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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Monzi

Chic Backyard & City Hall Elopement

Updated: Aug 14

Kendall & Kevin planned their intimate wedding to be natural, relaxed and stress-free. The simplicity of their day helped create a calm atmosphere with time for them to deeply connect with each other, as well as their 25 guests. ⁣

The pair met in high school (which is where I also met them) and dated on and off for a few years. They were always important people in each others lives but couldn’t quite figure out where they fit. In 2019, the timing was right for them when they both moved home after college. They started dating and have been each other’s person ever since!

"We’ve gone back-and-forth a lot about what we wanted our special day to look like. For a while we thought we would do 100 person wedding in my parents 8 acre backyard. After a while, it felt like that wasn’t right for us and we were doing it more for our families. We decided that we wanted our day to be with our most special people and a very simple, authentic ceremony and an intimate dinner (with good food) to follow."

April 14th, 2023 started on the street the Kendall grew up on, and now also the street that Kendall & Kevin call home. Their parents moved into the house across the street to downsize and Kendall & Kevin jumped on the opportunity to buy her childhood home. They are incredibly close with their families, so this couldn't be more perfect! It worked out perfectly for their elopement day too- Kevin got ready in their home and Kendall got ready in her parents' new home, right across the street.

They were both so excited while I documented each of them getting ready. Kendall surprised Kevin by sewing a photo of Kevin and his late father on the back of his tie. Kendall's mom helped her get ready and she was absolutely beaming looking at Kendall. I tear up when I look at those photos. What a special moment they were able to share together.

After they were ready, I got Kevin set up in the backyard of Kendall's parents' house for their first look. When I brought Kendall down, they both had butterflies- lots of nervous excitement! When they saw each other, everything felt complete. They had a beautiful first look in her parent's backyard, holding on to one another and grinning ear to ear. Kendall & Kevin were totally smitten with each other. We then wandered the property looking for shade to shoot in because it was nearly 90 degrees. We took some portraits around the backyard and even incorporated Kendall's parents' green vintage Mustang.

After the vintage Mustang portraits, we were all roasting because of the abnormally hot weather, so we went back inside for snacks and drinks. Kendall and Kevin said hi to family members who had arrived and then we headed back outside for some portraits with their dog at their house across the street. We then took some family portraits in the yard before heading out to City Hall!

Before their city hall ceremony, we wandered around taking photos in front of the beautiful stone buildings, all covered with blossoming trees. The 3 of us were so relaxed and having such a great time, I didn't want the day to end!

Originally, Kendall and Kevin had opted out of having me document their ceremony because they were at the limit of guests allowed for their city hall ceremony. However, given it was 4:30 on the first hot Friday of the year, the clerk said "Let's get married outside!" and I was able to document their ceremony! I cannot tell you how excited I was. Kendall's dad walked her down the 'aisle' and though their ceremony lasted maybe only 5-7 minutes, it was so so sweet. Their families all watching from the shade. Kendall and Kevin grinning ear to ear. The beautiful purple trees in the background. Their families surprised them with a bagpipe player who is a family friend. It was so simple, yet so wholesome and moving. ⁣I am so grateful I was I was able to photograph their short but emotional ceremony.

Slowing down and curating your day to feel like you is like a breath of fresh air in an industry where everyone's competing with trends. Truly my best advice is to just be yourselves. Look back at your photos and be so grateful you honored who you were in this moment of time. Trends come and go, but your love is what will stand the test of time. Dream up a day that truly represents your impermeable love.

5-star review from the couple:

"Dani is AMAZING!! Personally and professionally. My husband and I wanted our wedding to be simple, intimate and stress-free. Throughout the whole process, Dani truly cared about understanding our vision and was so thoughtful in bringing it to life. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and hype woman on our day. She made us feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. She is magic in all that she does from start to finish! I will continue to recommend her to anyone in need of breathtaking photos that capture the essence of YOU!"


Photography: Gemini Sun Creative

Venue: Poughkeepsie City Hall

Hair: Catherine Dumser

Makeup: Will Lyon

Florals: Mira Mira Florals

Dress: Jenny Yoo

Shoes: Marc Fisher & Ralph Lauren

Groom attire: Ralph Lauren

Wondering how to legally elope in New York State? Check out my blog post here!

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