An intimate Philadelphia Elopement is more common than you think! The pandemic brought a new trending wave for couples everywhere, especially locally in the center city, to go small instead of big. For Emily and Simon, something small and intimate was what they wanted when they chose to elope in Fairmount Park. The majority of my weddings have been either micro or elopements since COVID-19.
Since then, I think the world has gravitated towards keeping things simple. And why not? There’s no reason to continue maintaining the usual status quo of getting hitched. It doesn’t have to be large, lavish, and theatrical. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way (and I’ve done my fair share of beautiful luxury weddings, too), but there’s something extraordinary about a small elopement. It’s the joy of capturing the natural reactions easier since my time is primarily focused on documenting the overall day. The outline is less stressful, the pacing is a little more relaxed, and the photos are always more amazing because more time is spent just taking gorgeous images together. So why not keep it that simple? I know I did when I got married, so I’ll always vouch for micro-weddings and be open to a last-minute hire to capture one!
That’s what happened here for this elopement in September. Emily reached me to capture her intimate Elopement in Fairmount Park with her long-time significant other, Simon. Not one but three families surrounded Emily and Simon. Emily’s mother and father, Simon’s ‘adoptive’ family, who had hosted him while attending college, and his biological family, who still resides in Nigeria, thanks a beautiful charm tied to the bride’s bouquet. The cute charm was created with a photo of both of Simon’s parents, allowing them to be present in spirit.
Let me just say that I am short. Yes, short. I say this because these two were so tall, lol! Thankfully, I have assistants who are taller than me to capture those wider angles. Yet for Elopements, it’s just me, so I had to be super creative in getting those incredible shots while keeping up with their beautiful energy. Emily’s bubbly and vibrant personality shined throughout, while Simon’s more reserved yet charismatic charm gave the two a balance that made for incredible couple portraits.
We met at Fairmount Park under a gazebo near the Horticulture Center. Golden hour bathed the area in warm gold light that peeked through the green and yellow trees’ canopy. Not quite autumn, but just enough to give a nice contrast to the green with gold leaves floating down.
I loved the light that peaked when the couple exchanged gifts privately before the elopement. One thing about this camera of mine is that it’s the best when it comes to light leaks. I love capturing light flares whenever I can, and for this, I made sure to get as many pictures as I could. It always feels like I’m chasing the light more than the subject. Lighting is probably one of the most essential parts of my process. During sessions, I love seeing where the sunlight falls on my subject’s faces and creating a dimensional feel with contrasting shadows and lights.
Their elopement was simple, with both parents adding their parts by reading them during the ceremony. After an exchange of rings and several kisses, the two were officially united! This makes my second self-uniting wedding to date, and I got to say I like the concept. You don’t need an officiant to make it official here in Pennsylvania. All you need is you, your significant other, and a few guests if you like. Simple. A simple wedding while splurging on gorgeous photography is probably the most innovative idea you can make.
After wandering the area during golden hour, we finished their session by exploring the fountain area in Fairmount Park. We were even fortunate to see the fountain filled with water since it’s often empty! It added a classic, modern vibe to this elopement.
Thank you again for trusting me with your special day. Congratulations, Emily and Simon!