Hello! My name is Arielle Brimhall, I’m 30 years and I live here in rainy Portland, Oregon. I grew up in a very small country town called Estacada where I spent most of my time riding horses, playing sports and hanging out with friends. I moved closer to the city around the age of 23 when I purchased my coffee shop called Brewskies Coffee. I have been in the coffee industry for most of my life and I love, love, LOVE it! In my spare time I enjoy staying home with my husband and dogs, eating pizza, watching Friends and am currently working on my newest business venture called Paws Over People; a T-Shirt & Sweatshirt line for dog obsessed people, like myself.
Our Love Story
When I purchased my coffee shop I made a rule for myself that I wouldn’t date any customers, keeping it strictly business. Well, for any baristas reading this they can probably relate when I say that every barista has their “ Coffee Crush” customer. Konnor just so happened to be mine, and after about a year of him coming through on a daily bases and talking to me for long periods of time, he finally mustered up the courage to ask me out. At first I was so thrown off guard, I paused for what felt like forever before I said “yes”. Konnor was the exception and boy, oh boy was it worth it. Best decision I ever made. Our first date was anything but normal. Sure, we did the normal thing of going out to dinner and drinks BUT a series of odd events happened before the date was over. First, I laughed so hard in the car ride to the restaurant that I somehow spit my gum into my hair; just my luck. I very carefully pulled it out without him noticing and shoved it into my pocket. Then as we arrive at the restaurant, which is packed mind you, we find two seats at the bar while waiting for a table. I look up and see my mom and sister walk in. I took a deep breathe, looked at konnor and said “well, looks like your about to meet my family”. Not exactly the thing you wanna do on a first date but he was a good sport about it. We spent the whole date talking about our love for Phantom of the Opera, pizza and just getting to know each other. We immediately clicked. It was game over from that point forward. I knew he was my soulmate. We dated for about 4 months before he moved in with me and about a year and a half later he proposed.
I had been dropping hints of rings I liked at my favorite jewelry store called Maloy’s pretty much ever since we met. I kept thinking he would propose at every holiday or major event/trip but it never happened. Eventually I stopping anticipating the moment and only a few months later the day finally arrived. Konnor had it all planned out perfectly. One of my best friends was coming to Oregon to visit for a few weeks from Israel. When she arrived we of course had to do our usual ladies night at a country bar called Bushwackers. We woke up from having yet another stellar time country swing dancing and watching others who dance better than us while having our usual vodka and ginger ale. We headed out the door to go get breakfast at our favorite spot, Junior’s Cafe, when I received a called from my employee saying that our register wasn’t working and she needed me to come in and help her. “Conveniently” we were already driving in that direction, so I told her i’d be there in ten. When we pulled up to coffee shop I parked my car and started walking towards the door. When I opened it I was shocked to see rose petals scattered and Konnor down on one knee. He grabbed my hand, told me he loved me more than anything and asked me to be his wife. Crying hysterically I nodded my head and said “YES”! Proposing at the very place where our love story started. It was perfect. We then drove down to the beach and spent the day with each other celebrating our new engagement. Later that night we came home and as we walked into the door I was surprised by a crowd of people yelling “CONGRATULATIONS”! I was so shocked to see all our family and friends in our home waiting to celebrate with us at a surprise engagement party. It was AH-MAZING!
Let’s Talk Wedding Planning
Wedding Date, Geographical Location, Venue
Konnor and I decided we wanted to elope, so we picked a date set for just 3 short months after our engagement. December 9th, 2018 was our wedding date. Now, I know when most people hear the word elope they immediately think vegas, courthouse or run away in total secret. Well, our vision was to elope but not keep it secret, we told our close family/friends. We wanted a breathtaking backdrop, somewhere new and somewhere romantic. There is no better place than Horseshoe Bend, Arizona and OH MY GOSH did it deliver. I had only seen photos on pintrest but trust me it doesn’t do it justice. Looking into eloping there was kinda overwhelming at first. They have so many companies for tours and private wedding spots and secret spots and blah blah blah. Luckily I had the most amazing photographer, Olivia Markel Hernandez, she was familiar with the area, had done elopements there before and was able to steer me in the right direction. She was able to tell me not to waste my money on “private tours” but instead to spend it on things like a Slot Canyon tour for pre-wedding photos. Honestly she was a lifesaver. If I can give one piece of advice for brides getting married in areas they have never been it’s this: book a local photographer and let them lead the way. Trust me, they probably have a bunch of tips to give you that will save you time and money.
We had only 7 people present on the day of. We wanted it to be about us and our commitment to one another not the pressure of entertaining 300 people.
Why did you choose to elope?
There were many reasons as to why we chose to elope. First and foremost was my family dynamic, honestly it’s not the best. The stress of dealing with confrontation on our day just wasn’t something we wanted to do, nor should we have to. Secondly we wanted to keep that small and intimate feeling, which is hard when you have guest list the size of a 5 foot long sub sandwich. Last but not least was we wanted to elope because we didn’t want any stress, or as least stress as possible. I think we were able to book everything in a week once we set a budget. Our main priority was the photo and video, after that the rest was a piece of cake. Another tip for traveling brides or bride’s eloping is this: Spend the money on good photography and videography. Trust me you will not regret it and it’s nice to have a piece of mind that your day will be documented beautifully so you can share your day with family and friends back at home.
How did you prioritize your budget, what factors were most important to you?
Our most important factors were again, photo and video. Once we had that figured out we just stayed aware of our spending. We booked a hotel room but not the full blown “honeymoon room” I didn’t go to any bridal store to look at dresses but instead looked at stores like Lulu’s in their wedding dress/white dress section online, things like that. Just be aware.
