Posts in Bridal Inspiration
Las Vegas Desert Elopement
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill
Las Vegas Desert Elopement, Cottage Hill

From the photographer: Bea + Ray, from the UK, have been dating for 12 years. Bea, being a wedding photographer herself, enjoys documenting over the top weddings but never felt that it suited both her and Ray's personalities. They wanted something short and sweet, and just the two of them alone. In a couple of months after shortly being engaged, they booked their tickets to Las Vegas, NV. They both were wed in the vastness of the Mojave desert with the strip faded in the background.

Photography by Gaby J Photography  | Officiant,  Peachy Keen Unions | Dress by Ghost London | Film Lab, Goodman Film Lab

Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill
Creating a Meaningful Anniversary Session now on Cottage Hill

Celebrating the first year, or any year of marriage, can be special with simple documentation. We love the couple's session with photographer Mary Doughtery. Our favorite details include eating the top layer of their wedding cake, from Scratch Bake Shop, and donning their wedding dress and suit for a few romantic moments. Here is what Mary had to share with us:

An anniversary session was something they knew they wanted to do, for reasons important to them, and you would likely have your own reasons to take the time for photos – anniversary session or not. It was not just a chance to get in front of the camera, but a chance to celebrate where they had been in the last year. Life was different and yet very much the same. As high school sweethearts, they had a long history. Their lives were connected and intertwined in a beautiful way. To love someone and be loved in return is one of the greatest parts of the human experience.

Ali + Zach's anniversary session was split into two parts : one that was relaxed and at home and the second part of the shoot was dressed up with Ali in her gorgeous Sarah Janks gown and Zach in a linen suit.

Romantic South Carolina Wedding
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill
Romantic South Carolina Wedding now on Cottage Hill

If you've been reading Cottage Hill, even for a short time, you know we treasure meaningful details. This sweet Southern wedding cherishes both. We love the combination of grand and simple details of Lewis and Kate's wedding. Here is what their photographer Josie Derrick had to share with us:

This beautiful South Carolina wedding took place in the bride's hometown. Old Cokesbury College was the perfect backdrop for this romantic garden wedding. Nestled in the tiny town of Hodges, Lewis and Kate each said 'I Do' in front of their closest family and friends. Their beautiful, laid back day was followed by a reception at beautiful Sundance Gallery in downtown Greenwood, SC. Both the ceremony and reception were filled with heirlooms including a sterling silver wine bottle cooler included in previous weddings in the groom's family. Their day was full of love, joy, and the most beautiful emphasis on what weddings truly are, the start of a new family.

The bride's dress is by Paloma Blanca with hair by Kelly Stowe and Makeup by Shantel the Artist. The bridesmaid's dresses are by Lulu Kate from Bella Bridesmaids. Floral Design is by Ellen Courtney, Catering by Inn on the Square and the Harpist is Emily Waggoner and Band is Fantasy Band

Finding The Dress

As a little girl, I would put on one of my mom's white nightgowns, a floppy sun hat, costume jewelry, and high heels that were five sizes too large and pretend that I was getting ready for my wedding day. There's something surreal about trying on wedding dresses for the first time after years of dreaming and dress-up.

Shopping for my wedding dress was a whirlwind experience. Seventy-two hours into being engaged, my mother and I walked into our local bridal shop and pulled tons of gowns. For us, it wasn't about finding the "right" dress or having this picture-perfect experience. It was about laughing until we couldn't breathe over a dress that was so poofy I could barely fit through the dressing room door. It was about knowing that my soon-to-be husband would watch me walk down the aisle in whatever gown I choose. In a way, we were there for the experience, not the dress. But low and behold, my gown was in that bridal boutique. As I put a veil on my head, my mom and I shared a moment that I will always treasure. We didn't have to say anything, we just knew. I had found my dress.

What I love about this shoot at The Dress Theory is the way Jessica Sloane designed each detail to perfectly reflect the beauty this special experience possesses. The gowns that The Dress Theory pulled were flawless, Austin Gros captured the shoot effortlessly, but what really pulls at my heartstrings are the emotions in the mother and daughter's eyes. Especially when they realize they have found the one.

