These are the moments that make wedding photography worth it. My favorite moment of a wedding day is stealing the couple immediately after the ceremony and sneaking away from all things bridal party and any attendee peeping eyes to allow the newlyweds 5-10 minutes by themselves. Of course this makes me one of the most hated photographers by the attendees with cell phones and iPads, but it is in this very sensitive window that the smiles are as genuine and loving as they get. It is in these moments that things are whispered for only their ears, panic and stress have been traded for relief and joy. These are the moments that make the best wedding photos. These are the moments that make memories. I love whisking them away for a private snuggle and blending into the background and giving them a few minutes to feel like they are the only two people in the world. It is worth it. Every time.
The one thing I love about elopements is that they tend to not be tied to the typical wedding season but happen all year long. For me, wedding season is all the time! Almost any day is a good day to say “I love you” to the one you want to be with, not just a Saturday in June. The couple that these rings belong to I believe got married on a Tuesday in September, just the two of them. It was beautiful.
Every couple I ever shot has a story. I love back stories. At some point during my time with them I always try and squeeze out a tale or two of a juicy detail about their relationship, engagement, or history. This particular couple was my Harley couple that rode in from six states away to elope in the Rocky Mountains. They were all about the leather & lace…and they were fun. I won’t get into their personal details because it’s not for me to tell, but I love this photo because it reminds me of their story and makes me smile every time I see it.
It’s always fun to shoot weddings and be a part of someone’s special day. It’s an honor and a privilege, and as a wedding photographer I hope to never forget that, no matter how many weddings I’m a part of. Especially at elopements. So often the prevailing attitude among some photographers is that somehow elopements are not as important because there’s not as many in attendance or they aren’t spending as much. I believe just the opposite. Someone who has made the decision to only have a select few or even no one else at all in attendance highly values this moment and is very careful regarding who is a part of their day and their memories. I do not take this lightly. I love weddings — I love everything about them. I love the vows, the nerves, the bling, the rings, the simplicity of capturing smiles and the uniting of two hearts before our Maker.
In this particular photo, the day did not go as planned. This poor bride and groom showed up to the hair appointment only to have the salon closed for the day, the restaurant lose their dinner reservation, and to top things off it hailed during their ceremony forcing them to cancel their outdoor ceremony plans. And yet, I watched as this couple took every disappointment in stride and focus on the one thing that was important–getting hitched. This photo captures this wonderfully calm and collected bride taking a moment to breathe, smile, and prepare the last bits of beauty before saying her “I do’s.”