I often have a hard time finding a place to begin with my blog posts about weddings but I’m finding that difficulty to be tenfold with this elopement. Where do you begin with an experience that was so meaningful, a couple that has become your true friends, and a location this magnificent?! It won’t be easy, but let’s try.
Justine and Dylan reached out to me last year about shooting their engagement session and a reception back home in St Louis. Oddly enough, they live about 10 minutes from Eric and I. If I have a couple who reaches out about doing an engagement session, I almost always ask if they’ve found a wedding photographer! I remember Justine saying that they didn’t need a wedding photographer because they were eloping in Greece, but they’d love to talk to me more about photographing their rehearsal. I tried to pick my jaw off the ground just thinking about how incredible of an experience photographing a Grecian elopement would be. After taking a few minutes to breathe and collect my thoughts, I got back to Justine and told her while she wasn’t interested in a wedding photographer at the moment, I’d love to offer her a custom collection that included international elopement coverage. After I sent the proposal, I had to keep myself grounded and prepared for disappointment, but I think I screamed at a frighting volume after I got off the phone with them when they decided to book us after feeling a connection to our work. None of us had ever been to Greece before so we couldn’t have been more excited for this opportunity!
Eric and I fell in love with these two during their engagement session. They share a similar love for red wine so we hiked around with our cabernet while trying not to talk about how excited we all were for our upcoming adventure together. As soon as we landed on Santorini island, I fell head over heels in love. It’s the only place on this earth I’ve been to that truly didn’t feel real. I’d look out at the view and thought I must’ve been trapped in an oil painting. After taking a few days to scout for locations, we headed over to Justine and Dylan’s private residence to start their day of celebration.
I cried throughout the entire ceremony. It was just the two of them on their balcony overlooking the Aegean see reading their promises to love one another forever. I couldn’t believe how blessed I was that they chose us to be a part of this adventure with them. I’m still pinching myself looking at these photos. After the ceremony, we headed into Oia to take some photos around the city. You might not be able to tell from the gallery, but it was HOT. Like really hot. The sun was far more intense than we were used to and all that white is beautiful but reflects something mad! But we were all high on the energy of the day so none of us minded. After a stop at our favorite local gyro spot, we headed to the beach for some sunset photos. It had cooled off by this time and we all got barefoot as we strolled along the black beaches of the island. We still had a bit of light left so we decided to drive over to a cliffside view to end the night. One of my favorite moments of the day was when we were about to do a champagne toast and the cork spontaneously popped before we were set up for the shot. Justine and Dylan’s faces says it all. They were amazing how I was able to capture that moment and to this day I think it was my best ready-for-anything moment as a photographer! The next morning, we did a few snuggle photos for their morning after session. It was so great to see them again and soak up all the time we could documenting them in such a beautiful location!
After we retuned from Greece (Eric practically had to carry me to the airport), Justine and Dylan had a celebration with family and friends back home in St Louis. I got goosebumps seeing our framed photos all over the reception venue! It was an incredible time and such a great way to involve their family and friends in their celebration. Justine and Dylan hold such a special place in our hearts and we’re so grateful to have them as friends so close by! Here’s some of my favorite moments from our adventure together in Santorini, Greece.