eloped // amanda & jeff // charleston, south carolina.

my entire experience of meeting, making pictures with, and becoming friends with jeff and amanda has been indescribably wonderful. the love that they have for each other and the love they share with their friends and family is steadfast and deep. they are both kind, gentle-hearted, imaginative and wildly passionate people who couldn't be more perfect for each other. to say i like them is putting it lightly. 

amanda and i crossed paths via facebook! we have one mutual friend that posted their engagement video (they're an awesome videography team that go by dreampop media - click to check out their site!) - where i (creepily) commented that i wanted to be friends with them. then a little later, amanda saw a facebook ad for my business page that i put up and voila! we instantly connected over our love of ryan gosling, music, photography, and all things happy and love. 

i didn't meet them until i shot their engagement pictures a couple of months ago when i showed up at their house and instantly made myself at home. we had japanese food, played mario kart and just talked about our industry's up and downs. instant friendship. then i drove back down to charleston for their elopement and hung out with them for another 4 days. they must be so sick of me by now! 

anyway, we've known each-other since august and i'm so incredibly thankful for that. when amanda initially emailed me, she spoke of a wedding that would be for their families, instead of truly celebrating the two of them and their unique, passion-filled love. as time went on, those plans changed one or twice (or a thousand) times, until they stumbled upon their perfect plan to meld both tradition and their desires together. the solution? get married in a park, where they had their first date (swoon), and a couple of days later, join their family and friends in a celebration at an awesome swim club to party. amanda put it best when she snuck an elopement picture onto facebook:

"In this crazy world of social media, where everyone is constantly connected and every moment is shared instantly, there is something really wonderful about disconnecting yourselves to take in the important moments. Sharing isn't mandatory and traditions can be broken. It's so wonderful to feel like you've had a real moment to share with a single person. Eloping was the best decision we have ever made. Joyful hearts throughout this house today."

eloping is not for everyone. i completely respect the desires to appease friends and family and have them there to celebrate with you on your big day. but for jeff and amanda, it just felt right. and it felt right to me, too. there's something absolutely amazing about being a part of such an intimate ceremony with only 5 other people involved. under the tree where they had their first date. where  a breeze was blowing, light was shifting, golden and beautiful and i couldn't help but cry alongside them. watching amanda's chin quiver (which jeff loves), hearing how many deep breaths jeff had to take in order to just get through his vows (which amanda loved).. seeing the way they look at each other like there's nobody else in the room... it was absolutely priceless. 

if anything, our time together has reinforced why i do what i do and why i'm so intentional about it. so i owe YOU two a huge thank you for reminding me of that. you have reminded me that it's possible to be truly happy, without expectation. 

and thank you to their friends: chris, austin, melissa, ben jack- you guys were so awesome and accepting and i can't thank you enough for letting me be a part of your awesome family for a couple of days. 

so without further ado, enjoy jeff & amanda's first part of their elopement!