This weekend I had the honor of accompanying Allie and Isabelle to their elopement style wedding in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was just the two of them, and myself as documentarian/witness.
Allie and Isabelle spent the night before their elopement at a live reading and discussion featuring feminist superstar Roxane Gay, eating Asian street food at an underground late-night restaurant, crisis counseling, and falling asleep to their favorite meditation app. They’re those girls.
We decided to do an intimate and playful morning shoot before the elopement, focusing on the essentials of the day: two women in love, having fun and relaxing in a space that makes them happy. Letting go of the non-essentials creates something intimately magical and special about an elopement. That’s what it’s all about: a day to start a new life full of fun, adventure, and incredibly full of love.
The two let me into their world for the morning: reading, showing off their aerial yoga skills, laughing and making blueberry waffles with secret honey-syrup-butter sauce. Their space is one of laughter, loving support, and a little bit of absurdity, in all of the very best ways.
While Allie headed out to have her hair done, Isabelle grabbed some pre-wedding burritos for us and worked with a local florist to hand design and create their stunning greenery-bouquets.
The ceremony of getting ready for a wedding can often be stressful, but there is something very unique to be said about two brides getting ready together. It was an extra part of the day, filled with love and friendship in a way that can be missed in some big elaborate wedding productions. They had fun belting out their favorite tunes, sipping glasses of wine, dancing around, swapping shoes, jackets, lipstick colors and shouting from the bathroom to the hall to the living room if the other had heard a news story or read a headline that just popped up. It was awesome.
Once both women (ladies, girls, badass feminists) perfected their lipstick and eye makeup, they donned their dresses, (carefully) climbed onto the fire escape for some pre-elopement pics, and then headed down the street to make it official!
It was a short walk from their apartment in Central Square to Cambridge City Hall. Several "Congratulations" and a few deep breaths later, it was time for the big moment.
Alrighty, so.. where are the ceremony pictures? The ceremony wasn’t photographed. The girls wanted to keep that part secret and special—for just the two of them (well, and the officiant, and me doubling as their witness, ha.)
They’ve allowed me to share little bits of what they said at their ceremony here. It was beautiful, humorous, and honest.
“We’ll support each other's goals, respect each other's views and opinions, and listen. listen. listen.”
After a few celebratory photos outside city hall, we took off on a walk through the neighborhood to check in on some of their favorite sites and refresh a few memories of moments that brought them closer together.
Allie and Isabelle were treated to an impromptu first dance by a very generous gentleman performing on the flute.
“If one of us gets sick, we will always bring each other Gatorade and if one of us falls asleep in the bathroom, the other will bring them a blanket and pillow--unless they fall asleep too--then we promise to wake the other as soon as we can and tuck them in.”
And Isabelle will always cook the waffle batter Allie makes. And Allie won't laugh at Isabelle's made up words or phrases. Too hard.
Isabelle: “She respects enthusiasm, adventure, naps and Harry Potter as much as I do, and that’s all important. And we can honestly, truly tell each other anything without judgement. Even the scary, terrible sad things. Or the absurdly stupid things. We’ve got each other’s backs either way.”
Allie: “We both promised to make belly-aching laughter and unconditional emotional support our priorities, even when times are tough. We fully accept each other for who we’ve been in our past, who we are today, and who we will evolve into.”
Their reception included a quick nap and outfit change, then the two cheersed with spicy tequila drinks, hipster tofu dogs, cheese fries, and the MOST PERFECT piece of caramel pecan pie that seemed to be made of dreams.
Then they hit the dance floor for some Soul Saturday in radical feminist+femme sartorial style, drank some more tequila, and closed out the night with bagel bites, Ben and Jerry’s and a horror movie.
“I love her, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald