Posts in Real Weddings
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

Downtown Oklahoma Wedding
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill

Rebecca and Miles’ joy radiates in every one of their wedding photographs. But Rebecca’s favorite moment wasn’t one captured by the photographer. The morning of their wedding Rebecca and Miles had breakfast alone, just the two of them. They cuddled, giggled, and soaked in each other’s presence. They slowed down and appreciated the little things - like the barista writing “love” in Becca’s latte. Small moments of love seem to be the ones that make the biggest impacts on our hearts. 

From Rebecca: “The older I get, the more I see God's love in every person, place, situation... It is so far beyond 'inclusive'- it is everywhere.”

Rebecca is obviously smitten with everything about Miles.  She sees the absolute best in him and would tell anyone who will listen that he’s her hero. What’s the thing Miles does that makes Rebecca swoon? When he hand washes her blender and her nice knives. Proving that love is everywhere, even in the dishes.

With weddings that are becoming more like events, we seem to think that every act of love must be this grand. When in reality, it’s the little things that matter the most to us. It’s the walk around your neighborhood holding hands and talking about your dreams, it’s the random note of encouragement, it’s the prayer journal you’ve kept for your spouse, it’s these simple things that matter the most. 

We live in a world that says bigger is better. We’re expected to want more of everything instead of being content with what we have. Love wins over the ways of the world, and proves time and time again that we don’t need big romantic gestures to feel its goodness. 

Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill
Melissa Green Photography Oklahoma Wedding | Cottage Hill

Photography by Melissa Marshall :: Elizabeth Dye gown and Sarah Seven belt from a&be bridal :: Shoes from Ancient Greek Sandals :: Make-up by Niccole Wyatt :: Hair by The Beauty Shop :: Flower girl dresses from Marilyn Tov :: Florals by Tasha Bartholic :: Cakes by Ann's Bakery :: Macarons by Antionette Banking Co :: Event planning by Adrian Events

Intimate Lakeside Wedding in North Carolina
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When pouring through the countless wedding submissions we receive each day, it is heartwarming to see photographs capturing not only the happy bride and groom but also the excited and supporting wedding guests. In Sammie and Davey's intimate wedding, you can feel the love from the entire family and friends gathered around. See more below and be sure to check out their video at the end of the article.

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Artistic Credits: Photography by Maggie Colletta Photography Videography by Colletta Films  Floral Design by Springvine Design Calligraphy by Bohemian Ink Styling & Design by Jordana Nicholson Brides Dress by Carol Hannah

Colorado Real Wedding

Today's stunning Colorado real wedding is one for the books. We love the exchange of elegance and rustic charm to create an environment truly authentic to the couple. Here is what photographer Rachel Havel had to share about Anna and Carson's special day.

Anna and Carson have a story suited for a movie. They met and dated in high school, and the love was instant. Anna recalls the moment he walked into her class, and she just knew they'd be together. It was a feeling, she says, that she felt like she knew him already and was meant to know him, and yet, they'd never met. They spent the next few years of life, growing together, moving to Colorado, and developing a love that would be everlasting. Their wedding was a beautiful picture of their sweet devotion for each other, and even more, their beautiful hearts. The legacy of their love is one of a kind, and the depths of their love and commitment for one another is unsurpassable.

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Artistic Credits: Photography by Rachel Havel Floral Design by Lale Florals Coordinator, We Tie The Knots Venue, Spruce Mountain Ranch Transportation, Ace Express Coaches Videographer, Ampersand Family Cake by Cakeheads Officiant, Dave Love Hair by Drybar Rentals by Event Rents Linens by La Tavola Linens Catering by Occasions Catering Band, Premium Diesel

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 

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

 

Andrea + Matt
cottagehillmag.com

For our final real wedding of 2015, we are honored to share this sweet, Southern love story. With a wedding in our favorite Southern town, Charleston, full of heartfelt details celebrating what marriage truly means we hope you enjoy bride Andrea's story and all the beautiful moments!

How we met: The first person I ever met at college (at GWU orientation) happened to be a family friend of Matt's, and she invited me to a party that he was hosting with some of his friends (he was in his second year at GW). I didn't end up going to the party, so we didn't meet then, but did a couple months later at one of my sorority's parties. When we were introduced, we both secretly already knew of each other through his family friend and me being a no show at his party during orientation (which we found out about years later). We ended up becoming friends and stayed friends until my Senior year (Fall 2009) when we decided to start dating. 

