Nicole and Shannon shared an emotional, private elopement in Acadia National Park, with no particular plans, they explored the park all afternoon before finding the perfect ceremony spot on the beach.
Tell us about your proposal.
We started talking about marriage early in our relationship. In fact, we went looking for rings together five months into dating, and Nicole purchased a ring shortly after.
When you know, you know.
There were two proposals.
For Nicole’s proposal to Shannon, Nicole planned to propose to Shannon in London. We had a trip planned, and because Shannon and I both love picnics, I wanted to incorporate that into my proposal.
I worked with Fortumn and Mason in London to create a picnic basket with cheese, rose wine, chocolate, biscuits, etc. I also got us tickets to ride the London Eye after my proposal.
Little did I know, I wouldn’t be proposing to Shannon that day.
We arrived in Galway on a Thursday and planned to go to the Cliffs of Mohr for the picnic the next day.
After a day of visiting the Aryan Islands, eating cherries, riding on a boat beneath the Cliffs and then driving up to the Cliffs, we sat with each other looking at the ocean. Something inside me just knew that was the moment to propose to Shannon. I felt my mom’s presence there, which made it even more special.
I had a whole speech planned that I couldn’t remember, and then I got down on one knee and proposed to Shannon. Through many tears, she nodded yes!
Shannon proposed back to Nicole a few years later.
While Nicole was out with friends for dinner, Shannon used our couch, chairs, blankets, pillows, and string lights to create a giant fort in our living room. She added streamers in the doorways and made a cheeseboard reminiscent of the one we had years earlier, on the day she was supposed to propose.
Nicole was confused and surprised when she arrived home. Then, in what is forever a favorite moment of Shannon’s, when she got down on one knee and opened the ring box, their dog jumped up and almost knocked the box out of my hand.
Luckily, Nicole still said yes – as one would hope.
Why did you decide to elope?
We decided to elope as we wanted something intimate where the day could be about us. We could choose the location, food we wanted, and the day would simply be about our love and not pleasing other people. We wanted to be able to focus solely on each other.
Shannon and I found our photographer, Kelsey Converse, on a Sunday afternoon in October after one of our best friend’s wedding.
The moment Shannon and I saw the MANY possibilities of what our wedding could look like we knew that we needed to contact Kelsey.
We wrote an email that afternoon and while we were writing the email one of us was reading ALL of Kelsey’s blog posts, looking at the pictures, and dreaming of what our wedding could look like. This felt so good after being unsure of what we wanted to do. Kelsey got back to us right away and the wedding planning began!
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married
Our family and friends knew we were eloping beforehand. We had several friends and family members ask us, “Why aren’t you having a big wedding… don’t you want to celebrate with us”.
It sometimes felt like our wedding plans were not considered a “real wedding” to others because our plans were different from what people thought was best. This was difficult for us to hear because we have some family members who were not supportive of us getting married in the first place.
We just had to stay true to ourselves and our wishes for our wedding day.
Talk us through the actual elopement day.
We started our day with breakfast in the hotel lodge. It felt special to be able to just walk over in the morning. Nicole finished writing down her vows in the morning while Shannon rested and picked up lunch from a local shop.
It was a peaceful and calm start.
We asked our friends and some family members to write us some letters with a favorite memory or piece of advice – it was the perfect way to start the day.
We let our photographer, Kelsey know that we would be okay with going with the flow of the day, we wanted to select a location that felt right in the moment for both of us.
Our first stop on our wedding exploration in Acadia was Jordan Pond and we both adored it. The walk was beautiful, we found a stream, and it was peaceful. The whole day, in fact, was peaceful.
As we explored the park, we continued to read letters from our friends and family. Our niece drew us a picture that brought us both to tears.
We arrived at Little Hunters Beach in the early evening (still not married) and as soon as I saw the stairs that lead down to the beach and a forestry area I knew this was where we would say our vows.
Shannon read her vows first, and the moment she read the first line, Nicole started sobbing. They were happy tears.
So many people ask you, do you think something changes once you get married? I didn’t think that anything would but that moment on the beach solidified our lives together in such a magical way.
When we went back to Terramor, our entire glamping tent was set up with the picnic of our dreams. From the decorations on the porch to the inclusion of our favorite snacks from Trader Joe’s, everything was perfect!
We enjoyed Orange Cream cake and all the treats. Then we changed into cozy clothes which included Hocus Pocus sweats – we love Salem, MA, and all things spooky. We projected our favorite movie, Scream, to end the night and sipped on sparkling lemonade.
Photography by Kelsey Converse Photography