Romantic Lake Eola Elopement

If this Lake Eola elopement doesn’t make your guts flutter, I don’t know what will!

A note about the style of these photos: Kelly & Alec asked for “soft and warm” and for me to include some intentionally blurry shots and direct-flash photography. These edits are what I would call warm and dusty with some added grain. I always allow my clients to define the style they want for their photos. This is some info about that.

This wedding. This couple. THIS is why I do what I do.

Before I moved to America, I was a wedding photographer in the UK doing elite weddings, often for “old money”, regularly having my team and I flown all around Europe. These clients were so wonderful, kind, and classy. And also not used to having photo shoots every year (that’s not a very British thing to do). So they didn’t have preconceived ideas about what a photo shoot should be and they didn’t plan their weddings to be big photo ops. I was free to do my fly-on-the-wall photojournalistic thing.

couple kissing in front of the orange county courthouse in downtown orlando before their elopement

When I moved back to my home state of Florida and dipped my toe into the American wedding industry, it was zero chill. There was a huge difference between the clientele of a big wedding in Europe and one in America.

In 2018, I was hired to do my first micro wedding and it was a big lightbulb moment. THIS is where those people are! I’m talking about the most down-to-earth people who just want to be married and don’t care how many people are there to see it happen.

couple getting their marriage license at the orange county courthouse in orlando

This Lake Eola elopement was meant to be a courthouse wedding. We showed up, did a first look on the steps of the courthouse, checked in, and waited in the waiting room…the whole shebang. And then, Kelly & Alec discovered a paperwork hiccup that would prevent them from getting married that day.

family waiting for their courthouse wedding in orlando

Everyone took a deep breath and got into fix-it mode. Funny enough, their friends in attendance were clerks with Florida connections so they called in a last-minute officiant to come marry them. We didn’t yet know where this was going to happen.

couple inside an elevator with their friends at the orange county courthouse in orlando

The first shot I set up after all this was to get the group into the elevator and give them the opportunity to have a big cleansing scream as we made our way to the 23rd floor. To anyone on the floors we passed, this must have thought it sounded like the Tower of Terror.

couple with their family popping a bottle of champagne at the courthouse in downtown orlando

While waiting for the new officiant to show up, we went to the roof of the parking garage to do some high-energy family shots. This family was so playful and full of love and light for Alec & Kelly. On that note, let’s talk about those two…

Alec & Kelly are one of the most clearly-in-love couples I’ve worked with. I felt so very invested in making sure this memorable day remained remembered through photography. No matter how long it took, or if I got rained on (I did), I was going to shoot the hell out of this day for Alec & Kelly.

couple on a parking garage rooftop for their courthouse wedding in downtown orlando

“Being with Alec is the easiest thing in the world to me, I feel like I get to be my most authentic self with him and there’s never a bad day. I am excited to marry him and start our lifelong journey.” -Kelly

Kelly and Alec met while both worked at Disney. Their friends are very important to them so they say that they hired me to have photos to share the event with them when they decide to tell everyone that they tied the knot.

couple getting married in the walt disney amphitheater during their lake eola elopement

And tie the knot they did. We decided to do it at Lake Eola. Luckily we were on the bandstand side of the park because it started to storm. We spent the next hour getting them well and truly married and playing in the rain.

couple at their lake eola elopement running through the rain

“I’ve known since day one that Kelly was someone I could spend a lifetime with. I told the friend who introduced us, ‘If I ever had the chance, I would never fumble that’. She is beautiful in every way and I am so excited to be marrying her.” -Alec

couple at their lake eola elopement running through the rain

I wholeheartedly agree—Kelly is stunning and I was excited to be photographing them both. Their energy was so pure and I’m very pleased to be sharing their story with you now.

Thank you, Kelly & Alec, for having me.

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The Author & Artist

I'm Elizabeth, the photographer behind Gracie May Photography. I've been shooting since my first wedding in 2008 on a borrowed camera.

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