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I’m not telling you what to do at ALL… but if your dream is to get married in a cemetery, then I think you should get married in a cemetery :) Paige and Michael’s Elmwood Cemetery Wedding was one for the books. What was originally a big Midtown wedding morphed into a small and intimate gathering with only parents and grandparents in attendance. And I think it was the best decision. Weddings are overwhelming, am I right?

From a Big Wedding to an Intimate Cemetery Ceremony

Paige and I met for coffee back in March, and we walked through their new plan of a courthouse elopement instead of the wedding they had original planned at the Carousel Pavillon. The stress was mounting, and honestly there is ZERO wrong in changing your plans. I am so glad that these two did, because their wedding day turned out to be so gorgeous. And… even more whimsical than they could have ever hoped. So, the new plan was to run down to the courthouse (my favorite thing to do), and get it done. If you’ve never lived Memphis, then you wouldn’t know that our city government is a hot mess. And by pure happenstance, ALL of the appointments that should have been available on Paige and Michael’s date, were not. Because everyone was on vacation :)

There was some disappointment, some going back and forth on whether to just elope at the Shelby County Courthouse in the hall (which is beautiful), or on the front steps. And I remember asking Paige, if she could do anything for this elopement, what would she do? What would be ideal? “Honestly I would love to do it at Elmwood Cemetery…” So calls were made, plans were set, and here we are :)

The Lord's Chapel at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, TN.
The Lord’s Chapel at Elmwood Cemetery

Paige and Michael’s lab Morgan joined us for their engagement photos, so it was only fitting that he was here for some wedding photos as well! Paige surprised her man with the doggo right before we started portraits :) We don’t deserve dogs. They’re too good to us. His little handkerchief reads “Best Dog”, and I think this was the cutest bridal party I’ve had to date :)

The couple takes elopement portraits with their sweet black lab, while sitting on a bench at Elmwood Cemetery.

The Ceremony in The Lord’s Chapel

The chapel at Elmwood Cemetery has gorgeous light and it did not disappoint. The views are haunting, obviously, but so beautiful and serene. I loved getting to spend some time with Paige and Michael in the chapel before things got started. Anywhere there is good window light is where you can find me! We kept the lights off during the ceremony, because it was already so well lit inside. I think it made for quite dreamy ceremony photos! Paige and Michael were married by a family member, and the room was calm and intimate.

Gorgeous portraits by the piano in the chapel at Elmwood Cemetery, in Memphis.
Bride looks at her new husband during their ceremony at The Lord's Chapel in Elmwood Cemetery.

Elmwood Cemetery Wedding Portraits

I absolutely loved everything about this day. And I think my favorite part was walking through this beautiful cemetery and capturing Paige and Michael’s portraits. They are huge Wes Anderson fans, and while the original wedding plan was very much in the WA theme…I think we still hit the nail on the head with these. I double checked with the groundskeeper on what we could and could not do for photos. Out of respect, there are obvious things that people shouldn’t be doing anyway, i.e. walking on the plots, climbing on things, etc. Other than making sure no names were the focus of any photos, they allowed us to walk around and go wherever we needed to! The staff at Elmwood Cemetery is incredibly kind and helpful.

I know that photos with statues and headstones aren’t for everyone…but gosh is it a gorgeous idea. It’s like we were transported into some cool Indie film and we honestly didn’t want to leave.

Whimsical and haunting elopement portraits at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, TN.
Elopement portraits at Elmwood Cemetery.

There are so many amazing photos to choose from, so if you’re interested in seeing the whole gallery, you can view it here! If for no other reason than to inspire you to get married at a cemetery :) Paige’s sister did her hair and makeup, and Paige handmade her bouquet. Which, I’ve had to make a bouquet before and it was not easy. Floristry is a whole other level of art. BUT, it’s also an easy choice to make if you’re not dead set on someone making it for you! Costco, Kroger, Fresh Market, and lots of other local shops like Mili’s Flower Shop can help supply some gorgeous blooms. However, if you’re not in the bouquet making mindset, here’s a few florists to get you going :)

From Elmwood Cemetery to The Lucky Cowboy

Everyone loves a good speakeasy, right? Once we finished portraits and all the sweet family photos, everyone loaded up and drove 8 whole minutes to 409 S Main. In the basement level of this incredible building is the new speakeasy The Lucky Cowboy. It’s owned and operated by Chef Meredith Clinton and her catering company Black Sheep Catering, together creating an amazing atmosphere in this hidden pop-up bar. It has lots of different rooms with different themes, a changing food and drink menu, and vibes for days.

Great Gatsby Wedding photos anyone?

I loved this day so much :) And the great thing about it, is it only lasted 3 hours max for photography from start to finish. The custom package I built for them had time for every essential moment and customization is always available to intimate weddings, and then some. If you have anxiety about wedding or elopement photos, see what smaller packages are available to you! You have to be able to enjoy your day. There is no reason why you can’t capture epic wedding photos in just a few hours. No reason at all :) And if you are in need of a hype-woman for your cemetery elopement, or some other off the wall idea, I’m here for you! I will encourage you to do what YOU want, HOW you want it, and in YOUR own way. This day is about you and your partner/spouse. That’s it. No one else.

Go elope at a cemetery! Or somewhere else. Either way, I’m ready :)

A few elopement portraits from The Lucky Cowboy before you go:

Dramatic and themed elopement portraits at The Lucky Cowboy in downtown Memphis, TN.
The Lucky Cowboy at 409 S. Main, Memphis

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