Love & Elopement: Breaking Marriage Tradition

What if happiness were found in the serenity of simple pleasures. What if we didn’t need the newest gizmo… the highest high? What if happiness is in the air we breathe…slowly, deeply, and consciously? What if happiness is one fresh grape, savored with gratitude? What if happiness is in our oneness with all creation? What if happiness is about enjoying life exactly as it comes to us –
without chasing after it? What if happiness is something we CHOOSE…regardless of our circumstances?

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Many people choose to elope for many different reasons but, the reason of adventure and love just wasn’t one I was entirely familiar with. When one hears elopement 9 times out of 10 you remember hearing a dreadful story of family and/or friends making life difficult for the bride and groom, and in turn run away in the sunset to avoid unwanted drama surrounding their union. Eloping has many ways, reasons, and definitions of “sealing the deal” but newlyweds Tony and Jamie Patterson have managed to turn heads and put a fresh spin on elopement stories.

More times than not when a couple decides to elope it leaves families and friends merely devastated that they can not be part of seeing a family member or close friend marry the loves of their lives. Tony and Jamie were not exempt from their families feeling this way as well but ultimately the couple coined the saying “the heart wants what it wants” very loud and clear. Tony and Jamie did not want to leave family and friends with ill feelings towards their decision but they were very unapologetic for conducting their ceremony on their own terms. Jamie (Stoia) Patterson is a very prestige photographer based in Minnesota who has a reputation of capturing the stories of brides so eloquently that it was a shock to family and friends that she did not have an ounce of desire to have her special moment traditionally captured. As any other soon to be husband, Tony was very wise in sticking with his fiancée on the decision and whatever made her happy. Happy wife, happy life! The difference between this particular elopement was the bride and groom sent out notification about their marriage to family and friends. Being open about elopement was a first for many to encounter, afterall “traditional” elopement involves secretly running off to be married.

Not Tony and Jamie, they wanted to be very open and candid about their plans. Although family and friends not only appreciated and respected the wishes of the couple, it did not stop them from making plans of their own. It was almost immediately that a plan to skydive in on the couple, hide behind a few trees, or climb up a few hill tops to catch the glimpse of the ceremony was initiated by family and very close friends. They were determined not to miss out on this very special union! Sadly by the time the actual ceremony was set to go underway, everyone had given up on the hopes of crashing the ceremony and had no choice but to anxiously await all the details!

After becoming one on a hilltop in Portland, Oregon, the couple celebrated for the next week traveling from Oregon to Canada doing activities they loved including hiking and biking. It was not only the way the Patterson’s decided to elope but also the way the celebration took place that is breaking not only elopement traditions but also marriage traditions. With eloping and celebrating weddings usually there is one big reception after to congratulate and love on the newlyweds. Again, the Patterson’s dared to be different. Celebrating their elopement for a whole weekend with family, friends, food trucks, and cabanas! Usually rehearsal dinners is where both sides of the family get to mingle and enjoy each other’s company before the big day. Well, the Patterson’s cancelled those expectations and instead rented out the very stylish rooftop that overlooked Downtown Minnesota at AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT WEST END for the now combined families which included cabanas and hosted dinner. This was a very different opportunity for the families than most, they didn’t worry about the small things like, remembering seating, remembering placement, etc. The only focus the families had included mingling and getting to know each other fully and of course loving on the newlyweds that brought them together!

The next day the Patterson’s elopement soiree of family and close friends took place in a beautiful and elegant studio. The studio, covered in twinkling candles, firefly stringed lights, engagements photos, and wedding photos was absolutely breathtaking! The ambiance of the room exuded love and light.

What I thought was very special was the newlyweds decided to have a videographer put together their special day that they had not seen yet. It was a special moment that they were able to share with family and friends after all on their wedding day that left the whole room in tears. Hearing the newlyweds speak about each other and making the decision to become one was heart melting!

The guests enjoyed a hosted bar along with the Minnesota Timberwolves DJ who kept it LIVE all night long! The couple also had a Mexican food truck which was just the perfect touch to the cocktail hour that lead into a full fledged celebration party.

Sending a very special Congratulations to these newlyweds who have raised the bar, unapologetically broke tradition, and dared to be different all in the name of LOVE. May your Adventures of Seventeen never cease!

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