Michelle Wright and Live View Studios: Woodland Elopement Featured on Cottage Hill

I was thrilled to work with one of my favorites, Live View Studios, on the Woodland Elopement featured in Cottage Hill Magazine. It was really special to me to give elopements some attention because I actually eloped with my husband, Michael. There is a common misconception that elopements can’t be beautiful and I was happy to have the chance to dispel that rumor.

Hiring the right visionary designer and a great photographer can make your elopement as special as your love story. Elopements can be just as beautiful as a large wedding – the important thing is that your wedding represents you and your fiance, the love that you share and the type of wedding that you want to have to celebrate that love.

The Woodland Elopement was inspired by the eloquent words of Ruth 1:16: “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people.” The couple in this shoot had been married for about a year and their chemistry together was strong and perfect for this feature. Everything about the shoot was organic and natural and very focused on the marriage and sacrifice to each other, not just the wedding. It turned out completely gorgeous and I hope that it helps couples considering elopements to remember that their wedding can be just as elegant and enchanting as a big wedding.

Woodland Elopement 

We love the heart and soul behind this shoot from LiveView Studios. Elopements are always a favorite of ours, but we love their original and intentional inspiration. Read more below.

“Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people.”  These words from Ruth in the Bible were part of the inspiration for this intimate, woodland elopement shoot. We wanted to convey a sense of simplicity and tranquility – one where the attention was fully devoted to the couple and their relationship with each other. It was also to convey the beginning of an adventure together – one where both were fully committed to each other in their marriage relationship, in acts of self sacrifice. At a table for two, they sat along the waters edge celebrating what was going to be their new life together. Fresh figs, cheese, and meats created a portable yet elegant meal for the two of them. Ferns, moss, and woodland flowers filled the table with small and delicate details. They read vows to each other that they wrote specifically for the occasion, and he led her through winding paths to the waters edge, where in their first act of commitment to each other he gently washed her feet with fragrant herbs. The foraged bouquet included apple branches and other items selected from the woods around them. At the end of their day, they kissed in the rushing water, and the greatest adventure of their life began. 

Event Designer, Michelle Wright Events :: Hair & Makeup by Lula Hair & Makeup :: Florals by Serendipity Designs :: Furniture + Table Decor + Linens by Greenhouse Picker Sisters :: Photography by Live View Studios :: Film Processing + Scans by Photovision :: Jewelry by Kristin Hayes Jewelry :: Dress Designer by Nha Khanh (Amber Gown) :: Cake from Whole Foods :: Calligraphy + Stationary by Serendipity Designs :: Grooms Shoes from Johnston & Murphy :: Grooms Pants from Express :: Grooms Coat & Shirt from Gap JCrew

Selecting the Perfect Venue: Setting the Stage for your Wedding

Your wedding starts with a love story…and your venue sets the stage for telling that story. It’s a blank canvas for us to mold into a gorgeous display of your unique love and personality.

Selecting the perfect venue is a critical step in your planning and design process. It can also be a stressful one. With everything you need to consider, it can be overwhelming. You may begin to find the venue on your own, but you should think about what an experienced planner brings to the venue-selecting table. A planner and designer can end up saving you money in the long run by knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask in order to ensure your venue is as perfect as your love story.


Here are just a few of the many items we look for in matching our couples with the venue of their dreams:

Safety: First, be sure that the venue is up to code and does not pose any potential safety issues in achieving your desired results.

Layout: There are so many elements of the layout design to consider…for example, if you are having an outdoor ceremony, where will your guests park so that it is not disruptive to your ceremony? How does your layout impact the flow of your events?

Space: You may fall in love with a venue but before you do, have a strong handle on the size of your guest list and the reasonable capacity of the facility you are looking at.

