Four Reasons to Consider Eloping

Have you considered eloping? Just saying screw it to the crazy, stressful, exhausting planning process? Do you worry your friends and family will be upset? Do you still WANT the wedding but feel like its too much money to spend, too much work and way to much planning to take on with the rest of your life?

Well I’m here to tell you that eloping doesn't have to mean you don’t get a wedding. You can still have a wedding dress, a beautiful bouquet and even your closest friends and family if you want to. Don’t forget that this is YOUR WEDDING it can look however you want it to.

Over the years I’ve shot MANY elopements and intimate weddings and they have all been a little different and just as special, romantic and perfect as every other big shindig wedding. So if the idea of eloping sounds just a little bit tempting to you… here are my 4 top reasons to consider eloping:

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  1. It can cost less money but you don’t have to sacrifice quality. If you decide to elope your wedding dress wont cost any less, your bridal bouquet wont be cheaper and the JP will still cost the same, but one of the best parts about eloping is that you can splurge on a few things that really matter (cough, cough the photography) and still not break the bank with the whole events budget. You can spend a little more on that dress if you are not going to be buying dinner for 100 people. You can get the bouquet of your dreams with the cascading florals and huge blooms because you don’t have to pay for bridesmaids bouquets or centerpieces. You can save a lot of money by eloping but you can still splurge on those few things that will make that day the most special one.

  2. You can do things your way! If you choose to elope you’ve already broken the mold and are going off tack. So get married on top of a mountain, on a boat, in a field, at your favorite restaurant, your favorite waterfall, a random field of wildflowers. The options are endless when its just the two of you. Pick a spot that means something to you or a spot that you just LIKE. You don’t have to worry about how many people it will seat, what the accommodations are like or whats included. You can say “I do” anywhere you want to and make it personal to your love story.

  3. I think the biggest reason people who consider eloping end up doing the “whole wedding” is because their family voices how upset they would be to miss such an important moment. I get this, I think if my daughter decided to elope I might be sad that I didn’t get to be there but the fact is that your wedding is not about your family. It can be- if you want it to be but it’s really about the two of you and your choice to start your lives together. Trust me I am ALL ABOUT FAMILY its the #1 most important thing to me but the reality is… if you want to elope and your family means the world to you… take them with you! You can plan an intimate wedding instead of a classic elopement if you want to. No one has rules as to what you can and can’t do for your wedding. So elope with your immediate family, elope with your best friends… elope however you want to. I’ve shot many elopements/ intimate weddings that were 6 or8 people, not just the two who were saying “I do”. I’ve also shot intimate weddings that were 25 people- there are no rules guys!

  4. When you elope you really get to actually focus on whats important- the two of you. Wedding days can be overwhelming and honestly really busy! So many of my brides end up spending more time with me then their groom on their wedding day. When you choose to elope you get to spend the whole day together if you want. You can get ready together (if you don’t mind breaking the whole seeing one another before the ceremony tradition), you can go out to a nice dinner together after thats just the two of you and no one else that you have to get up and walk around to talk to while your dinner gets cold. You two get to spend time being together which is what the whole day is really about. If you choose to have professional photos taken you can take all the time you want. Want to hike to the top of a mountain, sure. Want to swim in your wedding attire in a pond, why not? Want to capture an epic sunset on the coast, do it!

The best parts of eloping are that you can throw off the “should” and “have to” parts of a wedding day and make it your own. No I’m not saying you can’t do that and still have an epic wedding and party to go with it- of course you can. I’ve been to pig roast weddings, weddings on sailboats and all kinds of fun unique wedding over the years. Every wedding is special no matter how many people come, how many months you spend planning and how much money you spend. Your wedding day is about the two of you so do it your way- eloping or not!

.10 years and a thank you.

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“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies”. -Diane Arbus. Who doesn't like oreos?  Ok maybe not everyone loves oreos like I do, but who doesn't like cookies? brownies? ice cream? sweets of any kind really?   Well my motto is figuratively as well as literally... BRING ON THE COOKIES!  I love being a photographer.  From the time I was 13 and first saw an image magically appear in that darkroom I was hooked.

I never gave much thought into what I was going to actually do with my photo degree from Northeastern University.  I think I hoped I'd take some amazing fine art photo and sell it for millions.  The few times someone would mention wedding photography I would turn up my nose and say "who would want to do that?”  Well turns out I would and I just didn't know it.

