Bride and groom portraits in the Turnbull Building in Chattanooga. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

February 21, 2024

A Bright and Romantic Spring Wedding at the Turnbull Building | Elise + Will

There’s something about spring weddings that always makes me smile. The air is infused with the sweet scent of flowers blooming while nature slowly shakes off the winter chill and starts to come back to life everywhere you look. Elise + Will’s bright and romantic spring wedding at the Turnbull Building perfectly captured the spirit and joy of this hopeful season of new beginnings.

Bride and groom portraits in the Turnbull Building in Chattanooga. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

A Fateful Day on the Field

Elise + Will met one fateful day on a baseball field during a work event. As soon as they met, it was an instant connection. For a year and a half afterward, they spent their lunch together almost every day. At first, their lunches were simply as coworkers spending some time together. However, as the days and months went on, the connection that they felt began to form into a beautiful friendship. One day, Will asked Elise to hang out after work one evening, and after dinner that night, he asked her if she wanted to go on an actual date. Though they didn’t know it quite yet, that day was the moment that would mark the beginning of a journey together, built on love, laughter, and friendship. 

Now, four years later, they are more than excited to finally be getting married! In fact, their excitement might even be tinged with a slight bit of annoyance and regret that they waited so long for this day that seemed written in the stars practically from day one. But, their wait is finally over as they prepare themselves to finally make it official in front of all of their family and friends. 

Wedding Day Beginnings at the Turnbull

On the day of their wedding, Elise, her mom, and her bridesmaids were the first to arrive at the Turnbull Building. This historic building in the center of downtown between Chattanooga’s Southside and riverfront is the perfect venue for couples looking for urban venues with a modern touch. 

When Elise and her ladies arrived at the Turnbull, they made their way to the private dressing room on the third floor. Although they had already spent the morning getting their hair and makeup done, this chic and modern dressing room was spacious and comfortable enough for all of them to relax and hang out before stepping into their dresses and doing some last-minute touches before the day’s events. 

Once they were ready, Elise’s bridesmaids stepped outside to give Elise and her mom a few minutes together. Some of my favorite moments to capture during a wedding day are when parents help their children into their wedding attire. I was able to capture beautiful moments of Elise’s mom helping her into her wedding dress before the two rejoined the other ladies for a sweet bridesmaid first look. 

Meanwhile, as the ladies took over the third floor, Will and the guys were up on the fourth where the reception would be held later that evening. They arrived shortly after the ladies did, just in time to take a few groom portraits of Will by the Turnbull’s tall windows.

When it was finally time for their first look, Will stood by the picturesque spiral staircase. Elise emerged from the hallway behind him to tap his shoulder. The smiles that lit up both their faces from the moment when they finally saw each other perfectly reflected the pure joy and happiness that exists between them. 

Beautiful Ceremony at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul

After their first look, the entire wedding party came back up to gather by the spiral staircase for wedding party portraits. Once wedding party portraits were done, everyone packed up to take the short 5-minute ride from the Turnbull to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, where Elise + Will’s ceremony would be held. 

The basilica, with its gorgeous high ceilings and intricately designed, tall stained-glass windows, provided an enchanting setting for Elise + Will’s ceremony and bride and groom portraits. We started with their portraits as soon as we arrived so we had the time to truly take in the majesty of the church before guests began to filter in. 

Elise + Will had a traditional Catholic ceremony surrounded by all of their loved ones. The church’s timeless elegance added a touch of grandeur to every moment captured as soft sunlight streamed through the vibrant glass, casting a warm glow on the couple. The air in the sacred space seemed to carry the whispers of countless love stories, creating an atmosphere that perfectly complemented Elise + Will’s connection. As they exchanged their vows, the rich history of the basilica became an integral part of their own unfolding love story, captured frame by frame in the ethereal beauty of this sacred space.

Transforming the Turnbull

When their ceremony was over, immediate family and close friends stayed behind at the basilica for family and friends portraits. Meanwhile, the rest of the guests were shuttled back to the Turnbull for cocktail hour on the third floor.  

By the time guests arrived back at the venue, the Turnbull had been completely transformed for Elise + Will’s wedding. The wonderful thing about planning a wedding at the Turnbull Building is the building itself is a blank canvas just waiting for your vision to bring it to life. However, the historic building also has so much character that it doesn’t actually take much to fully transform it and make the space your own. Between their wedding planner, Casey, from Soirees and the rest of their vendor team, both floors of the Turnbull Building were decorated with soft floral touches to become the sweet, romantic spring wedding Elise + Will had envisioned.  

For both their cocktail hour and their reception, Elise + Will decided on a more minimalistic style of décor. They enlisted the expert eyes of the amazing ladies at Southerly Flower Farms to create beautiful but subtle spring flower arrangements to place all throughout the venue. All of their tables were covered with white linens for a bright, natural look, and along each table sat small white vases filled with bright yellow and pale pink flowers paired with small candles in glass holders. These subtle and simple décor choices complemented the already charming feel of the Turnbull Building while also bringing the light and airy essence of spring into the venue. 

Lovely Spring Reception at the Turnbull

When the newlyweds finally rejoined their guests at the Turnbull, they made their grand entrance into the fourth-floor, loft-style party room to the sounds of cheers from all of their loved ones. With the bright sunlight streaming down on them from the high loft windows, Elise + Will had their magical first dance beneath a sparkling disco ball. Once their first dance was through, the two joined their guests for a mouthwatering buffet of delicious food catered by Events with Taste. In between courses, their DJ kept the music going all the way up to when the dance floor was opened up officially for the night. 

Through heartfelt toasts, dances with their parents, cutting their wedding cake, and the whimsical toss of Elise’s bouquet, every part of their beautiful and exciting reception formed another lovely memory in their love story. Finally, the night ended with a magical sparkler send-off, a fitting finale to such a joyful day for this lovely couple.

Thinking of getting married in the Turnbull Building? It’s one of my favorite venues! I’d love to be there to capture it all!

Hey y’all! I’m Rachael Crowe of OkCrowe Photography. I’m a wedding photographer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, though as of Summer 2024, I’ll be officially moving and becoming a New York City wedding photographer. I’ve shot weddings, engagements, and elopements all over the US, but even so, the Turnbull Building will always remain one of my favorite wedding venues. You can check out everything you need to know about getting married in the Turnbull on my blog here. And, of course, if you’re looking for a wedding photographer, just head to my contact form to get the conversation started!

Sparkler send off outside of the Turnbull Building in Chattanooga. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

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