Cozy Detroit Elopement and a Daring Belle Isle Adventure

January 25, 2023

Detroit elopement in the midst of the pandemic and polar vortex

Everything about this intimate Detroit elopement day screamed unique and one-of-a-kind. After all, have you ever been invited to a wedding venue right in someone’s living room? No? Me neither and it was absolutely fabulous!

intimate detroit elopement

Becca and Adam married during the covid pandemic, so they could only invite a couple of close friends, an officiant and me – their Detroit wedding photographer. (I also served as one of the witnesses, which was an absolute honor.) It was a truly emotional day full of love, comforting foods and togetherness, while polar vortex peaked in the Midwest.

intimate wedding in detroit
detroit elopement
detroit elopement

Becca and Adam, transplants from Buffalo, married in their cozy Detroit living room. The majestic bookshelf served as a background for their elopement ceremony, while the couple zoomed their families to witness it from afar. Adam made the wedding rings out of a piece of a fence from a hotel in Buffalo and as you can imagine, I was absolutely mind blown!

detroit elopement

Ramen, colorful wedding cake and Detroit vibes

The couple ordered their favorite ramen for everyone present, so we feasted on a perfectly nourishing meal while the Arctic front kept rolling into Detroit. The colorful wedding cake by For The Love of Sugar had a flavor of baklava and cute little macarons on top, as a snack. I was mind blown for the second time.


Detroit is like rock & roll.
It’s like soul.
Detroit is like the whole idea of cool.
If you have to explain it to someone, they probably won’t understand.
You have to see it. Live it. Be it.
That’s when Detroit starts to move you.

detroit elopement
intimate detroit elopement

Quintessential Detroit elopement photo locations in the Midtown and Belle Isle

Before we ventured out into the freezing temperatures, the couple changed their outfits to be more comfortable in the harsh elements. The ground was crunchy and the air hurt our faces. We made a few stops in Detroit’s Midtown and my favorite turquoise underpass near Cass Avenue. The couple celebrated by popping a bottle of champagne. I captured these moments in an unobtrusive photojournalistic manner, letting the scene unfold in front of my eyes.

turquoise underpass detroit

I was obsessed with getting the famous steam in Becca and Adam’s Detroit elopement photos the entire day. My goal was to create images that would translate their love for the city, as if they were just nonchalantly walking through the streets, exploring the urban beauty. For me, the beauty isn’t found in palaces and opulent buildings. It’s the grit and the realness of the locations we chose, that made the love feel raw and authentic. Just before sunset, we made it to the Belle Isle and we cruised around the island. Our steps were sinking into the crunchy snow and our breath became increasingly more visible as the sun set behind the Detroit skyline.


detroit elopement
belle isle elopement

Becca and Adam stayed true to their intimate Detroit elopement aspirations and dreams for a comfortable day. They weren’t deterred by anything, the pandemic, nor the polar vortex. Bravo, you two! 

intimate wedding photographer

Hi lovely, I am Yana, a Michigan based wedding and elopement photographer. When you book me as your wedding photographer, you’re also booking my knowledge of stunning locations in the area. But that’s not all. I spend hours scouting new locations, researching activities and vetting vendors to be able to provide my expertise for a unique experience. I will also become your sounding board to consult ideas about your dream elopement adventure. Through all of this, we will most likely become friends and I will silently shed a tear hiding behind my camera when I witness you exchange your vows with your one and only. To book your complimentary consultation and chat about your plans, fill out the form below.