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Julie & Chris // Smithgall Woods State Park Elopement

I was excited about Julie & Chris’s elopement plans as soon as I heard them. Rented cabins at Smithgall Woods State Park, a ceremony in the woods surrounded by a handful of their loved ones, and a family dinner in another one of the cabins. They specifically wanted a day that was stress-free and relaxed, where they could just have a good time and celebrate their two families coming together, just my favorite kind of day! I’m so excited to be sharing all of their Smithgall Woods State Park elopement with you today! 

bride and groom hold hands walking through Smithgall Woods State Park

Getting Ready

Both Julie & Chris got ready in cabins in Smithgall Woods State Park. Julie prepared with her sisters while the kids ran around having a blast. It was chaos but I loved every seond. 

bride prepares for Georgia wedding day in cabin
three young girls sit in front of fire in cabin at Smithgall Woods state park
bride smiles as sisters help her prepare for elopement in Georgia state park
woman applies makeup for bride in cabin at Smithgall Woods state park
guest stands on front porch of cabin inside Smithgall Woods state park
flower girls smile standing on front porch of cabin inside Smithgall Woods state park
bride walks out on porch of cabin while girls play and run around at Smithgall Woods State Park
two girls in white dresses hug in front of wooden railing of cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
bride speaks with guests inside cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
wedding guests pose with bride and groom on deck of cabin inside Smithgall Woods State Park

Ceremony in the Woods

Since Julie & Chris decided to forgo a first look, they met before the ceremony in a more relaxed way. A lot of my couples are leaning towards this relaxed reveal. It’s so much more organic and a wonderful way to still have that moment together – without the over the top presentation.  

groom stands on patio of cabin in Smithgall Woods state park
bride and groom hold hands walking through Smithgall Woods State Park
groom in blue suit kisses bride's head during Smithgall Woods State Park elopement

Julie & Chris knew from the start that they wanted to be out in nature for their ceremony. They also wanted to keep things small, focusing on their family. It was super fun because they have so many nieces and nephews so the kids were running everywhere. Basically half of their 40 person guest count was kids, which is amazing.

bride talks to kids on porch of cabin in Georgia
groom talks with young children during elopement
bride holds daughter in white dress at Smithgall Woods State Park
wedding guests walk on porch of cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
bride and groom exchange vows during Smithgall Woods State Park elopement
boy leans against cabin railing with lollipop in his mouth
couple exchanges vows while daughters stand by them
bride and groom exchange vows during Smithgall Woods State Park elopement with daughters by them
newlyweds kiss during ceremony inside Smithgall Woods State Park
bride and groom hug their daughters after ceremony at Smithgall Woods State Park
bride and groom pose with guests for elopement at Smithgall Woods State Park

Elopement Portraits in Smithgall Woods State Park

After the ceremony, Julie & Chris spent a little time wandering around the park for their portraits. When they were ready, we headed back for family portraits on the back porch of the cabin. The light there was just beautiful! It was so dreamy and a great spot for photos. 

newlyweds laugh together on deck of cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
newlyweds walk through Smithgall Woods State Park
bride and groom laugh standing inside Smithgall Woods State Park
bride looks over her shoulder walking towards cabin in Georgia
newlyweds hold hands walking on path through Smithgall Woods State Park

Georgia Wedding Reception

Julie & Chris’ reception was a short walk across the yard. The kids decided to put on an impromptu concert during the reception while everyone was grabbing food and drinks. I loved it! Honestly, the whole evening was really nice. It felt a lot like being at a family reunion. 

kids run across lawn at Smithgall Woods State Park
girl laughs with guests during Georgia wedding day
groom kisses bride's forehead in front of cake during reception in cabin
girls talk during cabin reception during elopement at Smithgall Woods State Park
woman talks to younger girl during Smithgall Woods State Park elopement celebration
woman looks at bride's ring during reception in cabin
children play in Smithgall Woods State Park cabin
bride smiles at guests in cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
kid looks over top of white table cloth on table in cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park
children hold hands in front of fireplace at Smithgall Woods State Park
kids perform during Smithgall Woods State Park elopement celebration

Julie & Chris, thank you for letting me be a part of your incredible elopement.  Every moment was sweet and full of love from your family. It was just really neat to be a part of in the end and I will never forget how special it was! Congratulations! 

Get In Touch to Plan Your Wedding Day

Raven is an Atlanta Wedding Photographer who captures real people on their totally unique and awesome wedding day, specializing in people who feel awkward in front of the camera. She travels throughout Georgia, including Athens, North Georgia, and beyond.

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