Now that it’s April, it only seems fitting that I share Rachel and Elliott’s Swallow Falls State Park elopement from last April. 🙂 

I’ve been a little better at blogging lately…much better than I was doing even last year, hence the reason I’m sharing their elopement one year late, ha! But today is actually their one year anniversary so it’s quite perfect! These two just returned from a five-day trip to Florida WITHOUT KIDS (we both have three kids each so I totally understand the marvelousness of this 🙂 ) where it was sunny and warm, which was the COMPLETE opposite of what we experienced during their elopement last April…

In the picture above, you can see a little of what we were dealing with, weather-wise. Elliott’s suit had started to show some rain and soon we would all be SOAKED…and I’m not exaggerating. These are the driest pictures we captured that day! 

But a little bit more about how this elopement came to be…

Christine and I had just decided that we would offer wedding videography as part of JFP’s services. We had just one portfolio video and knew we needed to make more! We also knew we wanted some behind the scenes footage of us actually working and shooting together. At first we thought we might put together a styled shoot staged as a wedding…basically, we were going to fake it. But then I found myself talking to Rachel at school pick-up about she and Elliott’s recent engagement and she mentioned the idea of eloping.

My wheels started turning, I discussed with Christine and next thing we knew we were planning a secret ceremony for Rachel and Elliott on a very random April afternoon! They chose Swallow Falls State Park as their location, asked their friend Tom to be the officiant and made their bridal attire happen in the matter of a few weeks! 

I asked Rachel to share a little more about their decision to elope…

“We decided to elope after 16 years together because everyone in our lives already knew us as a committed couple that loved and took care of each other, and we didn’t feel the need to make a big spectacle of it. Everyone used to joke that we were the most married-unmarried couple they knew! So we wanted it to be something special between the two of us, re-committing to each other after 16 years, a house and three kids. Plus, making it a complete secret made the day even that much more special for Elliott and I since none of our family had any clue.”

After 16 years, they made it official in one of their favorite spots in Garrett County and we captured it all…IN THE RAIN! It rained almost the entire time we were in the forest and we were all completely soaked by the end. But what an incredible, unique and special adventure! Thanks for allowing us to be a part of it, Rachel and Elliott, and for not allowing the rain to dampen your spirits. I was so impressed by you guys that day!

Rachel asked the lovely and talented Trish of Petal Branch to make her bouquet…

After their friend and officiant Tom scoped out the Tolliver Falls area where they wanted to exchange their vows, we headed out with our umbrellas, rain boots and their paper vows covered in a Ziplock bag for protection. 🙂

Introducing the raging waters of Tolliver Falls, ha! This is as close as we could get to the falls because of the amount of water raging through because of the rain…

Note the rain drops on Tom’s suit, Elliott’s suit and Rachel’s hair. You can even see the rain drops falling in the picture!

One reason I love elopements: Even though it’s extremely intimate, there’s still opportunity for personal connection and complete laid-back attitudes towards the photog. 🙂

Favorite. 🙂

So much rain, so much mud.

YAY! Tom was just as excited as they were! Notice the bagged, yet protected vows…ha!

Favorite, favorite!

I love the bright greens that come out in the forest during the warmer season…also, the remnants of snow. #TundraofMaryland

The mist on the left is coming off Muddy Creek Falls, the “big falls” at Swallow Falls State Park. We just couldn’t escape the wetness!

I love the yellow cardigan Rachel paired with her dress!

The rain was still coming down!

Awe, you guys. 🙂

My camera was going through some major water craziness, even with Hannah standing close by with an umbrella to help protect my equipment. This was where I started to see some serious issues…notice the lack of focus and overall softness over Rachel and Elliott. But we kept moving and snapped a few more! My camera went to the shop shortly after this and was fixed! A few hundred dollars in equipment repair is always worth adventures like these, in my opinion. 🙂

Swallow Falls Vogue, in the pouring rain. 🙂

And of course a little twirl before we left the forest! 

Looking for an elopement adventure!? Garrett County and Deep Creek is your place. 🙂

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