There is almost nothing I love more than intimate at home elopements. Seriously. Something about them just sets my heart on fire. They bring out what I love most about photographing weddings - the real, intimate, raw emotion and connection between a couple and their closest people. Ashleigh and Jeff's elopement was no exception.
Ashleigh and Jeff were married at Jeff's mom's house on a lake in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and there was not a dry eye in sight. A common misconception about small at home weddings is that they will be LESS emotional because of the "informality" of a wedding at home with so few people. This is so far from the truth. When the only people present are the two of you, your photographer, officiant (in this case, the groom's brother!), and the few people who you love most - the concentration of raw emotion is higher. Even I had tears in my eyes!
When I arrived that day, I was shown around the house by Ashleigh's sister and told a little about the house and what things might be important and sentimental to the couple. I love know these things because the most important thing to me is that your photos MEAN something. Sure, I want them to be beautiful, but if they lack sentiment and meaning, what is the point?
In the dining room, a beautiful table was set with grandma's china - what better backdrop for a ring photo?
Jeff's mom's house was my absolute goals. The entire house was filled with orchids and space for entertaining, which made it so ideal and cozy for this elopement. Before the ceremony, there was cocktails and wine, music, and mingling. After that, Olivia Van Goor played guitar and sang (check her out here because her voice is perfection) on the deck during the ceremony and mingling time afterward.
The ceremony took place in the backyard under a gazebo by the lake and was absolutely perfect. The couple exchanged personal vows during a ceremony performed by the groom's brother. There was a sense of pride, love, and support from the couple's siblings and parents, and it might be one of my favorite ceremonies to date.
What I want you all to take away from this: If you are having a "last minute" small wedding in the backyard, don't feel like that disqualifies you from getting a wedding photographer. On the contrary - these weddings are always my favorite, and you will cherish these photos for the rest of your lives! That said, don't be afraid to elope! If that is really want you want, you will never regret it.
Photographer: Little Blue Bird Photography
Flowers: Jeffrey Floral Architecture
Cake: The Bakery at The Townsend Hotel
Cake Topper: handmade by the DuoStudio
Groom’s Outfit: Bonobos
Bride’s Dress: Joie
Bride Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Musician: Olivia Van Goor
Engagement Ring: Intercontinental Diamonds
Wedding Rings: Ehrlooms