A Wedding Like No Other

Tim & Sarah contacted me wanting to do an elopement wedding on May 4, 2023. Finalizing the details, we agree to meet at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fl. A look at the website for the courthouse; I was excited! The architecture, lighting and balconies! Everything a photographer geeks out on. I began to plan different sites inside and outside of the courthouse to do certain shots and I could not wait until their day.

May 4, I arrived at the parking garage across from the courthouse. I had spoken to them and they were about 15 minutes behind me of which was fine, that gave me time to scope out the situation. We met at the bottom of the parking garage and informed me that the next day Tim was going to be shipping out two weeks earlier than expected. They were very excited that they were going to be able to be married before he deployed.

We crossed the street and went into the courthouse. I attempted to go through the metal detectors and this was the beginning of our problems. First, I was re-directed to have my equipment manually checked by the deputy. The deputy and I started talking about where the wedding area of the courthouse was located and then he proceeded to inform me that not only can I not take pictures in the courthouse that they also do not perform weddings there either! Tim noticing I was distressed speaking with the deputy, came over and was questioning what was going on. Once the deputy caught Tim up to speed, we reconvened and decided that they would go get the marriage license and I would wait outside and try to find an officiant or notary that was available.

Approximately an hour later! They came out of the courthouse and upon first look you could just tell they were upset. Apparently, they had just bought a house and some of the paperwork was not sufficient for them to get married unless they waited three days. Tim & Sarah HAD TO get married that day. We decided to call around and finally talked to someone at the Nassau County Courthouse in Yulee, Fl. They said they could issue a marriage license to them and we were on a race to get up to the courthouse before they closed.

We arrived at the courthouse and they issued them a license no problem.....well except there was... they had no one to officiate the wedding. I started to call everyone I knew and because it was so last minute there was no one available. In my head, I had already decided I was invested, and defeat WAS NOT an option.

Google research revealed for the low low price of 50$, I too could become an ordained minister. That's what I did! In the state of Florida, your marriage certificate requires a ceremony in order to be valid and that's what we did in the form of a photo session.

We opted to go to Amelia Island, FL. as I had been there several times before and was familiar with some very scenic spots. However, I somehow missed it was the Shrimp Festival there. UGH! Amongst battling the crowds and cars though, we got it done! Including utilizing the courthouse that the very kind deputy informed us we could not use until 5p.m. after he threatened to arrest us.

At the end of the day, Time & Sarah got married, I became a minister and I feel like we will always be life-long friends

It's always a wild ride on Adventures with Lacy!