Blaire + Griffin // Daytona Beach Shores Elopement

Blaire and Griffin not only allowed me to capture their stunning elopement in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida but also share their story. Blaire is actually my first cousin and even though we lived on opposite sides of the country our entire life I always felt connected to her. Her genuine and kind personality always made it easy to reconnect with her every time we got the chance to see each-other. I even made her my maid of honor at my wedding! Well enough about me and Blaire lets talk about Blaire and Griffin. Blaire met Griffin in college many years ago and they dated for quite some time. At that time Griffin was in ROTC and was planning to join the army while Blaire was studying PR and planning on working in New York City one day. Once they graduated school Griffin was sent to Oklahoma and Blaire got a job working at Columbia university. For years they went through a long distance relationship which was new ground for them because dating throughout college meant they were always together. My heart went out to Blaire as I saw her miss him every time they were apart and we would talk about how difficult it was to see him only every few months or so. They were constantly trying to work out when would be the best time to get married. Life and situations kept delaying what they desired so badly, to be husband and wife. Finally they saw an opening in their lives, Griffin was going to be deployed to south Korea and they decided that when he returned and after he went through officer training school they would get married. Blaire planned on leaving her job and would go with Griffin wherever the military would take him. The plan seemed perfect and I was so excited for both of them! But like most things in life not everything goes according to plan. After Griffin finished his training school at the top of his class he found out that he would be deployed to none other than Guantanamo Bay. Now you may ask well that's okay why can't Blaire go with Griffin to Guantanamo? Well the thing about Guantanamo is that it is technically a Navy base and they don't allow the men that are in the army to bring their families there. The news crushed Blaire and Griffin and their glimmer of hope to get married was snuffed out once again. All the years of waiting and anticipation for a new life together was torn down in only an instant. My heart broke for Blaire and I knew this news was nothing what she expected. Around this same time period Blaire found out even sadder news, her mother (my aunt) had been diagnosed with colon cancer. The words from the doctors did not seem promising and as a family we were all shocked. Blaire is the strongest, funniest, most empathetic woman I know and it was devastating to see her and her family have to be given this news. Blaire and Griffin knew that their time had run out and that even if that meant spending their first year apart they needed to get married as soon as possible. So with no time to loose and their parents at their sides Blaire and Griffin went to a local court house in Maryland and got married. No fancy ceremony, no giant reception, no expensive wedding dress they just did it and it was beautiful. Sometimes it's the most simple weddings that have the most heart and the most meaning. Even through the madness and unpredictability of life they still walked down the isle and chose each-other. A few days later we would be meeting in Daytona Beach to celebrate her older brothers marriage which he had also worked hard to have sooner than later. Because we were all together for a few days prior to her brothers wedding we decided to give these two the photos and memories that they could hold onto forever. I spent the day doing Blaire's hair and makeup and brought a second hand dress that I had found online. I contacted a local florist who donated a bouquet and boutonnière for this shoot and they did such a beautiful job! We decided to do a first look with these two and it was so special and sweet it was hard to keep the tears back. Capturing their love which had withstood the test of time and tribulation was such an incredible honor. See below for a touching elopement shoot for a couple who truly deserves the world. 

Florals: Fern & Curl Designs

Dress: Mon Amie Bridal Salon 

Suit: Jos A Bank