Styled Shoot at Ritchie Hill | Concord, North Carolina

When I started talking to Ritchie Hill about doing a styled shoot, I knew I wanted it to be intimate and quiet. Ritchie Hill is beyond stunning, and hosts the most beautiful southern weddings; but when I toured the venue the first time and met the wonderful team who work there, I saw something else, too. The rooms are cozy and warm. The windows are huge and natural light spills everywhere. The furniture is welcoming and comfy. This was the place for a simple, soft and loving elopement.

I envisioned clean lines, simple colors and pure giddiness. I wanted to use the homey feel of the building more than adding extra decorations. I wanted the day to feel like a genuine quiet day at home with the love of your life.

Everything came together beautifully. The first vendors I reached out to all said yes. We found a stunning dress from J Major's that was clean-cut, comfortable and elegant. Bethany, the hair stylist and makeup artist, brought out Elisabeth’s natural features and created a beautiful up-do. We got a custom jewelry maker to create a stunning necklace made of petrified wood. The florist put together a stunning bouquet that looked like the bride had been frolicking through the woods beforehand and scooped up wildflowers. Instead of a cake, we decided to go with custom cookies that featured designs of the bride's bouquet. The stationary was romantic and straightforward. Everything just made sense; but we still needed the right models. I didn’t need good actors, I needed someone who legitimately believed that their significant other was the most beautiful creature on the planet. I needed a couple who spend every second of their lives loving the other. Enter the couple who convinced me to become a wedding photographer 3 years ago.

I never wanted to be a wedding photographer until I shot their wedding. I have never met two people so obviously meant to share the other’s life, and it doesn’t take long for others who meet them to come to the same conclusion. They are completely unafraid of their love for one another, and I hoped that their love would be the first noticeable thing about every photo.

What I wanted to achieve with this shoot was to tell couples that you can have your day exactly how you want it. I wanted to show that an elopement, or a wedding, can be anything. You can have the classic white dress and explore a beautiful old house barefoot without a soul there besides the person who compliments your soul to the fullest. I wanted to take photos of a couple who did things exactly how they wanted to do them and did nothing but enjoy each other’s company for a day. I wanted to take pictures for them.

Incredible, amazing contributors and vendors: 
Venue: Ritchie Hill
Hair & Makeup: Bethany Grotz
Dress: J Majors
Flowers: April Burgess of Vagrant Blooms
Cookies: Suarez Bakery
Necklace: Thursby Design
Stationary: Morgan Mathieu 
Models: Niran & Elisabeth