Story by Cottage Hill :: Design by Jessica Sloane :: Photography by Austin Gros :: Hair + Makeup by Amanda Gros :: Venue + Bridal Gowns: The Dress Theory :: Gown #1: The Mae by Johanna Johnson :: Gown #2: Elizabeth by Sarah Seven :: Gown #3: The Hendricks by Johanna Johnson

Black and White Bridal Inspiration

Black and white photography always evokes a sense of elegance and timelessness. We fell in love with this inspiration sent to us from photographer Jeremy Jackson, and have always loved the idea of a bride embracing black and white photography. Here is what stylist and planner Handley had to share with us regarding her inspiration:

This photo shoot comes from a desire within me to create images that you feel, not just see. Something so beautiful that it transcends time and resonates within you for years to come. That is what true love does to you. You witness it and feel a comfort. These images lead you through a day of preparations and leave you with baited breath. I designed this in a way that you would be left with a hope for love — so that the viewer could create their own fairy tale ending in their mind. The photography style paired with the intricate details were the perfect combination, and brought the vision in my mind to life.

Artistic Credits: Styling by Handley Breaux Designs Photography by The Jacksons Photography Hair & Makeup by Hair and Makeup by Lynsey Wardrobe provided by Ivory & White Bridal Boutique Robe and Veil by Girl with a Serious Dream Gowns by Hayley Paige, Encore Slip by Sarah Seven Calligraphy by Sealed Florals by KG Designs Rings by Brombergs

Modern & Simple Wedding Inspiration

The style of your wedding should reflect your personal style. Today's inspiration is for the bride and groom who appreciate clean lines, uncomplicated palettes and modernity. We love the mix of strong and delicate textures and focus on simplicity. Here is what photographer Jake Anderson was hoping to capture with this inspiration:

"The idea for our concept came from a noticing of the influx of a soft and ethereal style into our industry. We wanted to create a conceptual shoot which depicts more of a modern feel, with clean lines and minimal styling. We focused on the clean lines and cuts of the dress, the minimal variation in colors of the bouquet as well as tablescape. To compliment the feel, and introduced aspects of gold in the model's accessories, as well as the tableware."

This very same group of vendors will be part of Jake Anderson's workshop this coming June! A large part of using this team was to use this shoot as a team building activity, and to inspire our creativity for the upcoming workshop. Click here to learn more.

Artistic Credits Photography by Jake Anderson Florist Design and Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbons by Studio Fleurette Stylist, Emilie Szabo Venue, LAB MPLS Gown provided by The White Room Gown designed by Houghton Calligraphy by Hooked Calligraphy Jewelry by Kiki Koyote 

The Joy and Simplicity of 'Motion'

Motion can transform an image into a living, breathing moment. It can be an extension of emotion, changing the story from internal to a shared experience. And accompanied by gowns from Leanne Marshall, these moments are especially enchanting. Tomorrow we will be sharing part two of this shoot with a beautiful, simple table.

Artistic Credits: Photographer by Benicosa Weddings Floral Design by Tinge Floral Stylist, Gatherist MUAH by Bella Cosa Beauty Dresses by Leanne Marshall Model. Emma Kelly

Southern Wedding on Daufuskie Island

You can feel the sweetness and sincerity between Candace and A.D. at their elegant, Southern wedding on Daufuskie Island. We love the Spanish moss, beautiful chapel and how each detail feels familiar, almost home-like at their reception. Bride Candace shared their love story and some wedding planning tips with us. Enjoy below!

How did you and your husband meet?

A.D. and I first met in college, where we both attended Georgia Tech, and while we had a lot of mutual friends we did not know each other very well at the time. Years after graduating, I was at a local bar in Atlanta with friends when A.D. approached me at the jukebox with a huge smile. My first impression of him that night was happiness. We ended up talking and catching up for the rest of the night, and he eventually asked for my number. I still remember going home with the biggest smile on my face; he asked me out to dinner later that summer and we were inseparable after that. 

How did you know he was the one?

I knew he was special from our first date; that night we went to dinner and after the plates had been cleared and the check had been paid, we still sat at the and just talked for hours. I had butterflies with him but felt natural at the same time. We had a lot in common, being from smaller Southern towns and finding our way to the big city, where family and home meant the world to us but so did finding adventure. Before I met A.D. I had no interest in getting married anytime soon, so I do not say this lightly, but once we met each other’s families, I really could see my life with him and a year later we were engaged. 

How did he propose?

I will be the first to admit it was a huge surprise to me! On one of our earlier dates, we had created an Atlanta bucket list full of restaurants and different activities we wanted to do – from the Atlanta Skywheel and Georgia Aquarium to attending an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert. Hiking Stone Mountain had been on our bucket list, so I did not bat an eye when A.D. suggested we go there one Saturday. From the top of Stone Mountain you can see all of metro Atlanta, so I was taking pictures and walking along the mountain top as A.D. was getting more and more quiet. We were about to leave, then he told me to come to a certain spot and look at the skyline with him, and that’s when he proposed. 

