Your day together, and still shared. Wish you all the hapiness in the world!

Gracie

You can see they just delight in each other, beautiful, touching video.

Autumn Leaves

Wow, wow, wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. Such everyday people, just like me, saying YES, in a way that meant something to them. Luuuuved this!

margaret

focused love. plain and simple. yet extraordinarily beautiful. best wishes to this courageous and grounded couple!

Jenny Welch

My boyfriend laughed at me because I was totally crying while watching this! He said “You don’t know them!”, I said “yes I do, their on LOVE!!” Men, they sometimes just don’t get it!!
Cheers to love!

Amy Ramaker

So tender and sweet. Mazel Tov, and may their love for each other always be the most important thing in their lives! thank you so very much for sharing.

Stacey

My husband and I eloped 5 years ago. We too had started to plan a small wedding and had gotten fed up with the budget and with trying to accommodate schedules of close family and such. On the one hand, a bigger wedding is great because it’s wonderful to state one’s love and commitment to another before friends and family. On the other, if there’s to much pressure to go a certain way, it’s possible to lose sight of the purpose of the wedding and the couple at the center of it. It’s great that these two were able to make the wedding their own.

Jill

By the time she was pinning the flowers on his lapel, the tears were starting to well up in my eyes.

Thank you April and Jeremy for sharing such a beautifully tender and personal collection of moments. I wish you both much love and joy.

JMG

This was so wonderful…thanks for sharing with us so we could share a moment of their happiness and shed a collective tear of joy.

Maya

The best wedding yet! Absolutely beautiful, moving, and what a great video. I hope it will inspire more couples to do what is right for them and not to give in to pressures. Best wishes, April (your dress is fantastic!) and Jeremy!

Amber

So lovely! Like everyone else, I got tearful as well. Anybody have an idea who did the Buddy Holly cover? Such a sweet rendition.

Annie

oh that is so beautiful. the emotion on their faces when the said their vows made me tear up completely! thank you (and April + Jeremy) for sharing.

amya

Amber – it’s Rogue Wave – Grace linked to it above. :) I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since I watched this video! :)

Sandi

April and Jeremy, may you continue to make important decisions in your life together with such great understanding of each other’s needs and the strength to withstand outside forces. As someone who struggled with traditional expectations 35 years ago (what do you mean, you’re not wearing a white dress?) I am so happy that you created a day that was perfect for you…and judging by the comments, perfect for a lot of others as well. Congratulations.

Jesse Lu

oh… tears, tears, tears. This was beautiful and thank you so much for sharing. My fiancé and I have reached the same conclusion about big fancy weddings. Though beautiful, they are not for us for a number of reasons. We have decided to have a civil ceremony here in San Francisco (how can you resist our beautiful City Hall?) and then take an extended vacation on the beaches of Mexico (it’s been years since either of us have been on a real getaway). This video makes me certain we’ve made the right choice and the post gives me some ideas of how to make ‘our’ day so very special. Plus, April’s dress is beautiful. A lovely reminder I don’t have to wear white. :)

Tara Kenney

Thank you for posting this! It was absolutely beautiful. My husband and I eloped in South Africa last November. It was perfect for us, the intimate special wedding we always wanted. We even had giraffes wander by! While many people found it challenging to understand why we wanted to do this on our own, this video depicts how special eloping is. Thank you!

Chelsie

April and Jeremy – you guys are awesome. This is touching and absolutely lovely. LOVE it and congratulations!!! Thanks to D*S for sharing. :)

Haley

Could that have been more beautiful! I am so thankful that I got to see this moment. It is a reminder of what is really important. Tears!

Ati

Yay for April and Jeremy. My husband and I made the same decision earlier this year when the wedding planning (and industry) got to be really nonsensicle. It was the best thing for us, and we are so glad we hopped off to Napa, grabbed some Bouchon and got married in a quiet lovely ceremony.

teresa

That sound you hear is every mother of the bride across America gasping in horror. But you know, I think it’s perfect! Just the two of you, for you about you. Congrats!!

pamela

I too was married on a Monday at San Francisco City Hall!! will be 11 years this February. I’ve never regretted not having the big, stressful wedding extravaganza.