Lighting: We spoke to one of our favorite photographers, Brent Deitrich of Live View Studios, to find out what characteristic he would advise brides to look for when considering their venue options. Lighting, lighting and more lighting was the resounding answer…specifically natural lighting. “Beautiful photographs are the end result of beautiful natural light.” He suggests you and your planner scout out your venue at the same time of day you plan to get married. Also, consider the time of year you scout your venue versus the time of year that you are getting married. This could change the natural light available. Flash photography gives your photographs a completely different look. He also recommends opting for partial or full shade for an afternoon outdoor wedding. Not only will it make your guests more comfortable, but it will provide more optimal lighting for your photographs. Brent provided us the gorgeous images included in this blog to illustrate what a beautiful impact the right lighting can have on your wedding photographs.

Getting Ready Rooms: If you plan to get ready at your venue, be sure to assess the rooms available to do so. Brent reminds us to look at both the lighting and the space the rooms provide to ensure your getting ready photographs are picture perfect.

Live View Studios

Vendor Limitations and Accessibility of Venue: Many venues have an approved vendor list that you must use. This can appear convenient but can also affect the quality of the vendors available. Cost can also look affordable on paper but the relationship between the facility and the vendor may arise in hefty fees later in the planning process. A planner can really come in handy here with their extensive knowledge of vendors and an understanding of how to get down to the bottom line fees associated with them.

Bait & Switch: Be careful of venues that promise you the world…be sure to read the fine print and consult with other brides who have used the venue as well as industry leaders in order to ensure that you won’t have critical limitations when you get into the planning and design of your venue. This happens more often than you may think.


Aesthetics: In totality, a venue can look beautiful, but when you start contemplating the details, you may run into significant aesthetic issues that cost large sums of money to hide in order to achieve your desired look.

Looking for a venue can be a really fun part of your planning process…it’s where your family and friends will come to celebrate you and your new journey with the person you love most. Your venue should speak to your heart and feel like the perfect place to celebrate one of the most important days of your life. Enlist the help of a planner and designer to ensure that it also meets all of your needs and desires.

Live View Studios02

All images were taken by Live View Studios


Traci Arney: Bravery is Beautiful

A beautiful woman stands, her long hair gracefully cascades down her back, her chin tilts slightly up towards the man holding her.  The man stands next to her, just slightly taller than she, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist.  The silhouettes of their faces almost touch, but leave just a tiny sliver of air, almost as if without the space, the ability to see the other is lost.  They exude a peaceful ease, in this new private world that they just embarked upon.  They do not yet notice that in the background, shadows of family and friends talk and laugh, joyously celebrating this recent union of love.  A strand of white lights frames the top of the image, offering just enough light to peak at this intimate moment, forever frozen by Traci Arney.  The image is simple and understated, yet it tells a powerful story of love between these two perfect silhouettes.


It does not seem appropriate to call Traci Arney a wedding photographer.  That word seems too generic…too vanilla…to apply to Traci. Traci is an artist who has the ability to discover moments through her lens that most of us may never notice, until she points them out through her gallery worthy images. The images not only create memories of a beautifully important day, but also tell the story of the real beauty that exists between two people to get them to that day. It is no wonder that Weddzilla, a popular and respected blog out of San Francisco, named her one of the top 50 wedding photographers in the country.


When I met Traci and saw her images, I instantly knew that we would have a long relationship together, striving together to tell the stories of our beautiful couples. Our passion for building a strong and personal bond with a bride and groom and creating a day and memories that capture their love story is as aligned as the stars in the sky.

Owner“Bravery is Beautiful” is Traci’s tagline. And I believe that it captures the essence of Traci’s work perfectly.  For she bravely steps outside of the wedding photography comfort zone and gently nudges both her bride and groom to walk with her. The result is nothing short of timeless and unforgettable beauty.

©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-26 ©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-29 ©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-45 ©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-25 Owner ©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-34 ©2015-Trac-Arney-Photography-Michelle-Wright-Events-Photographer-Feature-18 ©2013, Traci Arney Photography. www.traciarneyphotography.com
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Email