I asked him later why he picked Stone Mountain to propose, and he said it was so we could look out and see the city we had conquered. 

What was most important to you both in planning your wedding?

We got engaged at the end of March 2015, yet really wanted a Fall wedding, so we picked a date in October the same year even though that was not a lot of time in the wedding world. However, we did not sacrifice the most important things to us while planning on a short timeline—we knew that we wanted a unique venue, quality vendors and a bluegrass band. Those were our priorities, and we booked Sea Oak Manor, our incredible photographer and band in the first weeks of our engagement. It really helped all other plans come into place. 

I had never been to Daufuskie before we got engaged, but I had heard it was beautiful and I liked how it is not connected by bridge to any mainland – you can only reach the island by boat, and most people use golf carts to get around the island. That is really difficult to stumble upon in the modern day. 

When we got there, both of us fell in love with the island. A.D.’s home is the woodlands of Vicksburg, MS and my home is coastal Savannah, GA, and the island was like the joining of both of those worlds to us. There were gorgeous oak trees lined along winding dirt roads, and the most spectacular beach views all along the coast. It was perfect for us, and though we knew it would be a lot of work, we wanted our guests to experience that and the start of our marriage to begin there. 

We were originally going to marry outside of Sea Oak Manor, until we made another visit to the island and visited the church. Built in 1881, it is the oldest building on the island and felt so special when we entered. We decided to get married there just two months before the wedding – I emailed our invitations contact on the way home that night! – and it was one of the best decisions made throughout the planning process. 

How would you describe your wedding's style?

What drew us to the island was its natural beauty, so I wanted our wedding style to flow with that and really embrace the Southern Lowcountry. Our decorations were more natural elements, using vintage items and items of our family members. We had brought over several of our family members’ wedding photos to decorate tables, and for florals we used seasonal blooms with lots of greenery. Our palette was blush, white, gold and lots of eucalyptus green.   

What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding?

Since it was a destination wedding, many people ended up staying the entire weekend with us on the island, and my family actually came to Sea Oak Manor a week before the wedding along with A.D.’s family. Spending the days leading up to the wedding all together was really special. Our rehearsal dinner was an oyster roast on one end of the island, followed by many of us going to a band party on the other side of the island, and we really loved getting to spend time with our family and friends then. Dancing in the living room of Sea Oak Manor with everyone was a blast as well. Since we had been staying at Sea Oak the whole week, it felt like a really grand yet cozy home party. A.D.’s best man was his brother and my maid of honor was my sister, so hearing their speeches and our fathers’ speeches was really special as well. 

One of our favorite moments was right after the wedding, taking pictures on the beach with the bridal party and looking across the yard at the house to see all the people coming. Excitement was building, the sunset was perfect and it was a great moment to soak it all in before the night began. 

What have you most learned about each other or marriage since getting married?

We have learned that teamwork makes the dream work! As cliché as that sounds, we really saw that first hand with our wedding planning. Planning a wedding on a remote island in six months is not easy, and it could not have been done without both of us helping out. A.D. helped in so many ways—he secured the band, created our website along with several other things, and was incredibly supportive when I had trouble making any decisions. Those great qualities in him persist in our marriage—he is my partner, my confidante and best friend. Some of the best advice I received while engaged was to always give your partner 110%, and I believe that advice will always hold true. Having each other’s back and being supportive of one another is critical. 

What advice do you have to other engaged couples planning their wedding?

Make wedding planning a team effort! It makes the process all the more enjoyable, too. It can be a little overwhelming when you’re starting to plan as well, so both of you should pick out your top three priorities, then plan everything else out from there. 

Also, it is easy to get bogged down with the little things and details, but remember that the wedding is just a day, and your marriage is a lifetime. That helps to keep things in perspective when you are stressing out over types of invitation fonts. Best of luck and wishes!

Artistic Credits: Location, Daufuskie Island, SC Church, First Union African Baptist Church Reception at Sea Oaks Manor Photography by Alea Moore Photography Planner and Floral Designs by Improvisions Savannah Bride's Attire by Ivory and Beau Suits and Ties by The Black Tux Bluegrass Band, Green Levels Paper Goods by Emily Kathryn Designs Dinner provided by Marshside Mamas
 

Stunning Architecture and Sweet Elopement at San Francisco City Hall

Elopements always capture our heart, but combined with the beautiful architecture of San Francisco's City Hall, this one gives us such a sweet and elegant story to share with you. Photographer Meghan Mehan shared a few words about the day.

