When we think about summer in the south, our minds often drift to picking fresh fruit, celebrating the 4th of July, and finding a shady spot to read a good book and enjoy a perfect day. With these thoughts in mind, ElopeNC members collaborated to create a vintage patriotic summer elopement styled shoot at a dreamy Americana venue.

“Styled shoots are always so much fun to take part in!” stationer Lauren Andrews Designs says. “You connect with new vendors and get to step outside the box to tie in the vision together. When I heard ‘The Old Cotton Gin – vintage red, white, and blue,’ I was all in! I think so many times we get stuck in the box thinking red, white, and blue always has to be a certain way. You truly can tie in all of the colors tastefully without it feeling like an American flag.”

“We absolutely adored the Americana-themed elopement,” says Samantha, the venue manager at The Old Cotton Gin. “It fits perfectly with our beautiful and unique industrial Americana space. The elegance of the wedding dresses and the details of the tables really made our space shine!”

For the invitation suite, Lauren Andrews Designs “chose to tie in the colors throughout by accenting with an outer red envelope, blue response envelope, and cohesive font colors. The color scheme and vision board for this shoot leaned more towards ivory tones so I chose an ivory paper for a more vintage feel. The venue sketch also adds to the vintage feel. How could I not use the gorgeous Old Cotton Gin when I saw the venue? It’s too cool!! And last but not least, there’s just something about those gold edges that adds the wow factor – don’t you think?”

We wanted to use this styled shoot as an opportunity for ElopeNC members to talk about the special challenges that come with summertime elopements, from melting makeup and icing to sweat stains and dehydration. As we experienced the 95-degree heat in an unconditioned venue, we were certainly able to put those practices into place!

“Arriving at the Old Cotton Gin in historic Warrenton, NC was very special to me,” says Heather Huffman, an Associate Planner with Magnolia Collective. “This was my first styled shoot as a member of the Magnolia Collective team!  Being the newbie on-site, I was ready to be hands-on with all the details from designing the perfectly mismatched Americana tables to toting around a Gatorade bottle for our amazing models… it was a very hot summer day in the South!”

Rev Kath says, “So this may come as a huge surprise to everybody, but summer elopements are HOT! Aside from bringing a cooler, fans and the like, here are two favorite items I recommend for a hot summer day… Body Glide: Your anti-chafing best friend. Lube up those thighs, dress- and skirt-wearing friends! Peppermint oil: Try smoothing some pure peppermint oil down your spine to help you cool off!”

Southern Vintage Table was “thrilled to be included in this red, white, & blue themed shoot. These patriotic colors don’t necessarily ‘scream wedding,’ but they can really work with the right combination of tableware and decor. We loved the final design, with the mismatched red & white and blue & white china and glassware. Wedding colors? Yes, indeed!”

“For the place setting cards, plain cards are perfectly fine and serve the purpose, but adding a vellum overlay with grommets and a ribbon just gives you the extra ounce of pretty and detail,” Lauren says. “I chose to customize the ribbon color and font color on the vellum overlay to match each table setting and tied in the gold from the invitation suite using a gold grommet to hold the vellum overlay and ivory paper together. And there you have it – vintage, red, white, and blue stationery paper goods!”

“This design gave me all the nostalgic feels…” according to Rev Katherine Dupree. “It’s such a great inspiration for eloping couples who have an appreciation for yesteryear. Heading to the venue alone felt like pushing the rewind button. It’s only an hour outside of the city but The Old Cotton Gin in Warrenton feels like you’re hours away. Everything was slower there, quieter. And the rustic venue and vintage details designed by Magnolia Collective just put the icing on the cake. It was really fun for me to add to the whole atmosphere by dusting off my tweed vest and bolo tie, too. I love matching the vibe of the couple and helping to set the scene.”

“I gained valuable firsthand knowledge from the other ElopeNC vendors as I got to see how their great work impacted the day from start to finish,” Heather of Magnolia Collective says. “I was truly amazed at how well everyone worked together and brought the Vintage Patriotic theme to life. In all, The Old Cotton Gin was the perfect wedding venue for the backdrop of this shoot because it offered its rustic beauty and the perfect touch of Americana.”

“We love how each of our spaces were used,” The Old Cotton Gin says, “especially the steel doors and the weigh-station foundation with the tables. We desire for our space to be a welcoming venue for all people to celebrate their love, and this elopement showcased that desire perfectly.”

The Vintage Patriotic Summer Elopement @ The Old Cotton Gin styled shoot was designed as elopement inspiration. All featured items and services were graciously donated by the following incredible vendors. The prices listed are estimates provided by the vendors to reflect what a couple could expect to spend on this elopement. Total elopement cost: $10,920

Vendors (*ElopeNC member):

*Venue: The Old Cotton Gin – $1800

*Planning & Design: Magnolia Collective – $1800

*Photographer: Rose Trail Images – $1750 

*Tabletop Rentals: Southern Vintage Table – $100

*Stationery: Lauren Andrews Designs – $250

*Bride Bouquets: FauxReal Flowers – $250

*Officiant: Reverend Katherine Dupree – $435

Hair & Makeup: Michelle Clark – $450

Attire: Uniquely.U Bridal and Formalwear – $3655

Cake: Sweet Haven Bakery – $100

Fresh Flowers: Brooke’s Fresh Cut Flower Farm – $150

Catering: Platterific Catering – $180

Jewelry: Diamonds Direct *Not included in total

Baker: Winde Jackson Cakes & Catering

Model Brides: Molly Robinson & Lindsay Tripp