They had just moved into their apartment and had little furniture. What might have seemed like a deficit felt appropriate, as it spoke of new beginnings.
Richa and Anthony had just moved into their apartment. Richa's family was largely overseas, there wasn't a lot of cash on hand, and eloping seemed the best solution. They got to the courthouse a bit early, had some time to kill, so wandered through the National Building Museum. The room in the courthouse where civil ceremonies are held was rather small and sterile, so absorbing a bit of the museum's grandiosity seemed a good idea.
The ceremony was brief but carried no less weight for them. I was the only witness, but I felt qualified in that role. They meandered around the courthouse grounds afterward. You wear a wedding dress once, so you want to feel it, want to be seen by strangers, and have them acknowledge that yes, this is your wedding day. Then they hailed a taxi and went to have lunch.
Sometimes weddings can be such large productions that the couple, while the center of attention, can almost feel like a small part of the overall spectacle. Elopements in many ways feel more romantic. It is the recognition of a covenant, stripped to its essentials.
Quiet moments carry as much weight with me as strong emotions at expected times. I like to keep a small presence, clicking selectively, allowing silence and space where things can happen naturally.
National Building Museum, Washington, DC wedding photography from when the couple arrived at the courthouse early
They arrived at the courthouse early, so we wandered the halls of the National Building Museum. Eloping provides the ultimate in spontaneity; aside from the time of the ceremony, there are no schedules, arrangements, and settings to coordinate in advance, no endless planning to keep 100 people happy and entertained.
The suite for civil ceremonies was tiny, with standing room for perhaps a dozen guests. I was grateful there weren't any, allowing me to move around the small space with ease.
Anthony and Richa seal the deal with the kiss.
BW image from D.C. Superior Court, Washington Wedding showing the signing of the marriage certificate and a tender kiss
A few words, a few signatures, and done.
Anthony and Richa leaving the courthouse. The rest of the day, and they, are free.
By noon, they were done. They left for lunch and the next day, for Florida.