"This couple eloped on a Monday surrounded only by six of their closest family and friends. The sweet simplicity of their wedding day matched with the elegance of San Francisco City Hall truly made their day about the love they have for each other and the love of those who have supported them along the way. The intimacy of their elopement and the celebration of their union made it about so much more than just the wedding day itself, and the golden tones and beautiful architecture of San Francisco City Hall provided a warm invitation for this couple to enter into their next chapter as husband and wife."

Artistic CreditsPhotography by Meghan Mehan Photography Hair & Makeup by Marisa Perel Flowers by Fresh Flower & Gift Shop Venue, San Francisco City Hall Film ProcessingRichard Photo Lab 

Goddess-Inspired Bride in Costa Navarino

Beautiful destinations like Costa Navarino, Greece, can serve as effortless and beautiful inspiration for a bride. While at the Boheme Workshop, photographer Alexis Rose captured a simple and elegant bridal inspiration session. Here is what she had to share with us regarding the goddess-inspired style.

"As part of the recent Boheme Workshop, this bridal shoot was inspired by the Goddess Aphrodite - the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and desire. The portraits were meant to feel soft and romantic, so we kept the focus on our bride’s femininity, as if she were a Greek sculpture. Simple and beautiful.

The location - a long stone wall at the luxury Romanos: Costa Navarino Resort - was chosen for its simplicity so that we could focus solely on the tiny details of our bride: the drape of her gown, the color of her lips... 

The beautiful florals by Celsia Floral were kept neutral, with white flowers and lots of cascading greenery in the arm-cradle bouquet. Her delicate Alexandra Grecco gown was perfect for the breezy outdoor setting and coupled with the gorgeous headpiece by Jannie Baltzer, I think the overall look epitomizes an Aphrodite inspired bride."

Artistic CreditsPhotography by Alexis Rose Photography Concept by Vasia Weddings and Artiese Studios for Boheme Workshops Creative Direction and Styling by Tahnee Sanders Gown by Alexandra Grecco Hair Pieces by Jannie Baltzer Floral Design by Celsia Floral MUAH by Frantzeska Koukoula Ribbons by Stella Wolfe ModelMarina Maloy LocationThe Romanos Collection: Costa Navarino, Greece 

Beautiful Relationships Start as Buds and then Bloom: Madison and Michael's Elegant Estate Wedding as Featured in The Pioneer Issue

Beautiful Relationships Start as Buds and then Bloom by Sarah Lapine

A simple sentiment of wisdom and beauty, spoken to a granddaughter by her grandmother. For Madison and Michael, those words carry rich meaning in their lives.

It was Madison’s grandmother, or Teta, as she called her, who spoke these words. Madison described her as having been a spirited, independent, fashionable woman; the mother of five boys. “Growing up in Egypt and attending a French school, she loved French fashion. She had no daughters, but several granddaughters. I grew up in the same town as her, and we had a very close relationship. She was hilarious,” said Madison. And her words, wise, as they encapsulate the story of how Madison and Michael came to marry.

Their story began in middle school at their church youth group. “Michael was new, he had a mushroom haircut, and I just went up to him and started talking,” remembered Madison. She quickly departed as more girls began to swarm around the new guy, but she has always remembered that first meeting. “It wasn’t romantic. I’ve just never forgotten that moment.”

Recalled Michael, “She was this crazy, friendly, tomboyish girl with long, curly hair. She was one of the first people to talk to me.” Perhaps it was her spirit; perhaps it was her dark, gorgeous hair. But one way or another, she had left an impression.

Throughout high school, Madison and Michael remained close friends, spending much of their time with each other. They studied together, ate lunch together and practiced their guitars together.  Ironically, the first song they played together was "Better Together." But despite the teasing and taunting of their friends, romance never blossomed, perhaps to Michael’s dismay. It wasn’t until Michael went away to college in Indiana that Madison realized she missed his companionship. And so began their long-distance courtship.

As they both pursued their studies in the sciences, Michael in biomedical engineering, and Madison in biology, they spent hours talking and studying over Skype. They often sent each other photographs of things they liked, and for a while, Madison sent nothing but images of majestic mountains. It was fitting, then, when Michael surprised Madison with a birthday trip to Colorado to see those mountains in person.  

