A New Years Eve Elopement at the boutique downtown Charleston hotel, The Emeline.
This whole experience was extremely challenging for me but also really pushed me creatively. It was so different than any other kind of wedding or portrait session I've ever done. Not only because it was an indoor wedding, when I normally stick to outdoors, but it was also at night. Soooo indoors at night equals a lot of darkness for someone who works primarily with natural light, but I knew this was a challenge I wanted to tackle.
When Joy first reached out to me, she told me from the beginning that this was going to be an untraditional elopement. So of course, I was in. I'm all about embracing the nontraditional. She was pretty clear on the look she was going for, which was moody Christmas glam. Because the ceremony was going to be on New Years Eve, we were banking on some Christmas lights still being up or at least a few Christmas decorations (and there were... kinda).
Originally, Joy and Jon, were meant to be getting married during an intimate ceremony at an event that The Emeline was having, the theme was The Great Gatsby. So I was suppose to be meeting them at the hotel, take photos of the first look, letter exchange, friends and family photos (the few that were invited) and bride/groom portraits. Then we'd be heading over to a pub, where I would take a few more photos and that would be it. They didn't want me to stay for the actually ceremony since it would be happening around midnight at the big event. Plus, it would be just a quick vow exchange done by their friend I got ordained.
Well, like everything these days, plans needed to be adjusted due to Covid.
The event ended up getting canceled a few days prior, which sent the whole wedding party into a bit of a scramble since that was the backdrop of the ceremony. Thankfully, it all worked out. The Emeline staff were able to hook the group up with a semi-private room in their cozy restaurant and bar area near the courtyard, which is extremely beautiful. We still were able to do all of our portraits, just mainly inside the hotel and lobby area.
Joy and Jon, along with their whole wedding party were so much fun. That's why I think I love elopements so much, I mean of course there are stressors for every kind of wedding, but elopements generally feel more relaxed. Especially, when you have a group of people who enthusiastically love each other and are determined to have a good time.
The sequin gowns the women wore to the charming details of the hotel, made the night so unique. The hotel itself is perfect for portraits, thank God. Since I was shooting so out of my comfort zone, it was helpful to have the backdrop of such a rich setting.
I think it's important to challenge yourself to new things on occasion. Just as long as you pick something that feels right to branch out on. From the beginning, I could see the vision Joy wanted and it made me excited and willing to accept something this new for me.