A Winter Forest Elopement at Woodlake Country Club in Vass, North Carolina

High school sweethearts Candice Jenkins (31 and a bridal boutique owner) and Bradley Richardson (30 and a sales rep) were planning a big wedding at a North Carolina caste, but then they decided to elope instead, forgoing the cost and stress of a traditional wedding. A chic palette of black, white, gold and lush greens set the stage for their winter woodland elopement. “We chose this quiet wooded path near Pinehurst,” Candice says. “We loved it for its serenity and peacefulness. We got married on a weekday with no one around. It was intimate and perfect.” After exchanging vows, the couple enjoyed an intimate dinner in the woods, seated at a vintage English table topped with beautiful florals and a candelabra. “Since we eloped, we didn't really have a reception,” Candice says. “Our celebration ended with an amazing dinner outside in the woods.” Other decorative touches included glass votive candles hanging from trees and an old secretary desk that was used as a hot chocolate bar. “Don't listen to other people's opinions. Do what makes you happy,” Candice says. “It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Get a good photographer! And also, stick to your budget.” —Marissa Hermanson