McGill Rose Garden Wedding: Morgan and Mark (Intimate Outdoor Wedding)

Right about now I am craving both sunshine and the great outdoors.  So let’s take a trip back a few months to this intimate/outdoor McGill Rose Garden wedding.

Morgan and Mark burst through our studios doors filled with love, laughs and an immediate connection.  (we should have known we would adore them/them us based on them being a referral from our dear Christian and Lindsay who were married a few years earlier;-)

Their wedding was intimate and understatedly  gorgeous; relying on the naturally beautiful backdrop of McGill’s gardens.   This wedding was filled with incredible amounts of emotion from not only Morgan and Mark, but many relatives and friends who surrounded them in love. (and mad dancing skilz)

When I asked Morgan how they wanted the wedding day to feel, she gushed  “Our wedding will be a very loose, but dapper woodland affair. It is a small, intimate gathering, and it’s pretty informal (no jackets, coats, or matching bridal party suits or dresses). Because it’s in a rose garden we didn’t choose formal wedding colors, but we are using a lot of neutral tones; blushes, browns, muted blues and greens, ect. We will have pops of color here and there, mostly deep yellow, lavender, and white. We are a new age, super chill couple. We love art of all kinds and the beauty of simplicity.”

To that I say, **Mission accomplished**


A few of our favorite highlights of the day:

–  Morgan’s friend (and previous bride) Lindsey seeing Morgan in her dress.  Cue tears.

– How Mark and Morgan  looked at each other on the aisle

–  Morgan’s bohemian custom made dress and floral headpiece

–  The groomsman mocking Pinterest-inspired  ‘look at that ring!’ shots (see below)

– Twinkly lights on  majestic crepe myrtle trees..need I say more!  #magical

– Tears, tears and more tears of joy!

Mark and Morgan–it was such a joy to get to know you and share in your day. (and we still need you to come by for more vino even though you are all married up.:-)   …And you are in fact “super chill”


Their amazing wedding vendor team:

Intimate/Outdoor Wedding VenueMcGill Rose Garden

Charlotte Wedding Photographer: BlueSky by Cass Bradley

Bohemian/Woodlands Floral Designer:  Nectar

Hair and Makeup:  Angela Hoffman

OfficiantRev. Azera Moonhawk

Catering:  Catering by Tara Owner


intimate outdoor wedding blueskies

Glamorous? Who me? (Cass Bradley Photographer: Rebrand and 5 year Anniversary!)

5 Years ago:

* I began charging a fee for my ability to use the tool of a DSLR camera

*  I set up legal documents to become a biz with the sole purpose of being able to have the ability to write off all of the very expensive equipment I knew I would be acquiring for my very expensive ‘hobby’

* I chose a name that reflected a bit of whimsy (I was photographing children,  after all) as well as a nod to my ‘studio’ space — which was ‘any where under the big bluesky’ as I was a 100% natural light photographer   (aka: I didn’t know any other forms of lighting. lol)




To spare you the list of ‘pat on the backs,’ ‘financial successes’, and self-congratulatory sounding accolades   –I will just say,  I think Ive become pretty legit:-)       **If you’d happen to  like to read more on my experience becoming an entrepreneur–you can check out my post here or here..)


Truth:  I had no intention to become a photographer (though I had always known I would be an entrepreneur, was a journalism major and was pretty much always ‘the girl with the camera.’  (Photographer cliche’ much?) I cannot say ‘I have always known’…quite the contrary.


However, since  ‘accidentally’ (no-such-thing) having my photography business become my sole means of fiances–I have changed/grown and transitioned to a place where I have a better understanding of why I have been ‘called’ to leave a lucrative corporate job (much to my husband’s puzzled expression and smaller bank account.)   I  have determined though I am many  some of the things you may think of when envisioning a photographer: creative, artistic etc.  My reason for continuing to dedicate my time and energies to this lies squarely in the amazing power of having the ability to uncover the often not-so-obvious confidence and beauty of the clients I work with.  (Make no mistake:  these qualities have always been there…I just have the ability to highlight them…boldly.)


