Kevin surprised Sarah with an intimate proposal on July 4, 2018 and after a whirlwind engagement they said “I Do” at their dreamy winter wedding on December 29, 2018. Their wedding was full of clean, modern and elegant designs that left the couple and their guests in a daze of beauty!
Welcome! We’re so glad that you’re here! If you’re reading this, then that means that you’re interested in The Elopement Experience—brought to you by Sara Elizabeth Weddings + Courtney Dueppengiesser Photography!
What exactly is The Elopement Experience?!
Well, it’s an intimate wedding experience, specifically designed for couples who are wanting a non traditional wedding. This opportunity is for couples who have a flexible schedule and budget and are willing to trust our visions and style, in trade for an incredible wedding!
You may be wondering why we would offer something like this. It’s simple. We love what we do and why we do it. So much so, that we’re willing to invest in ourselves in order to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience. In October of 2018 we launched our first ever Elopement Experience in Estes Park Colorado. The weekend was so incredible that we decided we wanted to do it again. We’re excited to announce that this year’s Elopement Experience Destination is…
S O N O M A C O U N T Y, C A L I F O R N I A
The elopement will be taking place at a private estate with a stunning view of the California valley, just an hour north of San Francisco. Courtney + I will be providing 4 hours of wedding day services with the option to turn this Elopement Experience into a weekend experience for your friends and family! Sonoma County is one of California’s top food and wine destinations, home to more than 425 wineries. There are opportunities to hike among towering redwoods, cruise along rugged Pacific coastline and get to know inviting small towns. Or, just sit back and take it all in.
A B O U T U S:
Sara and Courtney are the girls behind this vision and we are passionate about creating and documenting wedding days that are focused around simplicity, unique locations and bold designs that capture your love for each other in an extraordinary way. This is why we have created The Elopement Experience. Our ideal client trusts our vision and allows to take the lead on every element of design and in turn we work to infuse your personalities and style into your day. The location is selected by Sara and Courtney, and we handle every single detail in order to create a relaxed planning process for you and your guests. Above all, we have a desire to create a day that is everything you could ever dream of— and more!
Sara is the girl behind the details and the planning of your day. She has heart for design and loves to create a custom atmosphere that allows the simple beauty of the scenery to shine through with touches that only embellish it.And now, for the fun part—APPLYING! We ask that you only apply if you are seriously interested in this amazing opportunity. You must be flexible with your budget and the timing of this event.
Courtney is the girl behind the camera. She is passionate about documenting love in a real and raw way. She believes that the in between moments are just as, if not more important than the posed photos. Her goal when photographing your elopement, is to capture your love in a playful, yet romantic way and above all, deliver stunning images that will last a lifetime!
**Please note** This is NOT a giveaway. We will be reviewing your applications and selecting one couple that we believe fits the style and vision of the elopement.
This past August Kyle and I visited New York City, we were nonstop for seven days, and loved every moment of it! A quick run-through of one of our favorite cities with a few fun photos!
Before Kyle popped the question I had proposed, lol, that we take photos on our trip to document us having fun in the city. I was surprised but Kyle was game! Little did I know we would be engaged when we arrived for our trip! We booked Yumi and had a blast as she gave us a personalized tour of Brooklyn and provided us with memories we’d keep long after.
Romantic engagement session in the Rocky Mountains.Read More
One of my favorite aspects of wedding planning is the creative design work that is involved. What does wedding design mean to you? For Sara Elizabeth Weddings it is everything you and your guests see or touch throughout your wedding day!
Think about past weddings you’ve attended and the experience you encountered throughout each stage of the day...is everything cohesive? Do the linens, florals and stationery complement each other? Are the elements personalized to the couple? These are just a few things I think about and incorporate when focusing on design.
I have been working very hard to develop my design service to provide the best experience possible! My mission is to create a wedding design that represents your love story and style, through every element.
My ‘Design’ page demonstrates my step-by-step design process to help you envision what your wedding design could be...from your custom proposal, to the day-of!
I am beyond excited to announce that in one short year Sara Elizabeth Weddings has grown!
I always wondered when and if there would be a time to grow the company and how I would know it was the right time. Well, that time is now and I will tell you why!
Only a few years ago a wedding planner in Quincy, IL was barely heard of, it is still a young profession in the industry and one of the last vendors a newly engaged couple thinks about booking. I had to take action! It was a priority to educate the market on WHY a Wedding Planner is a key element to every wedding and HOW working with Sara Elizabeth Weddings can change your wedding planning experience!
