When clients become friends, it is so, so special – and that is exactly what happened when I met Gretchen and Kenny. The three of us became close so quickly – which was good, because only myself and their officiant were there to witness their wedding day!
About the Couple
Gretchen and Kenny met in 2015 as camp counselors at an overnight camp. They got close quickly and fell in love while hiking the Appalachian Trail. They had a long distance relationship for a while until moving in together in Boston. Finally, Kenny proposed while hiking in Acadia National Park!
While they originally tried to plan a large wedding, COVID got in the way. They ended up choosing to do something more intimate and unique, which turned out to be more their style anyway!
Eloping at the Groton Inn
They originally had another venue in mind but ended up switching their day to take place at the Groton Inn in Groton, Massachusetts on a special day: 1-23-21! I started the day capturing their details: rings, jewelry, shoes and letters from their family, as well as some traditional getting ready shots.
Then we met outside by the fireplace for their first look! This was one of the most emotional first looks I’ve ever seen and I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two as well! We then did their ceremony inside by the fire. Their exchange of vows was so sweet and intimate! Gretchen and Kenny decided to FaceTime their relatives afterwards, which ended up being some of my favorite photos!
Finally we ended the day with a portrait session, venturing around the inn and to Gibbet Hill. It was VERY cold and windy, but these two were champs and we got to capture their love as the sun set. It was truly a perfect day!
Q&A: Elopement Advice
Q: What preconceived notions did you have about eloping that turned out to not be true?
A: Probably the biggest are that we would regret it and also miss having a big wedding. Both of these turned out to be so wrong. We don’t regret a single decision we made for our elopement weekend. It turned out to be so intimate and totally us which is what we wanted. We ended up talking at the end of the day and mentioned to each other that we got to really focus on our vows, ceremony and each other which we might not have been able to do as much at a big wedding. Plus we will still have time to have a party at some point!
Q: What was the most memorable part of your day and why?
A: We BOTH said our first look was our most memorable and then leading into the ceremony too. It felt like the morning was full of nerves and excitement and the buildup to seeing each other was crazy, and then finally we got to see each other and relax into each other. It was the best and we will always remember that.
Q: How did you incorporate family and friends into your wedding day?
A: Our parents wrote us letters to read the morning of. Then, after the ceremony we immediately Face-Timed our parents as well in our ceremony location. Around 5pm we had a virtual “champagne toast” where our family and close friends all logged onto zoom and got to see us in our outfits, our rings, and we popped a bottle of champagne with everyone. Gretchen’s dad made a wonderful toast and we got to chat with people for a bit before logging off and going to dinner.
Q: What advice do you have to other couples considering eloping?
A: First of all – DO IT! If you are considering eloping go with your gut. It is so fun and you get to spend the whole day with your spouse. Also, we think it’s worth mentioning there seems to be a trend that there is too much focus on what family, friends and others want and not what the couple wants which can be stressful. Weddings should be joyful and not full of stress.
“I cannot say enough about how amazing Nina is! Right from the start she was organized, professional and took the time to really get to know us and learn what we wanted. She really helped us organize our whole day and of course the pictures are STUNNING! Highly, highly recommend Nina for any photography venture. She is the whole package!!!”
-Gretchen and Kenny
Venue: The Groton Inn
Officiant: Stoddard Melhado
Hair + Makeup: Body Mind Spirit Salon
Florist: Lavender Florist
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Jeweler: Mon Amie Fine Jewelry
Nina Weinstein is a Massachusetts wedding photographer serving all of New England. She specializes in bold, romantic wedding photography as well as engagement, couple and anniversary sessions. She is currently booking for 2021 and 2022.