Surprise Beach Elopement

Emma Frankart Henterly

When it comes to weddings, husband-and-wife photography duo Sarah and Jared Williamson—who team up to form Together We Click—sometimes feel like they’ve seen it all. And then something happens to remind them otherwise.

Every year, Sarah’s extended family—including her parents, her sister and her sister’s family—travels to Anna Maria Island, Florida, for a summer vacation. But this year’s vacation took a series of unexpected turns, starting when Randy Benedict proposed to Sarah’s sister, Emily Fleming, on the first night of the trip.

“They decided, why not do it down here this week?” explains Sarah.

Jared, a licensed minister, agreed to perform the ceremony. After figuring out the logistics of marriage licenses in Manatee County, they set a date: the following Thursday.

“Normally, [Emily] would have every detail planned to a T,” Sarah says. “In this case, she just said, ‘Hey, we’ll just do it. It’ll be simple and easy, and my family’s here, so that’s great.’ ”

Emily scored a Calvin Klein dress—off the rack—at Saks Off Fifth. Randy, together with his son and Emily’s son, sported J.Crew. Randy’s daughter and Emily’s daughter both wore white dresses they already had packed for the trip. Wedding bands were ordered with Prime two-day shipping from Amazon. Sarah arranged peonies from a local florist and documented the event, which Randy’s family “attended” via FaceTime.

Randy and Emily’s casual, barefoot beach ceremony included their children from previous relationships as attendants. “It was sentimental, because it was small, and it was a place that we always vacation as a family, and have been going there [since we were] kids,” Sarah says. “It was very unexpected.”