I have come to learn this is the reason I often hear clients say ‘this is the first picture I love of myself.’ Or, ‘I have never seen my husband look at me that way.’    In this, I have found my ‘why.’  –to create the confidence needed in those around me to allow them to be unabashedly themselves.   I make it Visible and  Tangible through my images.   (When the ‘right’ clients walks away from their experience with me they should feel just a little more…emboldened.)


For whatever reason,  (you’ll have to ask my therapist) as best as I can recall–I have always been a confident person.  I grew up in a fairly volatile family (sorry parents–its often with little money (I can remember a Christmas  with no heat,  huddled around an open oven door to stay warm. BUT WE HAD DONUTS YOU GUYS!!!  So..all was clearly not lost.)  And, like all of us, my ‘mess’ has made me who I am.   And, though mine was in fact pretty ‘messy’–I somehow evolved into a person who has never really doubted herself.  Has always thought she had beautiful qualities.  (and let me be clear–some not-so-beautiful.. #workingonit )


I have also learned THIS IS NOT the case for many.  (Sadly) Humans are filled with so many insecurities, doubts and straight up fear.  What I adore most about what I now call a career has less to do with the actual images.  –And most everything to do with how I make people feel about themselves and then the tangible way images hold the ability to always see it.


So, I know what you are thinking ‘Well, that’s great Cass–beautiful,  really.  But what does that have to do with ‘the price of tea in China’ let alone why I ever clicked on this damned blog post–being Glamorous.

–Ill get to that.


This past year was a year of ‘Phoenix-ing’ for me  (my made-up word to imply ‘ rising from the ashes renewed to live through another cycle.’)  After a royal shit show of a year (more on that here or here ) I am finally able to rise on up out of the ‘ash’ of year that ended up in flames and take a good hard look at where I am and where I want to go.  –One small piece of that was really clarifying for the world (and myself)  who I am and who I adore working with; and to more clearly reflect that in every. aspect. of. my. business. (and ideally-my life.)

To save this from becoming a novel  (I will write one some of you should be worried…very worried.:-)I will just say after a year of a bit of a ‘sabbatical’, a little help from a business coach and a few good friends who have listened intently….


I am drawn to those who adore life. The adventurers.  The seekers.  The  glamorous, fearless and fiery!

I firmly believe life is much too short for mediocre

It is our ‘job’ to embolden those around us

It is perfectly okay to be bossy (Especially if the ‘y’ is silent and the intention good)

That everyone has a superpower (or five)

And for those “glamorous, fearless and fiery'” folks who elect to work with me…my camera is one of the tools I use to make these moments of stellar beauty and confidence…real.

So how, out of all of the amazing adjectives in this world did I decide glamorous  as the first word in my series of new ‘branding’ (#life) words??  (Look at that–finally got to the ever-loving-point!) and suited both me and those I adore working with?

More truth?  I was stuck really –on an appropriate way to verbalize the beauty,  (and I don’t mean external.) confidence and alluring mystery I see in those I work with–specifically the women that are drawn to me and what I do.   Then I happened to land on this definition–one that I believe resonates with my ‘elegantly grabbing-life-by-the____ ‘ (its like a madlib…insert your own. Balls?  Ovaries? ) approach.  I most especially was drawn to the second-lesser-known definition of the word.


[glam-er-uh s]

full of glamour; charmingly or fascinatingly attractive, especially in a mysterious or magical way.

full of excitement, adventure, and unusual activity:

Yes!  Life is a grand adventure or nothing at all….rules both I and my clients live by!  My clients (and most anyone I am lucky enough to be surrounded by) are the dreamers, the seekers and most importantly–the DOERS!  And when I think on my ‘favorite’ people in my life— one of the things they all have in common is “there is just something about them.”    They are simply–glamorous. 

glamorous fearless fiery




Considering Having your Pet as part of the wedding Party? (BlueSky by Cass Bradley Featured on Aisha Thomas Events)

When our friends over at Aisha Thomas Events asked if we had any any weddings that featured a couples ‘children with fur’ –my answer was…many!  So many of our clients are pet-lovers and include their ‘fur babies’ in both the engagement session as well as integral parts of the wedding day.

Click image below for the full article:


M o r e   i n f o