Elope in Hope: Local businesses are teaming up to offer pop-up weddings — like a regular wedding, but smaller, and for a fraction of the price

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

It’s a sunny June day on Lake Pend Oreille. Small waves land peacefully on the beach as boaters criss cross the bay in front of Beyond Hope Resort, where a wedding is being set up.

Courtesy of Fresh Sunshine Flowers.

Two boats make their way to the resort docks, and about a dozen people unload. They make their way to the shore, a couple leading the way, headed straight for the wedding venue.

That crowd is here for Elope in Hope — a pop-up wedding to last just two hours and host their closest family and friends.

Pop-up weddings are ideal for couples wanting a complete event without the massive guest list or stressful planning, and Elope in Hope is bringing the concept to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille at Beyond Hope Resort this June. Whether wedding parties boat in, take a seaplane or roll up for a weekend of camping, pop-up weddings take the set up, clean up and worry out of the hands of the people meant to enjoy the event most. According to Elope in Hope organizers Kiera Bortz, Michelle Ostrom and Jennifer Pratt, anything is possible.

The organizers each bring a unique talent to Elope in Hope. Bortz operates special occasions event planning and manages Beyond Hope Resort. Ostrom brings the decor through Lucky 7 Prop Co. And Pratt is Fresh Sunshine Flowers. With the help of an officiant, photographer, baker and more, Elope in Hope offers all the tenets of a traditional wedding, just on a smaller scale and for a fraction of the price.

“It’s a legit wedding on a tiny scale,” Bortz said. “You get all the goods, but it happens quick and all the planning is done for you.”

Couples who take part will be able to invite up to 20 guests, and the venue will be fully styled and ready upon arrival. The event includes a bridal bouquet, boutonnière, photo session, music, appetizers, champagne toast, a cutting cake, cupcakes for guests, a marriage license and official send off. The event is tailored to the couple who maybe “doesn’t have their ducks in a row yet” as far as planning their special day, Pratt said, or maybe even a couple seeking to renew their vows.

Lucky 7 Prop. Co.’s horse trailer bar, “Lil’ Ida.” Courtesy photo.

Elope in Hope will host four pop-up weddings this summer: one on Friday, June 21, at 6 p.m. and three others at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. Each wedding will last two hours and requires no set-up, clean-up or planning on the part of the wedded couple. 

Ivano’s Del Lago Italian Ristorante is right next to the resort’s venue space, making dining after the ceremony a possibility, and campsites can be reserved ahead of time for wedding-goers looking to spend the night nearby.

For Bortz, Ostrom and Pratt, it’s all about making a dream wedding into a stress-free and beautiful reality.

“It’s fun,” Pratt said. “It’s a chance to get creative while providing a service for somebody on what is most likely one of the happiest days of their lives.”

Those interested in having a summer solstice wedding as a part of Elope in Hope 2019 should call 208-264-5251 or email [email protected] to learn more about pricing and availability.

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