When I moved to Texas back in 2007 and found my way to Debbie Brower I really had no idea just how lucky I was.  I knew how to take photos, I was quite good at portraits but I'd never shot a wedding.  I guess Debbie saw some potential because I ended up working as a photographer for Image Forward Photography photographing weddings, engagements, seniors and families.  I learned so much from my time With Debbie and her girls at Imagine Forward-  These girls taught me that wedding photography was actually really fun!!!  They taught me that there was so much more than stuffy boring formals and that working with brides was fun!

Here I am 10 years into running and owning my own wedding photography studio and I could’t be more grateful that I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity.

Here’s to 10 years and hopefully 10 more!

5 Tips to Help With a Stress Free Wedding Day!

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It seems like there are always a million things running through your head and a to-do list that’s a mile long as soon as you say “yes” and the wedding planning beings! Use these 5 tips to help keep yourself on track and not let that stress kill the joy of this wonderful time!!

Tip #1. Timeline Planning:
Having a wedding schedule can't always guarantee a stress free day but when you are working with your vendors to create a timeline for your big day there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure that your friends and family know where and when they need to be places. Nothing throws a timeline off like spending 15mins looking for Aunt Susan who didn’t know she was supposed to arrive early for family photos. You don’t have to have things written out to the minute but giving everyone a basic outline of the day can be very helpful at making sure the day flows smoothly. If you need help with your timeline ask your planner or photographer for help- we do this ALL THE TIME- and are happy to help!!

Tip #2. Delegate:
You have surrounded yourself with your best friends to help you celebrate your marriage… now use them!!! They are there to help, they WANT to help, they are capable!!! Allow your bridesmaids and groomsmen to lend a hand. Be it helping with decorations, stuffing invitations or being a photo wrangler on the day of (really helpful to have someone who knows the family members so they can help us track down that Aunt Susan who went to cocktail hour even thought she had a copy of the timeline). These are your best friends and if you can hand off some to-do items to them they will be happy to help and you can focus on the most important things!

Tip #3. Comfortable Shoes:
I know the big sparkly pretty heals make you feel like a million bucks and trust me they photograph beautifully but by the time you want to hit the dance floor your toes might be ready for something a little more comfortable. You don’t have to go with flip flops or slippers but you can always have a pair of flats with some special sparkles to change into at the reception. You’ll spend a lot of time on your feet on your wedding day so make sure you take care of them!!

Tip #4. Have a Rain Plan:
Nothing throws a wrench into plans like a rain storm. Make sure you’ve got back up plans for what to do if it rains. They say rain is good luck on your wedding day but if you don’t have a plan for where things will be and how they will take place if its pouring cats and dogs outside your stress level is going to go through the roof. We can’t control the weather but we can have a plan in place so that no matter the weather things go smoothly!

Tip #5. Identify Your Priorities:
Unless you have an unlimited budget make sure you make a list or priorities and budget accordingly. Find the aspects of the day that are the most important to you and focus on those. Be it a big beautiful bouquet, a string quartet playing while you walk down the isle, a leather bound wedding album or food that makes your mouth water. Every couple has things that are the most important to them- so make sure you pick what really means something to you two and plan your wedding to focus on those things. The rest will all come together around it!

Bonus Tip #6: ENJOY BEING ENGAGED!!!
You get to be married for the rest of your life but these months of engagement are fleeting so ENJOY IT! Spend some time together doing NON wedding things. Don’t let the planning take over all your free time and remember that above all, this is ALL ABOUT LOVE!

Fryeburg Maine Engagement Session | Jenny & Tristan

Jenny and Tristan are tying the knot is just under two weeks at the beautiful Hardy Farm in Fryeburg, Maine.  We met up last summer to take their engagement photos and were blessed by the most glorious golden light while they danced in the fields.  These two share a love that is both quite and sweet as well as fun and full of laughter.  They were such a joy to photograph and I can't wait to see these guys in a little over a week and celebrate their wedding day!! 

Stone Mountain Art's Center Wedding | Tenley & Brian

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Tenley and Brian had a beautiful late October wedding. The leaves hung around just long enough to give us some nice soft colors, the sun was warm and everything was picture perfect. SMAC is always one of my favorite places and when you add in a getting ready location as beautiful as the Snow Village Inn the day only gets better. With friends and family surrounding these two with love the day was everything one would hope for!!

Venue: Stone Mt. Art’s Center
Planner: Hannah Babineau @ SMAC
Photographer: Spring Smith Studios
Flowers: Jackie Gardner Moonset Farm
Cake: Vintage baking Co
Dress: Justin Alexander
Live Piano Sonny Barbato (piano)
DJ: Rob Riccitelli (dj)
Hair & Makeup: The Salon Michele Belanger/ Brittany Russo