I'm Donna Marie
An inclusive adventurous destination wedding and elopement photographer livin' in upstate New York. I'm here to empower all couples to create an intentional wedding day that focuses on the experience and the feels.
Gem + Jethro reached out to me via Instagram just a couple days before the end of November and shared with me that they wanted to elope in NYC mid-December. Immediately, I was like mid-December? That’s just a couple weeks away! My second thought was Is this real? I never get inquiries via Insta. Real talk, I’m so awful at socials. I don’t even use hashtags on my posts because I can’t be bothered. lol
After a little further conversation, and getting on a Zoom call, I learned that a.) they were in fact a real couple from London; b.) they definitely wanted to have me along for their elopement day, c.) they were absolutely my kind of people, I instantly loved them both and their energy.
They already had their flights, hotel, and their required appointments for having an in-person ceremony at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. Which was amazing, because it can be an absolute trial trying to get an appointment for a ceremony; but Gem was on top of all of it!
So I booked my train tickets, locked down a hotel, packed my bags, and made my way down to Manhattan. Jenn from Pineapple and Peony Events came along as my assistant. It was the perfect way to end my 2022 wedding season, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The day of their elopement, they were running a little late, and it caused a bit of worry. They didn’t want to miss their appointment time. BUT guess who was also running late? The Marriage Bureau. So, all in all, it worked out in their favor. We all met in the long queue that had formed outside of the building’s doors, exchanged some hugs, and began G + J’s elopement adventure.
Once we were inside, they signed their marriage license. I signed as their witness, and we were moved into a different waiting area before a ceremony room opened up. Once inside a ceremony room, emotions were high, and rings were ready.
After their short and sweet ceremony, it was time to call their friends and family back home, explore the city, have a few drinks, and enjoy the night views NYC is known for. If you haven’t visited the Top of the Rock observation deck, next time you’re there, you should. Stunning views all around, amazing art deco building design, and one of the best spots in NYC to take in the sunset.
Gem + Jethro’s Manhattan elopement could not have been any more perfect. Lots of laughs, a few tears of joy, and a couple pints of Guinness made for a hella memorable wedding day.