When it comes to weddings, large ceremonies and lavish receptions often steal the limelight. They are all over the cover of wedding magazines in the store, paraded across Instagram Reels and TikTok. But for couples seeking a more intimate and private celebration, the idea of an elopement is a dream come true. Not just that, but elopements have become 2024's largest "wedding" trend. With a focus on just the couple, their favorite things, and details that showcase their relationship.

Imagine whisking away to a luxurious hotel, where you and your partner can exchange vows in seclusion and celebrate privately- usually with the company of a professional photographer (that's me!). In this blog post, we will delve into the world of hotel elopements, focusing on one key element that adds a touch of romance and elegance to your special day: the sweetheart table.

The Sweetheart Table: Creating an Intimate Setting

Traditionally, sweetheart tables are a focal point at larger weddings, allowing the newlyweds to have a moment alone amidst the celebration. However, when planning a hotel elopement, there's no need to miss out on this intimate experience. With a little creativity and careful arrangement, you can set up your very own sweetheart table right inside your hotel room. Makaela and Casey opted for an extremely private elopement celebration. After getting married at the courthouse with just themselves and a witness, they wanted to keep it intimate and private- all while capturing it with a photographer.

Here's what you'll need to create a beautiful and personalized sweetheart table in your hotel room:

  1. A small, elegant table: Opt for a table that complements your wedding style and the ambiance of your hotel room. Consider a round table for an intimate feel or a vintage-style table for a touch of charm. Often times, hotels have tables in the room that will work with a tablecloth or linens. Be sure to view photos of the room online or visit in person to make sure you won't need to bring your own.
  2. Gorgeous table linens: Choose luxurious linens that enhance the atmosphere of romance. Soft lace, silky satin, or delicate chiffon can all work wonderfully, depending on your desired aesthetic.
  3. Fine china and glassware: Elevate your elopement experience with beautiful plates, crystal glasses, and elegant cutlery. Select pieces that reflect your style, whether it's classic, modern, or eclectic.
  4. Floral centerpieces: Make your sweetheart table even better by adding floral arrangements, candles, or other elements that hold special meaning to you both. Think about incorporating elements like your favorite flowers, scented candles, or personal mementos. Floristry can really step up the overall vibe- let me know if you need any Asheville florist referrals and I will happily share them with you!
  5. Personalized touches: Consider adding elements that symbolize your unique love story, such as framed photos, handwritten love letters, or personalized place cards. These small details will add an extra layer of intimacy and sentimentality to your celebration. Don't forget to bring your post-wedding invitation or announcement so we can photograph a flatlay with your details!
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Other Ways To Celebrate Intimately

If celebrating with just your partner is important to you, you're probably brainstorming all the ideas to make it extra special aside from a sweetheart table. I've been doing this for over 10 years, so here are a few of my favorite ways couples celebrate privately.

  • Share a First Dance Together- There is nothing I love more than when a couple shares a private first dance. Even my larger wedding couples have been opting for one at the end of the night. It's such a romantic moment to share together!
  • Reading Private Vows- You can do this with your photographer present of just the two of you. Either way, it's a moment you will never forget having with your significant other.
  • Getting Ready Together instead of a First Look- This one is definitely more rare but something that we love to photograph. It's a great way to signify unification in your marriage through your photos.

Downtown Asheville Elopement

Makaela and Casey came to Asheville from out of town, as the majority of my clients do. They wanted something small, intimate and a celebration that expressed their true love for the city. After searching around for hotels, they landed on the Renaissance Asheville. Choosing the city-view side of the hotel, we decided to set up the sweetheart table right in front of the window which gave us a gorgeous view of the skyline right as the sun set. I did a full blog post on a complete guide to having an Asheville elopement. Click here to read it!

Let's Plan Your Elopement