Coronavirus Elopement Photos
Elizabeth & Steve
Private Residence, Fall River, Massachusetts
May 16th, 2020
As a man who has been married for nearly a decade, I can tell you with absolute certainty that one of the biggest keys to a successful partnership is the ability to turn to each other in the good times and bad.
This year, couples throughout New England have found that out the hard way as the coronavirus pandemic has effectively shut down the entire wedding industry. And with no end in sight, it could be a LONG time before "normal life" returns enough to allow the big events that most bride and grooms have waited their entire lives for.
That's why I'm so inspired by couples like Elizabeth and Steve, a pair so positive in their love for one another that they wouldn't let a worldwide crisis stop them from finding a way to celebrate what was scheduled to be their big day.
When these two asked me to come document their small, socially-distant elopement in front of just a couple of their closest family members (and a Zoom room full of virtual guests), I was honored and thrilled to do so.
Sure, they might not have been able to have the huge bash with their friends and family they were originally planning — that's on hold until November — but that doesn't mean they couldn't become husband and wife.
Pandemic or no pandemic, nothing stops a good love story. And these two certainly have one.
My coverage of Elizabeth and Steve's elopement began a few minutes before the bride walked down the stairs and down the aisle. I noticed right away how much these couples had thought out their makeshift wedding day by the way they made sure to have a tent up so they wouldn't be stuck in the sun, masks on and plenty of hand sanitizer available for the couple people lucky enough to be in attendance.
More importantly, I was struck by how normal this all felt.
I've shot a couple of elopements and, generally, they are much less stress than your typical wedding day. For Elizabeth and Steve, this meant almost no nerves and an air of excitement that was refreshing for me to see. As someone whose life has been upended by this viral shutdown, it was like seeing the sun shine after nothing but rain for longer than you can remember.
And speaking of shining, Elizabeth did just that in her beautiful wedding dress. Even with a mask on for everyone's safety, she had the glow of a happy bride and it was a delight to see her have her moment as she headed toward her soon-to-be husband.
Elizabeth and Steve wanted their elopement to feel as special and connected as it could and even though they couldn't physically celebrate with the people they wanted to, it was easy to tell they were loved and thought of as the bride and groom set up not one but two cameras to live-stream their ceremony to the special people in their lives.
As for the ceremony itself, no mask in the world could have hidden how excited and in the moment these two were. I loved documenting this special life event for this bride and groom and could see how much it meant to them as they held hands and exchanged rings.
Elizabeth and Steve said "I do" on a beautiful spring afternoon and weren't even halfway down the aisle before they wanted to turn back and say hello to their friends and family members tuning in virtually.
It was a beautiful reminder that even in times of an uncertainty, you can find a way to stay connected to those who matter to you most.
The look of genuine excitement on Elizabeth's face when she saw everyone who was tuned in was such a sweet and touching moment and one of my favorite photos of the entire event.
Following their ceremony, I asked Elizabeth and Steve to take just a couple of formal photos to remember this moment and I'm glad they did. These two were a pleasure to work with and though we didn't have much (really, any) space to work with, I think we made the most of our time together and captured some great couple photos that they can look back on and cherish for the rest of their lives.
By the time I got ready to leave Elizabeth and Steve's elopement and head home, I realized I had spent less than 50 minutes in all with the pair. It's amazing how much you can capture in that short an amount of time when the moment means as much as this one did to this bride and groom.
As I left the newlyweds, I was struck by how amazing this entire situation really was.
Was I disappointed Elizabeth and Steve couldn't have the wedding of their dreams on the day they always planned? Absolutely. But, much like the couple, I like to look for silver linings and there were plenty to be had this day, a day in which LOVE absolutely shined brightest.
So, thank you Elizabeth and Steve for including me on this unexpected but still amazing journey. I can't wait until November when you finally get the big party and celebration you deserve but, for now, I'm happy you were able to learn the biggest lesson marriage has to offer: That sometimes life may knock you down but, if you find the right person to have by your side, you're never too far away from getting lifted back up.
And, global crisis or not, that's a message worth holding onto.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
December 6th, 2019
Captain Daniel Packer Inne,
November 16th, 2019