True Romance | Sara and Zach


December 29, 2015
Orange, Virginia
Amanda Maglione // Photographer & Guest Blogger

This activist couple’s love was cemented on the Jailhouse steps after bride was arrested in a protest! Best “how they fell in love story” I’ve heard yet! Zach and Sara had an elopement with just the two of them at the Holladay House in Orange, VA, followed by a reception party for friends in their hometown of Washington, DC a few days later.

About Sara:
Sara is a nanny who enjoys exploring new places.

About Zach:
Zach is a union worker who likes to let loose on the dance floor.

Inspiration for your wedding:

We wanted a non-traditional wedding experience that was simple, fun and affordable. We loved the intimacy of elopements but still wanted to have a large celebration with family and friends so we came up with a way to have it all. We decided to have a private ceremony (an elopement that we told everyone about) followed by a reception a few days later.

Their love story:

We started out as acquaintances who only secretly had eyes for one another. Thanks to some friends whispering in our ears about how we would be a good match, we started talking. We went on a group road trip together and ended up at a protest where I got arrested. Zach was waiting outside the jail gates and when I was released I ran up and gave him a huge hug. From that moment on, we knew we wanted to be together and three years later we said I do.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY Elements):

Sara made the reception program and styled it as a zine.

What were some of the challenges of planning an intimate wedding?:

Drawing the line on who would/would not be invited was stressful. The guest list was one of the reasons we decided to have an elopement type ceremony and then a larger reception where we could invite many people. Since our wedding celebration was unique it was a bit of a challenge to help some people understand what was actually going to happen but it ended up being perfect for us and people were very supportive.

Highlights of the ceremony?:

Everything! We loved being able to eat breakfast and hang out with each other before the ceremony. There was no stress because we didn’t have to worry about other people and our venue took care of all the plans. Having it in a historic bed and breakfast made it feel very cozy. It was nice being able to just be with each other and bask in the newlywed vibes right after the ceremony and then head out on a romantic dinner for two.

Highlights of the reception?:

It was great to be able to celebrate with all of our friends and family in the same place at the same time. Hands down our favorite moment was Zach’s uncle playing the guitar and singing an original song during our ring warming ceremony. Putting on our rings after they had been warmed by everyone really made our wedding feel official. As the night went on the party kept going and we got to dance the night away with an awesome range of tunes from Dolly Parton to Rage Against the Machine. My fondest memory is when Zach broke out some of his harmonica skills to do an on-the-spot duet with his uncle on the guitar.

What was the best part of having an intimate wedding?:

Our wedding ceremony was just us so we didn’t have to worry about any outside pressures and we got to focus on the romance. It was simple, sweet and so perfectly reflective of who we are as individuals and as a couple. Even though we invited a good amount of people to our wedding reception it still felt very intimate to us because we kept it relaxed.

What advice would you give to other couples considering an intimate wedding or elopement?:

Remember that it is your wedding. We knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding and we knew it would feel untrue if we added elements to our wedding celebration just to please specific people. Even though we had a private ceremony, we incorporated a ring warming into our reception as a way to still include family and friends in our marriage.

A Special Thanks To:
The Holladay House // Ceremony Venue
RFD Washington DC // Reception venue
The Holladay House (elopement), Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown // Accommodations
Diana’s Couture & Bridal reworked and styled my mom’s handmade wedding dress for me // Bridal Gown
Modcloth // Bride’s shoes
Francis & Murphy  // Grooms suit
The Holladay House // Flowers
The Holladay House // Cake
Restaurant Pomme // Wedding Dinner
Gemvara // Rings
Pearl necklace at elopement was handed down from Zach’s mom // Jewelry

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