James and I were married almost eight years ago at the Captain Linnell House on a beautiful spring day in May. I wore a vintage dress I had found at a second hand store and carried black magic roses. James wore a rented tux and carried a small flask of whisky to calm his nerves (just kidding). His dad performed the ceremony in front of the gazebo under a 150-foot linden tree which is no longer there. Afterwards, we ate raw oysters, drank champagne, and danced to Frank Sinatra after my mom (who also happened to be my maid of honor) gave a speech that rivaled “I Have a Dream.” Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except for maybe the number of guests (and the electric slide which somehow managed to sneak into the DJ’s repertoire even though I had specifically requested no cheesy group dances). It wasn’t a huge wedding – 150 people tops. And I’m glad I got to share the day with each and every person who was there. The thing is, by the time we were done making the rounds and ensuring we had greeted and chatted with all our guests, we were left with little time to actually enjoy the reception we had taken so long to plan.
Our wedding was followed several years later by my brother Max’s who spontaneously married a girl he met in New Zealand. I didn’t make the trip for his very small and brief wedding, but my parents said the setting in a public garden was just beautiful and completely stress-free. Not long after that, my other brother Alan, married a German girl in Australia. James and I happened to be the only guests at their backyard wedding and afterwards we celebrated at a nearby winery where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch, several bottles of wine, and a view of the vineyards that stretched for miles.
When we became innkeepers, I decided to design an elopement package so we could provide a venue for mini, stress-free weddings like my brothers’. The package was a huge success and to date we have probably shared over three dozen weddings with couples in all different circumstances from all over the world. I’ve had brides get married in everything from jeans and boots to elaborate wedding gowns, but the one thing all couples seem to share is a strong desire to enjoy a stress-free wedding. If this sounds like you, read on for the top five reasons to elope at the Captain’s House Inn:
1. You’re not concerned with little details and don’t know the difference between and orchid and a calla lily, nor do you care. (Don’t worry, if you do care, you can choose your flower type and color.)
2. You believe that anything that takes a year and a half to plan and a year’s salary to afford is bound to be a tad anticlimactic.
3. You are pregnant and don’t have the time or energy to plan an elaborate affair. All you’re really interested in is celebrating your official union with a lot of wedding cake and plenty of ice cream.
4. Swimming laps in the ocean in sub zero weather sounds more appealing to you than being the center of attention for 150 people.
5. To you, the perfect wedding means sharing it with only the most important people in your lives.