Images by: Jasmine Carter Photography
Planning from Far Away
Michaela and I met on Facebook through a group that is called Atlanta Weddings and Events Group where brides can collaborate with vendors and such. She asked about florals for her intimate elopement taking place in Ellijay. I knew she was my kind of bride because her inspiration photos included a statement floral crown which I was ALLLLLL about!
I noticed on her Facebook profile that she was from Slovakia (how cool is that!?!) and then she mentioned she she was living in Dubai during the planning process. So she was planning her wedding not a few states away, but a few countries and oceans away! Her fiance (and now husband) is in the military, so I was super impressed by her planning skills given all of her obstacles!
Since Ellijay is an hour and a half from where we live, my husband and I decided to rent a cabin through Airbnb. It could not have been a better time for a "break" because this was our 3rd wedding weekend in a row (which was a blessing), but took a toll on my creativity. I highly recommend a little mountain get-away to hit the reset button.
There has been multiple times already that we've packed up the car and trailer with buckets full of fresh flowers, decor items and studio tools, but since this was an elopement, it almost felt like a styled shoot since Michaela was so laid back about what she wanted and really gave me the creative reigns (which always helps the creative process).
Photos of Bear Ridge Lodge by Jasmine Carter Photography
The Wedding Day
I arrived at their venue which was Bear Ridge Lodge - a huge cabin that overlooks a lake. I stepped out of the car to chickens following me around, then a ton of ducks, then cats roaming around. It was a little homestead that the owner, Randy and his wife had put together. They live in a portion of the lodge and rent out the rest for weddings, family reunions, and any other family gatherings. I stepped into the house and finally was able to meet and hug Michaela and she was exactly how I envisioned her. She pranced around the house with a huge smile on her face. Family members were in the kitchen prepping snacks and drinks for later that evening and it was the coolest atmosphere for a wedding that I have ever witnessed.
I began setting up the personal flowers which included boutonnieres, corsages, bouquets and lastly her statement crown which she was over the moon about! After her hairstylist, Madison Kiser of MK Southern Beauty placed it on her head, it was like crowning a queen! I wish all my brides were so bold with wearable florals!
The Bridal Party
An intimate or elopement style wedding always has perks, like small wedding parties! Michaela's best friend was her bridesmaid and they had only one flower girl. A good break from our normally 10+ bridal party members!
The Bride + Groom
Erick wore a deep burgundy/plum velvet blazer with a black lapel detail, black slacks and black shoes. His tie (which I am sure Michaela picked out since she is so intentional) was a paisley type that really brought in the velvet color from his blazer. His boutonniere style included white wax flowers and a deep berry Dahlia.
Michaela's bouquet featured big and vibrant deep berry dahlias, white wax flowers, dyed limonium, hypericum berries, seeded eucalyptus and gunni! It paired perfectly with Erick's attire and of course her floral crown which included holland gerber daises, spray roses, seeded eucalyptus and white wax flowers!
Michaela was one of those special brides - like Carrie Underwood special! She had a wardrobe change multiple times, but did it with such grace! Even Erick had a wardrobe change at the very end of the evening!
One thing we are ALWAYS used to in this industry is alterations to the original plans! Back when Michaela and I were in the planning process, the alter/ focal piece of their ceremony was supposed to be on the mantle. However, when I arrived the big windows and the current couch set up seemed to lean towards a sofa table that was centered overlooking the lake. Of course, our dream bride was flexible, so I set up her alter piece there which made the intimate ceremony super romantic, just see for yourself!
Seriously, all my floral dreams came true! The tied garland included smilax, plumosa, italian ruscus, cedar and seeded eucalyptus. When I arrived and place it, I decided to weave in dyed amaranthus on the left side and place pops of buds at the top completing the look. The one trick I had was covering up a wifi router in the center of the table, but with some some optical illusions with the candles, I was able to hide it quite well!
1. Elopements are just as gorgeous as "big" weddings!
2. Don't be afraid to wear a statement piece like a floral crown or change outfits because the end result is beautiful!
3. Find a great group of vendors that you can "jive" with beforehand because we all work better together if we are team players!
Watch their Full Video Here
Seriously, Monica Sutton did such a great job capturing their day through video! If you ever are second guessing an elopement, don't because this video just shows how beautiful they really are!
Michaela + Erick's Rockstar Vendors:
Venue | Bear Ridge Lodge
Photos | Jasmine Carter Photography
Video | Monica Sutton Studios
Florals + Design | Your Best Guest
Hair + Makeup | MK Southern Beauty
Catering | The Shack of Ellijay
Officiant | Reverend Rick Durham