How we got engaged: Fast forward to last August, on a Friday, I asked to leave a few hours early from work because my family was coming into town and I needed to get things ready for their arrival. I got home and Matt had already done everything I needed to do and asked if I wanted to go to the roof and have a glass of wine while we waited for them. It sounded like the best idea, so we went up and Matt surprised me with a proposal. I was seriously shocked that we was able to pull it off without me noticing something was up. He also managed to get all of our friends in on the secret weeks beforehand and set up a surprise engagement party to celebrate afterwards. The day was such a whirlwind but from what I remember, it was great and so much fun.

Photography by Marni Rothschild :: Design and Coordination by Ooh! Events :: Hair and Makeup by Paperdolls :: Reception Venue, Lowndes Grove, Charleston SC :: Flowers, Out of The Garden :: Catering + Bar, Fish :: Invitations and Day of paper products by Studio R Charleston :: Gown from Christos :: Dishware by Polished Tabletop :: Bridesmaids gowns by JCrew 

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

Submit Your Wedding
Photography by   Melissa Green  ::  Read More Here

Photography by Melissa Green :: Read More Here

It may only be January, but we are already piecing together The Captivated Issue, writing stories, reviewing submissions, welcoming familiar and new sponsors and planning our original shoots across the nation later this spring. But perhaps one of our favorite part of our printed publication is found in Chapter Two, the real weddings that grace our pages. 

We love reading love stories. With a box of tissues handy, we love reading the bride's point of view of the day, and all the days leading up to the wedding. The joy is certainly in the journey, and learning about how a couple falls in love, overcomes obstacles together and selflessly gives themselves to each other, for better or worse, inspires us. Love is not a fairytale, we all know. But it's in the honest, raw moments - of knowing the other person's ugliest moments and loving them wholeheartedly and them doing the same in return - that's the beginning of a legacy we want to share. 

For The Captivated Issue and online journal, we are looking for these stories. For print, we are looking for stories that follow the idea that we should be captivated not by the things, but the people and ideals that motivate us to get up every morning - that motivate us to do good. With those stories, we are looking for real weddings and elopements that evoke a sense of other-worldly, everlasting, reverie-like love. Real love that through text and photography reminds readers of what really matters.

Have a story to share? We'd be honored for you to share it with us! Simply submit here. Here are a few of our most-loved real weddings from the online journal. We'll be sharing the real weddings from The Homecoming Issue in a few weeks when we countdown to our newsstand debut!

Photography by   The Chattmans  ::  Read More Here

Photography by The Chattmans :: Read More Here

Photography by   Emily Chidester  ::  Read More Here

Photography by Emily Chidester :: Read More Here

Photography by    Arnau Dubois Photography  :: Read More Here

Photography by Arnau Dubois Photography :: Read More Here

Photography by Baker Photography :: Read More Here

Photography by   Adrian Micheal Photography  :: Read More Here

Photography by Adrian Micheal Photography :: Read More Here

Photography by   Ashley Slater   ::  Read More Here

Photography by Ashley Slater  :: Read More Here

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

Potential in the Unfinished by Magnolia Adams
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It’s that moment when you’re not exactly sure what stands before you.  The moment that holds feelings you’ll try desperately, but in vain, to describe to your grandchildren.  You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s a moment you will always remember. It’s that magical moment when you stop envisioning the very next thing.  Sure, the next thing may be fine.  But in this moment, your visions turn from fine to extraordinary.  The very next thing you can imagine transforms into a little stop within a timeless journey.

The best part about this point in time is that it takes place before things are complete, when they are not yet fully formed.

Colin and Lauren are the bride and groom of this real wedding, captured by Magnolia Adams Photography.  These two know quite a bit about “moments.”

As Colin and Lauren went on their first visit to Southwind Hills in Goldsby, Oklahoma, they dreamed of their life together beginning in such a unique and glamorous venue.  In fact, dreaming was all they could manage, seeing as the venue was not yet finished on the day they booked their wedding.  Lauren explained, “[It] wasn’t even halfway finished.  We could already see the potential.  We instantly knew it was the perfect fit and put our deposit down the next day.”

Much to their delight, the venue truly was the perfect fit.  The high-end barn style venue managed to reflect both Colin and Lauren’s styles.  The wedding had a very crisp, rustic feel, which underscored Lauren’s simple and glamorous style.  

