When two of the coolest, most stylish people I know asked me to photograph their Louisville elopement and wedding, I just about squealed. I’ve known Jessica since we were kids, and having watched her and JR fall in love, I knew their wedding was going to be one to remember.
Enjoy this super unique, edge elopement and wedding in Louisville, KY. And if you’re planning your own Louisville wedding, holler at me!
STYLISH COURTHOUSE ELOPEMENT IN LOUISVILLE, KY
Since they met on Halloween (more on that story later), it only makes sense that Jessica and JR would make their marriage official on Halloween, too. They planned a courthouse elopement with just their parents and siblings for Friday afternoon, and then they hosted their wedding a couple days later. Both days were absolutely perfect.
On Halloween, I joined Jessica and JR for their trip to the courthouse. True to their styles, they wore possible the coolest wedding outfits I’ve ever seen. Jessica wore a leather pencil skirt and huge fur coat, and JR wore a maroon velvet vest and solid gold Nikes.
The legal ceremony was simple and quick. They signed the papers, took some sweet photos with their families, and headed outside for the edgier shots.
PAPARAZZI-STYLE ELOPEMENT PHOTOS
One of Jessica’s only requests for her wedding photos were these paparazzi-style images outside of the courthouse. Before the elopement, she sent me inspiration photos – of everyone from JFK to Kanye – and asked that we recreate them after the elopement.
I never could have anticipated what actually happened, though. As Jessica and JR walked through the courthouse to retrieve their marriage license, people started following us. Some even took pictures. I’m sure they thought Jessica and JR were a famous couple leaving some high-profile court hearing. Every time someone would stop to stare, I’d have to say, “They’re not famous! They just look like it!”
Even if they aren’t famous (yet), Jessica and JR sure looked the part. These paparazzi shots turned out so cool. I’m so glad Jessica requested them!
JESSICA & JR’S ENGAGEMENT STORY
After dropping off their marriage license and taking some photos inside the courthouse, Jessica and JR took me to their favorite wine bar, Nouvelle Bar & Bottle, for a celebratory glass. As it turns out, this was also the location of JR’s one-of-a-kind proposal!
Jessica and JR met over ten years ago at a Halloween party. JR, who was dressed as a terrifying mute clown, accidentally bumped into one of Jessica’s friends and spilled her drink everywhere. Jessica, in true Jessica fashion, chased him down. Because JR wouldn’t break character and apologize, Jessica despised him from that moment on. (Confused? Stick with me.)
Ten years later, Jessica and JR reunited. They started hanging out, spending time alone, and falling out of ‘hate’ with one another. One night, the two visited Nouvelle with a friend, who cornered them and asked if they were dating. Jessica and JR looked at each other and basically said, “Sure!”
JR bought a fancy bottle of wine, popped it open, and the two started talking about dating officially. Before the bottle was empty, JR got down on one knee and proposed. Yep, the two of them went from “I guess we’re dating” to “We’re engaged” in the same night!
As you can imagine, I was shocked when Jessica shared the news. But since seeing her and JR fall in love, helping them plan their elopement, and capturing their wedding weekend, I can honestly say these two were made for each other.
EDGY WEDDING IN LOUISVILLE, KY
Two days after their Halloween elopement, Jessica and JR hosted their wedding at Passalino’s in Louisville. Jessica swapped her black satin slip (which I just had to steal a photo of her in) for this gorgeous ballgown from Rebecca’s. She paired it with some sexy black heels, dark lipstick, and vintage Versace earrings (which were originally her grandmother’s) for an edgy, cool look. She also had the gold Versace crest added to her nails for the day. Such a small detail, but it really brought the look together. Plus, I just love a bride with claws.
JR, who’s a huge sneakerhead, paired a custom suit with these gold limited-edition Nikes. He also got to show off his gold signet ring, which added yet another touch of ‘cool’ to the look. (Seriously, why don’t more grooms wear jewelry?!)
Jessica and JR had their first look in a quite corner of Passalino’s. It was super sweet and simple, and these two immediately had their hands all over each other. You could just feel how excited they were to be marrying each other.
Before the ceremony, we popped over the downtown library for some bride and groom portraits. (If you’re trying to take your own photos in the library, no promises. JR’s brother and sister-in-law are both librarians there, so we got VIP treatment.) The lobby is stunning, and the classic decor contrasted so well with Jessica and JR’s edgy look. We even took a few photos in this 90’s veil that Jessica brought along. For real, why aren’t these in style anymore?! Do you see her?!
When we finished up taking photos, we headed back to Passalino’s for the ceremony. Since they’d already gotten legally married, Jessica and JR did their ceremony their own way. There was no officiant, and instead of exchanging vows, they read each other love letters. (Brb, crying.) They exchanged rings beneath this giant, ornate clock, shared a kiss, and immediately popped some champagne. Then, it was time to celebrate!
RECEPTION AND AFTER PARTY FOR LOUISVILLE WEDDING
Instead of a traditional seated meal, Jessica and JR opted for more of a cocktail style reception. They served hors d’oeuvres, tons of champagne, and ended the night with some delicious brick oven pizza. As unique as their day was, they still kept a few wedding traditions, like the cake. Sweet Surrender delivered with this huge, gold-leafed cake that made for my favorite photo of the day: Jessica, crouched on the floor in her massive gown, chowing down on her wedding cake.
After everyone got boozed up, the dancefloor got lit. The DJ, one of Jessica and JR’s friends, was awesome, and he even donned some angel wings for the occasion (which Grandma stole by the end of the night). We danced for a few hours, and then Jessica and JR snuck back to their hotel room to change into more comfortable clothes.
To end the night, we all met up back at the wine bar for some more wine, a couple more photos, and a ton of laughs. I love every wedding I shoot, but I don’t think I’m wrong to say this was one of my absolute favorites.
Huge thanks to all the fellow vendors who made Jessica and JR’s special day so badass:
Venue – Passalinos
Caterer – Butchertown Pizza Hall
Florals – Tiffany Collins
Dress – Rebeccas
Suit – Men’s Wearhouse
Hair – Bride
Cake – Sweet Surrender
Louisville is a city near and dear to my heart, and I absolutely love shooting wedding there. If you’re planning a Louisville wedding or elopement, let’s chat! I want to help you capture your big day.