Let me start by saying, I’m not the greatest storyteller. Truth be told, that’s Jered’s expertise…so bare with me as I take you through our elopement story ;).
Jered and I met via mutual friends on social media in 2012. Story has it…well, it depends on who you ask…that somehow I retweeted one of Jered’s tweets and then we went on a retweeting rampage for a few months before Jered finally decided to DM me. Rewind a few months earlier and me and my high school boyfriend of 3 years had broken up, so I thought wth? There’s no harm in giving someone your number. Anyways, we texted for a while (casually, as friends) and then I ended up dating someone else for another 2 years. I mean Jered lived in CA and I lived in NC, so the chances of us meeting were pretty slim. After undergrad, I moved on to grad school at UVA in the Fall of 2014. I was thinking about an internship in Cali and decided to text Jered since he was the only person I knew there. Funny…because he completely blew me off. A few weeks later I realized he had deleted/unfollowed me on all social media, which I thought was pretty strange. Rumor has it, he thought we were “talking” and was a little pissed because I had started dating someone, ooops!
Totalllllly inappropriate, so judge me if you may but…my sister was visiting me at UVA and I casually said “If me and my boyfriend don’t work out, I’m going to marry this guy”. I was holding up my phone for her to see the picture Jered had just posted on Instagram. We kind of laughed because everyone assumed I was probably going to end up with the guy I was dating. Fast forward a few months later, and things between me and my boyfriend didn’t work out. I was pretty devastated. It was also my second heart break…those things are the freakin worst, like…I’d rather have strep throat for a month than go through that. Anyways, I finished up the semester and oddly enough, Jered and I started talking again. This is when ISH gets CRAZY. To be real, I used to hate telling people this part for fear of judgement and gossip, but we’ve been married almost two years and IDGAF. Plus, my learning experience is that it doesn’t matter how long you date someone, some people just aren’t meant to be and when you find the one, what’s the point in having to date 3 more years to figure it out.
3 months before we got married….
I was nannying and Jered texted me asking what my Christmas plans were. I honestly had no clue, because the past 2 years I had spent every holiday with my ex’s family. I also have a weird family situation but that’s a post for another day. He kiddingly asked if I wanted to visit him in Tulsa, OK, because he would be spending Christmas there. He had no clue I’d say yes, and when I did, he offered to pay for half of my flight. December 25th, 2014, at 11 pm, we met for the first time in person at the Tulsa Airport. We went on non-stop dates for the next 4 days. I filled him in on my recent break up, family situation, past, fears, literally everything about my life. This is when he also told me he had never said “I love you” to any girl other than his mother, and that he had never dated anyone long-term. I thought about running a time or two, jk jk…kind of. I really admired his transparency, respect for women, and love for God. We were so open with each other from the very beginning, and I believe that was the best way for us to build a meaningful relationship. Right before I left, we talked about what the future would hold. I mean, we lived on opposite coasts and although we had “known” each other a few years, we didn’t want to waste time if we didn’t think it would work. We also didn’t want to pull a Logan and Rory (right, Gilmore Girl fans?). Over garlic knots, a large pizza, and the worst stomach ache of all time (I failed to tell him I was gluten & dairy free) we decided we were going to go all in.
The next few months we dated via Facetime and trips back-and-forth from VA to CA. He would always fly into DC, so we spent a lot of time there. It’s our favorite city and home away from home. Literally an hour before he headed back to California, he pulled me aside in front of the Eisenhower Building and told me he loved me! My mouth kind of dropped, because I knew this meant this was the guy I’d probably marry. I also knew this was God’s immaculate grace in my life.
March 7th, 2015…
We decided we wanted to get married over a late night FaceTime date. We did read a few books together, prayed, and ultimately decided to get married when I came to California on Spring break. At the time, we had only been together in person for 14 days. Call us crazy, but it worked for us. Spring break was a good time for a wedding and an excuse to travel around California for our honeymoon. The only regret I have, was that my sis couldn’t make it, but our wedding was still an absolute dream. Oh, and nope! We didn’t get engaged…although Jered swear’s him saying “I love you” was basically the same thing. When I go back and try to remember the details, it all feels like a blur. I couldn’t finish this without giving Jered ALL the credit. The elopement was put together in 2 weeks and he did an amazing job sourcing from local vendors in California. He also did some dang good thrift shopping! I gave him my vision and we worked together to bring it to life, although he did all the hard work! Our experience was beautiful, special, and sacred. *Disclaimer, Jered cried the whole ceremony, while I preceded to laugh the entire time.
Why we chose an elopement…
Our families were scattered across the U.S., so we knew pleasing everyone was out of the question. With grad school and everything else in life, we wanted to make it as stressless as possible. We also didn’t want the pressure that the typical “American Dream Wedding” often brought on, and chose to take a different direction. On a chilly Saturday deep in the forest of Sequoia National Park, we held a private ceremony that we would remember and cherish forever. We didn’t know what time it was or what we would eat for dinner, and were completely disconnected, which made for the most intimate ceremony. With the sounds of a rushing waterfall and melodies from an old acoustic guitar, we said “I do”. Jered’s dad actually married us! You would really have to see it to believe it..good thing we had an amazing photographer!
We kept it a secret for a month before telling everyone. We were actually sitting in a coffee shop in Georgetown when we let the world in on the news. Jered continued visiting me in VA until I finished up grad school, then we packed my bags, went to a few receptions to celebrate our marriage, and made the long drive to California. The wedding was everything I could have dreamed of and it represented what mattered most on our wedding day, Us.
Oh and to the haters that assumed I eloped because I got pregnant…well we see how that turned out ;).
You might have a few questions already so thought I’d clear it up ;).
1. Don’t worry, the bread and wine are indeed organic.
2. Yes, I have a new ring that we designed this past August…long story but you can see it here.
3. Shh, don’t tell Jered I posted the pictures of him crying.
Photography: Josiah Alter Photography | Floral Design: Sweet Memories | Event Design: My babe, Jered Miller | Wedding Dress: Urban Outfitters | Vow Booklets: Amazon | Calligraphy: Cristal Jones | Headband: Twigs & Honey | Groom’s Suit: H&M