Couple kiss on the Potomac River

Raithel Elopement at the Wedding Niche in Harpers Ferry, WV

High school sweethearts Natalie and Sam Raithel wanted a sweet and small elopement last year. We loved capturing their intimate and idyllic day. Keep reading to explore the Raithel elopement at the Wedding Niche in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Sweet Meeting: High School Sweethearts

While trying to avoid someone in high school, Natalie struck up conversation with the person who was sitting behind her. You guessed it, that person was Sam! He thought she was a little “weird” at first, but they continued to get to know each other. Eventually, Sam asked Natalie to a school dance.

Sweet and Small Planning: Choosing an Elopement Venue and Photographer

The sweethearts decided to get married, but wanted to “opt out” of a stressful wedding day. Instead, they eloped with a small group of loved ones. They found the Wedding Niche at Keep Tryst Manor outside of Harpers Ferry, WV. “The whole place was super cool and screamed “us,”” they said, from the natural surroundings to the historic barn.

They wanted someone to capture their small, but special day and chose Joy Shots Photography because of friends recommendations. The final decision was based on Erika’s ability to “capture the special moments instead of interrupting them.”

Their Small Day: Favorite Memories and Advice

While they describe “the whole day” as a favorite memory, several memories stick out. The look on Sam’s face when he saw Natalie for the first time, listening to everyone’s toasts, and hilariously losing track of plates at the start of dinner are the top three.


Their advice for making your own special memories is to pick “top values” for the day and your budget. Wedding planning is less stressful with these top values at the front of your mind.


Remembering to relax during photos the day of and asking friends to help with couple photos are important too. Both will help make keepsake photos easier and more fun.

Your Small Day: Elopement Vendors

If you need elopement vendors that will make your small day special, the Raithel’s recommend everyone on this list.


Venue, Officiant, HMUA, Day-Of Coordinator: Lisa Hall at the Wedding Niche in Harpers Ferry, WV

Caterer: Market Table Bistro (was allergen-friendly!)

Custom Rings: Britt at Breathing Stone on Etsy


Every detail of the Raithel elopement at the Wedding Niche in Harpers Ferry, WV was dazzling yet delightful. If you need an elopement photographer in Virginia or surrounding states, please contact us.

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