At the end of June, the sun begins to rise on Marginal Way in Maine at about 4:30 am. At that time it’s the perfect mix of a slight chill lined with warmth, the air smells sweet, and the coast is still resting so no sounds escape the yards and homes lining the ocean – combine that together and it’s the perfect time for a Marginal Way elopement.
Helen + Christian saw my sunrise elopement from a couple of years ago when they were planning on eloping before heading across the country to a new life together on the west coast. Their large wedding plans had to be canceled due to the ever-present COVID-19 – but they were hardly phased and easily changed gears to do something that I think was perfect.
Eloping is so very underrated and I hear time and time again just how much my elopement couples ended up loving their wedding even more than they imagined. In fact, I have yet to hear any of my couples say they regret it – but I have heard regrets from time to time about the large weddings, believe it or not!
Eloping is just so personal and relaxed, so easy to plan a date and time around since you can virtually do it anywhere, and as a photographer – they are always always stunning.
So while states were closing left and right and people were being forced to quarantine when crossing state lines as well as groupings being very limited and restricted to outdoors only, we had no idea what would happen with the rules so we kept a fluid date on the calendar and talked frequently to update one another on what the latest in pandemic life was allowing for.
And I must say, I so very appreciated the trust they had in me!
They never once were bothered when I’d have not so great news about the rules and they took my suggestions and grew upon them knowing that I had their best interests in mind the whole time and would never lead them astray. I can’t say how much I appreciated that and how much it allowed for us all to be fluid with the plans which cut down on the stress for everyone! Helen + Christian (and your families) I sincerely thank you so much for your faith that I wouldn’t let you down.
The two of them had their hearts set on Marginal Way in Ogunquit Maine due to its beautiful views and the feeling of being secluded away, yet still share all of Maine’s rocky coastline glory so we kept that as our goal and hoped that everything would align for them and that we’d be able to go forward with their number one spot. Thankfully, in the end we were able to pull it off without a hitch!
Because even though I’m only about 20 minutes from Ogunquit Maine, it still requires me to cross state lines so I was very hesitant to do so without the government go ahead, but just before their day, Maine lowered the 14-day quarantine for New Hampshire residents so I was in the clear to head on up!
We all quietly met up in the dark with the ocean ricocheting off the rocks below and Christian made the trek to the beach with his parents. I waited with Helen and her family for the sun to climb closer and closer to the horizon so I could have a little light to illuminate the family, and just when that was bright enough, Helen walked down with her parents and sisters to meet Christian and to say their vows.
It was a beautiful ceremony with everyone doing their part to speak, hold the rings, and share their love for the couple. Emotions welled up at points and laughter also spilled out across the beach.
And during it all I was photographing with the sun at my back to light them up as much as possible but then I quickly saw that with the family all lined up perfectly spaced apart and all facing in towards the couple, I could run to the other side of them and photograph the brilliant oranges and reds in the sky behind them!
Helen + Christian were lightly holding hands as she read her vows and the profiles of the family show how intently they were focused on the two – I just knew this image was going to be a favorite. That image is now up on my main page header and I love it!
The families were so loving and happy for the couple and they trailed behind us as we climbed out on the rocks (Christian, you were waaaaay too much of a daredevil haha!) all with Helen rocking her high-heels and not missing a beat.
The sun was gorgeous as it began to illuminate the world for another fresh day and I kept getting excited about finding pockets of light that would shine on them just so and compliment their love story day.
We all know I LOVE elopements and I must say that sunrise ones MAY be one of my favorite types. While I’m not usually an early riser, I do love it when I do get up early. The solitude, the dew laced grass, and the slight chill are only second to my favorite time of day which is dusk. I remember enjoying sunrises a lot as a kid when we’d pull all-nighters and go for early morning walks on Lake Erie or get ready to head in from our tent in the backyard, but it’s not so often that I get to enjoy them now.
So thank you, Helen + Christian for not only inviting me out for your Marginal Way sunrise elopement, but for being so wonderful to photograph and so awesome to finally meet in person. I love these pictures of your day, and I hope you do too.
ps: I’m becoming real well versed now in Sunrise elopements and the particular things you need to pull them off perfectly – I would LOVE to do more of these so please contact me if you’re reading this and it sounds like the perfect fit for you!
Marginal Way Elopement Photography: I AM SARAH V Photography
Ceremony: Marginal Way in Ogunquit Maine
Hair + Makeup: Helen and her sisters!
Maine & New Hampshire wedding photographer, I AM SARAH V Photography, photographs events for wildly in love couples seeking an NH & Maine wedding photographer with a photojournalism & cinematic approach. You can see more of my work online at www.iamsarahv.com or on Instagram. I photograph many locations including being a sunrise Marginal Way elopement photographer and I would enjoy photographing your day too! If you’d like to contact me directly, please email me at email@example.com
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