Yichen reached out to us in 2019 looking for a photographer to capture his proposal to his girlfriend Chelsey. A year later, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he reached back out to see if we could photograph their last-minute elopement at Navy Merchant Marine Memorial. We were so excited to be reunited with these two and to be able to capture this gorgeous ceremony on the Potomac River. 

Riverside Elopement in Washington, DC

Chelsey and Yichen had a beautiful private ceremony under two weeping willows in the heart of DC. Their families in China watched via Zoom from a laptop placed on a park bench, while they recorded audio from a phone in Yichen’s back pocket. In the background, we could see the Washington Monument across the river. 

Covid-19 was an incredibly difficult time, especially for those who were unable to get married with their families in attendance, but Yichen and Chelsey filled their day with joy. They focused on only the things that mattered to them – Chelsey made her own bridal bouquet and they had a special dinner back at their apartment after the ceremony. These two had smiles on their faces from the moment we arrived, and it was a great reminder of what marriage is really about.

American University 

These two met in college at American University, and quickly fell in love. One of my favorite details that they included in their elopement was two rubber ducks: one with a crown and the other holding a beach pail. Early in their relationship they came across these ducks – of which they each had one – and realized that they had been at the same Halloween party before knowing each other. They saved the ducks, knowing that such a serendipitous situation was something special, and brought them along years later to be the audience for their elopement. 

Covid elopements will always have a special place in our hearts, and this one especially so. I’m so glad that we could capture this ceremony for Yichen and Chelsey and provide them with beautiful images to share with all of the friends and family that couldn’t be there in person.