• It's Our Passion To Capture Your Story In A Way Only A Photography Can...LINDSAY & BRANDON

 

Hannah and Justin have a sweet and unique love story. They are lovers of nature, which is fitting as they live in the beautiful east Tennessee mountains of Sevierville. They love to travel and they appreciate the arts including photography and distillery. Another thing, besides each other, that they love, is their dog Scout. He followed us around throughout the engagement session and couldn’t have been cuter – posing super well for photos and even photobombing some like a pro. We had a wonderful day with these two and we love the way their love and respect for each other is so quiet and sweet but still so strong. We enjoyed a perfect fall day with a golden kiss of a sunset that was just right without taking over the show of course :) Here are a few favorites from our afternoon getting to know Hannah and Justin.

 

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You all know as well as I do that October is the most finicky month when it comes to temperatures. It could be scorching hot or it could be freezing. But for Lauren and Zach, they had an amazingly perfect day to get married. These two are both some of the most humble, genuine people and we have loved all of the time we’ve spent with them. Their wedding day was an absolute breeze and everyone was incredible to work with. I want to keep telling you how amazing they are and how great their wedding day was, but I also really just want you to see these super pretty photos. For now, I’ll just wish this amazing couple a happy first month of marriage, and I know because of their sweet personalities, their common interests and their strong faith and committed families that they are just going to flourish as husband and wife. We want a Ralph’s date soon you two!!

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Now that you have the bling on your finger and have emphatically said YES to your forever partner, you’re automatically thinking of a wedding. “So now what?” While this is natural, we want to help you narrow down some of the priorities so you’re not hurled in to the overwhelming wedding-planning abyss. There will bean overload of information all over and wedding planning to-do lists in every corner of the internet. Having spent time with SO MANY newly-engaged couples, here are the top six things we have found will help you to do first once you’re engaged.

  1. Enjoy it

Inevitably, someone will start asking questions about the wedding just hours and days after you’re engaged. While some brides have already made prior arrangements even before the ring, there may be some ideas you’ll want your groom in on, so don’t get too set on anything until you let the ecstasy of the proposal wear off a little. Our biggest piece of advice for the first several days, is to JUST ENJOY it before making any commitments and starting the stress of wedding planning. Soak in your FIANCE before moving quickly past that short season in your life.

      2. Discuss a season and possible dates – but don’t set it yet

Obviously you’ll have ideas in your head about your preferences for the time of year you want to get married. Maybe it’s around a school schedule, maybe it has to do with your ideal wedding look, but before you get too set and lock anything in, check with family and friends to see if anyone has advice to share or times that they’d suggest based on other factors. At the same time, there will never be a date that will be perfect for everyone, so be mindful that you can be flexible to an extent but not bend so far you break. Part of setting your date will have to do with must-have vendors, which we discuss in #4 below.

      3. Set a budget

This one is a toughie. First you’ll need to know who might contribute, how much and if anyone has any particular area they’d like to fund. And as uncomfortable as it may be, it’s helpful to address numbers instead of assuming. Remember to do your research before pulling random figures based off pinterest articles. Those articles tend to take an average from all across the county, which may be a very skewed way of calculating. For example, the national average for a florist may show $1,000; but if you take into account that some people do silk flowers and arrange bouquets themselves for maybe $200 total and some florists decorate everything in live flowers and charge $5,000 to decorate the full venue, then your expectations might be off base when you go for your meeting. Keep an open mind, as there are always ways to cut expenses on things that are less vital. On the other side of the coin, do consider adding in some fluff budget for things you won’t think about at the beginning of the process. In order to set a more realistic budget based on YOUR needs, see our next tip.

     4. Rate things in order of importance

Find out what’s most important to you, what you MUST have, then budget and book it first. Don’t rely on a wedding blog to tell you the order in which you should book things. If things are important to you, then it’s something you already know. It’s in your gut, it’s been there for a while, and you know that more than likely, you’re going to get what you pay for. This will also help your overall budget to come together more realistically. If your dream wedding is at a particular venue and nothing else will do, then book the venue. If you don’t care where or when you say your vows BUT you want dream wedding photos or video, then book your photographer/cinematographers first. You can always work things around and set lesser important things after you get your must haves, but it’s important to start with what’s most important to you (and your fiance), first.

     5. Think about your Bridal party

In choosing who will stand beside you on your big day, think about personality rather than obligation. Your sister-in-law or cousin may be an obvious must by family’s standards but if you think the stress will be too much, give her another duty rather than bridesmaid to honor her as family yet not have her in as close quarters during high-stress times. Also think about THEIR lives and schedule, and be mindful of the time and finances you will be asking them to sacrifice for you. We’ve seen bridal parties big, small, and non-existent; and these people really help set the tone for your day, so choose them wisely.

     6. Make it YOU

Now that most of your day is starting to come together in your head, you’ll want to use the little things to incorporate who YOU are as a couple and how you can make the day more unique and memorable. This could be location, overall style, table decor, or as small as the favors you choose to gift to your guests. The number one thing we can tell couples about making the wedding theirs is that the rules are more like guidelines, your wedding day is about your commitment to each other and celebrating your union. If that means breaking a tiny etiquette rule or having a non-traditional feel, then by all means go for it. As long as you’re acting in love and respect, you are probably not wrong, and it will be memorable for all who witness it.

 

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We’ve known Ashlee ever since doing senior portraits for her a few years back. When she got engaged, we were delighted to hear her story and hear about her wedding day plans. Upon hearing that they wanted a courthouse elopement (on a Thursday because their date was just that special), we simply couldn’t wait! We love intimate ceremonies because when you strip away all the fluff, it forces you to think about what REALLY matters at a wedding. Commitment. Love. Honor. And even family. Ashlee and John Michael had all of those, and more. Their vows were exchanged in front of their closest family, officiated by our absolute favorite Chancellor (never mind you that there is only one), and staged in a beautiful Cookeville courtroom with light, sophistication and nostalgia.
The vows were quick (thanks to Chancellor) and only minutes after we all gathered, they were married. I love that these two were able to share their day in the best way possible with their families, yet they remained focus on their love and vows as it gently rained on the windows outside. It truly couldn’t have been more perfect or special. We wish this new husband and wife nothing but the very best, and we are so honored to have witnessed such an incredibly precious elopement.

 

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Autumn and Ryan had an amazing summer wedding at the Loveless Cafe and Barn. There was no lack of love as everyone there was so excited for these two to celebrate their union. These two Nashville Predators fans lucked out when their mid-July wedding was not sweltering, and they had an amazing venue and super supportive people all around. Autumn is a girl who knows what she wants, and she did an amazing job with planning out this day. Ryan was chill as always, his comedians of groomsmen making their prep and formals easy and fun. Surprisingly this day seemed to just FLY by, but it was smooth sailing with a very organized bride and her team. The sweet couple opted not to see each other until the ceremony, and they said their vows in front of a beautiful cross that Ryan and his dad constructed just for the wedding. The party got started soon after, and there wasn’t a single guest who wasn’t having a blast. The dancefloor was full, the cool air moved in for guests to relax outside, and the night ended perfectly. Here are a few highlights from Autumn and Ryan’s Nashville wedding day.

 

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