Sarah and Jake’s Blissful Small Wedding at Lake Winfield Scott

Sarah and Jake’s Blissful Small Wedding at Lake Winfield Scott

This autumn intimate wedding at Lake Winfield Scott State Park in North Georgia incorporates elements of a traditional wedding and elopement all in one, reminding couples you don’t have to stick to certain rules when planning your wedding day.

Ready to start planning your wedding adventure? Explore our Georgia elopement packages.

About This Small Wedding at Lake Winfield Scott

Photography by Thistle & Wood Photo

“They got ready in the state park bathrooms. They brought rugs, chairs, and decor items to help freshen it up a little bit. With the windows it was actually a beautiful setting to get ready! They each took time to privately read lettings written for them by each other and after, they had their emotional first look along the shores of Lake Winfield Scott.
Surrounded by a small number of family and friends, they had their ceremony under the park’s pavilion in front of a fire.

They ate dinner, danced, cut their cake, and eventually “exited” the wedding with a lantern send off (which I thought was a cool and unique way to have a send off) and got on the canoe for a lap around the lake.” [ Shelby, the photographer]

Planning Your Wedding at Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area

“Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area is situated in Chattahoochee National Forest. At the time of this wedding the couple didn’t have to pay any permit or fee to have their wedding there. (Because it was just a small group of people). However, looking on their website now, it seems as of August 2023 they now require a permit for noncommercial activities that involve 75 or more individuals.” [Shelby, the photographer]

Photographer’s Top Tip

Consider having your wedding on a weekday. Because it is a public park, you can’t close it down to the public. So a weekday wedding offers less of a chance for bigger crowds in comparison to weekend weddings.

Check out our micro wedding guide.

Keeping Things Simple

“Sarah originally told me they were going to be getting ready in the park bathroom. Which if you didn’t know, park bathrooms are usually not very nice or well lit. So I arrived that day anticipating having to get really creative with documenting the getting ready process…BUT Sarah and her family completely transformed the bathroom with rugs, lanterns, and other lovely little decor items. It has since become one of the best spaces I have documented a couple getting ready. I was blown away!

The rest of the park was decorated the same. It was all VERY simple, rustic, but elevated the park without taking away the natural beauty of it all. It was so incredibly lovely and all the decor did not cost much either! When you pick a pretty place for your wedding you really don’t have to invest much to elevate it. It’s a great reminder!” [Shelby, the photographer]

Smaller Weddings = Less Stress

One of the biggest treats for me on this day as a wedding photographer was, because it was an intimate wedding there was 0 timeline stress or catering to people. The entire day was SO go with the flow, relaxed…

Intimate weddings are just the best in my opinion. I see so much joy, peace, and love on days like this one because they have the space to focus on it! The rush of big weddings and all the moving parts can create more room for stress instead of peace, and I think that can take away from the meaning of a wedding day.” [Shelby, the photographer]

Memorable Moments From This Small Wedding

From the photographer:

“The handwritten letters. There is something SO special about receiving gifts from your person before you get married, but I believe what really goes the extra mile is a handwritten letter you share before you see one another. Sarah and Jake took time earlier in the day to write out their hearts for one another and I got to deliver and document them Sarah reading her letter from Jake and Jake reading his from Sarah. They did not hold back their love, and as the typical wedding nerves were beginning to rise, I could see both of them sit back in ease as a wave of peace washed over them when they read their letters.”

Photos From This Wedding in Georgia

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