After hard work, consistently spreading the message of a wedding planner's benefits and creating a presence for myself I began to see the increased want and need for a Wedding Planner in our local Market. I also realized I would be limited on how many couples I could benefit just by myself and began to assemble a fabulous team!
What does the new team mean for you? If I am already booked for a wedding or an event my team will be there to cover your wedding day and ensure the details are perfect. The need for a wedding planner is quickly growing and building a dedicated and reliable team allows for more couples to receive the Sara Elizabeth Weddings experience; professionalism, attention to detail and full access to my creativity and expertise.
I will handle the client care and oversee every step of the process, from our initial conversation, handling every planning detail, designing your timeline to ensuring every step meets my standards.
When working with my team you will be introduced to your Day-Of Specialist, or two, starting two months from your wedding day. The team will be caught up on every detail of your day -- from the time your hair, make-up and mimosa bar will begin, the first look with the love of your life, to every detail of your beautiful place settings and of course they will be there every step of the way to ensure your day is a dream come true!
The growth of Sara Elizabeth Weddings is a great opportunity to serve the growing needs of our market, and beyond!
Let me introduce you to the talented, hard working, wedding loving and beautiful team!
Styled Engagement Shoot.Read More
It’s still crazy to think about our engagement + everything that happened that evening, August 17, yeah I’m a little late to the game. If you don’t know how it happened, I’ll fill you in!
Kyle had been asking if I had that weekend available for a while and asked that I keep that Friday night open for his parents anniversary dinner. He asked me to be ready by a certain time and “to dress nice” because his mom wanted to take pictures!
He picked me up and said his parents weren’t ready for everyone to come over yet so we drove around. He turned into the IL Vets Home and began driving towards the gardens and suggested we walk through them. The gardens were beautiful and he led me to the perfect spot. He continued being sweet and romantic and suddenly got down on one knee! I was shocked, so happy and in love! He opened the ring box and asked me to marry him! And obvi I said YES!!!
I turned around to find Courtney Dueppengiesser capturing the entire moment!
We headed towards his parents home and I began calling my lifelines to tell them the news and NO ONE answered! Ugh! My sister finally did! We arrived to his parents house to find that he had planned an entire evening with our parents, siblings and closest friends! He asked that my favorite foods be made and our parents went above and beyond to make the evening special for us! It was an amazing evening and one I’ll never forget!!
If a large and traditionally planned wedding is perfect for you, I love it! But if you are unsure and considering a micro wedding or elopement this is the blog for you!Read More
I had a tough decision to make one year ago. See how I took the leap and what has happened since!Read More
A How-To on rocking a styled engagement shoot!Read More
A styled Midwest tropical bridal shower for real-life bride Erin, whose family and friends came from across the country to help her celebrate in style.Read More
Inspiration for this styled shoot came from my love of mixing and matching color, texture and patterns. Dick Brothers Brewery was a perfect setting for the look I was going for, with its industrial vibe of exposed brick and high beams. The brewery’s tall ceilings are any designers dream, and I wanted to emphasize the wood beams as a focal point to the table scape. A DIY project I completed for this shoot consisted of creating a hanging element from repurposed windows, highlighting the industrial feel.
The alter inspiration began with my love of gold foil and easily became another DIY project. The smooth gold foil, and the coarse red brick were the perfect contrasting combination of texture and color with light subtlety reflecting from the canvas. The canvas was then embellished by the untraditional chandelier suspended from above.
An amazing collaborative team brought my ideas to life and helped to emphasize each individual design aspect. Lavish Floral Design, created a stunning feminine pallet of floral arrangements, producing an atmosphere of elegance and layers of beauty and color. Invited by LamaWorks, assembled intricate stationery from the invitation to the menu and name card. The abundance of design elements were rounded out with carefully crafted crème brûlées and a stunning cake made by HyVee, along with a breathtaking diamond engagement ring from Sturhahn Jewelers, which made the shoot complete. Every element was beautifully captured by McDonald Video & Photography and Stark’s Studios, they portrayed my vision perfectly.
PSST! Don't miss the details in the place settings; soft blue tablecloths, black grated chargers, pink piped white linen napkins, differing blue and white salad plates at each place setting and glossy black sherbet cup layered with a deconstructed clementine and petite flora!
