MEET HOPE - Sable Photo Co.
Missouri elopement photographer. Missouri elopement photographer

I'M HOPE.

Your new photographer, guide, and friend.

Oooohhh you’ve reached the vanity page. Nice.

My name’s Hope, and I’m the girl behind Sable Photo Co., previously known as Hope Renae Photography.

I’ve been told about a million times that I’m “exactly like Jessica Day from New Girl.” Other than that, I’ve been referred to as a human puppy, which is honestly the highest praise you can give a hardcore dog-lover such as myself.

I think most photographers are supposed to be cool and edgy, but to be honest I’m more of the nerdy kind who named her dog, Nessie, after the Lochness Monster and researches historical topics for fun.

I’m an introvert, but you probably wouldn’t guess that when you interact with me because as the youngest of 8 kids, I really really like people. A lot.

I tend to make a lot of dad jokes (the punnier the better!), and I can’t really distinguish between chuckles of approval and groans of dismay at this point.

If you were able to spy on me at home alone, you’d probably find me dancing to Bossa Nova and making bread, reading a novel (currently in the Outlander series. No. Shame.), or watching Pride & Prejudice (2005 version for sure) for the millionth time.

I’m super passionate about marriage because I’m married to THE BEST human and whiskey engineer. (Yep. It’s a thing because Davis is almost as cool as he is smart.) I’m over the moon in love with elopements and helping couples create a wedding day that’s more THEM and less everyone else. I might cry at your elopement, but the photos will still turn out great, I promise!

HOPE: THE CLIFF NOTES VERSION

OUR WEDDING STORY

After our rehearsal dinner, Davis drove me back to my parents’ house so we could say goodbye one last time before becoming husband and wife.

We were both quiet from nerves, but I finally broke the silence.

“I have to tell you something.”

“Okay.”

“I still haven’t written my vows. I just keep thinking about having to get up in front of a bunch of people, especially people I don’t really know, and everything I really want to say just seems way too personal, so now I just don’t know what to say. I know I have the words, and I want to do personal vows, but doing it in front of all those people just seems invasive. And wrong.”

“Oh my gosh–I’m so happy you said something because I’ve been feeling exactly the same way.”

So, we informed our pastor (a.k.a. my dad) that we wouldn’t be doing our personal vows. Instead, we snuck out after the ceremony with our vow books, a stool, a vintage bowl and rag, and our photographer, and we had our own private sunset vow and foot-washing ceremony away from the noise and bustle of the venue.

It was almost as if time slowed down for a bit when it was just us. Our vows meant so much more knowing we were the only ones to hear them. We were able to do our foot-washing ceremony without worrying that someone in the audience might think it was corny or weird or cliche (I mean, let’s be honest–some of you reading this are judging us RIGHT NOW). We were able to just enjoy that we were getting married and feel what we wanted to feel, rather than being pressured to show exactly the right emotions to match what we’d seen other couples express. If not for a reception full of guests, we would have been content to stay out there the rest of the evening. It was really the only time we had just the two of us on our wedding day.

Fast-forward a few years, and I’m photographing big, traditional weddings and getting really good at it. But whenever I check in with my couples to see how wedding planning is going, my heart sinks. They’re stressed. They’ve figured out that planning a big traditional wedding means they won’t really see each other, won’t be able to stay “in” the moment, and everything that’s personal and meaningful to them has been planned out of the wedding day by logistical necessity.

I kept thinking back to my wedding day, and I realized something pretty big. There’s no reason a wedding day has to involve stress or placating a room full of acquaintances. Every couple should have the option to go a different way–to choose something that’s more intimate, less chaotic, and most importantly, more them.

As you’re considering how to plan your wedding day, please consider this a formal invitation to do something different, to do something smaller, and to do something that will reflect you and your person. It’s worth it, I promise.

Davis & I on our wedding day.

Missouri elopement photographer

“We could have stayed there forever. “