Rochester Michigan Elopement
Derrick and Erica booked me to shoot their wedding on June 1st this coming summer. Looks like June wasn’t soon enough… they took a little bit of a short cut 😉
Here’s the scoop.
Mid October of last year I sat down in Starbucks with Derrick and Erica to book their summer wedding date. This incredibly gorgeous chick in a leather jacket with some of the most gorgeous hair I’d ever seen and her awesome fiance who was funny and adored the hell out of her. We hit it off INSTANTLY. Our personalities meshed so well and I knew that not only was I going to have a blast photographing their wedding, but I would also develop a great friendship with them.
About a month ago I got an e-mail from Erica with a rough draft of the timeline for the original BIG wedding they were planning for June. She seemed a bit frazzled trying to work out details pertaining to timing, invitations, guests list etc. Not more than a week later I received another e-mail from her that said ” I know this sounds crazy, but…… I think we are canceling our wedding, have you ever shot an elopement?” My jaw dropped and I stared at my screen for a second trying to think of what to type in response. I decided to just pick up my phone and call her. I remember how she sounded on the phone talking to me that day, a combination of nervousness, relief, and excitement all at the same time. “It wasn’t about us anymore” She explained very quick and simply how planning this big wedding was making them unhappy. The stress and the fear of trying so hard to make so many people happy made it clear that they were sacrificing their own happiness. She said, “We want it to just be about US.”
I couldn’t have been happier for them. I told her how much I admired her and Derrick for having the guts to pull the trigger and make such a bold decision. Just to remind you all, I MYSELF am getting married in just 8 short months… and to put it nicely.. I want to rip all of my hair out sometimes. I COMPLETELY understood everything they were feeling and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t toyed with the idea myself! Planning a huge wedding isn’t for everyone and I know that I will be the happiest woman in the world on my wedding day and it will all be worth it. However, I am not going to act like everything involved with creating this big day is sunshine and rainbows.. because it AIN’T! For this incredible couple, it was enough to say “we’re done”.
As a photographer, I am used to the routine of making sure to capture every detail, emotion, kiss, and hundreds of guests. I am also used to watching the bride and groom barely see or talk to one another alone for the entire evening and THAT right there, is what Derrick and Erica’s decision was all about. This decision was about THEM. Him and her and their crazy love for each other. No RSVPs, no big ceremony, no timeline, no cake cutting, no worrying about guests lists or table settings… Just the two of them in an awesome, personal, ceremony that THEY wanted. It was the two of them, Derrick’s brother Trevor, the officiant, and myself. 5 of us. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of. They got married at the fabulously cool Rochester Brewery with amazing light and good beer. this day was a perfect representation of them and who they are together as a couple.
I showed up to their house Saturday morning to find Derrick with a cup of coffee and Erica with a mimosa while she got her make up done. Relaxed and happy as could be. The vibe and atmosphere in their home was bright and uplifting and filled with excitement. STRESS FREE. They couldn’t have been happier with the choice they made. When it was time to head to the brewery for the ceremony, I smiled to myself in my car as I could see her hair and headpiece through the rear window of their truck. I thought to myself… I am following behind my bride and groom, in a red Chevy Silverado, on our way to a brewery, to capture them elope…this is too cool! It was a true “F*CK IT!” moment for them. If I had better words I’d use them… but thats the truth 😉
Here is a look into Derrick and Erica’s PERFECT day.
Derrick and Erica have two Australian Shepherds that are everything to them. Not only were these dogs gorgeous and awesome to photograph, but they had the most amazing personalities! It would have been impossible to tell their story without including them. I immediately fell in love with them and now…. I HAVE TO HAVE ONE.. Thanks alot, guys. 😉
As a photographer, this was my first time having the honor of capturing a groom help his own bride get ready. I witnessed Derrick gently zip his future wife into her wedding gown, help her put on her jewelry, and hold her dress on the way out to the car. It was incredible to watch and I found myself getting emotional behind my camera at multiple times during this day. these moments are some of which I will never forget.
As I stood behind the bar to photograph them sign their marriage license, the officiant looked up at me and informed me that I would have to sign as witness. “WHAT??” was my reaction, ha! ….Derrick then looked at me and said, “What, Erica didn’t tell you?”. It was such a funny and crazy moment for me! I had already felt like I had become so close and connected to this couple throughout this experience that this was the topper on the non-existent wedding cake 😉 This was yet another first for me! Never had I been involved in a wedding ceremony so intimate that it required the photographer to sign as a witness. SO COOL!
Then it was time to tell the family the big surprise….
Erica and Derrick – I cannot even begin to find the words to express how lucky I feel to have been a part of this day. To be the photographer that you chose trusted to capture these unbelievable moments in your lives is extremely humbling. I love you both and will never forget this experience. I know you will have a perfect life together and I look forward to our growing friendship! You are bold, courageous, down to earth, and a joy to know and I wish you all the happiness in the world. So much LOVE!
detroit michigan wedding photographer, michigan elopement photography, michigan weddings, intimage wedding photographer, elopement photography, high end michigan wedding photographer, restaurant wedding, rochester brewery wedding