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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

Hartford City Hall Elopement

A bride and groom snuggle during their wedding at the Mark Twain House in Hartford CT

Ari and Matt’s Hartford City Hall elopement brought me so much JOY.

When I got an email from Ari about her Hartford City Hall elopement to her fiancé Matt, I squealed with such delight. Before Covid hit I had been really wanting to focus a bigger part of my photography business on more intimate weddings and events. After photographing weddings and events for over 18 years and traveling the world over, I was looking forward to focusing more on celebrating Hartford more with smaller events. I was born and raised in Hartford, and just love this city so much. The added bonus of really getting to know my clients and their guests even more intimately because of how small the event was, is really where my heart lies.

I asked Ari how she found me and she said via a Google search of Hartford photographers. Little did she know that she had truly hit the jackpot when she found me!

Many people may think that planning a smaller wedding or elopement is easier and that they can just do it themselves or wing it. While that may be true there are still many details to figure out and having some help is always a welcome prospect. Ari and Matt LOVE Hartford. Despite eloping and having a super intimate wedding they still wanted to celebrate Hartford with their portraits. ***INSERT OBNOXIOUS JACKPOT NOISE HERE FROM THE SLOT MACHINES!!!!****

Enter me, dramatically entering stage left: Here I was their Hartford go-to gal, ready to set them up with some amazing spots to be photographed in our beloved city of Hartford!

My first suggestion; get ready at the best hotel in Hartford The Goodwin Hotel located smack dab in the middle of downtown Hartford CT. It had undergone a big facelift recently and I am HERE for it! Each room is a visual treat, with such gorgeous light. Not to mention I know some of the nooks and crannies around the hotel and can navigate portraits inside if we need to due to the weather. Having the Goodwin Hotel as a back up plan was pretty great, if you ask me!

Ari got ready with her best friend, her Mom and Dad and Matt’s Mom. Hair and makeup was done by the talented ladies of Transcendent Makeup

Hartford City Hall is hands DOWN one of the most gorgeous and iconic buildings in the state of Connecticut. They just don’t make them like this anymore! It is EPIC.

Ari walked down to Matt three floors down. It was so beautiful to see!!

Here Matt waits nervously for his bride, Ari to get out of the elevator! What a way to make an entrance!

This wedding was special to me for other reasons. My Dad was the Justice of the Peace and officiated their wedding! It was the first time we got to work together and I loved it! He’s already getting gigs with me for more elopements for 2021, email me at carla@carlateneyck.com to get his info!

What a back drop for the ceremony!

Cheers to their Hartford City Hall elopement going off without a hitch!

Side note: this mural that hangs in Hartford City Hall was painted by my Dad, Carlos Hernandez Chavez. My family were beet farmers, you can also see my Dad on the left when he was 11 with his guitar. It always makes me super proud to see this when I work!

Just the Tuesday before their wedding Matt proposed to Ari at the Stegasaurus! It is one of our favorite spots in Hartford so we all knew portraits there were a MUST.

Hartford is such a gem. I love the architecture of the city, it’s so eclectic!

The epic sign at Hartford Stage made a perfect backdrop for our I love Hartford Wedding Shoot Bonanza!

A Hartford Bonanza Wedding Shoot would not be complete without a trip to Pratt Street and our favorite shop- Hartford Prints!

I called ahead to make sure it was OK for us to pop in for a photo- the owner Rory is my former bride! She happily allowed us to! I planned ahead and bought Ari and Matt a little surprise- the stegosaurus ornament- since this was right before Christmas. Little did I know how special this would actually be! When I got it Had no idea that is where Matt proposed to Ari just days before! They were properly surprised and THRILLED by it. I was so so happy!!

What’s better than Pratt street? AN EMPTY PRATT STREET!! Wait, wait, an EMPTY SNOWY PRATT STREET!!

The old Society for Savings Building in Hartford is another icon of Hartford past. It is now (and has been for years) The Society Room– a gorgeous venue for weddings and events!

We swung back around to get some pics outside of the Goodwin Hotel, the facade is a work of art!

Since it was absolutely FREEZING out we added in a stop to warm up with a toast at Republic at the Linden on Capitol Ave in Hartford. Of course we had to do some portraits since the place was empty and the space is AMAZING!

A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their wedding at the Republic at The Linden in Hartford CT

Ari really wanted some photos at The Colt Armory in Hartford and I was super excited to oblige. I have not had a couple ask for this so it was a fun trip to create some new content for our Hartford loving couples!

I don’t have a clue what these garages are used for. What I DO know is how thankful I am for them. Their bright colors are such a welcome spot of joy in my day when I see them!

Our final stop before their dinner at Zohara in West Hartford Center was a spot close to my heart- and home- The Mark Twain House. When I was in high school I used to cut through the yard here to walk to my alma mater, Hartford Publick High School, the second oldest school in the United States! I was fascinated by this gorgeous home – and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house is next door! My favorite room is the greenhouse conservatory which you can see on the left side of the frame. It’s filled with plants and a little fountain and is just gorgeous. Universe, please please send me more clients here who love this location as much as I do!

A couple embraces on their wedding day at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT A couple walks on their wedding day at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT

The deep persimmon orange color in the bricks is absolutely ICONIC to me, so I had to show it as much as possible!

A couple embraces by the front door on their wedding day at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT A couple embraces on the porch on their wedding day at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT A couple on their wedding day at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT

Just every detail on Mark Twain’s house is breath taking to me.

Winter Mark Twain House wedding in Hartford CT A bride and groom kiss on their wedding at The Mark Twain House in Hartford CT A bride and groom on their winter wedding day at the Mark Twain House in Hartford CT A bride and groom during their winter wedding at the Mark Twain House in Hartford CT

Ari and Matt’s wedding cake was by JS Party Muffins! After freezing our buns off it was time to head to the party hosted at Zohara in West Hartford Center.

Ari and Matt your Hartford City Hall elopement was amazing in every way. Thank you so so much for your trust and friendship. I had the BEST time with you all and can’t wait for more time with you both. Stay safe XOXO

Creative partners for Ari + Matt’s Epic Intimate Hartford Elopement:

Getting ready location: The Goodwin Hotel, Hartford CT

Ceremony + photo location: Hartford City Hall, Hartford CT

Reception dinner: Zohara, West Hartford CT

Toast location: Republic at the Linden, Hartford CT

Cake: JS Party Muffins

Hair + Makeup: the amazing ladies at Transcendent Makeup, Farmington CT

To see more work by Connecticut wedding and event photographer Carla Ten Eyck, click the links below:

Inspiration Shoot of Two Brides at the Goodwin Hotel in Hartford CT

Intimate wedding at Winvian Farm in Litchfield CT

Two Brides Wed at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown CT

Intimate wedding at The Chatfield Hollow Inn, Killingworth CT

Intimate Family Wedding at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven CT

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