Large scale weddings are simply not a good fit for every couple. Pop-up weddings make it easy to get married and it’s inexpensive compared to a typical wedding. It’s like having an adventurous elopement with your closest friends and family members.
There are no hard and fast rules for pop-up weddings. A pop-up wedding could be a fancy elopement with just the couple or it could be a low-key casual ceremony at a gallery with 20 guests followed by cake, champagne, and a short photo session with a rockin’ photographer.
Planning pop-up weddings can be a great addition to the services you offer as a wedding and event planner. Some planners offer very specific packages and pricing for pop-up weddings while others stay flexible and work with each couple’s specific requests.
Today we are sharing the experience from 3 wedding planners who offer pop-up weddings: Amber Peterson from Cheers Weddings, Logan Doerries from Pop of Love Nola, and Amanda Buchanan from Simple Day. Here are their best tips and advice!
What is the difference between a pop-up wedding and an elopement?
Amber: A pop-up wedding allows for a small number of guests and has a bit of planning involved to accommodate the guests. An elopement can be more spur-of-the-moment depending on what the couple wants.
Logan: An elopement is an intimate ceremony that really focuses on the love being shared between two people, and for us, a pop-up wedding is just that! In addition, we provide everything you may need to elope without the stress of searching for a variety of vendors. Our packages include planning, photography, florals, the venue, and an officiant.
Amanda: Elopements, especially right now, tend to lean on the luxe and moodier side of things; pop-up weddings tend to have that fun, spontaneous vibe. So while you might have a romantic sunset elopement on a boat that requires months of lead planning time, a pop-up wedding can typically be planned and executed in two weeks or less. The two terms will attract different types of couples, so it’s important to keep that in mind when designing your packages. Pop-up wedding packages are also all-inclusive. My couples pay me one package fee then I contract and pay all vendors from there. This isn’t always a difference from elopement packages, but can be, depending on how you choose to structure them.
Why did you decide to offer this type of planning?
Amber: I started offering pop-up weddings because the part of the wedding I love the most is the ceremony and I felt like it is often hurried through to get to the reception. I like having my focus be on creating a very meaningful ceremony for my couples and their closest friends and family.
Logan: New Orleans is the perfect location for pop-up weddings considering the high amount of destination couples we see each year. We wanted to offer a “one-stop shop” for those couples who were interested in a small guest list, but beautiful setting.
Amanda: My ideal clients are fun, adventurous millennials, and pop-up weddings are really intriguing to that demographic. Small, intimate weddings with a casual, fun vibe, have always been my specialty, so pop-up weddings were a natural fit for my company and brand.
What is your favorite part about pop-up weddings?
Amber: My favorite part is collaborating with my team of trusted wedding professionals to create unique ceremonies for our couples. We create the theme/decor plan and it is so fun to flex that creativity muscle for our couples.
Logan: We love incorporating details that really showcase a couples’ style. For instance, we had a couple that loved the movie Nightmare Before Christmas, and as our bride put it, “all things spooky!” So we incorporated tons of candlelight as well as black and purple accents. After the ceremony ended we headed to a nearby cemetery for their portrait session, which was the perfect backdrop for their style and definitely made for unique photos!
Amanda: I just really love what they represent. The smaller, more intimate side of weddings, where you can still have your cake and eat it too. Big weddings are not a realistic option for a lot of people right now, and that’s okay. The all-inclusive nature of the pop-up wedding appeals to them without making them feel like they would be disappointing family members by ‘eloping’.
What advice do you have on pricing and marketing for pop-up weddings?
Amber: Find your preferred vendor team and figure out how much each vendor charges to participate. Then add your fees to come up with the pricing. Even though it is a smaller wedding ceremony, there are a lot of moving parts and I find it can be just as stressful and as involved as a regular wedding, so price accordingly.
Logan: Our goal was to keep our packages simple, affordable, and as easy to understand as possible. That’s why we developed specific collections based on the venues because the venue is what causes the variation in price. All other services are priced exactly the same across the board. I’d definitely recommend creating a consistent framework for pricing.
Amanda: Typically, when I present the final package price to couples, it’s more than they are expecting, because they are only thinking of it in terms of wedding planner cost. You need to really drive it home that this is the overall cost of their entire wedding. So they might gawk at a $5k package at first, but then you have to remind them, they are getting their entire wedding for that price, which is awesome!
What other advice would you give to a planner who is interested in offering pop-up weddings?
Amber: Pop-up weddings are just now gaining steam, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t take off immediately. It’s a fairly new concept in the US and although people are interested, they may be nervous to take the leap. Just keep educating on the concept and offering dates and the couples will come.
Logan: Simplicity is key! We have learned along the way that adding more and more services wasn’t necessarily helping us reach our goal. With each wedding, our vision is to produce an all-inclusive, beautifully styled ceremony, in an intimate setting.
Amanda: Do it! Right now, there are very few planners offering this service. I get people from all over the country asking me if I know anybody who offers pop-up weddings in their area. Couples want this, and if more planners add it to their services, couples will become more comfortable with the idea of spicing things up and having some fun!
Amber, Logan, and Amanda thank you so much for sharing your valuable experience and advice with our Planner’s Lounge community!