We eloped in the mountains. Here’s how much we spent.

I never wanted to marry The Ex and I confused that with not wanting to get married at all. Then I met my now husband. We are both simple, frugal people and are on the same page about weddings in that we don’t want a big one or one at all. That’s why we eloped.

It was a ceremony involving us, the marriage officiant and a paid witness and our photographer. We wanted to get married in a picturesque location so we could show pictures to our family and friends. Finding a marriage officiant that would hike out to the location we wanted was a bit tricky. Finding a destination photographer was easier. I know we could have done it for way cheaper had we stayed in our home city but we wanted something truly memorable and great pictures we could give to our parents. A city elopement would have been way cheaper but the pictures wouldn’t have been as jaw dropping.

Actual cost $3823:
$105+15 = $120
Makeup+lash extensions: $30+160 = $190
Kilt+shirt/tie+tailor: $577+45+105 = $727
Wedding bands: $212
Wedding officiant: $652 (pricey because of the travel time and there’s a 15 min hike to our location. Also includes witness fee.)
Photographer: $1360
Hotel (2 nights): $334
Wedding license: $103
Dinner: $125

I chuckle when I see how much my dress was compared to my husband’s kilt but now he can wear it to special occasions… or just around the house for me. Haha! Yes, I know I spent $160 on lash extensions but to me it was worth it. I’m Asian so I have short lashes and I can’t put on strip lashes for the life of me. I wanted to look good on my wedding day and lash extensions really helped me feel like a queen. #noregrets

The process of getting married was exhausting! Who knew? I spent the first half of the week packing and making sure I got everything on my list. I’m normally a very light packer so this drove me nuts. I had to bring all my full-sized hair and skincare products, makeup, makeup brushes, etc.

The second half of the week was spent driving there and finding the precise location for the ceremony. The instructions that I found on a trail website were so vague. It was as if they didn’t want us to find this treasure but once we did, I could totally understand why they were so vague. I did my own hair and makeup which thankfully, turned out well.

We are very happy that we chose to elope instead of having a full-blown wedding. It felt so intimate and we felt so happy and at peace in the mountains. Most of all, we have a memory to share that is truly ours.


Why I didn’t want a diamond engagement ring

Yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day and the timing of this post is cheeky. I just think love doesn’t have to be expensive, ok? Haha!

I do think diamonds are sparkly and beautiful for the record. It’s just not for me though. I can’t envision myself with a big, pricey, sparkly rock which is ironic because I feel like my big, sparkly rock is pricey. I am clumsy. I use my hands a lot. I lift weights. Plus, I wouldn’t feel safe wearing something that might catch the eye of someone who might want to take it off my finger. I also think they are extremely over-valued and I feel like money could be spent better elsewhere.

I had looked at rings before my fiance proposed mainly because he told me to. He wanted me to give him ideas of what I liked. Hell, I didn’t even know what I liked! I looked at man-made diamonds, alternative precious gemstones and diamond look-alikes.

The first one I sent him was a $90 ring with a diamond look-alike. I thought he’d pick that one for sure. He hit the jackpot wanting to marry a woman who was fine with a $90 ring! Haha! He ended up selecting the most expensive ring that I sent him (US$975).  It had an oval tourmalinated quartz stone with a diamond pave band as seen below. I did some reading up on tourmaline quartz and found out it is a crystal with healing properties. It grounds you and shields you from negative energy. I thought that was pretty neat.
Lumen Ring with Tourmalinated QuartzI got my wedding band off Etsy as seen below but in white gold. It was only $50 and I felt it would fit with the engagement ring since it has a notch where the stone would fit into.

I also got a silicone ring that I can wear at the gym. I got one for my fiancé as well. I ordered it off Amazon for $20. I’ve been wearing it for 6 months now. So far, it’s held up well through lifting weights and rowing.
I wish society didn’t have the expectation of diamond rings for engagements. There’s so much pressure on one party to save up money for something so expensive. Mother Nature has so much to offer that it’d be a shame if we focused solely on diamonds.