The two journeyed west just one month after their college graduations. They spent time visiting friends and marveling at the beauty of the landscapes. On the final day of their adventure in the mountains, Michael suggested that he and Madison picnic in the valley of Estes Park. And it was there, surrounded by wildflowers, under a perfectly bluebird sky, looking out at the towering peaks of the Mummy Range, that Michael proposed to Madison.

“I think I was mid-bite when he got down on one knee,” laughed Madison. And though Michael said that she looked somewhat bewildered, she hugged him and said yes. When the moment had sunk in a bit, Michael realized he was still holding her engagement ring.  “Do you want this?” he asked.  And so, among the wildflowers, the ring was placed upon her finger.

We wanted to be genuine. We wanted to be real about each other and genuine about our faith.  We wanted to be genuine about our family.

These were the intentions that guided Michael and Madison as they began to plan their springtime wedding. “I love beautiful things,” said Madison, “but I never wanted to be flashy or showy. We wanted to be purposeful in our choices.”

The venue, a historic estate and gardens, was chosen for its French Provincial architecture and the hand-painted wallpaper in the dining room, imported from France. Elegant in its details, the manor felt like a subtle nod to Teta. “It’s sometimes the small things that trigger your memories,” said Madison.

Madison designed the bridesmaids’ dresses herself, taking on an admittedly ambitious task. Her designs were brought to life by two talented family friends. Several of the flower girl dresses were also handmade, lovingly sewn by Madison's mother and two of her friends. The three women stayed up late into the night to complete the little, white tulle dresses in time for the wedding.

Several details were chosen to reflect the bride’s Egyptian heritage, such as the gold Egyptian perfume bottles given by Madison to her bridesmaids. Sugared almonds were selected as favors for their guests, and Madison and her sisters taught all of the bridesmaids how to make Egyptian-style baklava, which was served with tea at the end of the wedding evening. Encouraged by her grandfather, Madison also wore bridal henna on her wedding day. “I loved how he was invested in our wedding and made sure I kept with some traditions,” Madison said.

And that bridal gown. Madison adored the beautiful, long sleeved wedding dress her mother had worn on her own wedding day. Inspired, Madison chose a sleeveless gown, purchased delicate lace, drew up a sketch, and asked seamstress Carolyn Fang to help create the dress she saw so clearly in her mind. The result was a gorgeous, long sleeved, French lace gown that fulfilled Madison’s romantic vision.

Despite months of careful attention to each detail, when their wedding day finally arrived, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as Madison had hoped. “The morning of our wedding was madness,” said Madison. “Things went awry.” She spoke of a moment of recognition in the midst of the whirlwind, however, when she was reminded of why marriage is important. To have an unconditional partner in life to stand by your side when your world is spinning in the wrong direction is a gift.

And when she finally put on her wedding gown, Madison felt things lighten and shift. “The whole day changed,” she said. As she stood there, surrounded by her beautiful sisters, family members and friends, she felt as if she were in a surreal moment.  Waiting for the ceremony to begin, she opened Michael’s gift to her. It was a pendant, holding Teta’s wedding picture, to fasten to her bouquet. Included was a note from Michael that read, “So she can be with us on our special day.” “We all cried,” Madison said, “but it was a beautiful reminder of her.”

Madison’s gift to Michael was also a reminder of the palpable support and strength bestowed upon them by their families. It was his grandfather’s pocket knife, which he kept in his jacket pocket throughout the ceremony.

At half past four in the afternoon, Madison joyfully walked down the aisle towards Michael, as arrangements from Pride and Prejudice were played. Three different pastors officiated, including Madison’s uncle who flew from Egypt to give the sermon and support them on their wedding day.

Following the ceremony, Madison and Michael snuck away to the estate's gardens. Hiding under a tree, the now husband and wife quietly reveled in their unity. “It was a moment of peace,” said Madison. A moment that seemed to stand in time.

For the rest of the evening, Michael and Madison joined their guests in celebrating the love around them and the beauty of the day. Even a fox joined in the fun, dashing across the manor lawn during the maid of honor’s toast; a magical moment that will not be forgotten.

At the end of the night, the guests lined up in front of the estate, cheering, as the bride and groom dashed towards their car. Madison chose this moment to toss her bouquet. “It was simple and exciting," she said. “It was a perfect way to end the night.”

Our hearts are into bettering people's lives.

As Madison and Michael continue to journey on their life path together, they are guided by their faith and a mutual passion for creating a more positive world together. Michael is currently working on doctoral studies in biomedical engineering at Ohio State, with the intent to help improve healthcare. Madison is the founder of POINT, a company working to design an app that connects people with service opportunities and makes giving to charitable organizations easier. “We are both entrepreneurially minded,” said Michael. “We like to create things and we are invested in our communities.” Together, they are cultivating compassion and positive change.

