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On cigars & champagne

For years I have thought that the most romantic way to herald in a newly legalized love union was to run off together, go somewhere totally private and separate from the world and elope. Just the two of you. Something totally yours. Preferably by a waterfall in the moonlight.

A man and woman wearing matching T-shirts that say “bride” and “groom” stand in autumnal foliage in German Village after eloping. They hold cigars and champagne.
Columbus, Ohio: Destination for Elopments

So, it was absolutely perfect when Jennifer and Stephen reached out to me to celebrate their nuptials - the beautiful couple resides in Michigan, but were traveling down to Columbus to wed, inviting me to tag along to celebrate & commemorate their love.

Jennifer was INSPIRED. I have yet to work with a client with ideas flowing from their every message quite like her. She is so special and one of a kind. I actually instated a new system to store information about upcoming photoshoots because of all her fabulous plans, which has allowed me the pleasure of really getting into the groove before a session, familiarizing myself in the concepts shared with me. It has made a world of difference. What I really want to bring into my sessions is more connection.

You could say it felt like we clicked.

She was generous enough to share information with me about some of the things that were special and unique to them as a couple. We lost the light before we could film them sharing Roseanne inspired wedding vows, but what a treat it was planning for that!

On that note, we had many other plans, but one of the most important was her desire for a photo holding champagne and smoking a cigar, celebrating their elopement in true rock star fashion. It was a must have.

That’s why, when they got a bit turned around on their way to the shoot while trying to purchase the props, getting into a bit of a wild goose chase during rush hour traffic, I could FEEL the defeat and heartbreak when she told me they were running late and she was ready to call it a loss. I’d sent them directions to a Kroger nearby, but because they were from out of state they didn’t realize they could purchase alcohol and tobacco in a grocery store. Jennifer told me that it was okay and we would just carry on.

There was a moment I debated internally while waiting for them to arrive. Do I throw out the schedule and say to heck with it?

Well, that’s exactly what went down.

In what was the craziest photoshoot story I have ever undertaken, I loaded them up in my car (which was full of pumpkins and glitter fedoras for a Halloween party) and we all drove over to grab what we needed to make her dreams a reality. Thankfully they trusted me enough to get in a car full of gourds and glitter, with a complete stranger, to complete this kooky errand.

We got what we needed and went on to shoot, and it was magic. There was more craziness, too, of course. Jennifer had also purchased some biodegradable confetti guns to use in the photos, but during the mad champagne dash they had been forgotten in the car. To save the day, I very politely asked two adorable kids and their parents on a walk nearby to throw leaves on the happy couple. We got the shot.

Magic was made that day.

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