Elopement at the Natural Bridge in Virginia : Samantha + Cory

Wait until you see how cool this spot is for a ceremony! Mother Nature can often provide the perfect backdrop without needing to do a single thing.

Samantha and Cory were joined by a couple of friends as they said their I do under the towering natural rock formations. They opted to keep things small and have a bigger party later to continue the celebrations.

Check out the images and some Q&A below.

Photography: Anna Bowser Photography

Venue: Natural Bridge State Park

Officiant: Casey Anderson

Event Planner : The Wedding Lady of Virginia

Hair Stylist : Claudia Johnson at Blue Jean Hair Salon

Makeup: Jolina Does Makeup

How did you meet?

We met at work. For years we were best friends and slowly Cory won me over with romantic gestures. Like the time he recalled a story about me missing a Friday night Disney movie when I was 4 then he downloaded the movie to DVD for my birthday. We went through years where he was more into me then I would be into him. Finally in 2013 he knew I may be moving away for grad school so he decided to make our relationship known. We bought a home. I finished school. We had our daughter in 2014 and decided to complete the family by getting married in 2019. We chose the date 7.18.19 to ensure we would never forget the day and committed to a small ceremony to keep it intimate.

How did you decide to elope? Any challenges that came with that decision?

Cory and I decided to elope to make sure the day was focused on US… I had been married before and recalled the concerns with everyone’s flowers, the food, and the happiness of the guest. Needless to say that pairing didn’t work out. I wished my focus was on my groom instead of the nonsense. My father and his mother had recently passed away and it felt right to take a few friends and have one entire vacation devoted to our love.

How did you decide on the location?

We searched for about a year before we decided to get married at The Natural Bridge. We originally booked a beach wedding in St.Lucia, however, our friends wouldn’t have made the trip. Eventually, we started looking for natural landmarks. We wanted a place that wouldn’t wash away in a storm and had some spiritual or historical meaning. The Natural Bridge was the perfect fit. It wasn’t too far away and we could enjoy the small town party with close friends after we shared our vows.

Did you tell anyone head of time? How did you break the news?

We managed to appease our family by promising to have a reception back home. This way we could invite everyone to a large venue, play an AMAZING video with FANTASTIC photos, and make them feel like they were there. About a week after our wedding we had a large reception, wore our wedding attire, and partied all night. It was the perfect blend of intimacy and celebration.

What was your favorite part of the wedding day and why?

Do you have any advice for couples planning their elopements?

Put YOU first. Pay attention to what locations make you happy and feel relaxed. It is hard to avoid all the chaos of a wedding but if you have a great team at the location it will be a breeze!