A little more than a year ago I photographed Ann and Kit's engagement photos in an abandoned church. This time around I had the honor of photographing their wedding day, pandemic style!
Ann and Kit have something special. They radiate love for each other, everyone in their lives, and the common good. The world is now a better place having these two join forces! I was so excited when they asked me to their photographer. Last year we sat down together and went over wedding day plans. They had the perfect venue, 100 of their nearest and dearest on their guest list, and plans for a candlelit midnight ceremony. Like most of us, 2020 has wreaked havoc on our lives and any plans that we had. With that said, their guest list dwindled down to immediate family only and then ultimately to zero guests, responsibly so. That didn't stop them from having an incredibly memorable and beautiful wedding day though.
Having arrived to the utterly gorgeous and historic Colvin House a little early, it was then that I met Sarah Jane of Pyrite Sun. She was their planner, florist, and caterer extraordinaire (She makes one hell of a feast. Especially a Coca-Cola bourbon pecan pie that is to die for!). Sarah Jane was just wrapping up a few last minute floral touches. I am still in awe of her skills. Originally, Ann and Kit planned to have their ceremony inside the mansion but given the turn of events (A freaking pandemic! Who would've thought?!) they chose to have their ceremony in the carriage house. The carriage house did not disappoint! Sarah Jane made it come to life by personalizing every inch of this space. It was absolutely stunning with candles, crystals, antiques, rugs, and floral arrangements. I wish there were scratch'n'sniff photo technology because it smelled lovely in there!
Their officiant and dear friend, Jeff, arrived shortly after and Kit shortly after that. Kit, looking handsome as ever, was wearing a dapper velvet jacket that complimented his tie nicely. He also wore a pair of red socks that had a repeating pattern of "I love U" and Ann's face as a surprise for Ann. Kit and I photographed some pre-ceremony photos until Ann arrived, glowing and just as gorgeous as ever. At that time they did a First Look in front of the mansion. They said that those photos are some of their very favorites from the day. They both kept their wedding ensembles a secret from the other until this moment. Kit stood on the front patio and Ann came to him from the front door. Their expressions were priceless when they first saw each other. Both of them have infectious smiles that could light up any room they enter. Their love and excitement to soon be wed was visible. Sure, that might sounds cheesy but it was adorable.
From there we walked back to the carriage house to start their ceremony. Even though they didn't have any guests present they had Sarah Jane incorporate cattails and bittersweets in their floral arrangements as nods to family members and had framed photos of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents on their wedding days on display. I'm sure everyone was there in spirit wishing these two a lifetime of happiness and good health. Their ceremony included a selection from bell hook's book All About Love as a reading. Her notion of a love ethic informs their marriage and worldview more broadly, and it set the tone for their vows. While they kept their vows a secret from one another beforehand, they said they were pleasantly surprised to discuss similar topics, like our shared values of empathy, collaboration, and humor. They managed to get the giggles during the short ceremony, much to Ann's chagrin, but overall it was a wonderful blend of the serious and hilarious nature of getting married. They finished off their ceremony with a celebratory dance to Monster Mash.
After their ceremony we ventured inside the mansion for a toast. They had glitter in their champagne! I mean, come on, does it get any fancier that that?! We wrapped up their elopement with some photos inside and outside the mansion and took advantage of the beautiful weather by going to the park and the beach, both conveniently located across the street. It was at this time that I had the opportunity to photograph Ann. She made a lovely bride. Her smile and her eyes lit up with happiness having just married her best friend, we wandered the mansion for some solo photos and some of her and Kit. Ann's dress was beautiful. She wore her grandmother's necklace, her sister's veil, and a custom bejeweled headband. An absolute stunner! Overall their day was exquisite and uniquely them. I wish them all the best!
The day would not be complete without finger-guns!
What Kit wore: Kit bought some crappy clothes from ASOS (one jacket arm was sewn differently than the other and a snap broke off while I was trying it on the first time), but the tailors at Uncommon Closet in Chicago fixed it all right up. They specialize in clothes for trans/gender expansive people.