People always assume that Kris Ann Elario, owner of Fleurtacious Designs in Latham, and photographer JP Elario of Elario Photography Inc. developed a passion for all things weddings after they met and fell in love. The two “I do” powerhouses, however, were already well established in their own careers when fate brought them together at a New Year’s Eve (yup) wedding ceremony.
“We knew of each other, but we really met at a New Year’s wedding that we were both working in 2005 going into 2006,” JP says. “We were excited about working together and exchanged phone numbers. The rest is history.” Adds Kris Ann, laughing: “He said he would call me to go out later that night, but I was so tired I just went home and went to bed.”
Nevertheless, the connection was made and nearly 12 years of marriage later, the two share a 6-year-old daughter and separate businesses that have thrived despite the pandemic. In fact, JP and Kris say that today they are busier than ever.
“It actually made it crazier for this year and next year because there are only so many Saturdays and Sundays to fit everybody into,” Kris Ann says. “We probably worked harder this season than we ever have. But [the shutdown] also gave us a taste of what it’s like to not work every weekend and spend more time with family, too.”
“We have to schedule weekends with each other because it can be insane,” JP says. “I slow down after a time, but she never does because hers is a year-round business.”
While JP’s peak wedding months are June, September and October, Kris Ann’s floral business covers all holidays and life milestones, so tends to keep her busy all year. And even when they work the same events, the two will catch but a fleeting glance of the other once the nuptials start because she is finishing the set-up as he is walking in with the bridal couple. For the bride and groom, however, there are advantages to having the Elarios work the wedding together. For one, “you are certainly going to have some beautiful pictures of your flowers,” says JP of his love of showing off his wife’s work.
Even though the couple have worked on hundreds of weddings, they never lose their enthusiasm for the job. “The energy is always exciting and fun,” Kris Ann says. “It’s addicting.”
So what makes the Elarios the ultimate complements to each other at work? Says Kris Ann: “What we do is very different from each other, but we both just love making people happy.” And when working with a couple on their special day, there’s nothing more important than that.