The last month of summer marks mine and Gracie’s traditional flurry of quick and fun photo shoots before she leaves town again for college. This time, we ran down to Snoqualmie Falls, jumped the fence (easy), shot down in the water, climbed back up the boardwalk (HARD), and laughed at all of the tourists gawking at us struggling to hoist ourselves over the lookout point. It was humiliating and hilarious. These photos were worth it a thousand times over! 

Courtney & Marisa | Washington DC Elopement

This elopement was featured on Offbeat Bride

Some thoughts from Courtney & Marisa on their incredible wedding day: 

“We decided to elope on April Fool’s Day so that it would be a total surprise to our friends and family members back home. When we changed our relationship status on Facebook to married, many people thought we were kidding which is exactly what we were hoping for.

We brought along two guests: our best friend, Amanda, and our rescue pup, Luna. And since we couldn’t bring our two cats on this adventure, I had their faces painted on my shoes. It was just enough to feel surrounded with support, without feeling overwhelmed.

The ceremony was held in the D.C. War Memorial which is a beautiful, marble dome with columns all around it. It’s tucked away on the side of the National Mall so it’s a little more private than some of the other monuments. We wrote the ceremony ourselves and tried to keep equality in mind. We weren’t interested in the traditional messages of honor and obey so the wording of our declarations were as follows:

Courtney, do you take Marisa to be the wife of your days, the companion of your heart and the friend of your life? To stand united in the face of adversity and bask together in the light of good fortune? With these words spoken, and all those as yet unspoken, do you wish to marry Courtney and join your life with hers?

The ring exchange, ’I marry you with this ring, with my heart, and with all the syllables of my soul,’ were carefully chosen to reflect our personal values. For our reading, we chose the poem “A Mouthful of Forevers” by Clementine von Radics, and we wrote our own vows. I was barely two sentences into mine before Marisa started tearing up and she actually had to stop in the middle of hers because she was overcome with emotion. That was probably my favorite moment of the day just because of how raw it was. The ceremony ended with the closing phrase from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion on last year’s marriage equality decision: “it is so ordered” which was very meaningful to us.

The weather was unexpectedly warm and we did a lot of walking around, so after the ceremony and pictures, we decided to head over to District Taco for some food. It was nice just to hang out for a bit instead of rushing all over the place.

After we had a chance to eat and rest our legs a little, we headed over to Fatty’s Tattoo Shop. The shop was very accommodating and made sure we were in a big enough room to fit all of the extra people and camera equipment. We each got the phrase “i do.” tattooed on our ribs which was inspired by the show Whitney. We had held on to the idea for years, thinking it would be difficult to put into action, but by eloping we were able to fit it in.

We had an amazing dinner later on in the night at Founding Farmers, which is a restaurant that specializes in farm-to-table comfort food. After a long day, getting a plate of chicken and waffles with macaroni and cheese is exactly what I needed.

Our cake got a little banged up on the six-hour drive from our home in Connecticut, but it had a topper that said “surprise!” on it so the waiter assumed it was for a birthday and put candles in it. We blew them out and it was hilarious.” 

What an incredible privilege to be part of Courtney & Marisa’s day. 

Using Format