Boston City Hall Elopement: Jess + Nik

Jun 7, 2013 | Elopements, Weddings

boston elopement photographer for city hall wedding

A few weeks ago, on a sunny Friday afternoon, two of the most awesome people I’ve ever met got married at City Hall. Not only was this an elopement, but it was also a complete secret. Their closest family members had an idea that they might elope, but they had no idea when (or if) it would actually happen. I really love my job, and all of the weddings I photograph are special to me in many different ways, but being the sole witness to a marriage between two incredible people just can’t be beaten. It gives me goosebumps thinking back on it, and I always get extra nervous before the ceremony at elopements because I know that my photos are the only way that the couple’s closest relatives and friends will experience their wedding.

This post will be a little longer than most, to help me better show the story of their elopement, and of their intimate dinner celebration at Trade Restaurant a few weeks later.

While Jess was off getting her makeup done at MAC, I hung out at their apartment with Nik and their awesome doggies. Once Jess was back and dressed, we took the doggies out for a little walk around their neighborhood (the beautiful South End).

We took a couple of portraits too:

We took the T over to City hall, and arrived *just* in time for the ceremony.

City Hall elopement ceremonies are always short, but we had a great JP, and I loved the ceremony that he gave. Here are some of my favorite lines: “May you both have patience and confidence in your new life, so that each may be to the other a strength in need, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy … And may you continually rediscover your love for one another as the greatest gift of all.”

A few favorite moments from that little blue room:

And an unprompted kiss on the way out of City Hall!

We headed to a nearby bar for a cocktail and spotted the Boston Police Commissioner (yes, we took a photo with him!) And Jess reminded herself why she shouldn’t try Nik’s extra dirty martinis …

After drinks, we headed over to the Christian Science Plaza, just a few blocks from Nik and Jess’ home. We spent a little time taking couples portraits:

These two are hotties!

Then we grabbed the doggies for some more photos.

Then, on Saturday June 1st, I met up with them all over again for the reception day. This was more like a typical wedding day for me, minus the ceremony, and with a much smaller crowd than usual. I’ve selected a few favorites from throughout the day, starting with Nik’s nephew Jack and Jess’ father during their Indian lunch:

While the guys were dining, the girls were at the fabulous Beaucage Salon on Newbury St for nail treatments, hair and makeup.

Later in the afternoon, we all met up at the Liberty Hotel where Nik and Jess had a gorgeous suite on the 10th floor reserved for the night. And that’s when disaster struck … After much fiddling and pulling and wrangling, the tiny and far too delicate zip on Jess’ gorgeous dress broke. Completely. And got stuck part way up with huge gapes top and bottom. Eek! Any normal bride would have lost her cool … not Jess. She seemed to think it was hilarious, and checked that I’d be getting photos of her sister Dana sewing it up (which she did expertly, I have to say!) This was a good time!

Family slowly trickled in, and eventually the dress malfunction had been fixed, and we all gathered in the main rom of the suite for some photos and Champagne. I have a rule that I don’t post “formals” on my blog. However I also believe that rules are meant to be occasionally broken, and I am kind of in love with this wonderfully awesome new family. So here’s a family formal.

And here’s the adorable Jack again, getting groomed to perfection by his dad, Nik’s brother:

I was challenged to get a photo of Nik’s dad smiling – I win! This is one of several!

Nik’s mom gave Jess a number of beautiful traditional Indian gifts, including the most beautiful jewelry. Love this one:

Around 6pm, we headed over to Trade Restaurant by the waterfront. The small function room there is gorgeous; it has great light, beautiful rustic/modern decor, and we also had the most fabulous server ever (a fellow Brit!)

Do you like these two? Something caught my eye here …

Love these of Jess and her parents. There was a whole lot of love in this room!

A couple more from cocktail hour …

Just before dinner, Nik’s sister-in-law read some of their City Hall ceremony, and Jess and Nik spoke about their relationship. They wanted their families to be able to share in what they had experienced, and it was quite beautiful.

And then there were toasts … and an awesome dinner! (I ate at the bar and happened to meet Trade’s chef/owner Jody Adams and her husband, also a photographer – that was pretty cool!)

At the end of the evening, Jess and Nik’s friends arrived for what they thought was “an engagement party”. HA! They were pretty surprised, emotional, and excited to discover that they’d walked into a wedding reception instead!

Thank you all so much for an incredible day. I told many of you who were there how lucky I felt to document the ceremony, and how much I loved getting to know you all last weekend. You have something very special, and it was a treat to be a little part of it. Hugs and love!


  1. LOVE! I adore their elopement so much – her dress, the shoes, those flowers and most of all that is one of the sweetest and most perfect ceremony readings. LOVE! Their reception is so perfect and intimate. Fabulous job!

  2. Kate, you have out done yourself! Having you there was just like having another member of the family around….albeit with a *much* better accent! I love the one of my sister and I. And of course, my wonderful and adorable niece and nephew!

  3. Clean crisp images. Beautifully captured. I love your photography style.

  4. Wow! These are beautiful! What a great job capturing these memories!

  5. These are amazing! Yey Bennetts!

  6. Beautiful pictures!

  7. so happy to have fumbled upon these amazing photographs….The sisters picture gave me goosebumps, absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to all!


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