If you love heartfelt weddings, you have to see this…

New York City couple Laurie and Brendan felt stressed out by the idea of a big wedding, so when her mom suggested they elope to Lake Placid Lodge in the Adirondacks, they jumped at the chance. They spent five days doing “nature-y things,” and then had a small ceremony, went canoeing and made s’mores. Here, Lauren tells their story…

What was your ceremony like?
Really quick and sweet. I gave Brendan his ring. It was super fun. The judge told us what he does during the day, throwing guys in jail. We had a whole conversation. But that was so us! We’re the most unromantic people in the entire world.

Where did you stay at night?
We slept in a lakeside cabin, where the lake comes almost up to the window. We had a fire every night. It’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been—both the scenery and the hotel itself. When you stay there, it’s always part of your life afterward.

How long have you and Brendan been together? Thirteen years. We met when I was just 15, and he was 18, and we’ve been together ever since. It was just like, ahh, there we go, that’s done.

Where did you find your dress?
Ralph Lauren’s fall 2008 runway show had a buffalo plaid ballgown, and I always wanted it for my wedding dress. So, I had it made to look exactly like that. My friend is a designer, so he helped me find a guy who makes clothes, and we got Ralph Lauren fabric.

Your deep blush is so beautiful.
I’m absolutely terrible with makeup! I texted my sister for advice, and she said, whatever you do, go darker for the photos. I used Armani Eyes to Kill mascara (best mascara in the entire world) and NARS Mati Hari blush. On our drive up, I saw a pharmacy and grabbed a berry-colored lipstick; I was like, that looks fine!

Would you recommend elopement to other couples?
It’s the way! All our friends are like, we’re just going to do that. It was stress-free. At the time, I was helping my friend with her wedding; she’s the coolest cucumber, but just seeing the politics and expense of it, I kept thinking, I’m so glad I eloped.

Anything you’d do differently?
It would be fun to bring two friends—the best man and the maid of honor. Although we had a blast by ourselves as well.

Congratulations, Lauren and Brendan! What do you think? Would you ever elope? This makes it look pretty appealing!

P.S. A North Carolina elopement, an Australian elopement and colorful wedding dresses.

(Photos by Jon Zander Photography)