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We Cancelled Our Elopement

Virginia Elopement Photographer Jamie Dunn Photography Self Portrait

After months of updating you on the planning process of our adventure elopement, I can’t begin to describe how much I hate typing this. I’m supposed to be a source of encouragement by setting an example. The ability to do that has officially been taken away from me. 

About a week ago, Roman and I made the difficult decision to cancel our wedding. We cancelled all of our vendors, AirBnb reservations, and appointments related to our North Carolina elopement. When I look at the calendar for the week of our elopement, I can’t help but feel a little sad. I haven’t deleted the events yet because it just doesn’t seem real. We’ve been making this perfect for over a year now, and it was supposed to be foolproof because we don’t even have guests! We had never considered the possibility of a global pandemic keeping us locked down in our homes, but hey… here we are.

It feels selfish for me to be sad when I am in the unique position of experiencing both scenarios firsthand. I am the bride that had to cancel her dream wedding while also the photographer that has to help her couples cancel and reschedule their dream weddings… so I am deep in my emotions for all of my couples while trying to hold my head high and take my own advice I’ve been giving them. 

However, I have given myself permission to be sad, regardless of the position I’m in. It isn’t fair to anyone. It’s not fair to the people who have to stay home and take unpaid leave, and it’s not fair to the people who get to work but have to expose themselves. It’s not fair to healthcare professionals, it’s not fair to kids, and it’s not fair to couples planning on getting married. Just because my situation isn’t the end of the world, doesn’t mean I can’t be sad.

But I, and anyone else in this situation, cannot be sad for long. There comes a time when you have to pick yourself up, deep clean your house, do a face mask, and get back to work… because the longer you wallow in your own pity, the deeper you sink, and the harder it is to get out of it. Today has been the first day I have been in the proper mental space to do so. And let me tell you… with every positive action my head became a little clearer. My motivation to do anything productive has gotten stronger. And what I need to do to stay happy during this shit show is a little bit clearer.

So for a little life update… overall, Roman and I are good. Bummed about our wedding, but blessed with a fully stocked fridge, happy pets, and each others company. I can’t help but notice the good during these scary times.

A Few Good Things to Remember:

  1. The virus is causing people to come together more than we ever have- people supporting small businesses, donating meals, and spreading love from a distance.
  2. The earth is healing… my mom and I decided that this is Earth’s way of grounding us for our negligence in the past. 
  3. Musicians have been going live on Instagram doing concerts from their living room… and if that isn’t the most wholesome thing ever, I don’t know what is.
  4. Pet adoption rates are up! Some shelters have even closed because they’re emptied out. 
  5. Spring has never sprung at a more perfect time. Now’’s the time to appreciate nature by taking walks around your neighborhood, eating dinner on the porch, or planting flowers. 
Virginia elopement photographer Jamie Dunn Photography

So… now what?

Our plan B in lieu of our adventure mountaintop elopement was to get married in front of YRC Cinemas. It was our high school job and where we met. Due to yesterday’s “stay at home” order, plan C is now in full effect. 😂 Honestly, at this point, we just have to laugh. We might do the very minimum we have to do to make it official (ie. courthouse wedding) just to do the damn thing, we might just wait it out and reschedule our original adventure elopement for the fall, might screw around and have a real wedding in the fall… ugh. I don’t know. But when we find out, I’ll tell you!

In typical girl fashion I am mostly concerned about wearing my wedding dress. It barely fit when I bought it and it fits like a glove now, so… I guess if anything it’s motivation to stay healthy, right? Just gonna convince myself that’s why this is happening. So that I don’t get fat. However, quarantining and dieting really do be challenging. Uncool. 

I haven’t wanted to step back on social media until I cleared the air about my feelings and our elopement plans, so hopefully now it’ll be back to your scheduled programming. With that being said, I’m running out of content! I got one Spring session in before having to put my camera down indefinitely, so who knows when I will get to finally update my portfolio. So I plan to blog some old weddings I never blogged! I also want to revamp my Youtube channel so I can get some completely useless, brain-numbing content out to you guys. Or maybe I could do something educational. What would you prefer? Guilty pleasure or educational? Let me know!

Thanks for sticking by my side for the good and the bad! My job has definitely been a blessing, even now. Walking alongside my couples during this time is such an experience. Soon, when this is all over, we’re going to look back to this and acknowledge our growth, strength, and unconditional love for one another that kept this world turning.


  • Jamie! I just want to say how truly beautiful I think you are-inside and out. I’ve been following your elopement plans since you started posting about them, and I’m so sorry that you guys had to cancel it. My heart goes out to you guys. This is a scary and even depressing time right now. I’m happy you guys have each other and your pets and your home, but that doesn’t take away from your sadness. I don’t really even know why I’m typing this.. I just really am moved by all of your work and by you. Keep on keepin’ on girl, don’t stop looking up, and allow yourself to feel your feelings and all the rest of that cheesy but true advice. Sending light and love and positivity your way 💛

    • Giiirrrrl! You’re gonna make me cry! The love means so much. I definitely took a little mental health break at the beginning of this but fully ready to jump back in sharing my life with you all. Comments like this make me motivated to keep creating. Thank you thank you thank you 💕


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Jamie dunn photography business


I’m a wedding, elopement, and portrait photographer serving Richmond, Virginia and beyond. With my interest in photography beginning way back in middle school, I’ve found my passion in people- documenting people’s important seasons of life in a way that feels like a fond memory.

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