Ocean City Sunrise Elopement

A Double Surprise in Ocean City, Maryland

COVID-19 was really throwing wrenches in peoples plans! Ryan and Brandon were planning on having a barn wedding in fall of 2020, but when their venue kept pushing back when they would be allowing weddings, this laid-back couple just decided to go with the flow.

They had originally planned this little mini family vacation for a few days in Ocean City, MD. So when they knew they wouldn’t be married till next year, Ryan and Brandon decided to tie the knot while on vacation at the beach. They invited their close family to their small wedding ceremony and thankfully almost everyone was able to make it (and wake up for their sunrise ceremony)!

I was so excited when the bride, Ryan, told me that these photos would be used as a double surprise announcement. As an elopement photographer, I’ve found that it isn’t uncommon for a couple’s family and friends to not know that they’ve gotten married until photos are sent their way. But many of Brandon and Ryan’s family members and friends also didn’t know that Ryan was pregnant with the couple’s second child! The double surprise was “hey friends- we eloped! And… we’re having another baby!” To say I was stoked for this elopement would have been an understatement!

Ryan and Brandon got ready in their separate oceanfront suites at their hotel, the Monte Carlo Boardwalk. Brandon had no idea what Ryan’s dress was going to look like and the bride had no idea what the groom had decided to wear. I suggested doing a first look before their sunrise couple portraits so that they could get any nervousness out of the way before the ceremony and because right after the sun comes up is some of the most flattering light of the day. Sunrise elopements are some of my favorites because the light is a beautiful soft gold, you have the rest of the day to celebrate however you’d like, and there are far less crowds for a more intimate ceremony experience. The less people walking around your ceremony the better! But although sunrise is AMAZING, the only downside is the wakeup time. Ryan was up by at least 4:30AM because her hair and makeup artist, Clara of Velva & Co, arrived bright and early at 5.

After getting herself and her little boy all dressed and ready to go, it was time for Ryan to go see her groom. It was around 60 degrees and a bit windy for their big day, but later Ryan told me that she had been so nervous before the first look that she didn’t notice the chill at all. And once they saw each other and hugged, all the nerves washed away and only excitement was left behind.

The sunrise did NOT disappoint and we spent a few minutes taking some couple portraits before it was time to return back to the hotel to gather the family for the ceremony.

One of the things I love most about elopements is how laid back and customizable they can be. Want to be barefoot on the beach when you say your “I do’s”- do it! Want to have avoid drama and just have your closest family there? – You can! Does your idea of a perfect wedding day include breakfast after an early ceremony?- Get those pancakes! With elopements, YOU can control the timeline, and the guest list, and anything else for that matter. A day focused on your love and what matters most to you as a couple- that’s what your wedding is about!

A big congrats to Brandon + Ryan – and thanks so much for letting me join you in Ocean City to capture such a special day!

Planning your elopement? I’d love to help! Contact me.