The wedding to-do list can be a swelling, pulsing organism. Sending save-the-date cards, picking a reception venue, deciding on flowers: Tasks multiply like cells undergoing division—and that’s before we even get to the guest list.
In the era of the Pinterest bride and reality TV weddings, untraditional and over-the-top have become synonymous. “So many brides and grooms, they get a ring on their finger and then there’s this rabbit hole they fall into,” Sarah Anderson, founder of East Coast Pop Up Weddings, says, speaking by phone. She says the small, simple pop-up weddings she offers are the cure for wedding fever: “Smaller is way better because it’s more intimate. It allows for more feeling and more sincerity.”
After seeing a newspaper ad calling for administrative justices of the peace in Nova Scotia, Anderson discovered a hole in the wedding market. “I would get lots of couples who were looking for a JP, but would also say things like ‘Do you know any places we could go elope?’ People were asking for a few little extras that you might not get at a court house,” she says. “The best part, I find, is that pop-up weddings are just more reflective of the couple. When you cut out the months of planning and the centrepieces and the bridesmaids and all that, you just focus more on the vibe of the wedding day. You get to make the important decisions, like who will be there, what you wanna say to each other, what you’re gonna wear and what kind of cake you wanna eat—and that’s all that matters.”
All of the wedding packages on East Coast Pop Up Weddings’ site offer a “ceremony at the location of your choice” and professional photog session to mark the occasion. Couples can choose between options like “The Modern Elopement,” which includes artisanal cake and refreshments, and the “Tiny Wedding”—which lives up to its name with a guest list of eight.
“It’s not unheard of for me to get calls from people who wanna get married in three or four days,” she says with a laugh. “I like to encourage people to think of a venue or space that they love or that’s meaningful to them and just get married there, because I think the venue allows for a lot of personality,” Anderson adds. East Coast Pop Up Weddings has hosted weddings in cafes, breweries and even “a little, hidden trail near Peggys Cove.”
And when it comes to the best reason for choosing a small-but-mighty ceremony? Anderson says it’s the feeling of it all. “That whole attitude of ‘let’s just get married’—that will never stop being romantic.”