cloudland canyon state park georgia forest adventure elopement fall autumn wedding



As a professional photographer, this bride had seen her fair share of weddings.

Her experience as a vendor, however, left her craving something a bit more intimate for her own wedding. With her fiancé onboard, Leighanne planned their elopement in record time, and just seven days later, they were bound for Georgia, ready to say “I do!”

“They were trying to chase autumn as it came down the East Coast,” photographer Shelby Robinson recalls. “We were heading into the middle of November so fall was just about coming to a close… I loved how they let nature choose their date.” The bride repurposed vintage pieces to fashion a one-of-a-kind gown, while the groom relied upon his wood-working skills to create his own wedding band. Both Leighanne and Jeremy felt true magic on their big day, and the experience led to an overwhelm of emotions. “[Leighanne] told me right off the bat that they were not emotional people,” Shelby recalls. “Then we got to their first look… The wind was rustling the leaves in the trees, the sunlight was pouring in behind them, and Leighanne came up and gently tapped Jeremy on the shoulder. He turned, tears already running down his face, and embraced her tightly. Both of them melted into one another as emotion overcame them. I was in awe.”

So are we. It’s because of stories and images like these that we are so head over heels for elopements!


Photography by Thistle + Wood Photo



CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT:

“Being a wedding photographer myself, I was almost positive I never wanted to have a formal wedding after photographing over 100 of them. As much as I love photographing them, it just wasn’t something that ever fit my personality. Thankfully, my husband felt the exact same – he hates being the center of attention just as much as I do – so it wasn’t something we really had to question. We knew we wanted to do something super private and have that memory just for us.”

[Leighanne, The Bride]



CHOOSING AN ELOPEMENT LOCATION:

“We planned the entire elopement in less than a week. I was looking for locations where there might still be some color, as I am obsessed with fall and unfortunately don’t get to experience the true change of seasons much here in Texas. I checked out a map predicting fall foliage and saw that Georgia might be a good bet and kind of went from there. I stumbled across the most amazing treehouse that was booked for months in advance, and they just happened to have one night available a week from then. I definitely took that as a sign and booked it immediately and hoped everything else would fall into place as well.”

[Leighanne]



PLANNING AN ELOPEMENT:

“…we did everything in less than a week. Being in the wedding industry helped a lot with already kind of knowing what was going to be involved and what needed to be done. There were a couple of stressful days just hoping everything would pan out, but for the most part, it was a really enjoyable seven days of planning. Everything about our wedding day was pure magic to be honest. It was literally everything either of us could have ever asked for.”

[Leighanne]



ELOPEMENT ADVICE:

“Really think about who you are as a couple and don’t feel like you have to have a wedding because your family wants you to or you feel like you’re going to miss out on something. If you’re considering eloping, it’s probably because that’s what would fit you best… You really get to soak in your partner’s presence, and I think the intimacy of an elopement is truly something that can’t be beat. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

[Leighanne]




Vendors:

Florals | Shean Strong
Hair & Makeup | Erin Ryser Hair & Makeup Artistry 
Treehouse | Treetop Hideaways


Thank you to Thistle + Wood Photo for sharing this session, and congratulations to Leighanne + Jeremy!



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