Quail Branch Lodge Wedding – Brooke & Mason
This beautiful wedding at Quail Branch Lodge, Georgia has instantly become one of our favourites. Brooke and Mason met at the University of Georgia as a freshman, they both attended a kick-off event for a ministry called the Navigators on the Russell basketball courts and met at that event. From that point, they had many classes together through freshman and sophomore year and became close friends through that as well as our involvement in the Navigators.
You all know that we love a good proposal story, and this one is from Mason’s perspective. “We got a late start leaving Athens, Georgia on November 11, 2016, to go backpacking in the Roan Highlands on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. We arrived at Carver’s Gap at 2am and were greeted by a sea of stars and a bright moon that broke the stillness of the cold night to illuminate the trail leading up the bald mountain and guide us to our destination. As we traversed the ridgelines that connect each mountain and summited peak after peak by moonlight, we were continually in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. Brooke was so excited and raved about how this is one of the most adventurous things she had done. We finally reached the exposed summit of Grassy Ridge Bald and found a protected spot to set up our camp. At 4am, we each finally crawled into our sleeping bags that offered the promise of rest as well as warmth and refuge from the biting cold night air. I woke up at 8 and reluctantly left the comfort of my sleeping bag to explore and find the ideal spot to ask the woman of my dreams to spend the rest of our lives together. I returned to our camp at 9 and fervently paced back and forth, trying to find the right words while debating whether to wake Brooke up or let her keep sleeping. Finally, I could not bear the anticipation any longer and woke her up. I asked her if she wanted to go make breakfast (because nothing is more romantic than oatmeal) at a cool rock outcrop I had found. Once we set everything down, I fumbled around in my pocket trying to feel out which way the ring box opened as I told Brooke I loved her, I wanted to pursue her for the rest of my life, and that I wanted to pursue Jesus together. Then, I got down on my knee as I pulled the ring out of my jacket pocket and asked her to marry me. She was so shocked! She said yes and started crying as I put the ring on her finger. The camera shutter clicked in our minds as we took in this momentous change, capturing the turn of the page that begins a new chapter as our separate lives began merging into one. We enjoyed the rest of the day together playing our favorite game, cribbage, and taking our time back down the mountain. We headed back to Athens and had a nice dinner together that night to top off the second best day of our lives.”
This happy couple had a 6-month engagement and it was the perfect length for them! They both got a lot of planning done in the first month of their engagement thanks to Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and then they still had time to enjoy engagement without it being so long that they felt they were just waiting for the wedding to come anxiously. They say that they both knew they wanted to get married the month following graduation and Mason knew Brooke wanted less than a year engagement, “he probably would have been fine with 3 months but I told him I needed at least 5 months to plan!”
Brooke and Mason really loved Quail Branch Lodge, as a whole. They were told multiple times, “If I could pick anywhere that describes Mason and Brooke, this is the place.” They loved that there could be an outdoor ceremony with an indoor/outdoor reception and it was a huge plus that their wedding party was able to stay there for the weekend because they all were from out of town and it made Friday night so much more fun for everybody. The lodge was beautifully decorated and provided them with a place that fit the rustic and traditional style. Mason and his groomsmen were fishing the morning of the wedding in the gorgeous pond that was the backdrop for their ceremony.
“For me, Brooke, I really loved the ease of the day. The director and the photographer made it so easy for me to go with the flow and have fun. I was not worried about little details because I knew they were being covered and our day was in good hands. It was just so amazing for me to have fun and relax with the people I love most. Everyone made it so easy for me to enjoy my day!”
“Although we did not originally plan on it, we chose to do a first look and we are so glad we did. It was such a sweet moment for the two of us to have before all the nerves and emotions of the ceremony set in and it allowed us ample time after the ceremony to enjoy all of our friends and family that came to celebrate with us. Having the first look allowed us to spend our day together and take pictures with each other as well as our wedding party without feeling rushed. God really knew what he was doing when he gave us peace about doing a first look and led us in that direction.”
“Just before the ceremony started, as our grandparents were being seated, the weather took a turn for the worse. Our officiant had everyone move to inside the lodge and to the covered back porch. As soon as everyone was under the shelter, the sky fell out. I am telling you, it poured! Melissa (the wedding director), Mason, and my uncle looked at the radar and were confident that it would be a quick storm and it would blow over, so we decided to wait. We wanted to have our ceremony under the beautiful pergola outside by the pond. While Mason worked the crowd mingling with all of our friends and family, I was stuck in the bridal suite with my bridal party and my mom. Melissa brought us a bottle of wine, my mom threw on some tunes, and we had a good time singing and dancing. There was no need to get upset about the rain, I was marrying the man of my dreams that day and that man does love thunderstorms. After about an hour, the storm was finally gone and some of my favourite men were outside drying off the benches for our guests. As soon as we could, the ceremony began again and this time it was perfect. As Mason and I began reading our vows, rays of sunshine pierced through the clouds, as if there were a spotlight on the pergola at Quail Branch Lodge. After we finished all of the family pictures following the ceremony, we ran to the boat dock to hop in a canoe and take some very unique pictures that captured our thirst for adventure under the sweetest of sunsets. Then we were introduced to our family and friends and danced the night away. I could not imagine the day being any more perfect. The storm was such a sweet blessing to us.”
Quail Branch Lodge Vendors
Photographer: Captured by Colson Photography // Venue: Quail Branch Lodge // Floral Designer: Beautiful Flowers of Valdosta // Caterer: Carter’s Catering // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Joseph A Banks // Hair Stylist: Melanie Carter // DJ: Mobile Tronics Entertainment // Bridesmaid Dresses: White Weddings