DESIGN/PLANNING/STYLING: Sara Elizabeth Weddings // PHOTOGRAPHER: McDonald Video & Photography // VIDEOGRAPHER: Starks Studios // FLORALS Lavish Floral Design // CAKE + DESSERT: HyVee, Broadway, Store #2 // RINGS Sturhahn Jewelers // HAIR + MAKEUP: Danielle Flesner & Lauren Dunn // GROOM'S WEAR: Schueckings Mens Wear // STATIONERY: Invited by LamaWorks // TABLECLOTH: Celebrations Party & Event Rental // VENUE: Dick Brothers Brewery // CHARGERS. PLATES, FLATWARE, NAPKINS: Amazon
The first birthday of my own company, Sara Elizabeth Weddings, was an exciting event to plan! I realized my dream of how to make my interests and strengths work together and haven't looked back since. My first year had its highs and lows, learning experiences and building of friendships; it was amazing to see my dream come to life.
I wanted to say thank you to the people who've supported me through that time; family, friends, wedding vendors and of course my amazing clients. I wanted the birthday party to be a time of celebration while featuring elements of my brand!
When I picked the day of the party it came as a nice surprise that it fell on National Doughnut Day. It was only fitting that I served my favorite doughnuts from HyVee, everyone loved them!
I LOVE flowers and it wouldn't have been a true Sara Elizabeth Weddings birthday party without them,, especially peonies! A local florist, Lavish Floral Design. designed beautiful floral crowns for myself and my dog Lemon, I cannot resist a good pup pic, and a bouquet. I knew I wanted a bouquet that was a little untraditional and asked for a floral hoop, it had my favorite flowers and full of bright colors, just gorgeous! The balloons came as a sweet surprise from the owner of Lavish Floral Design, they were the perfect touch to the day!
I love custom photo walls and wanted to incorporate one into the party, I wanted it to be fun and colorful. I ended up with DIY project on my hands with one of my favorite art mediums, liquid and paper gold foil, and brightly colored paint-chips. My guests loved the photo wall and were able to take home a memory with the popular Fuji Film pictures!
Courtney Dueppengiesser is an amazing photographer and captured the features that make me and Sara Elizabeth Weddings unique. The day was perfect and everything I had hoped for!
I always tell my clients that their stationery sets the tone for the event so I had to follow my own advice when planning the party. I designed the invitations on Paperless Post and with the help of Invited by LamaWorks I made sure they represented my style; full of color!
As a welcome gift to new clients I present them with a box of house-made macaroons from one of my favorite restaurants, Thyme Square Café, it only seemed right that they made an appearance at the birthday bash.
During my first year of business I launched PopUp Weddings in my local market, it was an exciting and important launch for Sara Elizabeth Weddings and I wanted to capture it in the first year’s highlights.
A fellow wedding vendor, stationer LOin London, sketched an illustration to depict me as an event planner and it included my essential and favorite items; clipboard, ribbon, pineapples, bouquet of flowers, red lipstick and my dog Lemon!
The pineapple is a symbol for "welcome" and "hospitality", and that is how I want every friend, wedding vendor and couple to feel when they meet me; that is why it is a part of my logo. My first pineapple came from my grandmother as a Christmas gift, a small decorative pill box, and has always held a special place with me. The pineapple is a staple in the Sara Elizabeth Weddings brand, it was only fitting to be a part of the day!
Thank you for an amazing first year and many more to come!
There is a misconception that working with a wedding planner is a luxury, but it is not! A wedding planner is an essential part to your wedding team, and can assist in multilple ways in bringing your wedding dreams to life.
The idea of working with a wedding planner is still a new concept to the local wedding market, but the service of a wedding planner should not be underestimated!
You work with a photographer to capture your wedding day, all of the smiles and emotions, you work with a caterer to enjoy a meal with your guests, a florist to set the atmosphere and many other vendors to ensure your wedding is everything you dreamed.
So why wouldn't you work with a wedding planner?
A wedding planner knows the market prices and can negotiate for you and save you money. A wedding planner will keep you organized, will handle your vendor research, can handle sticky situations for you and create designs unique to you.
A wedding planner will manage the weeks leading up to your wedding, some of the most stressful weeks of the planning process, and of course manage your wedding day!
These are only a few of the many benefits of working with a wedding planner, and as you can see, a wedding planner is just as an essential part to your wedding team as your other amazing vendors are!
I hope you take this information and re-evaluate the VALUE of a wedding planner, and how working with one can transform your wedding experience.
When you work with me I will do more than cross items off a checklist.
I will dive into your story and create a wedding design that is specific to you! One of my favorite aspects of planning weddings and events is the freedom of creativity.
I will help lock-in quality products and partner you with vendors who fit your style and most importantly, your budget!
