• Charity Parrish

When Good Morning America Calls

Hi friends! As seems to be my habit, it’s been awhile since I’ve written. The last few months have been an amazing whirlwind! I hope to use the next few blog posts to clue you all in on what’s been going on with The Elopement Co. It’s been a really fun journey, and I can’t wait to share with you!

Back in July, I talked about some upcoming ideas with The Elopement Co. partnering with my friend Maliquea of Starnes and Co. Events. That idea is in full blast, and we are currently working on our first ever Tiny Wedding. I can’t wait to share more once that unfolds!

But the craziest thing by far to happen to me this year was the Good Morning America piece about TEC! Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to tell you how shocked I was when this all happened. Let me back up and start at the beginning.

I’ll start by explaining that, for the past few months, I’ve been working at a horse barn two days a week. I had decided that for my own mental health, I needed to make myself get out of the house a couple days a week. It is a way for me to work physically and rest mentally. I get to be out in nature, using my hands, and around sweet animals. It is really hard work, and I love it!

When Suzanne of Good Morning America called me, I was literally holding a shovel full of horse crap.

I don’t even usually answer calls from out of state. The only reason I answered her call was because it was the third time I’d gotten a call that day from New York. I assumed it was a telemarketer of some sort. I hit the “answer” button on my wireless headphones for the sole purpose of asking them to stop calling me. After I answered with “Hello, this is Charity,” however, I heard “Hi, this is Suzanne from Good Morning America calling, and …………” There were other words after that. I know she kept talking. But my mind froze. So I stood there, holding a shovel full of horse crap, and tried to mentally process what I had just heard.

I heard her ask “Is this a good time to talk?” I stammered… “Uh… yeah….” But she could tell it wasn’t (wise woman), so she rescheduled a time to talk later. She called me the next day, and we chatted. Apparently, the New York Times had recently done a piece about eloping (which is a great piece - read it here), and Good Morning America (GMA) wanted to cover the topic as well. Suzanne had started Googling elopements, and she came across The Elopement Co.! (That in and of itself is a small miracle.)

She asked me lots of questions about how TEC works and what I thought the was the current definition of elopements. I explained all about my vision for the company and about the amazing clients I have had the privilege to work with. She said they wanted to cover a live elopement and asked if I thought I could do one the following week.

Mentally, I screamed “NEXT WEEK??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? How am I supposed to find a couple willing to get married NEXT WEEK?!?” Out loud I said something like “Yeah I think I can do that. Let me see what I can do.”

I threw out a plea on Facebook. I’m fairly new to North Carolina, and I don’t even know that many people here. I called every client who was either booked with me already or had recently inquired. No one was available! A few people re-posted my Facebook message, including my amazing lawyer (also a client), and someone responded to her message and was willing.

The plans were put into motion. I reached out to Erin Foley of RCB Fashion, easily one of my favorite people in Charlotte, to see if she wanted to be involved and supply a dress for the bride. She was immediately on board! I started researching locations and figuring out details.

A few days into this process, the bride called me and told me they were dropping out. For reasons of their own, they couldn’t go through with the elopement. My heart plummeted. The day before getting this call, I had worked a 10 hour wedding (through my other brand, Whimsicle Photography), and my dog of 12 years had passed away. I was exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I decided I couldn’t make the GMA shoot happen.

I messaged Erin to let her know and apologize for wasting her time. Erin, being the amazing human being that she is, responded “Let me see what I can do.” I had a glimmer of hope, but I wasn’t expecting much.

Within two hours, Erin told me she had found a couple! I was dumbfounded. It was Sunday night, and the shoot was supposed to be that Wednesday. I had little hope of it all coming together, but IT DID. Erin also brought on Lindsay Pizzuti of Mirror Bomb Studio to do hair and makeup. My favorite officiant Kristy Yetman was available! Erin made a custom dress for Lorie (bride) in TWO DAYS. I found a local girl, Betty Cona of Bright & Lovely Blog, to make a custom elopement sign! There was a threat of rain, so I initially went through some contacts and found an awesome local coffee shop called Trade & Lore who was willing to let us use their space. On the day of the shoot, however, we saw that the rain wasn’t supposed to hit until the evening, so we went ahead with the original plan of using McGill Rose Garden.

I was a bundle of nerves on the day of the shoot. I am really good at imagining all of the bad things that could happen, and I just imagined making a fool of myself on national TV (with like, a booger hanging out of my nose or something). Or you know - somebody canceling, a car wreck, etc. However, everything went through exactly as planned. Lindsay did an amazing job on Lorie’s hair and makeup. Erin’s dress fit Lorie PERFECTLY. John looked incredibly sharp, and the boutonniere I had made matched everything exactly.

We met Suzanne at Erin’s shop where Lorie was getting ready. Suzanne was gracious and kind, and she was excited for Lorie and John. Then we all collected at McGill Rose Garden, and the ceremony was beautiful! There were some people in the garden having a book club meeting, and as the ceremony wrapped up, they all cheered for Lorie and John.

After we wrapped up their newlywed pictures, Suzanne interviewed first Lorie and John, and then me. I was SO nervous. I remember thinking “What do I do with my hands?!?” But I got through it, and I was pleased with the results!

Lorie and John were SUCH a sweet couple. There’s so much more I could say about the time I spent with them, but I figure I have to wrap this up at some point. I will say this - I am so thankful to everyone who participated in helping pull off this amazing adventure. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the piece yet, there’s a link here. Or it’s also out on the website!

To end this amazing story, I’m going to tell you what happened on the day the piece aired. I was at the barn. Doing chores, including shoveling horse crap. How fitting!

Thanks for reading! I’ll be in touch soon. :)


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