Ceremony in front of their home with a DIY 'Social Distancing Please' sign posted.
I met Kristin and Jeff while I was traveling in Zambia. It was completely by chance. The owner of the lodge came to me and told me that there was another couple from the DC area and introduced us. We sat for a while and talked. They were about a quarter of the way through an amazing 9-month adventure around the world. We shared travel stories about our adventures and I continued to follow their imperfect journey on Instagram. Which were all of the truly perfect and imperfect adventures!
At the end of their 9-month journey at the very bottom of the world Jeff asked Kristin to marry him… surrounded by penguins and icebergs… Kristin of course said yes! While we only met for a short time I was really excited for them! A few months later I got an email from them asking if I was available to photograph their wedding in May 2020. Remembering them and being honored that they remembered a stranger they met along the road I wrote back to them immediately.
Like all couples in March, we realized that their May 2020 wedding may not be a reality. I received a call from their planner that their wedding would be canceled until further notice. Then about two weeks later I got a text from Kristin asking if I would be interested in photographing their front yard wedding. Something simple to celebrate their union. I told them I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
And so, on a warm Saturday at the beginning of May, Jeff and Kristin had the most beautiful wedding in front of their home.
While this quarantine hasn’t been ideal for anyone… it has brought on a sense of unity amongst neighbors. When Jeff and Kristin decided they were getting married they put out an announcement on their community page offering for people to stop by and wave or say 'hi' if they were in the area. They also asked if people had any extra flowers from their gardens they wouldn’t mind donating to help decorate the front of their house. And so, the flowers were brought…. Azaleas came by the bags and bucket fulls. Strangers from around their neighborhood had cut fresh blooms off their bushes and left them on their front stoop with bottles of champagne and cards with good wishes.
When we talked about their wedding day I asked Kristin and Jeff what they had planned. I wanted to document their day as naturally as possible. Kristin mentioned that while Jeff was decorating she and two of her neighbors were going to do a Zoom Yoga session in her neighbor's backyard. Her sister and niece and a few friends would be joining them on Zoom from Michigan.
The groom sets up the front yard ceremony arch that he and the bride would get married in at their house using the piles of donated flowers from neighbor's
As Jeff set up the arch that he and Kristin would get married in the Blue Angels flew over their house. He took the piles of donated flowers from his neighbor's and created a six-foot boundary around where the ceremony would be. When he finished getting everything ready outside he grabbed Moose and headed out for a quick run as Kristin headed to her neighbor's house to get ready.
Getting ready activities were a little different then normal. A mimosa toast with her neighbors and family in Michigan through Zoom started the getting ready festivities. Kristin’s neighbor, Kristin, offered to do her hair and make-up for the wedding. She had been watching YouTube videos all week and was pretty sure she could do it! (She did an amazing job!).
Jeff getting ready with pup Moose.
Kristin and Jeff had their first look in their neighbor's backyard. A private moment between the two of them and Moose. Where Moose was just as excited as Jeff to see Kristin for the first time. After a few private moments together Kristin and Jeff walked down the street to their front yard for their ceremony. Kristin said that was one of her favorite moments from the day.
A beautiful private ceremony took place in front of the house that Jeff and Kristin would be moving from in a few short weeks. It was where they first lived together and started their lives together. They shared their vows in front of a big beautiful tree as a close friend officiated the ceremony. While the ceremony took place, neighbors gathered in the street 6 feet away to be part of their day.
Social distancing neighbors watch their private ceremony.
The MD bride and groom invited their neighbors to share some cake and champagne after their at-home wedding ceremony
After the ceremony, Jeff and Kristin invited their neighbors to share in some delicious cake and champagne. Jeff had said that he had always wanted to shake a bottle of champagne on their wedding day and so he did!