It's no secret that while I photograph a lot of large weddings, at my core I am a huge fan of elopements. They are such a unique, personal, and intimate way to celebrate the commitment of marriage that is extremely difficult, if possible at all, to replicate on a larger scale wedding day. Larger weddings and elopements are two segments of the wedding industry as a whole, but there is another, smaller segment that happens months and years down the road: Vow renewals.
Vow renewals and elopements have a lot in common, in that they are typically very deeply centered around the couple and a more intimate group of guests, if any at all. They are typically designed all around the couple, and can happen anywhere - a family home, a local park you love, or at an epic destination you've always wanted to visit together. I've been very fortunate to capture everything from weddings to elopements to vow renewals, and while they are all so special, vow renewals can be such a potent way for married couples to reiterate and elaborate on their vows.
Wondering how to decide if a destination vow renewal is right for you?
This can be such a happy medium for couples who are very interested in eloping somewhere epic, but ultimately decide to have a full wedding celebration. Deciding to have a vow renewal is a great way to create an intimate environment to share your vows, truly in any destination of your choice, without having to compromise on having a larger celebration. The typical expectation of vow renewals is to wait 5, 10, 15 years or more, but the truth is that a vow renewal can be done at any point in a marriage - even a year, a month, or a few days. I have known many couples that have their full ceremony and reception, and then share their private, custom vows with each other on their honeymoon.
When Trisha and Lucas told me that they wanted to renew their vows in one of their favorite locations in Maine, I was all in. After getting married in fall of 2021, they were finally going on their delayed honeymoon in September of 2022 up to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. They had toyed with the idea of an adventurous elopement, but ultimately decided to have a full wedding and incorporate elements of the elopement they'd dreamed of during their vow renewal.
I drove up to Boothbay Harbor to meet them, and we went to one of their favorite wildlife parks, Porter Preserve. This incredible loop was full of coastal Maine greens, moss, and wildlife. Trisha and Lucas got ready together at their car, and we trekked out to a beautiful coastal cliff for them to privately exchange their vows. From the details of their rings, their vow books, and Trisha's beautifully stitched veil, we took the time to celebrate their one year anniversary as we followed the loop around the coastal outcropping.
After our walk around Porter Preserve, we drove back to Boothbay Harbor. Trisha and Lucas had an outfit change, and we spent blue hour wandering along the walking bridge that cuts through the harbor.
Trisha and Lucas, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to photograph your vow renewal! Maine has been one of my favorite places for as long as I can remember, and it was such a pleasure to witness your joy there. I wish you many, many more years of happiness together!