This is my very first post on my new blog page and although blogging for me is quite unknown territory, and probably long overdue, I am so happy that it begins with the story of Diane & Michael’s Elopement Adventure.
Diane and Mike both come from large families. Mike’s twin brother was married at the end of last year and with Diane’s younger sister planning her wedding this coming fall, it seemed an overwhelming prospect to try and sandwich another big wedding somewhere in the middle.
Being more private people themselves, Diane and Mike also felt a certain sense of anxiety about having a big traditional wedding. And so, to avoid ‘being in the spotlight’ or ‘raining on a close family member’s wedding parade’ they very humbly, and most romantically, decided to elope.
They wanted their wedding to be an enjoyable, stress-free day; one where they could be completely present with each other.
Having both traveled extensively but neither having ever been to The Bahamas, it was definitely on the horizon, at the very least, as their next ‘beach vacation’ spot.
After much more research they discovered that The Bahamas was a well established host for destination weddings; issuing wedding licenses with little to no hassle. When they came across the kaleidoscopic, fun-natured Compass Point beach resort they fell in love with the idea of having an easy, short n’ sweet ceremony on the pier. That pier for them was picture perfect.
I arrived in the lobby at 3:45 pm to a friendly receptionist who kindly directed me towards my couples’ room. It was a warm and humid day but the breeze was forgiving. The wooden cabanas, peppered with Compass Point’s signature vibrant frenzy of colour, combined with the exquisite ocean views made for, simply put, a beautiful island setting. And so as I approached their stairs my picture story immediately began to unfold…
Mike’s Wedding Attire (and personal photo gear).
A tie he’d had for years but never actually worn, paired with a lovely linen handkerchief, which Diane picked out. Together their fun colors and patterns were made even more charming by being, at first glance, seemingly mismatched. However, the magenta coloured flowers in the hanky proved to match – fortuitously – to Diane’s bouquet.
His two cameras; a Fuji X100 and a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera.
Mike’s interest in photography began in 2005 or so, and really blossomed after taking a film class while studying abroad in Italy.
Loved that Diane and Mike used symbols to address their envelopes to one another.
Ok, one small, slightly embarrassing confession of mine; I could not figure out what the left one symbolized, lol. You know when you are staring at something and it’s so obvious that you psyche yourself out? Well definitely one of those moments for me. But please take a guess and leave in the comments section.
Mike was feeling a wee bit antsy while Diane was having her makeup done so I suggested he make a run down to the bar for some drinks. Nothing like a tasty Mojito to calm the nerves and Compass Point certainly knows how to make a good one. Cheers!
It’s always fun to randomly spot one of your husband’s original print designs when you’re not expecting it. This chair cushion features the Bahama Hand Prints, ‘Dilly’s Doodle’ Print and being the artist geek that I am, I was so excited to share my discovery with Diane & Mike and of course had to include it in the shoot.
One of my favourite parts of this shoot was Mike helping Diane put on her wedding dress. A rare encounter as brides and grooms more commonly get dressed separately, but this was indeed quite special and so sweet.
Absolutely loved this series of images of Diane giving Mike instructions about her dress needing to be placed over her head. (Coincidentally the first image just so happens to be one of Mike & Diane’s favourites too.)
It’s a bit tricky being a photographer at moments like this one, a couple sharing wedding cards to privately express themselves to one another. You just want to disappear or become a fly on the wall. The very last thing you want to do is be intrusive during this most intimate of intimate moments. Luckily the room had so many mirrors, which gave me a great opportunity to step back and capture this poignant moment.
Mike travels for work quite a bit and picked up this beautiful card for Diane while on a trip to Vietnam in October 2015, well before they even decided to elope.
Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Iacobelli
I sometimes complain that the wind is my nemesis during weddings because it’s usually the devilish culprit, responsible for disheveling brides perfectly styled hairdos or violently flinging carefully arranged tablescapes, flowers and wedding decor all over the place, but it can also be a fantastic aid and in this instance, it was, as Diane’s wedding gown simply triumphed in the breeze.
Diane’s ‘something borrowed’ happened to also be her ‘something blue’. A classic sapphire ring, which belonged to Mike’s mother. A gift from Mike’s father.
It’s not so often that a bride will part with her wedding dress but that night I had the unusual and awesome pleasure of taking Diane’s dress of her hands, as it was her wish that it remain in The Bahamas. I thought to myself, what a wonderful keepsake from such a magical photo shoot, with two amazing people. Definitely a first!
While Diane changed out of her salty, water soaked dress, Mike laid out the Polaroids he had taken throughout the shoot and after we had admired them all, he suggested we complete the role by photographing one another at the same time. Another first for me during a wedding shoot, and so much fun!
Below is a photo of the Polaroid he took of me, alongside my capture of him.
With a few minutes left, we headed back down to the pier for a few more shots. The sun had set and we were left with the most intense, electric blue, twilight sky.
The fleeting moments after sunset are some of the best moments to shoot. The sun is below the horizon, but its light is still visible because it illuminates the upper layers of the atmosphere. This is when you get the most magical of skies…and we sure did!
After only a few short hours with Diane and Mike, I can honestly say that I was truly captivated by their genuine display of love and affection for one another. Everything about them and their day was so natural, modest and relaxed, and I was the lucky duck so privileged to observe, capture and now share their story with you.
I will end by sharing a few snippets from Mike and Diane’s emails to me. The first email below is Mike’s response after I sent him a few sneak peek images the following day. The second is Diane’s response after receiving the full ensemble of images.
We just stared at these for about 20 minutes, probably more. If these 8 photos were the finished product, we would be amazed with just these. Can’t wait to see what else you captured.We love these!! We are gushing at one moment, shedding tears at others, and laughing at others. You’ve captured the day so beautifully.
Hi Dede –
I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for our beautiful wedding photos! You did such an amazing job with them. I could not be happier with how they turned out. When we set out on this little elopement adventure, the idea was for it to be inexpensive, low-key, and intimate. It was all of those things… but the one thing we decided to prioritize was a photographer. You were definitely the right pick! We had so much fun with you and we’re so happy you were a part of this special day. You made us comfortable and the whole process felt effortless and natural. It was everything we hoped for. It’s a little hard to explain… but I feel like a lot of the photos you captured are exactly how I pictured our day in my mind’s eye, or exactly how I see Mike on a daily basis.
Pure happiness ♥
Venue: Compass Point Beach Resort
Wedding Planner: Paulette Davis of Amour Affairs
Hair & Makeup: The Fabulous, Allison Knowles
Dress: Cinderella Divine …and please take a look at My Instagram Post to view an iPhone snap shot I took of it hanging in my art studio later on that very same evening
Flowers: Nassau Florists
Photography Equipment: Camera Bodies – Canon EOS 5D Mark II & Mark III / Lenses – Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro and Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L