When 2020 blew up, I don’t think any of us had any idea how it would impact weddings. Now that I think back nearly a year later, maybe that was a good thing we didn’t know. Because we’ve heard the phrase over and over, “love is not canceled,” but that doesn’t mean that having to rearrange your entire vision for your wedding is easy.
I’ve talked to and helped many of my 2020 couples make alternate arrangements, and there’s one clear theme that we’re all starting to get: the marriage is one thing, the wedding is another thing. Before, for most people, they were linked in our heads. Now, we see more clearly that it’s the love and the commitment to each other that starts it all off.
As a photographer who loves to tell a story, I’ll admit that the idea of a very small wedding with just the wedding couple was hard to imagine at first. Where’s the story if there’s no bridesmaids, groomsmen, or raucous dancing at the reception? I guess if this pandemic taught me anything, it’s that there’s ALWAYS a story.
Doing these smaller elopement weddings in Key West has really been a blessing, not only because the pandemic killed a lot of small businesses here but also because it’s forced me to dig a little deeper as a photographer to find that story within a story and show that relationship in my photos.
So, we started off Nicole and Ryan’s wedding with a first look under an old Banyan tree and then moved on to Old Town Manor’s ceremony site. Nicole and Ryan are such a delight to be around, and their love and easy laughter made our time together so much fun.
For portraits around Old Town, we skipped the touristy trappings of Duval Street and looked for pockets of good light. We strolled around the harbor area, taking in the different textures of old buildings, and then to commemorate this year of a year, did some kissed masked photos along the old Greetings From Key West Mural.
Since this is Key West, a few beach photos rounded out the day, and it felt like hanging out with friends when we were done. Love is not canceled. For Ryan and Nicole, I know the best is yet to come when they can celebrate with friends and family at a celebration to come.
Venue: Old Town Manor
Photography: Michael Freas Photography
Hair/MUA: Key West Hair and Makeup
Floral: Love in Bloom
Officiant: Key West Officiant
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