Margaret

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! So wonderful that they were able to celebrate their love, their way. Congratulations to April & Jeremy!

mindy

Thank you for sharing. i cried. so sweet. I’m a florist and I specialize in little shotgun weddings and impulsive sweet moments like this. Its how i married my sweetheart and how it so easily can be done. thanks again.

marisa

I adored that. I have always wanted a small wedding , but now I think this is the way to go. I quietly cried whilst I watched this at my desk. xx

Mary Larter

I love this video. My brother and husband are both in the military so it was really hard to get them in the same state at the same time – much less with a year’s notice. After over a year of engagement we still hadn’t been able to set a date. Then my brother called home and said, “I’m going to Afghanistan in two weeks. I get 10 days at home and I’ll be back tomorrow.” So it was either wait another year or do it right then. We planned it in three days and did a quiet private ceremony with just our parents and my brother. I remember feeling like we’d missed out on something by not having the “whole sha-bang” but I think it ended up being the best thing we could have done. Congrats to these two! I hope you have a wonderful life together. :)

Corinna

Wow! I am soo touched! I have to admit, that the thing that keeps me from consider marrying my very much adorable Deary is the horrible though of a big, unpersonal wedding that has nothing to do with our feelings for it… But I know that his family will blame it on me, when we would escape to get married and would probleby never forgive it. So we stay a happily unmarried couple! How brave to do the thing the 2 did! Please live happily ever after!

Maria

That was such a beautiful video. Nearly had me tearing up at my desk. Was a lovely bright ray of sunshine on this stormy day.

Thanks so much for sharing. x

michele

i’m in a puddle of tears. So beautiful and inspiring. Thank you

Lila Croft

that was just perfect…so natural and lovely… it is the start of a life lived to the most without an effort, just love! All you need is love!
Have a happy life!
…and thanks for sharing***

annkent

This is refreshingly beautiful and shows what a fabulous result can be had from a bit of ingenuity and creativity! You may have started a new trend! Bravo … and yes, I shed a tear over this as well. Lovely and many, many congratulations!

Karen

Even as my marriage is ending, this restores my belief that true love is possible. There is purity and beauty in the simplicity of their ceremony – the purpose of the day rings true.

Jennie

What a totally charming video, and beautifully shot and edited! I think it’s a nice way to share a private experience with friends and family.

That said, this video is so freaky weird — has anyone noticed how much our lives are starting to look like movies? The close-ups, the colors, the camera movements … Cinema set up a whole bunch of formal strategies for turning real life into narratives, and now we’re turning that back on ourselves. The 21st century is SO WEIRD!!

Naomi

Truly beautiful :)
Thank you for sharing such intimate and most special time of all.. it took me back to our wedding day, that atmosphere, the heart racing, and that love in our eyes. Thank you and best wishes to you two:)
Naomi :)

Sara(Mrs.B.)

I really hate to even bring a word of negativity to their beautiful experience but I do want to share another point of view- I hope it’s ok. We eloped 24 years ago and are still madly and dreamily in love, best thing I ever did was marrying that man but every anniversary I am sad that we didn’t have a “proper” wedding. The planning was out of hand with mother and mother in law expectations but I wish we had just planned a less elaborate ceremony instead of abandoning the whole thing. Follow your hearts and be true to yourselves – my true self loves rituals and ceremonies and traditions and I should have realized that I really wanted a wedding day.

Many blessings to the happy couple, their day looked so romantic and fun!

liz

thank you so much for sharing this. i have watched it about 100 times since you posted it!

a bunch of my friends are starting to get married and its had me thinking about what i would want for myself if and when the time comes. this video tapped into my feelings about marriage and the tradition of weddings in that it really should be about the two people involved.

april and jeremy showed that you can have a truly amazing, unique and special day even without the pomp and circumstance.

love it.

Kathryn

My husband and I just got married about a month ago, although the wedding was small, it did seem a bit like a display. This was a truly WONDERFUL idea. very personal and intimate. I might do this if I had it to do over again.

Jessica

This is so gorgeous, I’ve shared it with about everyone I know. Is there anywhere we can see still photos from their special day?

Gretta

Wow, I just stumbled upon this in the archives and I’m blown away. Just look at their faces and body language…I see two genuine, kind, and really sweet people that are obviously really in love.

Isn’t this what we all wish for? Someone to love us like this? April and Jeremy have it, and I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Melissa

I have never commented on anything on this web page before and I am on all the time but I just had to say thank you for sharing this. I am planning a wedding at the moment and keeping things very simple. Seeing your video is refreshing and helps keep it in perspective with all the wedding media whirling around me it is nice to see there are others who feel who you are committing to is what it is all about. Also I just LOVED the street musician. I almost love it more then the wedding I am planning. Congrats and may the rest of your life be this lovely and simple.

Marty J.

This is the sweetest video ever. I’m linking to my Friday dance this week, which is all about elopement.

Joseph @ SF City Hall Weddings

What a lovely video!!! I ADORE San Francisco City Hall Weddings. They are intimate, emotional and fun. SF City Hall is one of the best places to get married so not to consider it for the intimate wedding would be a miss. Unless planning a wine country wedding or a big event, this venue should be on everyone’s list.

Jessica

i’m only now just viewing this and i admire them for letting go of the outside influences and going with their hearts and each other- tears indeed.

Valerie

It’s now 2012, I find myself still going back to see that special moment between two great friends. It what inspired both my partner of then ten years to do the same, following so many family pressures.

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