Featured On Inside Weddings: A Surprise Forest Elopement for Essential Workers in Los Angeles

Excepted article from feature on Inside Weddings

Like many couples who planned a wedding in 2020, April and Alejandro’s celebration was impacted by COVID-19. “We had dreams of being the first in our families to host a wedding,” shares April of their May 2020 nuptials, which was to be attended by both sides of their families flying in from out of the country, including Alex’s 98-year-old grandfather from Mexico. “We knew that as much as we wanted our loved ones to attend, it would be unreasonable and unsafe,” Alex confirms.

To make matters more stressful, both April and Alex’s jobs were in full swing as a result of the pandemic. As the mental health of many individuals and families began to decline, their work as mental-health providers became even more essential. “As heartbreaking as it was for both of us to make the decision to not have our wedding as planned, we knew that it would allow us to focus on the work that we do, give us a mental break, and provide the opportunity to preserve the health of all of our loved ones and would-be guests,” affirms April.

Taking the advice of April’s dad to heart – “Don’t rely on a pandemic to determine when you two should be married. If you two love each other, then don’t let anything stop you.” – April and Alex began discussing the potential of an elopement. “If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that nothing in life is guaranteed, so we wanted to move forward with marriage,” she adds. It was shortly after that they found an elopement giveaway organized by wedding planner Yvonne Wolf of Yvonne Wolf Events. Yvonne approached Archive California Designer Lauren Kilar to see if Archive would be interested in providing complimentary rentals to the first responder couple for the micro-wedding.

Along with Archive, Yvonne invited a total of 10 creative professionals to donate their products and services to the deserving pair. To April and Alex’s excitement, the all-inclusive elopement designing process began where they would attend with four guests, their parents and produced in accordance with CDC guidelines.

“When people are so kind-hearted and generous enough to provide someone with this type of opportunity, despite the wedding industry being deeply affected by the pandemic, you can’t help but think they are heaven-sent!” muses the bride. “I trust that this entire process happened for a reason. At a moment when we felt very low literally days after announcing our postponement, this amazing gift was given to us.”

Providing Yvonne with just a color palette – rust, dusty pink, mauve, and green – as well as a vibe – a natural, romantic outdoor feel, the couple was completely surprised by the décor designed and produced by these generous creative partners. “Yvonne and her team created our dream wedding that truly reflected our personalities – simple, romantic, comfortable, and natural, yet dreamy – based on very little knowledge about us and in just 20 days,” confirms the bride of the feat.

Roses, tulips, and custom-dyed pampas grass designed by Little Hill Floral Designs created the romantic ambience of the alfresco event. The elegant blooms embellished the spot for the vow exchange, along with mirrored elements and oversized floor vases. The couple’s parents found their seats atop velvet settees, which were provided by us.

To ensure the elopement was safe for all, Franklin Canyon Recreation and Conservation Authority provided the perfect vast open-air setting. All vendors had their temperatures checked upon arrival, vendors wore face masks and face shields, and roses were used as six-feet markers to indicate the appropriate socially distanced spot for the officiant to stand during the vow exchange.

Though April and Alex would have loved to celebrate with all of their friends and family, many of whom planned to travel from out of the country for the wedding, the newlyweds remind other couples of the reason for marriage: “At the end of it all, all you have is each other,” the bride shares. “As much as you would want to share the moment with loved ones, you owe it to each other to really honor the reason why you are choosing to get married: for the love and union of one another. If you’re blessed enough to be healthy and alongside your best friend and love of your life, then make sure that ultimately is about that and trust the love you have for one another.”

To read the full article visit Inside Weddings here!

Micro-wedding partners:

Concept, Planning + Coordination: Yvonne Wolf Events | Location: Franklin Canyon Park | Florals: Little Hill Designs | Printed Materials: Studio 90212 | Photographer: Karina Pires Photography | Videography: Custom Made Productions | Meals: Made By Meg Catering | Wedding Cake: Sweet E Bakeshop | Live Guitar: Mike Gerbrandt | Officiant: Celestial Wedding Officiants