Northwest Florida Bride-to-Be Graces Cover
Photoshoot makes for a trial run of her wedding day
By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Photography by Jennifer G Photography
Adorned in a wedding gown and a veil that flowed in the sea breeze, our cover bride, Maia Mae Billman, experienced a practice run of her own wedding day that was months in the future. On the beautiful beachfront at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Maia not only got to pose and play, but she also reflected on her upcoming nuptials.
“There were many special moments throughout the day, but putting on a veil stood out most because it was the first time I’d seen myself in one,” Maia said. “It all became real at that point, which made me all the more excited about our wedding and marriage.”
In September 2021, she became engaged to her fiance Chance Huff, whom she has known since high school. When the pandemic closed college campuses, both headed home to Santa Rosa Beach — Maia from Florida State University and Chance from Vanderbilt University. They reconnected and had to get creative with date ideas because many businesses were closed.
“We played tennis, paddleboarded and spent hours just talking and reading on a dock in Grayton Beach,” said Maia. “We fell in love on that dock, and we both just knew we were meant for each other.”
A year and a half later, Chance proposed on that very dock. A surprise celebratory dinner with both of their families followed.
Maia will be using many of the cover shoot vendors at her own wedding, scheduled for October 2022. She enjoyed spending time with them and helping to promote their businesses.
While having hair and makeup done, the entire bridal party celebrated with champagne, fruit and cheese to honor the mother of the bride, Kerri, on her birthday. The day was made all the more special because mom got to see her daughter dolled up as a bride.
JA 30A Salon styled Maia’s half-up/half-down hair in loose curls to align with the beach setting. Serenity by the sea Spa chose a natural glam look with a mauve lip color.
Upon seeing the four dresses Margaret Ellen Bridal had selected for the shoot, Maia recognized one of the dresses as being her own runner-up choice. Always fashion-forward, Margaret Ellen Bridal selected trending styles, many of them featured in this magazine, including sweeping veils, scatter pearls, simple yet chic dresses and lots of lace.
McCaskill & Company, the designer of Maia’s engagement ring, decked her in a treasure trove of diamonds, pearls and opals.
She was handed a gorgeous bouquet, styled by SunQuest Beach Weddings, of cream, blush and burgundy blooms with greenery and pampas grass. The setting was enhanced by an archway designed with coordinating florals.
From the sunny afternoon through the golden hour to the last rays of the day, Jennifer Garcia of Jennifer G Photography captured every stunning moment for Northwest Florida Weddings Magazine’s first styled cover shoot.
Jennifer G Photography
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
McCaskill & Company
Wedding Gown and Accessories
Margaret Ellen Bridal
SunQuest Beach Weddings
Serenity by the sea Spa
JA 30A Salon