Up, Up and Away: Photographing a Hot Air Balloon Wedding

When couple Ronni and Garrett decided to elope this past summer, they didn’t tell family or friends about their plans to have a hot air balloon wedding; they just up and went for it. And Applehead Studio lead photographer Liam Hennessey and his team were thrilled to be there to photograph it.

Adrenaline-rush aside, Hennessey says that as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, studios like his are grateful for any wedding bookings that don’t get canceled or postponed, whether they be on solid land or up in the sky. Like every other wedding photographer and team out there, Hennessey says Applehead Studio continues to adapt its business model by collaborating with other vendors to market micro wedding coverage, and add more elopement packages and other smaller-scale events to their current and future offerings.

[Read: What Does it Really Take to Photograph Adventure Elopements?]

Setting up Hot Air Balloon
All Photos © Applehead Studio

According to Hennessey, Ronni and Garrett’s dream elopement in the sky was initially supposed to take place on a Friday night in early June but the weather didn’t cooperate so they moved it to the next day. “It was to be the first flight of the 2020 season for the East Coast Balloon Adventures crew and the first-ever wedding ceremony in the basket,” the photographer explains. “From our team, photographer Stephanie Camp had the the most experience ‘falling from the sky,’ so she took basket cam duty while two of my colleagues and I handled additional photo coverage from the ground.”

Veronica and Garett ready to elope in hot air balloon for wedding.
All aboard the hot air balloon with wedding officiant
Up, up and away in baloon

Traveling in the hot air balloon at 28 knots to about 6,500 feet above Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, the couple read and exchanged vows in front of their officiant, East Coast Pop Up Weddings Sarah Anderson (who also happens to be a justice of the peace) as Camp took closeup photos.

“To create an overall experience of the day for the couple, our coverage included shots on the ground, of the balloon being assembled and fired up then launched, as well as the exchange of vows and rings as the balloon ascended to thousands of feet up in the sky. Other key moments included images of the landing, and a champagne toast on solid ground afterwards,” Hennessey explains.

Balloon starts descent as bikers in distance stop and watch.

“A crowd began to gather as we followed the balloon to a landing in someone’s back field,” says Hennessey. “A couple of guys on motorbikes, some kids on bicycles and a line of cars pulled over to watch this thing touch down and just sit there in the most incredible sunset. You can’t script this stuff any better.”


East Coast Balloon Adventures

East Coast Pop Up Weddings


CAMERAS: Nikon D4s and D750
LENSES: 24-70mm, 45mm Tilt, 24mm, 600mm

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