Under soft blue skies, with a velvety ocean breeze caressing their shoulders, Lauren and Christian were wed at the Jekyll Island Club. What began as a beautiful wedding on the barrier island, ended as a romantic evening steeped in history.
With a ceremony held at the beloved Cherokee Cottage, and portraits taken at the famous Crane’s Cottage and Driftwood Beach, this wedding was a sight to behold. And, that isn’t even commenting on how incredible of a job Madeline Read of Madeline Read Florals did with making their space even more of a dream.
This Jekyll Island Wedding was one for the books and I am so pleased I got to capture two of my favorite people for it. In a venue that is quite literally under the label of Historic Hotels of America, Lauren and Christian seemed at home. As if they were part of the history themselves on their big day.
Nestled within the Jekyll Island Historic District, the Jekyll Island Club Resort stands as a testament to time and luxury. Built in 1888, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel wasn’t a hotel at first, at all. It was a hunting club and recreational club that was known far and wide throughout the United States.
A clubhouse Built with Queen Anne-style architecture, a golf course, and open bidding on lots of lands led it to attract high-profile members. It was so famous in fact that the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, and Joseph Pulitzer himself were all members of this exclusive club. A Guilded-Age masterpiece.
What began as some savvy businessmen looking to buy Jekyll Island in order to sell it to Northerners had turned into a world-famous club by the early 20th century. Similarly, they did wind up buying Jekyll Island, GA in full. Creating an island-wide club with some of the finest homes ever built on Jekyll Island. These homes used many different stylings, but Crane Cottage, built by Richard Teller Crane Jr., with its Italian Renaissance style is easily my favorite.
Golf Links were built as well. Quite famous ones at that. The Ocean Club, being one of the more famous links in the southeast.
Such beauty and craftsmanship went into this cottage which is why it is a must-have spot for portraits. A little taste of Italy on Riverview Drive. It’s a dream. A sunken garden sits in the courtyard providing exquisite opportunities for shots.
But, I’m getting away from myself.
Before the club with its many grandiose wedding venues would be open to the public, it had to become non-exclusive.
Enter World War 2.
The economic uncertainty would then cause the club to close its doors after being bought by the state of Georgia.
After thirty or so years, Georgia tried unsuccessfully to regain the resort stature of the club and in 1978 turned into a Historic Landmark. A sign of a time that was full of swing and extravagance and what once was. The barrier island of fun had fallen.
But, not for long.
While it wasn’t the most successful landmark, as it couldn’t quite turn a crowd, the Club still had widespread resort appeal. Georgia just didn’t know how to tap into that. It would sit unused for over a decade until Weiner and Associates would buy the resort and restore it. Reopening it as a hotel and having it become a member of Historic Hotels of America.
It has changed hands a few times since then, but the Jekyll Island Golf Club and resort has maintained it’s prestige throughout the years. Opening it’s doors to the public, and especially to full wedding parties. Offering everything from the rehearsal dinner and welcoming party to the ceremony, reception and the exiting brunch.
Which leads us to Lauren and Christian’s historically beautiful wedding.
So, I want to take a moment to say how much I love Badgley Mischka Heels. They add such a style and grace to a look that can really give a wedding gown the high-end touch to top it off.
That said, Lauren’s gown was just as wonderful and needed no such topping off. Wearing a custom Justin Alexander, she glided everywhere she walked. Whether it was the living room of the Cherokee Cottage or the along the garden in front of Crane’s Cottage. She was a sight to behold.
Christian chose to don a classic black three piece suit for the wedding day, which is always a winning look for a groom. I always love when my grooms wear the black suits to give the full black tie wedding feel.
With both Lauren and Christian looking like they walked out of the Gilded-Age and into their own big day, they began the ceremony.
This might seem like a shock, but the ceremony will often make me cry.
Wedding photography is such an intimate thing between my couples and myself. I am often on this journey with a couple for up to a year. Hundreds of texts and emails all culminate in this one perfect moment.
It’s honestly why I love this art so much.
So, on the lawn of the Cherokee Cottage, under a beautiful live oak with sprawling moss dripping from it’s limbs, Lauren and Christian kissed. While, I know how lovely the Cherokee Cottage is, I just had to take them to the Crane’s Cottage for their portraits.
After a brief golf cart ride, (unfortunately bike rentals are hard on a wedding gown) we found ourselves in awe of the Italian Renaissance architecture. These two wore that space unbelievably well. We took stunning portraits of the two of them making use of as much of the area as we could.
When I fall in love with a couple’s energy, my shutter does not stop.
We had to pull ourselves away from Crane’s Cottage so we could have time for Driftwood Beach.
Driftwood Beach is called that because of massive driftwood on the beach. This driftwood is an attraction in and of itself and every time I photograph it, I feel at home. As a wedding photographer, I love any chance I can get to take pictures on a beach. Add in massive driftwood pieces for settings and I am in love.
Once again, Lauren and Christian were just perfect and stunning and full of joy and love. They are truly a gift.
We went back to Cherokee Cottage where the couple had their intimate and lovely reception. The table scapes and florals were incredible. We watched their first dance and I was enamored by how classy and elegant the entire reception was.
Finally, we walked out into the night, and captured Lauren and Christian under the night sky one final time before they left, beginning their new journey in life. A husband and wife, now a fixed part of history in one of the most historic wedding venues in the south east.
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