“We like to push each other,” said Michael. “I married Madison because she is passionate.  She is always pushing me to be better. She is invested in who I am. And, she's gorgeous!” Just as their relationship bloomed after so many years of knowing each other, so too are their intentions for living a passionate, service-filled life. With the other by their side, Madison and Michael know they are better together.

Find more inspiring stories and real wedding in The Pioneer Issue, now on news stands!

Artistic Credits: Photography by Justine Milton Film Scans by PhotoVIsion Prints Venue, Kingwood Center Event Planning and Design by the Bride Day of Event Coordinator and Styling by Birds and Honey Event Coordinator by Umbrella Barrel Catering by Blue Ribbon Catering and Mazah Mediterannean Eatery Floral Design by the Bride's Family and Friends Cinematography by Little Tree Studios Cake by Blanca Guerra Ceremony Music by Isaiah Wu, Daniel Wu and Stephan Spottswood Cocktail Hour Music by Stephan Spottswood Reception Music by Caleb Apker and Lauren Mikail Wedding Bands by Store5a Bride's Makeup by Columbus Wedding Makeup Bridesmaid Makeup and Hair by Makeup and Hair by Laura Bridesmaid Dresses by Bride, Cloty Julca and McWherter Henna Art by Bindu Verma and Creative Calla Corner Calligraphy by Plume Calligraphy

 

Delicate Morning Bridal Inspiration
cottagehillmag.com

Photographer Mariel Hannah shared these gorgeous bridal photographs with us with a goal in mind to celebrate simplicity with elegance. We love how thoughtful these moments are and how the details are captured that celebrate the bride's unique personality and style. Here is what Mariel had to share with us. 

“I dreamt of creating and photographing a set of images that is serene and gentle. One that welcomes the light streaming in through the windows and breathes in the cool morning air. A gorgeous vintage lace gown that was provided for this shoot truly set the tone for our vision. Mint Design and I awoke before the sun came to play in able to put together a very simplistic bridal portrait that took place in my own home. The gentleness and serenity of morning light was our true inspiration.”


Photographs by Mariel Hannah :: Floral Design & Styling by Mint Design :: Dress by Mary Rita of Vintage Lace Gown :: Hair by Nicole Johnson :: Model, Paige Lafever :: Head Pieces by Melinda Rose

Love is Real from The Pioneer Issue
cottagehillmag.com

“Like a wedding gown with it’s pristine and immaculate detail, so too is love. On the wedding day, the details are represented in perfectly arranged flowers and place cards delicately calligraphed with guests’ names. Love that last a lifetime manifests itself in, a sweet voice, a warm embrace, or a tough decision made after honest and frank dialogue. Details matter and are the difference between a life worth living or a life just lived.

What is promised on the wedding day should not be taken lightly. That is why the words are called sacred and not just promises, but are deemed a covenant. Love requires commitment to choose truth and selflessness long after the honeymoon. Although, it’s not all sacrifice and serious the promise is one to keep!

Love is really fun. Love gives us freedom - freedom to play and freedom to forgive. It is in these freedoms that the greatest reward lasts long after death us do part. Love transcends. There is nothing more original than the unique bond between husband and wife. Love is the eternal thread we have the choice of weaving into our soul, everlasting.”

Read more in The Pioneer Issue now on news stands. 

Venue, Cedar Lakes Estate :: Event Planning & Design by Dulce Dream Events :: Photography by Alexis June Weddings :: Wardrobe Stylist, Ani Hovhannisyan :: Floral Design by Bastille Flowers & Events :: Makeup by Stacie Ford Makeup Artistry :: Hairstylist, Laureen for Styles On B :: Cake, Erica O’Brien Cake Design :: Tabletop Rentals by Borrowed Blu :: Stationery by Katie Fischer Design :: Video by GT Modern Creations :: Film Developed and Scanned by Photovision :: Model, Mikayla from RED

Simple Bridal Portraits Inspired by Architecture
cottagehillmag.com

Inspired by New York's hidden beauty Fort Tryon, today's online editorial features simply breathtaking bridal portraits. When taking your bridal portraits, remember that the session does not have to be complicated. Some of the most simple details can be the most beautiful. These photographs are about you, so consider what is most authentic to you from your hair and makeup choices to location. 

