Intimate Courthouse Garden Wedding

There is something so magical about doing things a bit differently. From getting ready together to having your wedding in a small garden at the courthouse with a handful of people. To celebrating with your pets during the day as well. This wedding by Chelsea Dawn has it all and then some.

From the Couple

What was the most important thing to you while planning?

I would say the most important thing to us was making sure our wedding was true to our love story. We didn’t want to plan outside our money means, but we also wanted something that we would actually do and feel like ourselves doing it. That’s why we got married on our anniversary (Wednesday) with just our close family / friends.

Or priorities would be photo, attire, video. Otherwise nothing fancy, just down to earth - simple - us.

How did you find your vendors?

Being in the wedding world myself I always keep tabs on vendors I would work with and it was easy to select for our wedding day based on the experience they gave me as a working professional in the industry. Plus some of them are now my really good friends. We either connected at weddings or instagram!

What creative touches did you use throughout your wedding?

We had to involve our cats, they’re our babies. Also our reptiles, and hints of Pokémon + fresh coffee from our local shop (Think Well). Everything that’s normal in our relationship, we didn’t want anything that we wouldn’t use again in our lives.

Did you forego any of the traditional aspects of weddings?

Everything traditional was NOT welcome. 😸 we got ready together, we chose our own vows, got married on a Wednesday morning at the local library’s outdoor garden. We only had 8 witnesses + the judge... and if you count the daycare next door who cheered after we signed the license. My dress was a simple off the shoulder from LuLus, and the florals were leftover from last weekends wedding that our photographer arranged for us. We took photos on the courthouse steps, too! After, went out for brunch and spent the rest of the day laughing to classic rock music

What was your favorite part of the day?

Marrying my human! Or get getting ready together and taking a moment to enjoy each other + our families taking time out to their day to be with us.

From the Photographer

How did you prepare your clients for your style of shooting and light use?

Luckily for me, both the bride and the groom are also photographers and completely understood both my style and the possibility of changing light scenarios!  I also knew Jamie and Mark would be having a more official ceremony later that week and that they just wanted to document themselves signing their license as it naturally unfolded.

What techniques did you use that were out of the norm?

The main thing that comes to mind was the family-made hype tunnel!  This is something that I love to do with wedding parties, but I love the way it turned out! Also,it wasn't so much a technique, but one thing that was pretty new to me was photographing a couple getting ready together!  It was so sweet to watch Mark help Jamie into her dress, and to see the two of them surrounded by their animals in the comfort of their home.

Do you have any advice for other photographers or vendors when it comes to weddings?

Befriend other photographers!  This industry can be isolating and lonely if you don't.  Jamie and Mark (and Jamie Orr, my second photographer on this one) are some of my very best friends.  We keep each other accountable, encourage one another, refer clients, and occasionally photograph each other's weddings.