Confessions of The First Coastal Wedding Project Bride!

The Coastal Wedding Project... Have you heard about it?! It seems like the concept is getting around town and people are liking the idea of a Pop Up Wedding Elopement. So many people have expressed interest in the idea and this couldn't make us happier as we continue to go forth and plan future Pop Up Weddings at new locations and dates! Yup, we already have about a year's worth of Pop Ups planned and we promise they will each be unique, special and pretty while highlighting a different venue in Wilmington, NC with our Martha My Dear Rentals collection. 

Before we share when and where the next Pop Up Wedding will be, we want to introduce you to the first Coastal Wedding Project Bride, Lauren. We asked Lauren a few questions so that she could share her experience with any one who may be interested in a Pop Up Wedding Elopement. Read below for more...

 How long were you engaged and how did your husband propose?

Conley and I were engaged for 9 months before we eloped. It felt like so much longer than that, but ended up being the perfect amount of time for us. He proposed at a sunset wine festival at Mount Vernon which is George Washington’s home. It’s a beautiful mansion overlooking the Potomac River and the evening was the perfect combination of all the things we love- cool autumn evenings, history and of course, wine! 

How did you hear about The Coastal Wedding Project?

Conley and I had just made the decision to cancel our plans for the big wedding we had planned later in the year. I knew I wanted to go back to our college town of Wilmington for our wedding but I was scrambling to find just the perfect spot. One of my girlfriends had found TCWP on Instagram and showed me one of their recent posts. I had never heard of a pop up elopement but something just felt right when I emailed Martha for more details. When it’s the right decision, you just know!

  Why did you decide to elope through The Coastal Wedding Project?

The concept of a pop-up elopement is such an amazing one. I’m pretty sure I cried tears of joy when Martha explained to me what the package included. I was finishing up the school year teaching in DC, Conley was living in Durham and I was caught in the middle of getting ready for a big move, searching for a new job and trying to plan a wedding. When I heard that TCWP made sure every detail of the wedding was taken care of, it was like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders. I could still have a gorgeous wedding, my sanity and my savings account! This being said, I ultimately chose to go with TCWP because Martha had given me a peace of mind that allowed me to focus on the most important part of my wedding- my future husband!

What was your favorite item included in TCWP Elopement Package?

I was most impressed with the décor, the ambiance and the personalization of our elopement. I never dreamed of having an affordable AND beautiful wedding. There were still those beautiful Chiavari chairs every bride loves, stunning flowers and this gorgeous teal colored couch. I really loved that Martha included every beautiful little decoration that you would find in the biggest, fanciest wedding. She has fantastic taste!

Was there anything about a Pop Up Wedding Elopement that initially frightened you?

The thing I worried most about was not being familiar with the photographer. Beautiful photographs of our wedding were very important to me and I didn’t want to miss out on getting a picture of a special moment or great lighting. Every worry I had melted away when I met Neal, our photographer and received our pictures only two weeks later. They were stunning!! My lesson learned: just trust Martha, she has you taken care of!

What would you say were some of the advantages of having an Elopement Wedding compared to a traditional wedding?

Having an elopement allowed us to really focus on what we cherished most about our wedding. We knew we wanted the day to be focused on the beginning of our marriage together and what we valued most in life. Having a sense of peace leading up to the wedding that everything was taken care of and not being stressed about our finances as a newly married couple because of the affordability of the elopement meant the world to us. We truly were able to focus on what was most important about our day. I don’t think you can get that type of comfort from a traditional wedding.

What was your favorite memory from your wedding day?

My favorite memory from our wedding day was that special time during the reception when you as a newly married couple get to walk around and visit with your guests.  Having come from divorced parents, this was the first time I can remember where my two families were in the same place at once. And now, I had three families! It brought so much joy to me getting to mingle with all of my family members and to simply have everyone in the same place. Martha and her husband had put together a playlist of some of our favorite songs, so getting to visit with family, share in some dancing and bring everyone together was a beautiful memory I’ll always cherish.

Do you have any advice to share with brides who may be considering getting married through TCWP?

