Lakeside Elopement : Shea + Cody

If there was an award for making the best out of a bad situation, I think these two would definitely be in the running for it!

Back in 2020, just a few months into the pandemic when things were shut down and uncertain and social distancing was all the rage Shea and Cody decided to scale down their 100 person wedding and get married with just her parents and the pastor.

But being in a lake community they were able to have some other “guests” join in by having the ceremony along the lake and letting them watch from their boats! What a creative idea in a crazy time!

No matter the size of the guest list, this was such a lovely and personal day. Scroll down for photos and some Q&A from the couple.

Photography: Krisandra Evans Photography

Location: Georgia – private residence

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: Cody and I knew each other in high school. We started dating 8 years later after we started talking on social media. Our relationship turned from friendship shortly after our first date… we hiked up Blood Mountain through the rain, at the top we sat and ate peanut butter jelly sandwiches and talked about life. It was one of my favorite moments. Fast forward 1 year and 4 months, it was Friday, April 12th and we were headed to Augusta, GA for the Augusta National Golf Tournament (aka: The Masters). My grandparents have been patrons since 1952 and my grandmother still continues to receive tickets each year – its a blessing and a way to get all of us together. Beforehand, she had asked me to try on her wedding ring, neither of us knowing what was to come. It fit perfectly! Cody knew I had always wanted a photo in front of the Founders Circle (where you get your photo taken) because out of the years I have gone, that would be my first time ever taking one in front of it. After we took our first photo, he asked the photographer if we could get another with our hats on, then he was on one knee – I was shocked! He surprised me good and I love him for it. It was such a sweet moment as we got to enjoy the day, spending it watching golf, celebrating with egg salad sandwiches and Arnold Palmers. We were the only ones who knew because at the tournament you cannot have your phones with you, so when we got back we got to share our special day with family and friends. It was an amazing day!


Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

A: Due to COVID-19 we cut our guest list back to Rev. Martin, Cody, myself, my parents and our photographer. Our ceremony was held out in my parent’s backyard, by Lake Jackson, and all of our lake neighbors attended from a far by boats, docks, and seawall. Cody and I are so low-key that we wanted our day to be simple and elegant from day one. Since Cody proposed to me at the 2019 Masters Tournament, we stuck with the golf theme – pastels, green jacket, and flowers. Reverened Jim Martin, a retired pastor of Lithonia Baptist church – I grew up attending his services. He also who has been friends with my grandparents and married my parents also married Cody and me.

Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

A: Surprising my dad with my dress – I had been hiding it from him since November 2019;Locking eyes with Cody down the aisle;Pictures with my parents and Rev. Martin; Serving cupcakes with Cody to our friends & neighbors from my parent’s dock; Pictures in the pasture that I asked my dad not to cut with his tractor so we could have wildflowers

Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

A: The aisle I walked down had potted flowers that Cody and I planted the day before (red painsies, yellow daisies and greenery) as well as little white lanters. We also placed pieces of artwork to hang from two large trees: 1. A puzzle of The Founders Circle (from the Masters Tournament) that Cody’s mom, Mary put together for us. He had it framed so we could incorporate it for our outdoor ceremony.  2. The Augusta Chronicle article that was written the week after Cody proposed “Master-ful Proposal” was hanging across from the tree with the Founders Circle puzzle. The aisle felt like I was walking through the past straight towards my future with my dad on my right making sure I didn’t stumble.

Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

A: All of the flowers in my bouquet as well as the bouts were from Ingles. I handmade them the evening prior and loved it!

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: Focusing on God first throughout our day, being thankful no matter the circumstances, and knowing we have a partner for life. Hiding from Cody with the same roof over our head the hours before, wearing my mom’s pearl necklace as my borrowed item, surprising my dad with my dress, my dad being able to walk me down the aisle, Reverend Martin marrying us, all our lake neighbors from  around our cove coming to cheer us on from their boats, docks, and sea walls, passing out cupcakes to everyone after, the yummy peanut butter cake, the pizza delivery that came just in the knick of time, and photos of our day (LOVE all the ones in the pasture too)!

Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

A: My goal was to be a bride-chilla, not a bride-zilla. My wedding dress came from TJMaxx – it had pockets so I was immediately a fan! I just wanted to add straps and it was pretty much good to go.

Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: 1. Take a deep breath.2. Love those around you while you have them here on Earth. Through the ups and downs – life is so short. 3. Be with the one you love most in this life.4. Ask yourself – what is the MOST important thing? 5. Then ask yourself, how do you want to feel on your day? How does your spouse want to feel? 6. This is not just a day to celebrate, it the first day of intertwining your lives as one – remember to enjoy and have fun.7. Smile, cry, feel everything and take it in. These moments are sweet and hold them close. “Time flies when you are having fun” – this is very accurate!