Children's Chapel elopement of Ashley and Josh in Rockport


Ashley and Josh held their ceremony in a tiny, open-air chapel nestled amongst trees along the Rockport coast.  The location was perfect for these two.  The Vesper Hill Children's Chapel is in Rockport, Maine and, fittingly, resides on the aptly named Chapel Road.  It sits atop a small hill, shrouded by tall, green trees.  Pretty gardens meander at the foot of the stairs that lead up to either side of the chapel.  You can tell the meandering is thoughtful though, they are cared for.  Ashely and Josh chose to elope, but with their parents (and Ashley's younger brother Alek) in attendance.  They reserved the chapel on a quiet Sunday afternoon, clouds rolling in and out, the rain holding off until just after dark when I left them.  We took a few portraits of the newlyweds just down the road at a boat launch in Rockport and in downtown Rockland.  The private ceremony was followed by an intimate dinner at nearby Primo Restaurant, capped off the simple wedding celebration Ashley and Josh welcomed.  Ashley's mother is from Australia and family still resides there.  Josh just knows too many people.  So the thought of having to narrow down a guest list didn't linger in their minds long, and they decided to elope.  There is, of course, still planning and prepping for a seven-person celebration, but just the amount that Ashley and Josh were up for handling. 

I documented the elopement of Casey and Stephanie a few months ago, and both weddings struck a cord with me.  I feel a tad more of my own physical presence at such a small ceremony.  Being one of a handful to witness the marriage first-hand is truly a privilege.  But no less meaningful than a wedding with two hundred guests.  The commitment is still just as true, the gesture just as profound, and the ceremony words just as heavy.  The tears of utter happiness, like the ones Ashley and Josh's parents' shed, are still just as salty and sincere.  The vows and kisses are still as sweet, the couple's love still as pure. 

Both Ashley and Josh's parents (Sally and Josh, and Dawn and Ray, respectively) were gushing over the newlyweds.  Prayers, well-wishes and private moments, all heard and felt by everyone there.  Alek remained the steadfast, brotherly documentarian recording these moments as motion pictures -- maybe this was his start, as a teenager, down the road to becoming a wedding videographer.  I think Sally and Dawn took liberties and pride in decorating the newlywed's car, decking it out in white toile, words of wisdom, and playful quips.  Josh's slightly dry sense of humor replied upon first sight of the car, "Oh boy, that is going straight through the car wash."  For all their subtleties about their wedding day, Ashley and Josh were going to have to throw discretion out the window with this car.  The marriage cat was now fully out of the bag.

As I left the restaurant, the rain began to drizzle.  I was thankful it had waited until then.  My drive home back to Portland allowed me to think what a great Sunday I had.  Took a little road trip in the state I love and witnessed a wedding.  Not everyone gets to say that about their weekends!

Ashley and Josh, thank you for allowing me to document your wedding day.  I loved meeting your parents and brother, and being one of a few to witness your marriage ceremony.  I hope you enjoyed your mini-moon at Migis Lodge, one of my favorite places!  And I hope to see you around town!

How they met, in Josh's words:

Ashley and I work on the same floor at the same company. I noticed her one of my first days on the job, but was far too scared to actually talk to her. A few months later we parked next to each other in the parking lot. That day I noticed she had a University of Nevada, Reno licence plate holder. One of my friends from college grew up in Reno, so I figured I had a good conversation starter. That night I stopped her (scared her) in the parking lot and asked her if she was from Reno? After she got over the intital shock and realized that I wasn't the total creep I initially appeared she gave me a ride to work a few times and we became friends and fell in love.

photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photographyceremony: Vesper Hill Children's Chapel, Rockport, Maine • officiant: Linda Ruterbories • hair/make-up: Fabu Salon, Portland • dinner, cake: Primo Restaurant, Rockland • dress: Modclothsuit: Jos. A. Bankannouncement: In or Out Media, etsy • minimoon: Migis Lodge, South Casco

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