New Jersey Elopement Photographer Styled Shoot at the First Congregational Church in Montclair


So Excited to have this featured at Wedding Chicks!! {happy dance!!}


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When Gavin and I married 5 years ago, elopements were left to Las Vegas and Church Weddings were big, and at the time, we didn’t attend a church – I thought attendance was a pre-req in getting married in one. Today – the word elope has opened up to include so much creativity and possibility and this church opens it’s arms to everyone and every type of wedding – making the word ‘elopement’ so plentiful, open and with so many options that can be oh so gorgeous in their simplicity.

This was a styled shoot, set up to show a small gathering, simple and beautiful, with a Secret Garden as our backdrop.  And first, we got really lucky with our models, Madelline and Olivier. Cause they’re actually crazy in love and insanely sweet (as in, Olivier missed the Giants play to do this with us…!). Which made photographing them so so easy. But asisde from the obviously beautifully in love couple – was the realization just how much each vendor who brought this together loves doing just what they do.

The First Congregational Church of Montclair happily opened its’ doors for our little photoshoot. With a space that could easily be the inspiration of 5,438,687 photo shoots – with a stunning cathedral, mezannie’s, arches, loads of beautiful outdoor space, we choose the interior garden to host this session. (another post with more details from this gorgeous space will soon follow).

Stephen Kris, of Stephen Kris Designs, actually custom designed the rings for this session… (wow!). I’ve been following and admiring Stephen’s work for years now, I only wish I’d been familiar with his work when Gavin and I got engaged! When Stephen said he’d not only love to participate, but that the jewelry would be custom designed, my jaw hit the floor. (you’ll see a separate post highlighting his gorgeous work shortly, as well)..

Mary Harris of Mary Harris Events, who was so integral in plotting all of this, was there the day-of ensuring it all came together, put together these amazing floral arrangements – all local, all in-season (which I adore) as well as creating the perfect stationery to compliment a Secret Garden event.

Azie Shellhorse of Verdigreen has the most adorable vintage shop. Ever. You can almost touch the love when you enter her shop, she graciously provided all the beautiful set details – from the hanging frame, to the vintage chest, the tea-set, frames and bottles.

Siobhan Morello of Stella and Dot provided the stunning and perfectly suited necklace, and was also one of the visionaries and coordinators in bringing this together. And was also behind-the-scenes in making sure all looked great the day-of. Siobhan and I spent many hours discussing, plotting, planning, daydreaming over this little shoot.

Bangz Wellness and Spa did Madelline’s gorgeous makeup and hair for the day. Tara and Joias were our stylists – and went above and beyond to ensure everything came together perfectly. Bangz is truly a must-have on the wedding checklist. Above their main salon is a private suite for the wedding party. With a window looking over the salon, the wedding party can rest in private, enjoying snacks and drinks, as they enjoy getting ready for the day!

And Le Petit Paris provided the delicate and delicious macaroons and pastries.

As for the dress, our bride is wearing a simple and elegant dress from JCrew

This photo shoot was somewhat like a ‘coming-of-age’ for me. All the truly talented vendors truly taught me that in photographing a wedding, love is everywhere – and abundant! Yes, kisses, hugs, smiles, tears and laughter are all beautiful things! but the details are also so full of love. And our little world can not possibly have to much love – so for that, I’m forever grateful that I get to spend my days trying my best to capture just that – love. 

And if it couldn’t get more exciting for us – the professional wedding blog, Wedding Chicks, chose to feature our session..! (if you follow the blog world – they’re kinda huge – {happy dance!!!}.

xo – Sarah



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