Image of Smiling Bathing Suit Clad Guest at Ogunquit Maine Elopement Wins Award

In the summer, Ogunquit Maine is a hotbed of tourism. With beautiful beaches, shops along the coast, good food, and access to a lot of very Maine feeling atmosphere – you get people traveling far and wide to experience what we love up here. And because many people travel far, Ogunquit can be a great place to put down some temporary roots for a weekend because you don’t have to travel too far up the rocky coast for some magic.

So with a pandemic in full swing and people looking primarily to relaxation in the outdoors, I let Kate and Drew know that the weekend they wanted to elope was not only going to be busy – but one of the busiest of the year due to being the last long weekend of the summer season, they were like “no worries!”

When they told me they wanted the beach during the day in Ogunquit, I said we could most certainly do it, but we’re going to be hard-pressed to find a spot in their chosen location where we wouldn’t have tourists getting into the pictures.

And again they responded with a “that’s ok!”. So from then on, I felt I’d prepared them as much as I could and hoped they would be just as ok with it as they said…

And they were! They quite literally had no concerns whatsoever and it didn’t phase them in the least that we had a small crowd of bathing suit clad uninvited guests watching as they said their vows on the water.

As a wedding photojournalist, it is my goal to capture things as they are because – trust me – your wedding day is a whole lot of amazing all on its own and you don’t need your photographer to change and make things look different from what happens. I’m a firm believer in the beauty in the rough, finding perfection in the imperfection, and enjoying moments because life is beautiful and messy and that’s completely ok.

HOWEVER, while photographing their elopement I also did my best to not only show what the wedding was like in all of its truth (bathing suits, floaties blowing around, beach towels in the sand) but also give them some serene moments in their images too. I found that if I angled myself juuuuust right, I could crop out a great deal of the people. And if I timed things juuuuuust so, the kids in the rafts would float out of the scene and I could grab images of the two of them, their officiant and the water.

But those moments were very far and few in between so what happened for most of the time was images like this with random strangers smiling and being excited for the change of scenery for 15 minutes while they enjoyed the weather!

It was what the day was and both Kate and Drew knew that and had no qualms. They clapped and cheered with the beachgoers, they greeted the uninvited guests with smiles and they thankfully didn’t for a second feel that it was going to be anyone’s job to change what was happening since we (their immediate family, the officiant, and I) had bigger fish to fry with taking in the moment in front of us.

And to be honest? I love this image.

I love the reality, the nonchalant attitude of a couple focused only on marrying one another in a place they have great memories about, and the smile of a stranger watching two people in love exchange wedding rings.

Don’t get me wrong, we did get lots of pictures of the beauty with only them in the images too (I swear and I promise: you can verify that HERE if you go to their full wedding day blog from their Maine elopement) but these little moments? They’re treasures too.

Wedding days are unpredictable animals and once in a while things turn out exactly as you planned, but most of the time it doesn’t which makes it that much cooler. For Kate and Drew and their families joined together in the peak pandemic, they let the unplanned be part of the fun.

Thanks once again to WPJA for recognizing my work and awarding me for this image! If you’re interested, feel free to take a look at my full profile on WPJA to see the rest of my award-winning wedding images by heading HERE!

Ogunquit Maine elopement with unplanned wedding guests

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