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The Kivii Life

April 22, 2020

My Big Fake Quarantine Wedding

Wedding dress hangs on a door with a shaft of light illuminating it. Part of the quarantine wedding project

Downtown Raleigh Quarantine Photo Project

I’m pretty devastated that I won’t get to photograph any weddings in April or May, because I was so looking forward to celebrating with our amazing couples. Alas, Covid19 and quarantine had other ideas. But I haven’t just been moping about. Quite the opposite. I’ve been using quarantine time to focus on stuff like website content and marketing efforts, but I’ve also been spending a significant amount of time on education. One resource I’ve taken advantage of are workshops from the incredible Erika & Lanny of Two Mann Studios. Inspired by all that I’ve been learning, this past weekend, I broke out my tripod, made heavy use of the 10 second shutter delay, and forced John to participate in a quarantine wedding photo project. (The word wedding is in big ol’ air quotes since we are already married and we were the only people present, but humor me!)

Anyway, I wanted a way to practice the concepts Two Mann have been teaching, and I wanted to practice in the context of a wedding day.

So I became a bride.

(John is probably thinking: Elyssa just wants any excuse to put her wedding dress on again. He’s not wrong.) I spent a couple hours “getting ready” — I wish I could have had one of my favorite hair & makeup gurus help me out, because I am hopeless, but I think I faked it okay. Then, I had John get ready too, before we stepped out onto our balcony for a couple shots overlooking downtown Raleigh.

Then we promptly changed back into slouchy clothes because quarantine. No photos of that though.

I’ve done a couple other quarantine photo projects and I’ll probably do another blog post before too long to share those, but for now,

Our Big Fake Quarantine Wedding:

during a fake quarantine wedding, bride puts mascara on while looking in the mirror

bride puts on lipstick with her shadow projected onto a pink wall

Y’all. My hair was shellacked by the time I got this shot done. Since I was working with the tripod and the 10-second delay, it took several takes before I nailed running to the right spot so that I was in focus and getting the spray at the right time my flashes popped. I do not recommend doing your own hair and makeup on your wedding day (unless that’s your favorite thing ever), but I definitely don’t recommend trying to photograph your own wedding day.

bride in robe sprays hairspray onto her hair

Photographing John getting ready was significantly easier, since it wasn’t that different from how I shoot an actual wedding. I do want to point out that the only reason he’s wearing that shirt is because he saw that I was wearing my UNC robe and he just had to rub it in that 2019-2020 was the worst season of Carolina Basketball of all time. It was so bad that they cancelled basketball. But hey, at least Duke was the first team eliminated from the NCAA tournament.

groom shaves before big fake quarantine wedding bride reaches for her wedding dress before big fake quarantine wedding bride puts her earrings in before big fake quarantine wedding window light portrait of a bride

Oh yeah he put on a Clemson tie too. But that’s the tie he wore for the second half of our actual wedding, so that’s okay.

photo of groom tying his tie, with donwtown Raleigh reflected in the window

Playing around to try to get stuff ready for balcony portraits. I turned Raleigh blue to match my dress!!

bride on her balcony in downtown raleigh, part of the big fake quarantine wedding project

He loves me, he really loves me!! Even though I made him put on a suit in the middle of quarantine. I wish I’d been able to frame these a little better, but it’s a tiny balcony so angles were limited and John wanted to give me the time pressure of a real wedding day by playing the part of a planner who needs portraits to be over now.

Bride and groom pose with the downtown raleigh skyline as part of the big fake quarantine wedding project Bride and groom pose with the downtown raleigh skyline as part of the big fake quarantine wedding project

Thanks for coming to our big fake quarantine wedding! We love you all and are so glad you could celebrate with us.


We believe that love is bright and colorful, and your wedding photographs should be bright and colorful too.

Kivus & Camera are Raleigh Wedding photographers who create bold, colorful, magical memories of your wedding day with beautiful, artistic portraits AND enthusiastic, genuine moments. Your unique love story deserves to be told through unforgettable, breath-taking photographs that stand out from the crowd. Kivus & Camera love creating that magic. After all, as past bride Courtney says, we’re photography sorcerers.

And though we call ourselves Raleigh wedding photographers, we definitely photograph Durham weddings, Chapel Hill weddings, Cary weddings, etc. We’re all over the Triangle area, and we’re happy to head to the beach or mountains and even to places outside of North Carolina! Just let us know where your love story is headed.

Want to know more? Check out more of our images or learn more about our nerdy selves or just send us a note! Can’t wait to hear from you.