Grandfather Officiating Elopement at Meadow Brook Orchards in Massachusetts

Alex and Sarah said their “I do’s” during their Meadow Brook Orchards elopement near their home in Massachusetts. But what made their wedding day memorable was Sarah’s grandpa (Papamoon) being their officiant and only guest.

Check out all the details from this super cool elopement, which was completely styled and planned by the bride herself.

“The best part of the whole thing was having my grandfather marry us. Hands down.” [Sarah]

Are you looking for the best elopement vendors for your wedding day? Search our featured vendors

Meadow Brook Orchards elopement in MA, portraits of couple

Photography by Kortni Maria

Picking Your Elopement Location

Alex and Sarah ended up eloping close to home somewhere they felt a close connection to. When you’re deciding where to elope, you want to think about what meaning that location has for you both. Maybe you want to elope there because you already have memories there together, or maybe that location has always been on your bucket list.

“After Covid upset our plans, we knew we wanted to support local and it was a natural first choice. We were a bit nervous about everything changing but Kortni made it so easy on us by being extremely flexible and willing to come out to us. We bought our first home in Sterling about 4 years ago and ever since we’ve made it tradition to pick apples and pumpkins at Meadowbrook Orchards. It’s a beautiful location, run by the loveliest people, and being minutes from our home it was so easy to plan the day. It’s been an unexpected joy being able to go on dates where we got married.” [Sarah]

Check out our list of favorite places to elope!

Tips While Planning Your Elopement

When it comes to planning your wedding day, our biggest tip will always be to prioritize what’s most important to you both. Couples become easily swayed when planning a big wedding day, and end up making decisions based on others.

“We are a really relaxed couple that has now been together for 12 years and never intended on having a formal wedding. Originally, we were planning an intimate camping wedding at Watkins Glen State Park in NY, but due to the pandemic decided eloping locally would be best. We had already postponed our wedding and were eager to finally tie the knot. However, the biggest factor was having my grandfather marry us, and I needed to keep it as safe as possible for him.” [Sarah]

If you’re feeling inspired by this elopement, here are Kortni’s, their photographer, top tips to consider when planning:

  • If you’re going to choose a simple location, style it well, and be sure to make it your own! Some ideas for this could be setting up a sweetheart table, having a cool arbor to get married in front of, going all out with some pretty florals you love, etc.
  • Hire an awesome media team (photography and videography) to capture it all! These two were unable to have their close friends + family attend like they originally planned for, so this was very important to them.
  • Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t include fun traditions! Enjoy a nice dinner, read vows, do the first dance together to your song, and shove cake in each other’s faces.

Details From This Intimate Elopement

Sarah, the bride, planned out and styled everything herself for their elopement in Massachusetts! We love her vision and how it came all together so beautifully. From her unique elopement dress to Alex’s cool groom’s attire. Their elopement day reflected their unique style as a couple, and we loved that.

According to Sarah, the planning process was fun! Since she had experience staging events in a past job, the process of styling and coordinating her own wedding day wasn’t unfamiliar to her. She does admit it would be overwhelming for brides who don’t have experience planning events.

“I spent the week before the event prepping the decor which I had been gathering throughout the year; adding tassels to my wedding boots, creating the cake stand, our little sign, etc. The day before the elopement, we picked up our cake and I put together our flower arrangements from Fifty Flowers. The morning of, Alex and I dropped off the cake and dishware at Meadowbrook and got to work setting up the location before getting ready ourselves.

One of the best parts of this process is that everything we used came from our home. We used our dishes, our dining table, stumps from a tree that fell on our property earlier that year, EVERYTHING! So, for being such a small, simple event, it was packed with US and pieces of our history. It was hard work (and not without a few fumbles) but so rewarding.” [Sarah]

Memorable Moments During This Elopement at Meadow Brook Orchards

Kortni tells us this couple’s wedding day was filled with memorable moments from Sarah’s grandpa officiating their wedding ceremony and being the only witness to Sarah and Alex setting up their wedding decor. This couple made sure to include all the details to make their wedding as personal as they can. Sarah even had a first look with her grandpa, and it was the sweetest moment!

“One of my favorite parts of elopements is listening to the unique and heartfelt vows that couples write for each other. It really makes the ceremony way more personal and memorable in my opinion!” [Kortni]

Are you thinking about writing your own vows? Check out our wedding vow guide.

Having a Family Member Officiate Your Elopement Ceremony

Besides Sarah’s gorgeous styling of her own wedding day, we are obsessing over the fact she had her grandfather officiate the ceremony. This is a wonderful way to include your loved ones in your ceremony if you’re having a hard time deciding if you want to elope.

“Just as the ceremony was starting and I was walking to the aisle, my grandfather got a phone call, which he decided to answer. I tried running after him but thankfully he put it away before I left the tree line. I could hear him, ‘You’ll never guess what I’m doing. I’m about to marry my granddaughter to her fiancé!’ It slightly disrupted the timing, but Alex and I will always look back and laugh about it.” [Sarah]

Check out our favorite elopement ceremony ideas.

Should You Elope?

We asked Kortni for advice when it comes to couples not being sure if they want to elope because they want to include their family and friends.

“Eloping can be really special. There’s just something so intimate an sweet about documenting an elopement with just the couple involved. There’s no pressure, no stress, and you’re just spending the day marrying your best friend. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re debating about doing it – I’d say just go for it!

There are also ways you can still include your family and friends when eloping! Zoom calling them in for the ceremony, reading letters from them during your ceremony, or just having a talented media team to document your day.” [Kortni]

Or you can have your grandfather officiate your wedding ceremony like Alex and Sarah did!


Photography | Kortni Maria

Photography: Kortni Maria
Videography: Jonah Paulhamus Media
Planning + Design: The Bride
Venue: Meadow Brook Orchards
Officiant: Papamoon (the bride’s grandpa)
Dress: Ruedeseine Bridal
Florals: The Bride

Videography From This Meadow Brook Orchards Elopement

Photos From Meadow Brook Orchards elopement

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