On December 20, 2018 I had the pleasure of photographing Chelsea and Johns wedding at Gambrill State Park, Maryland. The day was cold, the sky was overcast, and everyone was filled with love and joy. Before the ceremony begun, Chelsea and John asked me to meet them along side the road, between Middletown and Myersville, to photograph their first look. The coordinates the gave me brought me to a cement run-off behind some trees, along side the road. I’ve passed this area so many times during my childhood and never thought twice about it however, this location ended up such a magical spot. Everything seemed to mesh so perfectly together- Chelsea’s palette matched her surrounding earth tones while the whiteness of her gown melted evenly with the overcasting skies. Yup, a dream come true.
John waited in the car while Chelsea placed herself, like a puzzle piece, into the streaming hill of white cement. Once in position, I ran back to start the first look with John. From the car to Chelsea, he never looked up, keeping his eyes to the ground until he stood right beside chelsea and then they made eye contact and the tears and love poured.
After enjoying the perfectness of their first look, I followed them to Gambrill State Park where their guests awaited the ceremony to begin. The ceremony was short and sweet, and I definitely cried the whole time just like everyone else. Through their vows and closeness, Chelsea and John showed us all what true love looks and feels like. It was a beautiful ceremony where I left feeling inspired by true love. Afterward, the wedding party left for Brewers Alley in Frederick, MD where Chelsea and John treated myself and my partner to a date.
Chelsea and John had a small, affordable, adventurous wedding. Not only was their love inspiring, but the way they planned is also inspiring. Weddings can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are many ways to keep costs low- for example:
Find locations that aren’t venues. Look into state parks, local parks, places along side of the road (like Chelsea and Johns first look location), family/ friends yards.
Look for gowns that are on sale or can be altered. Be creative! Any dress can be reinvented into something modern.
Keep guest count low if you are willing to do so.
Find barters/ trades. Maybe you know someone who can give you a good discount on a suit or someone to cater for you in exchange for something you can offer. People were made to trade.
Cut out some of the traditional pieces of a wedding (like a vail, or many brides maid/ grooms men, a limo, decorations)
Instead of booking a restaurant, be creative- maybe you can barter with someone to cater for you, or maybe you ask guests to bring items for a potluck.
There are so many options to think about when keeping the cost of a wedding low. Just remember that love is most important on your wedding day, not the table decorations or the price of your wedding venue. Stay true to what is important and your wedding day will be nothing but a dream come true.
Please enjoy Chelsea and John's Wedding gallery below!
First Look Location: Mt. Tabor Road, Middletown MD
Ceremony Location: Gambrill State Park, MD
Lead Photographer: Peyton Olivia Photography
Assistant: Cullen McAskill