Journey to a San Fran Elopement


October 6, 2021
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Peyton Byford

“The couples that are meant to be, are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart, and come out even stronger.” — Unknown

From a cancer diagnosis to three years of long-distance and lots of love and loss along the way, today’s real wedding couple is the picture of resilience. It’s no wonder that when Scott and Claire got engaged, nothing, not even a global pandemic, would stop them from beginning a new chapter as husband and wife.

After months and months of stress and deliberation, the couple had to make the decision to postpone their large wedding planned in Austin, Texas that Fall. That’s when Scott looked at Claire and said, “I don’t want to wait any longer to be married to you.” An elopement just felt right.

“When we called our parents, they were super supportive of us,” the couple says. “After watching us have to postpone our big wedding they were so happy that we were still going to go ahead and get married anyways!”

But Scott and Claire didn’t want to say their vows in their town courthouse. The elopement needed to be more special and unique than that. What better way to find that than to wed away from home? 

“We picked San Fransisco because Scott’s parents used to live there and I had never been,” the bride explains. “There’s something really magical about traveling somewhere else.”

Luckily, the couple was able to recruit their original planner, Abby, and photographer, Peyton, to take part in the new plans. They also asked their best friend (who introduced them) to officiate, rush ordered a dress and suit online and called a local flower shop.

Everything came together in a beautiful San Francisco morning where the two exchanged vows in the woods of Lovers Lane then moved under the dome at the Palace of Fine Arts for their intimate ceremony. 

“I was told it was out of body experience and surreal for both of them,” the couple’s planner, Abby, tells us, “but perfect, and such a sigh of relief that finally, something went right. I couldn’t believe despite all the obstacles it finally happened, and so quickly at that!”

To other couples planning their wedding in these crazy times, Claire and Scott want to leave you with this piece of wisdom: “So much is out of your control but staying organized and having backup plans that you love really help!”


Photographer: Peyton Byford Photography; Wedding Planner: Abby Walker of Back Meadow Events; Ceremony/Reception Site: Palace of Fine Arts; Florist: Bells N Blooms; Hair & Makeup: Bridal MUAH; Gown Designer: BHLDN; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Murat’s

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