Annie & Billy eloped on a beautiful August day at the Inn at Shelburne Farms in scenic Shelburne, Vermont. Their original plans for their wedding changed dramatically due to Covid.
“Our families live on opposite coasts and our friends are scattered all over the country, so we had initially planned to have a summer wedding our families and close friends. We wanted all of the most special people in our lives to meet each other and help us to celebrate our wedding day. However, throughout the spring and early summer it became increasingly clear that – especially given that we were both working in hospital settings – we would not be able to hold our wedding as initially planned due to our concerns for the health and safety of our guests. Given this, we made the difficult decision to downsize to a micro wedding with our immediate families only. While this was a very emotional decision, we knew we had to do whatever was necessary to keep everyone safe and do our part to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
In July we were faced with another difficult decision when our initial venue experienced a devastating fire and it became clear that Vermont’s two-week quarantine would still be in place in August. We had a lot of really heartbreaking conversations around that time, because we both wanted our immediate families to be there, but ultimately decided that the safest thing would be for us to elope and (hopefully) plan a celebration at a later date. After years of cross-country moves, and graduate school, and long-distance, and working through the pandemic, it was really important to us to still find a way to get married and celebrate our love. Now our hope is that everyone will come together, follow public health guidelines, trust science, get vaccinated, and help get the world to a place where everyone can see a lot more of their families and friends in the years to come.” – Annie & Billy
Annie & Billy got ready at her childhood home, where her family decorated for their intimate wedding dinner! Annie’s brother, Ben, officiated the ceremony in the Formal Gardens at Shelburne Farms.
“My favorite moments were our first look, and reading our vows to each other. We both work in health care, and the six months before our wedding were filled with a lot of professional stress and emotion as we planned, and re-planned our wedding. Even though our year – and our wedding day – looked more different than we could have ever imagined, it was so important to us to still share those special moments and make those memories.” – Annie
“My two favorite moments of the day were our champagne toast behind the farm barn and our moment at the beach near the coach barn. At the top of the hill, behind the farm barn, the light was cast beautifully across the Champlain Valley, illuminating it is a warm glow. Our dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” was great, humbling fun given how little we have been dancing together. On the beach next to the coach barn, the sun had set, accentuating the silhouette of the Adirondack Mountains across Lack Champlain. The sky was painted in breathtaking hues of orange, pink, and blue, and the moon shone as a lonely sickle above the whisping clouds. My attention was brought from the lovely scene my lovely wife, as Julia made a simple, yet wisely significant suggestion, that we tell each other what we loved about one another. I felt a huge grin spread across my face as I told Annie all her traits that came to mind – all the reasons I wanted to marry her. She did the same, and my heart swelled with pride. Before we left, I looked out across the calm lake and felt an itch to skip a stone across it. After scratching once or twice, I took one last look across the scene, took it all in, then looked at Annie again before heading home.” – Billy
“There are two moments that I think are tied for the most emotional: the moment that we shared our first kiss as a married couple, and seeing our families – both in person and over FaceTime – after the ceremony. The first was such a joyful moment, and I felt so incredibly happy and lucky to be sharing my life with such an amazing person, with Billy. And seeing our families was as so special, and so emotional. Billy’s parents and brother unfortunately couldn’t come to our post-elopement dinner due to Vermont’s quarantine requirement, but we were able to see them via FaceTime after the ceremony, and share a virtual champagne toast. It was a bitter sweet moment because we had so badly wanted all of our loved ones to be at our wedding, but I am still so grateful that we were able to find a way to include them, even if it wasn’t as we had planned. “ – Annie
“I agree with Annie that the most emotional moment of the day was after the ceremony, when we saw our families. It was so wonderful to see the joy on Nancy and Lynn’s face, and to be able to join in an intimate celebration with them. It was bittersweet for me too, though, not being able to physically spend the evening with my parents and brothers. Nonetheless, we were able to both enjoy a lovely virtual toast with them and hold onto the promise that we might be able to celebrate all together at some point when the world allows. “ – Billy
This was a truly exceptional, romantic and beautiful elopement to document and I loved every minute!
Photographer: Julia Luckett Photography // Venue: Shelburne Farms // Florals: Firefly Flowers // Catering: Honey Road // Cake: Mirabelles Bakery // Officiant: Ben Pruitt // Make-Up Artist: Mirror Mirror // Rings: Laura Preshong Brilliant Earth // Dress: BHLDN // Shoes: Soludos // Jewelry: Etsy // Suit: JCrew
Julia, this is so beautiful, I am reliving all the months with so many challenging conversations and decisions leading up to their elopement , an intimate celebration full of love and joy at gorgeous Shelburne Farms, thank you for the words and stunning photos which so beautifully depict a memorable day.
Having a smaller wedding with the full approval of your family is not "eloping"… It’s just responsibly downsizing during the pandemic.