I have waited a LONG time to write this post and share these photos from Amy and Kyle’s secret Detroit elopement. Looking back at these photos, I was overwhelmed with emotions, not only around the love they share, but the growing importance and emotional value these photos created as their story can finally be fully told.
Like so many other couples, Amy and Kyle’s wedding plans were affected by Covid. Who knew when the reached out to me at the end of 2019 to discuss their 2020 New Year’s Eve wedding, that the world had other plans? As their wedding date approached, we found ourselves grappling with an uncertain reality and future, not knowing if there was a new “normal” in life. Amy and Kyle decided to postpone their wedding, wanting a full celebration with family and friends. Hearing the news was a disappointment, both for them and for the business. However, Amy was determined to have a New Year’s Eve wedding. When she asked if I could move her date to 2021, it pained me to let her know that I was already booked for 2021. “No worries, we will just do it in 2022!” she told me. Is she serious? I thought. Does she really want to wait that long? “You are our photographer!” She enthusiastically told me. I was floored and honored.
A few weeks later, Amy and Kyle reached out to me again.
“So New Year’s Eve 2020 is still ours right?” She asked. Yeah, I don’t have anything else booked. “Great! We will still need you. Kyle and I are going to have a secret elopement!” she exclaimed.
I don’t even have the words to explain how special this was to me. To us. As photographers and as people.
The day Becky and I got engaged, we visited her aunt who was also in northern Michigan at the time. She asked what our wedding was going to be like. Mind you, we were engaged for a total of 5 hours at this time. I responded, “I don’t know, maybe 20 people, a nice meal, a good photographer, and we will see everyone else at Christmas.” That didn’t go over too well.
Despite my career consisting of large and luxurious weddings, Becky and I are pretty simple people who appreciate simple things. Our relationship has humble beginnings with years of everyday hopes and dreams of a more stable tomorrow. Dinner dates were Costco food court. No joke. However, the one thing that never wavered was our ability to be happy with practically nothing. Simple and small beginnings.
Fast forward to Amy and Kyle’s Detroit elopement, holding hands in a hotel room, surrounded by four people – two photographers and two friends – they committed their lives to each other. Simple and small beginnings.
I found myself wiping away tears in between the clicks of my shutter. Their decision to marry each other without all of the pomp and circumstance, without all the glitz and the glamour (although Amy did look stunning), was so moving. It was a testament to their love and all they truly needed in life – each other.
As I look back on these photos over two years later, they take on an even deeper meaning. Their secret Detroit elopement was fun. It was truly a day all about Amy and Kyle. But the images go beyond being something just pretty. They are a representation of their vows – through good times and in bad – through pandemic and postponed weddings…through new jobs, new dogs, and new homes…through everything…they chose each other.
Amy and Kyle held their Detroit elopement and later wedding ceremony and reception at Shinola Hotel. During their Detroit elopement, they visited some of Detroit’s most iconic landmarks – Parker’s Alley, Detroit Opera House Rooftop, Fischer Building, Cadillac Place Apartments, and the DIA (Detroit Institute of Art).