The Offbeat Bride: Sammye, Photographer

Her offbeat partner: Ashton, Photographer

Date and location of wedding: Bride's parents' gazebo in Southern Ohio — July 26, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When we first started planning our wedding, over a year before it actually happened, we expected to have a huge barn wedding. A year later, we had our son Oliver and we kind of lost the desire for big, drawn-out spectacles. So one weekend in June we hashed out all the details. Almost everything was made by us, or by family, and really fast. We slowly accumulated everything, a shirt here, a skirt there; until eventually we had everything.




Ashton's second cousin was our officiant and his wife held our baby. It was perfect because it was all so spontaneous, almost everything was borrowed or DIYed. It was short, sweet, and intimate. We are two very anxious individuals (I almost fainted when I graduated college just because I had to get my diploma in front of everyone), and this ceremony was so small and personal, it was more casual than a family dinner! Ashton and I set up a camera prior to the ceremony and had it take a photograph every two seconds, so that we could still take our own photos, but also still be genuine. We didn't have a reception or anything else, just a regular dinner like any other night, we just happened to be married.


Tell us about the ceremony:
We had a very small and quick ceremony. Our officiant is the pastor of a local church so I told him he could include any passages or prayers he wished, being that none of us catered to any sort of faith. Jimmy, the officiant, is Ashton's second cousin and has known him since he was born, so the wedding was very emotional for him. He had to stop a couple times to breath and wipe away tears, because he was so happy to be a part of it. I was so thankful to have someone so emotionally invested in our marriage, it meant a lot to know we were surrounded by so many caring relatives.

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Our biggest challenge:
GETTING EVERYONE TOGETHER! You would think with such an intimate setting that establishing a day to get everyone together would have been the easiest part. No such luck. It took a few weeks to finally get everyone to agree to the same month. I finally said, it's on a Saturday between the hours of four and six, and it's in the front yard. They showed up, so I guess I got the point across.

My favorite moment:
There were a couple things that were especially emotional for me. Neither one of my parents could be there. My father is constantly working and lives in Florida, and my mother passed away August of 2012. So I tried to make them, especially my mother, as much part of the ceremony as I could. The applique on my skirt is one my mom sewed onto a shirt of mine when I was young. When the shirt began to fall apart, I took the applique off and saved it for whenever I thought to put it on something else. My wedding skirt came to me plain and beige, and the blush color seemed so perfect on it, so it became the inspiration for a lot of the wedding, including the pearl in my ring.

Ashton also included my mom in his vows (which we exchanged before the ceremony, just because we knew we would get too nervous to say them in front of anyone), which broke my heart, but in the best way. It was in that moment that I knew everything with him, our lives, and that day were perfect.


My funniest moment:
Everyone knows that when children and animals are present, things can go awry. Oliver (our son) decided during the last half of the ceremony to just start yelling. Not as if he were hurt or upset, but just because he knew how. It is a good thing there were no recordings because all you would have heard were his yells over all the dialogue. But it was wonderful and we were happy to hear our baby having so much to say about the event.


And of course one of our dogs, Milly, insisted on walking around in the pictures and trying to encourage a game of fetch.


What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I learned that some guests take wedding invitations very seriously. Because it was so hard to get the few of us to get together for the wedding, we decided early on not to invite the rest of the family. Not because we didn't want them there, but because we wanted something very intimate, but Ashton has a very large family. After telling them the news, a lot of people were upset they were not invited, which I expected. I suppose I learned that you cannot please everyone, and weddings aren't any different.


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Comments on Sammye & Ashton’s Southern eclectic waterfront elopement

  1. So beautiful. Everything a wedding should be. The love and joy just shines from these photos!

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