Samm Blake is an Australian photographer living in New York. She loves to create pictures that tell stories. Weddings suit her perfectly, as she is fascinated with exploring the connections we have with others in our lives. She loves to document people in their most honest and vulnerable moments.
Australian couple Miriam and Sam secretly eloped at the City Clerk's Office in Manhattan. They had planned on sending an invitation-cum-wedding announcement to be received by their loved ones on the day of their elopement, so that when they opened the envelope, they were all in for a huge surprise: The elopement was probably happening at the exact moment they were reading the announcement.
On the day of their elopement, I met up with the couple in their hotel room, where they were getting ready together. We then jumped into a yellow cab down to the Clerk's Office, where they met up with two of their friends from Australia who were there to formally witness the wedding and sign the papers.
After about an hour waiting for their number to be called, it was finally their turn in the ceremony room. The ceremonies take about two minutes in total — they're extremely low-fuss and officiants just read standard legal jargon. One of the sweetest things I witnessed was Miriam bursting into tears, overcome with the emotion of getting married.
With the official part done, we jumped into a cab to Brooklyn and took some photos in the quiet parts of DUMBO, along the banks of the East River, and the Brooklyn Bridge. We parted ways once the sun set and they headed back into Manhattan to celebrate.