I'm a published wedding and portrait photographer located in a small town outside of Charlottesville. In addition to capturing beautiful images, I love spending time with my family, am freakishly good at word games (Hey Wheelmobile!), love an ice cold can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, know every line to Hocus Pocus and can never pass up a Chick-fil-A waffle fry or a trip to HomeGoods.
The current COVID-19 pandemic may have halted some large scale celebrations, but it hasn’t cancelled love as evidenced by Rachel and John’s backyard Richmond elopement. July 25 was chosen for their wedding date because it was the closest Saturday to their dating anniversary, so when regulations began changing regarding events, they chose to have a small elopement on their wedding date with a few close family members and friends and move the large celebration to 2021. Plus, now we get to celebrate their love again next August at their venue. I call that a win-win.
Rachel and John’s marriage has been a long time coming. They first met in high school through an all county chorus competition. The two were both in competitive show choirs and actually competed against each other. Spoiler alert: Rachel’s choir won. After high school, Rachel went to Radford and John went to VCU, but they continued to date and last December, John surprised Rachel after her senior recital by proposing in front of her family, including her grandmother, and his family who had traveled in for the event. Rachel said it was super thoughtful, sweet and really special having their families witness it, especially since her grandmother passed away a few months later.
And though their elopement was not what either of them had originally planned, it was beautiful. Rachel wore her Maggie Sottero gown (I love a Maggie!), John donned his suit and they said “I do” in front of a small group of their family and friends. They exchanged handwritten vows, cut a cake, had ice cream and enjoyed their day, face masks and social distancing included. Rachel also kept her grandmother with her on her wedding day by wearing her ring and incorporating her Bible into her bouquet. Their Richmond elopement was just like Rachel described their proposal, “super thoughtful, sweet and really special.”
I can’t wait to celebrate with them again next summer!
Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaid dresses: Amazon
Officiant: Gene Cornett