The venue was also peppered with industrial components such as the metal spiral staircase and the modern balcony.  This underscored Colin’s style, contemporary and polished.  

This beautiful intersection of rustic and modern was repeated in the centerpieces.  They were made of mostly simple, natural materials, and pops of color were added inside metallic vases.

Colin and Lauren clearly have a knack for recognizing potential.  They each have their own story of the dawn of their lifelong relationship: an unassuming coffee date.  Lauren noted that on their first date, she immediately felt a sense of complete freedom.  This freedom was simply a seed that continued to grow as their relationship progressed.  Colin described that the very first coffee date, he realized Lauren knew just how to tap into his goofy side.  Based on the first look and the processional, Lauren also needs to tap into Colin’s emotions, which we saw streaming down his face frequently throughout the ceremony.    

The freedom they share is so apparent in the images Michelle, of Magnolia Adams Photography, captured after the ceremony.  Colin and Lauren were sweetly chatting beneath Lauren’s veil, together forever, simple and free, at long last.  They each have a goofy side.  It was easy to see the freedom they feel together, as they recessed down the aisle in side-splitting laughter.

To Lauren, the most exciting part of the day was thinking about heading to the home they would now share.  This fact further emphasized her excitement to create new traditions as they grow into a family.  These new traditions were beautifully echoed on their big day, including the brand new venue, the artful intersection of rustic and modern styles, and, most importantly, the sweet moments between the bride and groom as their personalities were allowed to shine through.

Colin and Lauren are now in the beginning stage of marriage.  Though they aren’t sure what it will look like, they are both certain it will exceed their expectations.

Photography by Magnolia Adams :: Cake by Amy Cakes in Norman :: Venue: Southwind Hills :: Wedding Planner and Center Floral Arrangements by Jenny Joy Events :: Bouquets, Boutonnieres and Corsages by Emerson Events :: Cinematography by Vanderburg Creative :: Shoes from Juicy Couture :: Second photographer: Makenzi Ryanne Photography :: Written by Guest Writer Jessica Gobble

 

Orchard Wedding by Ashley Monogue
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After reading about AnnMarie and Philip's proposal story I knew that their relationship was built around strong community. AnnMarie tells the story like this: "I thought I was having a girl's day with my then-roommates. We ended up at a local Mexican restaurant where both of our families were. My dad handed me a letter (from Philip) that began a scavenger hunt through our dating life in Houston where at each location was a different set of friends, and a clue to the next place! I ended up in Bayou Bend Gardens when Philip was waiting for me. There he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and I said, 'Absolutely; of course!'"

I love the way Philip included both of their families and all of their friends into such a special moment. They were standing beside them as AnnMarie made the decision to marry Philip and their wedding day was no different. When I asked AnnMarie her favorite memory of their wedding day she replied, "The whole weekend was incredible - just to have all of our loved ones in the same place was something I'll treasure forever."

Their wedding day was unforgettable not only because of the love they have for each other, but because of the love that surrounds them through their family and friends. "Something that's been a common thread in our relationship is that "it takes a village." Our special day would not have been everything it was without the endless overflow of help, coordination, and support of our family and friends. "

Photography by Ashley Monogue :: Venue: The Orchard at Caney Creek :: Hair & Make Up by Bridal Makeup by Melanie :: DJ: DJ Dave Productions :: Cinematography by Sweet Spirit Productions :: Florals by Lacy Border :: Bridal Gown by Vera Wang :: Cake by Julie's Cakes

Texas Wedding by Jen Dillender
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Jillian and Hayden met in high school and began to get to know each other during Chemistry class study dates. In the words of Jillian, "There was more chemistry than just molecules during these study sessions, and that is how our relationship began!"

Their beautiful waterfront wedding took place in Tyler, Texas. When we asked Jillian and Hayden what their favorite memory from their wedding was they said, "At the end of the ceremony, our officiant told us to turn around and look into the crowd before we walked back down the aisle. That was a special time to see all these people who gathered to celebrate our lives together, and being able to soak that moment in was a great memory."

I love that thoughtful detail. During the ceremony it seems you only have eyes for each other (as it should be!) but taking a moment to look at all of your family and friends who love you and will be supporting your marriage is such a sweet gesture. 

