Elegant Southern Charm Outdoor Wedding at The Cottages on Mergendollar – Good Hope GA

Oh what a beautiful day! Heather reached out to me after COVID struck and ruined her and Justin’s original wedding day plans. Due to safety risks Heather and Justin had to make the difficult decision to reschedule their original wedding date. While I am sad that COVID caused such problems for them, I am super thrilled that it allowed me to be their wedding photographer! Heather and Justin were such a dream to work with! Before I jump into the wedding day, here is a little bit about how Justin and Heather met.

“We first met on match.com… with him owning his own business, and me being an ER nurse, we didn’t really have time to get out and meet people” Heather told me. After that first date, they very quickly knew that they would spend the rest of their lives together. Justin knew it was time to propose pretty quickly and began planning a beautiful engagement/weekend getaway! Heather, thinking they were simply going to the mountains for a little trip, was pleasantly surprised when Justin took her to Chateau Elan instead! She found out that he had planned a beautiful weekend full of wine, dinners, and massages. Come on ladies, who wouldn’t be thrilled!! I need Justin to talk to Caleb for me 😉 Love you babe!!

Justin told Heather to close her eyes after they had gotten there, and told her to make a wish, since it was her birthday, and slipped the ring on her finger and asked her to marry him!!! What a fairytale weekend!

The wedding day started off cool and breezy – perfect outdoor wedding weather! I was so excited to get started! When I arrived at the venue, The Cottages on Mergandollar, I found my way to the bride’s getting ready room, which was gorgeous!! Light blue walls, gorgeous king bed, and beautiful decorative accents. Bonus, the bathroom had an antique clawfoot tub! I hugged Heather and said hello to all of her sweet bridesmaids. I began with details as my Second shooter, Lindsey, started over at the guys cottage. We got adorable getting ready shots, and fun in the moment shots as everyone enjoyed themselves. One of my favorite moments was one that Heather shared with her beautiful mother. Heather gave her a sweet necklace that told her mom how much she meant to her. It was such a sweet special moment!

Time flew by, as it always does on wedding days, and before we knew it the time had come to put on the dress! Each bridesmaid oohed over Heather in her dress, and so did I! Meghan and Mallory, the wedding day coordinators, let me know that Justin was ready for the first look, so Heather and I headed our first look location, where Justin was waiting.

Back to back they exchanged gifts and letters they wrote. Smiling and very ready to see his bride, Justin turned to see her. His expressions said it all. I could see the joy and relief dance across his face. They hugged, they kissed, they chatted, they were obviously in love! Everything was downhill from there! Or as my son likes to say, “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!”

We grabbed a handful of bride and groom shots, then the wedding party, and then it was time to hide! I always like to make sure there is “Rest and Retouch” time for everyone before the ceremony. During this time we grabbed more detail shots and shots of guest arriving.

The ceremony began. A hush fell over their friends and family as Justin walked to the front, and the rest of the bridal party. I looked over at Justin, and though he kept a smile on his face I could see the anticipation building and the “Oh my gosh, its finally happening” settle in. But as soon as he saw her coming down the isle, it was like he saw her for the first time again. She took his breath away! The ceremony was beautiful. Full of laughter, smiles, happy tears, and a kiss followed by a celebration!!

After family photos, Heather and Justin hid away with her son, Bobby, to have some alone time and enjoy some tacos! After that we partied!! The cake was cut, margaritas were had, first dances were danced, and laughter was shared. It was a wonderful night! Oh, and I definitely cried during Heather and her son’s dance. My mommy heart could not even deal with all of the feels!

The night ended as Justin and Heather made their way through the sparkler line, driving off into their happily ever after. Be still my heart!

Heather and Justin,

Thank you soooo much for trusting me with such an important day in your lives! I feel so honored to have been there, and am so glad I was able to immortalize these moments for you both and your families. Y’all were so much fun to work with, so kind, and laid back! I wish you and your family the best and happiest future!

Warmest wishes,

Sarah Bell

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