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Nicole & Ben's Antiquecore Wedding Day | Oakleaf Cottage | Chattanooga, TN

Updated: Apr 2


bride and groom share a kiss on their wedding day

Nicole and Ben's love story started 5 years ago on a Floridian island. Their chemistry was instant, and as they spent more time together they both realized it was greater than that. They are both really outdoorsy and enjoy visiting National Parks; Ben popped the question on a cave tour during a trip to Bowling Green National Park. He lamented that things didn't go exactly as planned, but of course she still said yes. Now those minor mishaps are part of their love story.

Nicole's inspiration for her's and Ben's wedding day was stained glass windows; she envisioned simple antique whimsy for their special day. Her antiquecore wedding day vision was right up my ally! They even decorated the arbor with three vintage stained glass panels instead of traditional floral arrangements. The wooded ceremony space was the perfect backdrop, incorporating earthy browns and mossy greens into the color palette.




Nicole splurged on her breathtaking off-the-shoulder trumpet cut dress. The button and sleeve details on the back of the dress were stunning. The bridesmaids wore muted complimentary satin dresses in colors inspired by the stained glass hanging at the arbor. Ben wore a blue suit and his groomsmen were dressed in tan with ties that matched the bridesmaids dresses.



Nicole and Ben shared a first look before the ceremony allowing them to spend more time together on their wedding day. Ben's expression was filled with joy as he laid his eyes upon Nicole for the first time in her wedding best. Their couples session was tons of fun as they were down to play around and enjoy one another.


Their venue was the perfect compromise to getting married in a National Park. Oakleaf Cottage is an eco-friendly venue set just outside of Cloudland Canyon State Park and offers the same topography, but with the elegance and ease of a professionally managed venue. Nicole fell in love with Oakleaf for the handsomely rugged nature around the venue. Overall, the commitment to sustainability and conservation of the landscape make Oakleaf Cottage a unique option to leave a small footprint without sacrificing your vision. The most notable thing to my eye, is that they do not use any disposable cups, plates or silverware, which really elevates the guest experience. As a photographer, I was impressed by the attention to detail they committed to the whole of the venue, while prioritizing the land.



The ceremony was a time of celebration; gentle acoustic guitar music filled the air as guests arrived and were welcomed with a glass of champagne. They mingled and snapped photos for the polaroid guest book as the ceremony approached.

Once Nicole and Ben came together under the oak trees at the arbor, their nerves eased as their officiant, a close friend, made loving jokes. The ceremony was short and sweet, but full of love and emotion. They shared their own vows, which were both funny and heartwarming- a hard balance to strike! Nicole said her favorite part of their wedding day was saying yes to forever with Ben.





We completed all of the newlyweds family photos, wedding party formals and their couples session prior to the ceremony, which allowed them to enjoy a private dinner together during cocktail hour. Oakleaf cottage encourages all their couples to do this and I love it. It does require doing a first look and being prepared/running on time, but it is such a nice time to carve out with your love on your wedding day.



Upon entering the reception site guests were greeted by an intimate space with long tables set with eclectic glassware and mismatched, but cohesive, plates. The space was showered in golden light that reflected off the greenery and bistro lighting hanging from exposed trusses. The newlyweds shared their first dance together in the sunbathed entrance as Velvet City Sound played 'All My Love' by George Ezra. Afterwards they were able to mingle with their guests as dinner was served by Simply Southern Catering.



Velvet City Sound absolutely crushed it and kept the dance floor so fun and active. Integrating classics like I Wanna Dance With Somebody with alt-rock favorites from the late 90s and early aughts, they ensured there was something exciting for everybody. I just want to say that I love DJs and truly admire their ability to work a crowd, but the energy that a live band brings is simply next level.

To close out their coverage we took a moment to photograph them dancing together on the back deck.


bride and groom share a kiss on the patio outside reception hall

To Nicole and Ben- May the laughter shared on your wedding day be present every day to come!


A huge shout out to all the vendors who made their wonderful day come to life:


Planning: Before the Vows

Hair & Make-up: Hair & Makeup by Emily

Musician: Tres Winn




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