Seriously Stormy Pirate's Alley Elopement • Brei Olivier


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Seriously Stormy Pirate’s Alley Elopement

It was on-and-off raining all day and I had an elopement scheduled in Pirate’s Alley for 3:00 sharp. But by the time C & W said their vows, it was raining buckets, the wind was wild, and the water was rising.


Pirates’ Alley, 2:15pm

I arrived at Pirate’s Alley early (as usual) and decided to peruse Faulkner House, a bookstore in the alley once home to William Faulkner during his early days as a fiction writer. It’s funny – I’d walked past the storefront a hundred times before but never actually went in. For about 30 minutes I got lost in the tiny wonderland of the shop. I purchased three books and the woman working kindly kept them there for me until after C & W’s elopement.

Outside, it was still on-and-off raining, though nothing too bad.

My phone buzzed with a message from C saying she found parking, so I walked to meet her on Royal Street. It began drizzling.

One thing I loved about this wedding was C’s “we’re doing this no matter what” spirit. The morning of, C and I talked about the strong possibility of rain. We had a plan B just in case, but she sent me a text message to still plan on Pirate’s Alley. I’m a rain-or-shine person, so I was stoked to hear they wanted to go along with the weather!

We took some photos while waiting for friends, and when it started raining heavily, went into the bookstore for refuge.

New Orleans and south Louisiana are famous for thunderstorms that bring lots of rain but quickly roll through the area. After watching the radar for about 10 minutes we realized that was not going to be the case and we made the call to go for it!

Couple stands in Pirate's Alley under a red umbrella during their stormy French Quarter elopement.

Now Or Never

We exited the bookstore and made our way to the edge of Cabildo Alley, where friends were parked along the street, watching from inside their cars.

I held my camera up with one hand, and an umbrella over my head with the other. I was standing in ankle-deep water (& rising), still getting completely drenched, and couldn’t see too well out of my camera’s viewfinder …this tiny elopement was without a doubt the toughest wedding I’ve ever photographed!

And I loved every second of it.

C & W stood underneath a balcony and married each other in the pouring rain. They kissed. We cheered. It was so romantic.

As I was shooting, I was thanking The Universe for the experience I have and that I know my camera backward and forward. It never crossed my mind that an elopement with only 5 guests would be the wedding that every other wedding I’ve ever photographed has prepared me for… but it was! Always gotta be prepared 😉

The rain, the wind, the rising water… it was chaos and we all left completely drenched from head to toe… but everything turned out amazing and there was no shortage of love or happiness!

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