Multi-Day Hiking Elopement Across 2 Countries – Megan & Ben

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Tell me how you got engaged?

Early in 2021 we talked about having a joint birthday party, since our birthdays are only five days apart. We wanted to rent an AirBnB and have an event to celebrate with our families, then one to celebrate with our friends. What I didn’t know is my introverted partner was so keen on throwing a party because he was planning the proposal.

The week of the parties the AirBnB completely fell through, so our cute location for the party disappeared. Ben was freaking. out. And I was like, hey this isn’t that big of a deal! We can do something else or have a party together another year – we’ve got time. Well he (uncharacteristically) wasn’t having it. So we got some of his friends to let us use their large home (friend party), and my parents let us use theirs (family party). At the friends party on July 10th he completely surprised me by proposing. I was so caught off guard because I had no idea he was actually interested in marriage, and I just planned on staying with him for like five years and then bringing it up then.

You can see the video of it here:

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

We went to Octoberfest a few days before our wedding day to see the spectacle and the tents! It was neat seeing it so lively, but we were just blown away that so many people could be drinking so much at 11am. We shared one beer for the experience (he’s gluten intolerant and I don’t do beer) and the waitress seemed concerned that we only wanted one.

We also went to the Munich Residenz and I found a classical bust that looks just like Ben! Google Emperor Septimus Severus and you’ll see what I mean. I made him take a picture nearby, I found it so cool and funny.

And finally, in an attempt to ask a barista for non-dairy milk I used my translate app to learn how to say “non-dairy milk” which translated to “nicht milch milch”. Suffice to say this nice human was very confused about my request for “not milk milk”.

How did you decide on your location?

Once we decided to elope the next questions were about the atmosphere and what we wanted around us to witness our vows, and where we wanted things permanently recorded. We agreed on “big nature/big earth” to ground us. We wanted big trees, big mountains, big sky, and water (but not sporty water).

With that in mind we looked all over Europe for elopement venues or areas. We thought about a forested venue in Madrid, the Brocéliande Forest in Brittany,France and the Black forest in Germany along with others. I just happened to do a hash-tag search in instagram for #europeanelopement and found photos of Eibsee and just got chills. I showed Ben and that was that. We were going to Eibsee.

What were your biggest challenges in planning your elopement?

I’m (Megan) pretty organized so I had three spreadsheets going to help plan. I think logistically it was the vacation after the elopement, like how we were going to get from place to place (flight or train) and some last minute changes to pet care.

I had lots of anxiety about doing my own hair and makeup- and just anxiety in general about not looking enough like the traditional US version of a ‘bride’. But I just made sure to practice and try to set reasonable expectations for myself. Ben was a great support when I felt overwhelmed.

What was your favorite memory from the day?

The vows. I love remembering the look in Ben’s eyes when he read them.

Is there anything you’re really glad you did? Or didn’t do?

I’m really glad we didn’t do a traditional wedding. This experience was so intimate and so personally about us, our relationship, and what we’re committing to building for each other. It was exactly what we wanted.

We’re also really glad we got a celebrant to help lead the ceremony. I think that elevated the experience so the burden of planning a ceremony wasn’t on us.

What advice would you give to other couples who are planning their elopement?

Who you are, and what your relationship is going to be for the rest of your lives is what matters. That’s what you’re committing to, not your parents or siblings, or that bitchy aunt who always has an opinion – they aren’t standing in the spot doing the thing, so they don’t get to influence you.

Also there’s a lot of pressure for brides to ‘look’ a certain way for weddings. Fuck that. Honor your boundaries and monetary budget. Respect the self your partner fell in love with. Ask and get help when you’re anxious or struggling from a trusted and safe support system. You only have to be who you are.

What wedding planning resources did you use whilst planning your elopement (if any)?

I used instagram to find the location and to look for dress styles. Ben used Pinterest to look for suit ideas. We also used the resources Cat provided about hand-fasting, vow books and a celebrant to plan our ceremony and make it really special.

What was your favourite thing about working with Cat?

Cat being in the “picture” made it so we could relax a half inch on the day. She had snacks, tea, umbrellas, and she was encouraging and kind. She drove us, and was an incredible companion for this intimate experience. She’s very intentional and prepared, and as a result we felt supported and safe to express our needs and try things we otherwise wouldn’t have (like a steep wet hike!).

I was able to be present for my partner in part due to Cat’s preparedness and encouragement.

Elopement Day Photos from Eibsee in Bavaria

Post-Wedding Hike in Tirol, Austria

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