Most of my inquiries come through the normal channels. Website contact form. Instagram DMs. Facebook messages. So I was absolutely tickled when Derek Brooks, friend of the grooms, reached out asking if I was available to photograph their surprise elopement as a gift from him and his wife, Kari. Kari and Trent work together for the Des Moines School District, both taking a half day off from work to sneak away and telling none of their students or coworkers about Trent and Mauricio's courthouse rendezvous.

I met Trent and Mauricio for the first time stepping out of my car at the Downtown Des Moines Courthouse, shrieking, "Oh, hiiiiii are you two getting married today?!" We hugged, said hello, and became fast friends, chatting about the incredible way fate brought them together. Trent shared how he had been in California from Iowa for a visit and decided to pop on a dating app his last day in town, only see Mauricio, who was also happened to be in the area from Canada for a short work trip. They matched, met up, and immediately realized they had much more of a connection than one night would allow. Some long distance, a move to the Midwest, and a courthouse date later, these two were now becoming husbands due to a whirlwind of chance.

They said their vows to one another in front of a very small group of family and friends, exchanging rings, smiles, and candy-coated almonds with those in attendance as a show of thanks and love for those who came to support them on their special day.

After their ceremony and some celebratory family and friend photos, we snuck off to Waterworks Park for some alone time. Not one for the cold, I had Mauricio snuggle up to Trent, who was eating up the cooler temps, happy to give his warmth and snuggles to keep his new husband warm.

My time with these two was short, but magical, just like their first meeting in California so long ago. It just goes to show how people can come into your life and leave a lasting impression...sometimes one enough to sneak out of work to get married for.