If you are considering having a smaller wedding, there really is no better option than TCWP! Every detail you could imagine is taken care of. Martha was a dream to work with and made planning and preparing for our special day a breeze.  Book your elopement NOW, grab a glass of rose, sit back and relax and focus on that handsome future hubby you have sitting next to you. And my advice to you is to do just that. You’re getting married because you want to spend the rest of your life with him! So let Martha take care of you and your elopement and put all your time, energy and love into creating the start of your life together and nothing else!
Sneek peek of the next Pop Up Wedding location...

Sneek peek of the next Pop Up Wedding location...

Have you thought about getting married through The Coastal Wedding Project or know someone who may be? The next Pop Up Will be held in November!

Email us at for more info on our Fall elopement packages

The Coastal Wedding Project: A Pop Up Wedding Event

My parents were barely out of high school when they first walked into a New York City courthouse in the 1980's. My mom wore a simple white dress and a velvet navy blue blazer (with shoulder pads of course) and my dad wore jeans and a white button down shirt. They decided that it was time for them to get married and so they went. The judge took one look at my baby faced parents and it must of tugged at his heartstrings because he instead gave them a lecture and told them that the courthouse was not the right place for them and they would one day regret not having a "proper" wedding. So, they went home and let their families know...

Something about this story stayed with me over the years, especially when planning my own dream wedding and providing rentals to many weddings over the last 2 years through our wedding rental company in Wilmington, NC. Brian and I's wedding was a dream come true. Not only because it was decorated beautifully, like nothing I had ever seen before, but because all of our closest friends and family were together in one room. I remember sitting at our sweetheart table and watching all of our happy wedding guests eat with each other and thought to myself,  "All of our favorite people are here together in one room to celebrate our love... a situation like this may never happen to us again"... I told myself to cherish that feeling and never forget it.

Fast forward to almost 3 years later and truth be told, I AM ADDICTED TO WEDDINGS! There's a certain amount of love and energy in the air on a wedding day and the high that I get from one wedding can sometimes last days and continues to give me good vibes and energy the entire week.  I think that everyone deserves to feel like this, even if they do not think it's possible because they don't have the time or money for it. In comes our Coastal Wedding Project, a day of Pop Up Weddings in Wilmington, NC. We like the idea of an elopement but think we can help to do one better...

TCWP logo (1).png


The Coastal Wedding Project is an opportunity for couples to have a small and intimate wedding of about 20 people. We have found the perfect place and it will be beautifully decorated to the max with all of our rentals and decor. The couples will have a short celebration that includes a ceremony by an ordained minister, small reception with light food and a wedding cake all photographed by a professional photographer.  The best part is that that we would have done all the legwork...We already picked out the invitations, theme, colors, venue, food and invited some of the best Wedding vendors that Wilmington has to offer to help us with the project.

The day will look as though you had spent a year meeting with various wedding vendors, budgeting and planning the perfect wedding with unbelievable style. But really you will just have to show up with 20 of your closest family and friends at a given time slot to celebrate your love. We will have a limited amount of spots available to host these 'Pop Up Weddings' at different times throughout the same day so that 2-3 couples can have their special moment. So yea, it's kinda like an elopement but an elopement on steroids! 

Venue: We aren't ready to share the exact location yet but it will be in historic downtown Wilmington, NC {Hint: wooden floors and stained glass windows!}

Theme: Bohemian look with a Coastal feel. Lots of greenery, candles, rugs and special surprises throughout (All decor supplied by us!)

Date: Summer 2017

Wanted: 2-3 couples who want to be a part of The Coastal Wedding Project

Demographic: Couples who have big style and a small budget; Those that want to marry quickly; Military Couples, 2nd Marriages, Vow Renewals, and Shy couples not wanting to say 'I Do' in front of many people

Pricing: Contact us at for more info on cost. (50% deposit will be required to reserve a time slot)

So if you are reading this and know someone who may benefit, SPREAD THE LOVE! And if you are reading this and are thinking about signing up yourself, just say YES and get ready for one of the most beautiful, special and memorable days of your life! 

We'll be sharing all the details such as the vendors, venue and photos of the styled look in the upcoming weeks. Follow us and watch the project unfold on instagram @thecoastalweddingproject and Facebook

Photo by Neal Petrosky

Photo by Neal Petrosky