By some grace of the universe, I happen to meet the most amazing couples being a wedding + elopement photographer, and Kelsey & Nick were no exception.
The two planned a small elopement with around twenty five guests of friends + family to celebrate in Burlington, Vermont at the ECHO Center, an aquarium + learning center right on the waterfront. Upon chatting with the lovely couple, we quickly bonded over music and also the chill and relaxed vibe they were hoping for on their wedding day. I knew I could deliver.
On the very special June day, I met up with them at Echo. It was the first time meeting in person (which is always such a nervous yet exciting feeling!), and they were both as lovely as can be. Kelsey was downstairs getting the final touches ready with her daughter, Kylie, and mother. It's such a sweet moment doing elopements, the quiet and calmness before the ceremony, so much unlike that of a big wedding. After checking in, I headed to the rooftop patio to assume position for the entrances. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra string quartet played beautifully while there was a nice breeze on this beautiful warm perfect June day.
Officiated by one of their besties, the ceremony just vibrated with that intimacy + energy that you can only feel at a small elopement or micro-wedding. Everything just felt right. Kylie, Kelsey's daughter, read a beautiful love note to both Kelsey + Nick and I think it had everyone in tears. When the vows came out, there were even MORE tears! Listening to couple's vows is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day (and it's far easier to listen when it's a small wedding). There is just so much beauty, so much vulnerability, so much surrender. It's a truly powerful moment that I think we overlook sometimes. Intentional words to the one you love is one of the most honest + sincere gifts you can give to someone. It means a lot.
After the rings and the "Hell yes I-dos!", it was time for some portraits of these two stunners. We took a short walk out to the docks + the park after family photos, and I mainly just let these two do their thing.
(Side Bar: A ton of couples who have eloped with me have told me that they don't want many photos of the two of them or that they hate getting their photos taken/being the center of attention which is a huge party of why they are eloping. And to this I say that is totally normal, and we can do as many or as little photographs as you'd like. But my only request is that we do take some photos, some of you together and a few solo portraits. You may not feel like you want them now, but I promise you that you will be so glad we did this later.
Next stop was The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, a Burlington, Vermont must-have if you're in town. They have this really cool Basement Parlor Speakeasy that you can rent out, which is exactly what Kelsey + Nick did. We took a short walk on Church Street and had another quick photo session (I am not gonna lie; I have been wanting to photograph a couple on Church Street since I started by business in 2016 and this was a dream come true!). Church street was just beautiful, the start of the evening light was hitting the buildings, and the couple received congratulations from pedestrians walking by. It was a pretty magical moment (and I kind of felt like the paparazzi). When we got back to the parlor, I photographed Kelsey & Nick's first dance (Death Cab for Cutie), before saying goodbyes and heading out for the night. Sometimes elopements seem like they end too soon for me!
Kelsey + Nick (+ your beautiful families), thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of the most special day! I had a blast hanging out and capturing all the moments for you.
Venue: Echo Center
Hair + Makeup: Amanda Hopcraft
Videographer: Sand and Stone
Florals: Westlane Flowers
Ceremony Music: Vermont Symphony Orchestera
Reception: The Farmhouse Tap & Grill