There are times in this line of work that I have to actually go home, sit down and take a minute to reflect on how grateful I am to have experienced what I just shot.
I came home after this elopement with a heart bursting with so much love and admiration for this couple and their beautiful family that surrounded them.
It was evident from the moment I walked into the room that I was about to witness something really incredible. And I did. Jennifer and Marcus had to reschedule their wedding twice before finally deciding to ditch the wedding all together and elope in the not yet finished house a family friend was building. Having such a beautiful set up in an active construction zone was a first for me and it's something I will remember for a very long time.
As she got ready with her brother braiding her hair and her Chihuahua keeping an eye on her dress, I mingled around the house capturing little details. Her family and friends were hard at work making everything perfect. There weren't floors, tables, chairs or handles in the new construction and it only added more to the charm.
Once Jennifer was ready, we headed outside into some very typical PNW spring weather. It was cloudy with a solid, unrelenting drizzle. A perfect northwestern day for a rainy elopement. Marcus stared at his soon to be wife with a look even the best of photos couldn't capture. Just beaming with pure, unconditional love. They hugged each other as they looked one another up and down in their wedding attire. This was the first look they had been so patiently waiting for.
We headed out in the rain with umbrellas in tow to get magical photos in even the worst conditions. They say it's good luck to have rain on your wedding day, right? Though the bottom of her dress took a mud bath she never batted an eye. There was so much joy and excitement and that was obvious in every photo.
When the time came to say the vows, I was shocked. There was no pastor, no altar to stand, no arch, no common wedding pieces. Instead, there was a dinner table set for those they love the most. Everyone took a seat and Marcus and Jennifer read their vows to each other with all of their loved ones present. It was so intimate, so raw and one of the most beautiful ways I have ever seen to vow forever to one another. Their loved ones went around the table explaining what their love meant to them and giving advice on a long, happy marriage full of laughter and adventure. I had to stop and wipe the tears from the viewfinder on my camera on multiple occasions.
When the final part of the day came my heart had already been filled. They went out onto the porch of this newly built home and had their first dance. Their family was heckling them from the sidelines as the danced to "Beyond" by Leon Bridges. It was so cute and so amazing to see the family like this.
There is no right or wrong way to get married. All that matters is that you are there with the person you love. The rest will work it's way out. Covid really changed a lot of things for everyone, but it can't change the way you love each other. If you are afraid to lose the big wedding, don't be. It will be just as special, maybe even more.
Jennifer and Marcus gave me a sense of hope for the future. Seeing two people so profoundly in love shows that anything can be conquered together.
I hope all of my readers feel a little extra encouraged to go out and conquer together today.
No matter how you get married, or where, or who you have in attendance, LOVE is the only part you need. The rest will find it's way to you.