Artistic Credits: Photography by Mariel Hannah :: Blooms & Design by Maidenkind :: Makeup & Hair by Angela Boswell :: Gown by Maggie Sottero :: Accessories by Amalee Accessories

Bridal Inspiration from Tuscany
cottagehillmag.com

Today's bridal inspiration comes from Italy captured by Olga Plakitina and designed by Blush Pink Events. We love seeing work inspired by a location, history, architecture. Here is what Olga had to share with us about the meaningfulness behind this story shoot. 

"We were inspired by the amazing mediaeval city San Gimignano located in Tuscany region, Italy. The second name of the city - 'City of a hundred towers.' The historic city center of San Gimignano, in 1990, was included in the UNESCO. Old stone streets, majestic towers, all immersed in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

We had the idea to create a story typical of the time. Young girl medieval princess waiting for her knight in a stone tower. She walks around the castle, olive groves, rereading all of his letters and really loves him and waiting.

We have tried to create an image of a clean and deep. Only love is driven by it. She dreams of the day when it is seen on the horizon of his beloved.”

Photography by Olga Plakitina :: Planner, Blush Pink Events :: Gown Designer, Bluebells :: Headpiece, Romantic Art Life

English Countryside Inspiration
cottagehillmag.com

"I believe in roses. And I believe in putting roses into a vase and sitting the vase on the table. I believe in getting lost and being found, I believe in going barefoot, and in laughter! My religion is to laugh at myself, whenever I can! I believe in the sunlight and in grey skies with big, beautiful clouds." - C. JoyBell C.

Inspired by the English countryside, photographer Ashley McCormick and her team created an intimate bridal story drawn from the dreaminess of a Jane Austen novel. We love the bride's easy garden blooms and serene, carefree spirit as she wanders through the beautiful location in her bare feet. 

Photography by Ashley McCormick :: Florist, Fleur & Lumiere :: Cake by Le Petit Sweet :: MUAH by Makeover Station :: Gown from Shop Gossamer :: Venue, Peachtree House :: Headpiece & Veil by Fabiola Capo Bridal Millinery :: Model, Devin Magnuson :: Rentals by RW Events :: Invitation Suite by Brown Linen Design

White Mystère Bridal Inspiration
cottagehillmag.com

Bridal inspiration can often become redundant, however, we see it as an opportunity for artists to articulate the individuality of each bride. While the styling parameters of bridal inspiration - such as a gown, a bouquet, perhaps a table setting - are the constants of what makes bridal inspiration, its the variable of the bride, the woman, and enhancing her beauty and uniqueness that makes a styled story refreshing and interesting. 

This styled story is interesting to us. It is simple and minimal, but tells us so much about the bride's heart. Callie Manion shared these images with us from a recent photography mentor session and we're excited to share them today. Here are a few words she shared with us below. 

I believe this series speaks to a modern and feminine bride who appreciates the beauty in simplicity. I love how each detail both pops from it’s surroundings and also blends together to create a cohesive and soft effect. I was drawn to the bride’s gentle movements throughout the shoot, and it really inspired me to create a series full of elegance and mystery—two traits I am so attracted to when I photograph a bride.

The color scheme was kept very simple for this shoot, with only neutrals being used. I love the way these soft colors blended together to create a really soft and simple palate. The florals from Stems of Dallas added perfectly to the overall gentleness of the shoot, and also helped to add pops of soft green hues into the mix. The gown from Carol Hannah not only moved beautifully, but also complimented the overall romance of the shoot by providing a little peek-a-boo color. The veil was simple and elegant and finished off the look perfectly. 

Everything came together so beautifully to deliver a series on film that is clean, simple, and timeless. The images at the end with the bride veiled are especially my favorite.  This series speaks to a bride who wants simple, yet striking details; and shows that you don't always need a lot of color to make a statement. 

Photography by Callie Manion :: Workshop Mentor Session with Lauren Peele :: Film Lab, Photo Vision :: Styling by Lindsey Brunk :: Dress and Veil by Carol Hannah :: Venue, The White Sparrow :: MUAH by Brittany Jones :: Model from Callidus Agency :: Paper by The Romance Between :: Floral Design by Stems of Dallas 

Before the Ceremony
Before the Ceremony | cottagehillmag.com/journal

Today we are starting a new series. Like ‘Throwback Thursday’ on social media, we will be using Thursdays to bring back some of our favorite moments on the journal as we get closer to celebrating our anniversary in October! This beautiful bouquet comes from a shoot by Silver Cup Artist Alex Meyer Events. Click here to see the full story. 

