Small is Extraordinarily Beautiful: Colleen & Chris

Jun 2, 2008 | Weddings

This is the busiest weekend I’ve ever had, with two weddings, three boudoir sessions and an engagement shoot all in the space of one long weekend … but it started perfectly last Thursday with Colleen and Chris’ tiny yet utterly amazing wedding at Discovery Park.

I met with Colleen at 4:30 for some getting ready photos … and, well, to help her get ready! In her room at The Edgewater, I took snaps of her making the final touches to her hair and makeup and I helped her into her simple, beautiful gown.

Simple and beautiful was the theme for their wedding; with just two good friends, John and Lena, and their pastor Bill, flown up from Arizona, they had the smallest wedding that I’ve ever photographed, and they kept it perfectly simple with three locations: The Edgewater, Post Alley and Discovery Park. We headed from the hotel to Post Alley for their first look. I loved the reactions that Chis and Bill got, wandering through the market with a bunch of flowers and two smart suits … and Colleen and I got a similar response (maybe it was something to do with my new super-short haircut!)

I love how people react to brides in public places – these students made our afternoon!

After a few shots around the market, we headed west to Discovery Park. I was somewhat shocked to find out that they hadn’t actually visited the park after I’d recommended it to them as a possible location for their ceremony! But after seeing it they were glad they hadn’t – they loved the spontaneity of just showing up there, and they both seemed to be pretty blown away by its natural beauty.

I love the emotion in this photo, moments before the ceremony. They had just found the perfect spot for their vows in the middle of a meadow, overlooking the Sound.

After much cheering and jumping and the best end of ceremony kiss ever, there were bubbles!

Bubbles, followed by more bubbles, and toasts!

After some formals (not pictured) and some non-formals (the photos above) we headed back to the parking lot. John and Lena had managed to sneak off earlier and decorate the rental truck with flowers and a ‘just married’ sign – it was super cute! Then we all bundled down to the lighthouse for some final couple portraits.

After an amazing afternoon, Chis and Colleen treated us all to a wonderful dinner at the Six Seven restaurant at The Edgewater. I ate the most amazing tuna and mango ceviche, and enjoyed spending time with some very generous, welcoming and inspiring new friends. Thank you Bill, John, Lena, Colleen and Chris for including me in such an amazing and unique wedding. I look forward to our reunion, wherever and whenever that may be.

© 2008 Kate McElwee Photography

Officiant: Bill, a close friend
Ceremony Location: Discovery Park
Dinner and Getting Ready Location: The Edgewater
Her Dress: David’s Bridal
His Attire: Men’s Warehouse


  1. Such a CUTE wedding!!! Small IS beautiful. I looooove it. 🙂

  2. so lovely – you can really see their emotions.

    now you gotta post a pic of that new haircut!

  3. first person to greet me on my wedding day was kate, sporting her new cut

  4. Hahaha, sorry about that Jerphy! I think I gave you the shock of your life!
    Jenny, I keep meaning to take a self portrait and blog it, so that I stop scaring my clients when I show up for their engagement sessions and weddings looking very different 🙂

  5. Kate I never tear up at pics (I guess I am used to seeing all the love) but this one made me tear up! This is such a beautiful shoot! I ADORE (lovelovelovelovelovelove) the shot with the bubbles surrounding them in the meadow. OH MY LORDIE! The lighthouse shots are also blow-me-away-worthy…

    Post a selfie soon, I gotta see the new do!

  6. My favorite is definitely the one with them walking down the street getting applause from the crowd on the sidewalk. Great shoot!

  7. Beautiful wedding! Small can be so perfect.

    New haircuts are fun Kate!

  8. I would have loved to witness such a beautiful event…and I feel like I did just by looking at your incredible photographs. You always shoot such a wonderful variety of angles and emotions. This is one of my favorite weddings I’ve seen…both in the actual event and the pictures. : )

  9. WOW! Kate, you did an absolutely amazing job! Congrats to Colleen and Chris, you guys will now have a lifetime together to share these gorgeous shots! Just beautiful Kate, great job, and I can’t wait to see the new do!

  10. Kate,
    wow. what an amazing wedding! It’s so intimate, beautiful and full of emotion! You captured every bit of it!!! What a day to remember!!!!!

  11. Oh my gosh- I seriously just got choked up looking at these pictures. You have done such an amazing job of capturing the intimacy and emotion of their day. Just lovely.

  12. Congrats to the happy couple! What amazing pictures! They brought tears to our eyes, I feel like we were there!

  13. Bill and I are thrilled for you both. The pictures brought tears to my eyes, they were so beautiful and filled with such joy and happiness. You both so touched us at Pam and Ryan’s wedding that I am over joyed for your commitment to each other and the Lord! May you both be blessed many times over.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we look forward to your visit to Minnesota.

    Rae Ann and Bill Brown

  14. Ryan and I are so happy for you guys! The pictures are beautiful. We miss you so much and we can’t wait to see you. We love you both!

  15. Chris and Colleen, To see the love in these pictures is such a blessing! The LORD will direct and guide you, what a awesome place to pick to say those very important convenant vowes to one another before GOD. May GOD Bless you abundantly in all that you do for HIS glory! Your Sister in Christ Debbi

  16. Congratulations C&C!

    Or, should we just start calling you C-cubed? Thank you for sharing your special day with us through these beautiful pictures. Your photographer was truly amazing and these will be photos that you will treasure forever.

    We are so happy that this day finally came! It is unfathomable that you two wouldn’t be together forever. We are looking forward to our double date Saturday and look forward to hearing all of the personal soliloquies that go with these awesome pictures.

    All of our love and prayers –

    Kyle & Lace

  17. Your pictures are truly awesome! True love is a gift which God has given, where there is love, there is beauty that cannot be described, where there is love, there is God and your pictures capture the very essence of your special union with God. There is a song that goes “I have been blessed son with you in my life ~ I love my new daughter and I will always love you my son ~ care for each other be faithful to the end ~its the start of your new life as husband & wife.” I could not say it any better. Anxiously awaiting your arrival to MN.

  18. Congrats Chris & Colleen! The pictures were great (by the way, I live in Post Alley – right above that Greek restaurant and in the same building as the Sister sandwich shop from your pictures!).

    PS – Colleen, I was a chaplain for SEARCH last year, and brought me memories of you 🙂

  19. Wow chris such great pictures bro i’m so happy for you wish i could have been there cant wait to see yall soon love Eric


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