Jillian and Hayden's sweet love for each other is so evident in their wedding photos. Jillian told us, "As young as we were when we started dating, I could always tell there was something different about Hayden. His kind heart and loyalty were so evident even as teenagers, but even more, he radiated Jesus in everything he did, something hard to come by in high school."  Hayden and Jillian's relationship has a strong foundation and that was reflected on their wedding day. Their thoughtful wedding details centered around their faith and full of joy and blissful happiness created the perfect environment to celebrate their love and marriage. I'm sure this was a wedding that every guest was honored to attend!   

Photography by Jen Dillender Photography :: Florals by La Tee Da :: Venue: Lake Tyler Petroleum Club :: DJ: CMB Music Productions :: Save the Date & Invitations by 3 Eggs Design :: Dress from Watters :: Cakes by Designs by D'Ann :: Cookies from Village Bakery :: Catering by The Fatt Apple :: String Trio: Shane Almendarez  :: Day of Coordination by Event & Company :: Shoes from Anthropologie :: Second Shooter: Emily of Something Gold Photography :: Calligraphy and lettering, monogram design, programs, bow ties, and chalkboards done by the bride, Jillian 

 

British Columbia Wedding by Adrian Micheal
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Sarah and Nick's love withstood many distances until they decided to take the plunge and move across the country for each other. Their wedding was an intimate gathering of 35 of their closest friends and family. Many of their guests were traveling from far away to celebrate their marriage, so Nick and Sarah wanted to find a destination and venue that made their guests feel like they were on vacation. Okanagan Valley was the perfect choice. 

Photography was very important to Sarah and Nick since they knew their wedding day would fly by and the photographs would be the most tangible way to remember every special moment. Sarah recalls, "One memory we will always remember was the sunset photography session with Adrian. The sun was setting over the mountains and created the perfect opportunity for photos, and was a great way to relax and wind down the big day."

Photography by Adrian Micheal Photography :: Decoration by Vintage Origami :: Make-up by Shimmer and Gloss :: Hair by Tie the Knot Hair Design :: Florals by Classic Creations Floral Design :: Cake by Whisk 

 

Intimate Outdoor Wedding by Baker Photography

If I had to describe this wedding in one word it would be "joy." The joy Ben and Emily have individually is radiant, and when put together it's electric. This small, ten person Wisconsin wedding is all about the real stuff. Family, laughter, faith, and love.

From the basil salt favors to the ceremony arbor, the bride was hands on in creating her wedding day. It is apparent she seamlessly pulled off a warm and loving atmosphere for her loved ones at her parent's farm house. Despite a rainy start to the day, Emily says, "The day was truly beautiful and fully us."

Photography by Baker Photography :: Bridal Gown from Charlotte's Bridal 

Spanish Wedding by Arnau Dubois
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Complete with stone architecture and a cocktail hour of tapas, Marta and Jaume’s wedding can be described by one word, timeless. They were married in the rolling countryside of Barcelona, Spain surrounded by dear friends and family. Every photograph by Arnau Dubois seems to transport you back to a simpler time, where time passed slowly and was freely given to the ones you love.

I personally love the simple yet elegant feel of this wedding. From the guest reception portraits to the classic woven hats adorning the men’s heads to the way Marta’s gown glows in the evening sun, this Spanish wedding will remind you of what truly matters on a wedding daytimeless, elegant love.

Photography by Arnau Dubois Photography 

Outdoor Wedding by Melissa Green
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When I asked Kira what her favorite part of her wedding was she replied back, "Can I say the honeymoon?" I love that! Weddings are about more than just one day; they are the beginning of a legacy. Every day after the wedding will be greater than the one before it, because every day that passes brings a deeper love than was there before. 

Kira shared with me a few of her favorite moments from the actual wedding day as well: "When we messed up tying a rope into knots during our ceremony it made me laugh and allowed me to loosen up and have fun celebrating. I was also overwhelmed by the amount of love from our family and friends. Everyone made a huge effort to make sure Matt and I felt special on our big day. They were such a blessing."

Photography by Melissa Green :: Florals by Brenda Skinner :: Cake Artist: Barb Lindamood :: Hair Artist: Sarah Laughlin :: Make-up Artist: Moreen Jones at Salon Zen :: Catering by Fuzzy's Taco Shop :: Venue: Jimmie Austin Golf Club :: Videographer: AtriaCreative :: Bridal Gown: Wtoo from Abelina's Boutique