Creative Direction and Styling by Alex Meyer Events :: Photography by Michael and Carina Photography :: Bridal Gown designed by Sarah Seven :: Floral Design by Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Design Venue, Old Metropolitan Hall :: Film Processing by Richard Photo Lab :: Bride by Kimberly Barkley

A Day Wedding Dress Shopping
Wedding Dress Shopping | cottagehillmag.com/journal

Wedding dress shopping, even more the most prepared, can be overwhelming. Erin of Big Love Wedding Design & Styling Shop created a fun and peaceful environment for bride Shelley to try on gown with her sister and mother. Here is what Erin had to share with us about this sweet, intimate experience. 

Family oriented gal and all around sweetheart, Shelley set out to find just the right gown for her natural-modern wedding in the city. Intent on finding something simple, classic, with an elegant charm, Shelley was excited to enjoy a laid back shopping experience, no score cards, no drama, just family sharing in the special moment. The perfect place for this stylish and easy going bride- to-be was the city’s newest indie bridal shop, Loversland.

The morning shopping session had a very intimate and relaxed vibe, and included Shelley’s closest family members only, her sister Laura and mum Deb. The three ladies are as close as can be and Shelley wanted to share this experience with the women that have been by her side for all her life.

Inspired by the beautifully curated space, I ventured to create something elegant and welcoming, hoping to make the dress shopping experience a little more special for Shelley and her family. The ladies started off the day with a champagne toast and some delicious sweets, scratch baked goods in the form of childhood favourites such as pop tarts and flakies, all served on a vintage bar cart. Detailed with a DIY cake topper, hand lettered juice bottles, vintage dishes and a mock bouquet, all captured by talented photographer Heidi Lau. 

The fittings took place in “The Haven”, an exceptionally beautiful, private lounge at the back of the shop decked with gorgeous gowns and accessories to help complete each look. Dress after dress, Shelley gracefully modeled each gown for her family who admired her in each and every one, admittedly she looked beautiful in them all! A lovely day that will be relived by the ladies for a long time to come.

Styling by Big Love Wedding Design & Styling Shop :: Photographs by Heidi Lau Photography :: Bridal Shop, Loversland :: Flowers by Blush and Bloom :: Baked Goods & Bake Shoppe by Bake Shoppe :: Specialty Tabletop Rentals by Plate Occasions :: Lettering by Love Lettering

Whistler Wedding by Christie Graham Photography - The Love Story + Ceremony
Cottage Hill Whistler Wedding

As much as we love creating stories, nothing beats a true story which is why we love real weddings. This simple, organic Whistler wedding by Christie Graham has us smiling from ear to ear from the joy and love that is so evident between Katie and Nathan. Here is what Christie had to say about their wedding:

Katie and Nathan's day was filled with thoughtful details inspired by the colour palette of Nita Lake and it's surroundings. Bringing the outdoors in, tables were adorned in foraged greenery, moss and gorgeous florals. The bride's lace gown paired with the flowing blush bridesmaids gowns, and the groomsmen's dapper grey suits. Guests were taken care of with delicious food and wine, as well as cozy blankets to keep them from the spring chill. During the outdoor covered ceremony, the rain set in creating a magical feeling for everyone gathered.

Nathan and Katie live in Vancouver, but escape into the mountains every chance they get, so their choice to celebrate in Whistler felt personal and comfortable. A mini escape from the city, the mountain town provided the perfect backdrop to this couple's wedding day.

Enjoy these photographs of their ceremony and join us tomorrow to see the reception and full gallery! Want to share your real wedding with us? Submit here - we can't wait to read your story!

Photography by Christie Graham Photography :: Planning and styling by Celebrate Events :: Flowers from Billies Flower House :: Bouquet hand dyed silk ribbon from Froufrou Chic :: Nita Lake Lodge as wedding venue :: Makeup by Artistry by V :: Hair by Salon Cordeiro, Leanne Cordeiro and Jackie Lutar :: Bride’s Dress is Allure from Lisa’s Bridal :: Bride’s Shoes from Kate Spade :: Bride’s Jewelry by Elsa Corsi from Jeweliette Jewelry :: Bridesmaid’s Dresses are also Allure from Lisa’s Bridal :: Bride’s Robe from Nordstrom :: Bridesmaid’s Robes from Pretty Plum Sugar :: Groom’s attire by Kenneth Cole :: Invitations from Wintons :: Ceremony Music by Colin Bullock :: DJ, Darren Butler :: Film Scans through Caribou Film Lab