And execution: This could easily be the most important service of a wedding planner. You have spent your hard earned money and countless hours preparing your wedding day. There are so many moving segments involved, just think about how many vendors you are working with. When working with me your stress level will be minimized, you have someone you can trust and who has experience to handle the details and efficiently manage your wedding day.
While I am handling the details and any possible crisis that may arise, your vendors can concentrate on the job you hired them to do, and serve you at the highest level.
My focus is always on your experience.
I became a wedding planner out of passion and personal fulfillment, but also for the power to give and help. I believe in the service I am providing, and to see a couple and their loved ones truly enjoying their wedding day without a care in the world is what makes my job so rewarding.
I am constantly looking for ways to improve and grow as a business owner and individual, but sometimes I get in my own way with thoughts and feelings that don't serve me in a positive manner. When this happens I lose focus, control and go through daily actions with no intention. Basically, I am stagnant. Not at all where I want to be!
I'll ask myself, how can I start the creative process again? How can I always be in motion? How do I turn these negative thoughts and fears into positive thinking and love? Don't get me wrong, I do consider myself to be a very positive person -- glass half-full, optimistic, etc. But like many of us, I can let negative, irrational thoughts and fear creep in. But there has to be a way to overcome these thoughts and feelings, right?
My good friend Jennifer recently started her dream business, Jennifer Lee Coaching and I could not be happier for her! This pursuit fills her with joy, gratitude and the avenue she was searching for to help entrepreneurs, women and anyone seeking growth.
Jennifer has been a cheerleader of mine from the beginning and I wanted to show support in her new endeavor. We started with weekly calls, discussing my dreams, visions and what getting there would feel and look like. We talked about how I can serve my clients, how I value myself, my business and how to act fearlessly. Many AHA moments!
Jennifer announced she was starting a six week course, Taking the Leap, to support your leap in a life or biz you love. With her background of owning a successful photography business, endless hours of research, listening to podcasts, investing in a life and business coach of her own it was a no brainer to invest in her.
Little did I know this support I was showing her would turn into an education I was not prepared for! We have only had two weeks of video meetings and the way I look at the world and my business has already changed. For the greater. I see the magic in my thoughts, feelings and actions. I see what it takes to be a level 10 individual and business owner. Jennifer does not give the answers you may be seeking, but asks thought provoking questions for you to dig deep and find the path that is right for you.
This journey has only just started but I wanted to share my experience and excitement with you! I am also very excited for Jennifer, for finding her true career path. Her positive attitude is infectious and the energy and enthusiasm she exudes during our calls is contagious!
I strongly encourage anyone looking to take the leap to grow your business, your life (you do not have to be a business owner), relationships or ANYTHING...to just do it!
I first met LeslieAnn when I transferred to Culver-Stockton College in 2005 and started the Athletic Training Program, she was one of the first people I met and we instantly connected. We bonded over two-a-days, late night study sessions and golf cart shenanigans! She was always encouraging and supportive with any situation I or other friends were going through, I am so blessed to still call her a friend today.
When LeslieAnn and Michael began dating she and her maid-of honor came to visit me for my birthday and it was clear how happy she was with him! It was fun to see their story develop to the day they said "I Do". With the time I have spent with them as a couple it is so easy to see how well they fit; they are kind, thoughtful with one another and I couldn't be happier for LeslieAnn and Michael and this journey they have embarked on together.
I hope you enjoy their stunningly beautiful photographs by TeriAnn Forck as much as I have!
Wedding Planner: Sara Elizabeth Weddings; Quincy, IL
Photographer: TeriAnn Forck; Jefferson City, MO
Ceremony: Freshwater Church; Jefferson City, MO
Officiant: Joshua Hart Lee; Jefferson, MO
Reception: The Millbottom; Jefferson City, MO
Dessert: Jessica Kueffer; Jefferson City, MO
Hair: Bella Capelli; Jefferson City, MO
Make-Up: Megan Armstrong
Transportation: The Trolley Company; Jefferson City, MO
LeslieAnn and Michael, thank you for including me in your wedding, I wouldn't have missed it for the world!
My beautiful Lemon turned two on Valentine's Day!
About 1.5 years ago I had been on the fence about adopting a dog when my cousin Laura tagged me in a post by Western Illinois Veterinary Clinic here in Quincy, IL, it was about Lemon. She was in a kill shelter in central MO coming to Quincy + I knew right away she was the puppy for me. She is sweet, comforting + crazy as hell...but I love her!
If you are thinking about adopting a dog, please do so! They bring so much joy + who knows what Lemon's life, or mine would be like if I hadn't made her mine.