How was your dress shopping experience?
My dress shopping experience was SO EASY. I simply went online and bought 3 dresses off of lulu’s, they have free returns and free shipping so it made it easier. I had a few friends and family members come over so I could try them on and get their opinion and BOOM just like that it was over. My dress only cost $250. The only thing I did after picking the dress was take it to someone to have it altered a little bit.
What was your overall vision or theme?
Our vision was intimate and romantic. If this is your vision eloping is the way to go.
If you had to describe your wedding style in one word what would it be?
How did you find your vendors?
The only vendors I had were Photography and Videography. I found them on social media, instagram to be exact. I was so fortunate to come across Olivia and Robbie when I searched Arizona photographers and videographers. They are an AMAZING married duo power couple. For real. I can’t stress enough on how talented they are, its crazy.
How involved was your fiancé in the planning process?
Konnor and I had great communication during the planning process. When I found our photographer and videographer I showed him their work and he was all for it. Anytime I had an idea or vice-versa we talked about it. For instance, he wanted our wedding day apparel to be a complete surprise for the both of us. So he never saw my dress and I had no idea what he was going to wear day of.
Did you guys do a “First Look” or wait for the ceremony?
I definitely recommend doing a first look. It’s always nice to have a private moment together to take it all in. Plus with an elopement it’s fun to plan a special tour to do some pre-ceremony photos, it helps calm your nerves and you’ll have so much fun. We did the Waterhole Canyon tour experience and Oh my gosh it was epic.
What would you recommend as “must have pictures” for future brides?
First look for sure, if you do gifts then having photos of your spouse opening those are wonderful so you can see their reaction. First kiss is a given but also writing down a detailed family photos list was extremely helpful. Even though we only had 6 or so people our photographer had us write out every possible scenario with who wanted photos with who and then she just powered through them.
Did you have a videographer?
YES!!! Do video, it’s a must. We had the privilege of booking the talented Robbie Hernandez, Robbie Films. His work is amazing, plus he’s a super nice guy definitely go check him out. I think video is so important because it gives you some opportunities that photo doesn’t. What I mean mostly by that is this: We wrote our own vows to one another and because that was such an important part of our day we really wanted to be able to go back to that very moment years from now and listen to us say them to each other. Video gives you that opportunity to relive the moment almost in real time. Years from now you can share it with your children, or if your going through a rough patch watch it and remember those feelings and moments.
Top 3 most memorable moments of your wedding day
First Look, vows and being pronounced husband and wife!
One thing that made your wedding unique or something special and personal you added to your day that stands out from other weddings?
We really personalized our ceremony. Our officiant let us choose special sayings, words to songs, quotes, whatever we wanted. We definitely took full advantage to that and I’m glad we did. Our ceremony just very “us”.
Total months planning?
Our total planning time was about two months. Everything happened fast but it all fell together seamlessly. The whole process was very enjoyable.
What was one thing that you had difficulties with during your planning and how did you overcome it? & What was one of the easier things for you to plan?
I would say the hardest thing was permits. If you do decide to elope somewhere make sure you check to see if you need a permit. For Horseshoe bend you must apply for a special use permit through the Navajo parks and recreation. Total time from applying to being accepted was about 3 weeks and was about $300. The most fun and easy part of planning was 1) Photo/Video and 2) Looking for locations was fun. We love to travel and explore new places so seeing options and seeing other peoples wedding photos in those locations was fun.
One thing you wish you knew when you were planning your wedding?
Well one thing that you’ll most likely forget, which we almost did was GETTING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE. Now, that seems like an no brainer BUT you MUST GET ONE IN THE STATE YOU DECIDE TO GET MARRIED IN. Some states have a specific time frame in which you have to wait from the day you get the certificate to the day you can get married. You have to get it IN PERSON it cannot be something you do online, and remember offices are closed on the weekends so make sure you go ahead of time and look into their policies. In Arizona you can get married the same day as you get the certificate but for instance in Oregon you have to wait three days before you can get married. So it just varies from state to state.
Anything you would have done different?
I wish I would’ve talked to my photographer first before I started my extensive google search for getting married in Horseshoe Bend. She knew everything I should and should not do to save time and money. After I spoke to her everything else fell into place.
One thing that helped you stay stress free throughout your planning and on your wedding day?
Keeping it simple really kept me stress free. If you go on pintrest and start searching weddings it can become very overwhelming. I just kept reminding myself of why we were going to horseshoe bend and eloping instead of throwing a full on wedding. It also really helped knowing that our family and guests weren’t stressed or feeling like they had to be doing something.
Last but not least if you could give ONE piece of advice to a bride-to-be planning her wedding what would it be??
One piece of advice….well, if you decide to do a destination wedding or elopement like we did my one piece of advice would be to talk to a local vendor that you plan on using. For us, it was our photographer. They know the area and the in’s and out’s of it, trust me you will benefit from their knowledge.
Arielle & Konnor’s Happily Ever After
Married life has been awesome! Konnor and I are currently in the hunt for our first house and leaving for our honeymoon in a few months. We are also in the middle of planning our reception for all our family and friends back at home. It has been so much fun sharing our wedding photos and reminiscing those moments that flew by so quickly. We have been anxiously waiting to get our wedding video back as well and can’t wait to show that to everyone! We are excited to start this new chapter of our lives and we couldn’t be happier.
Keep Scrolling for more magical images of Arielle’s romantic elopement!
This elopement melts my heart! What a dream destination. Congrats Arielle and Konnor, wishing you lots of love, happiness and adventures.