Welcome to Vendor Dispatch, where we chat with our vendor partners about their approach to working with couples, the ceremony from their point of view, and the magic that happens behind the scenes. Want to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: Katrina Evans
Does: Owner, lead planner, and officiant at Destination Elopements Asheville, the city’s first premier all-inclusive elopement and micro-wedding company. They offer standard packages and also customized packages to fit the vision of the couple’s day.
Based: Asheville, NC
Behind the Scenes
What’s your daily routine during the week, when you’re doing all the behind-the-scenes work that couples don’t see?
My day starts around 8:30am as I review upcoming weddings, new email requests, and day-of consultations. In between phone conferences, juggling vendors, and wedding timelines, I’m researching the up-and-coming wedding trends and building community with other vendors.
What got you into elopement planning?
My parents eloped in 1963. Their pictures tell their story: My mother in her powered blue suit with a fur collar and my father in his fashionable navy suit, both standing by his blue Mustang convertible. They looked so happy. My mother told me she was not pregnant—they just wanted to save their money to take their dream honeymoon. And they did.
After planning large weddings for over 10 years I got up in the middle of the night and created a vision board and started building my website. Now I plan hundreds of tiny weddings per year. Thanks Mom and Dad for the inspiration!
How long have you been in this role?
For almost seven years, but I’ve been a wedding planner and consultant for close to 20 years.
Why do you think Asheville is so popular for elopements? What makes it unique from other cities?
Asheville is a mecca for all things adventurous and weird. People consider this the little San Francisco of the East Coast. You’ll find a little something for everyone, coupled with the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as the perfect backdrop. Also, this is a millennial city with some amazing nightlife, five-star restaurants, and incredible goofy city highlights that are fun and amusing. You not only can get married here, but many of our clients honeymoon here as well.
Which is your favorite: adventure or urban elopements?
I have a new package called “Off the Beaten Trail.” This package is a four hour package where our couples meet us in the morning and they get to experience more than one trail or location. In some cases, for those couples who are hikers, we go into areas that other companies do not use. The outcome: their photo package reflects more than one backdrop, and along with our partnership with a luxury picnic company, the day ends with some great food, an artisan elopement cake, and an experience they will never forget.
How does planning a destination elopement differ from planning a destination wedding?
Planning a destination elopement requires less effort than planning a destination wedding. Most tiny wedding packages are all inclusive, taking the guesswork out of the equation, but it starts with choosing the right planning company. You also have fewer decisions to make because you’re planning for a much smaller group of guests—if any. All weddings take some effort but smaller weddings simply take less time. Couples’ greatest time will be given to researching who offers the best service for them.
What are your favorite elopement destinations (besides Asheville)?
North Carolina coast; Banff, Alberta; Zion National Park; and Big Island of Hawaii.
What’s the number one question you get asked by couples, and what’s your answer?
“Do your packages include the photos or do we have to purchase them separately?”
Our answer is yes! All our packages include your photos—you’re not just paying for the shoot time but you’ll receive an online professional gallery of professionally edited photos with a pin number for print release.
What do you wish couples knew before they booked you?
I wish they truly knew my passion for planning a ceremony that reflects their story and journey, as well as my heart to save them money. I believe marriage should not start with a couple being in debt. It’s one of the reasons I started this company as well.
What are your guidelines for couples and yourself/your business during the pandemic?
We follow what our North Carolina governor has in place at the time the couple is scheduled to get married, and we take all precautions to keep everyone safe while also respecting our clients’ beliefs and opinions. We ourselves continue to practice social distancing, carry hand sanitizer for everyone to use if needed, and ask that everyone please bring a mask as well so they can be worn at the appropriate times.
Favorite elopement trend of the pandemic:
Couples-only elopements with live coverage.
Biggest piece of advice for couples making the switch from a big wedding to a micro wedding or elopement:
Be flexible and don’t look at planning a tiny wedding as the less-than choice, for it’s been the choice of many long before the pandemic. Also, choose a planning service that has years of experience in planning elopements and small weddings. There are so many people who have no experience in planning weddings of any size who are starting elopement companies because they see it as a fast way to make money, but they lack experience. So research, ask questions, and read reviews.
To contact Destination Elopements Asheville, reach out to Katrina with secure messaging in her vendor profile.