Kaitlyn and Dylan – June 17, 2019

Kaitlyn and Dylan joined us on a beautiful June day. I loved their idea of a Jenga game sign-in “book” as a keepsake instead of the traditional guest book. These two are outdoor lovers and brought their sweet pups with them to celebrate their big day. Congratulations, Kaitlyn and Dylan!!

From the Bride:
We met in high school where we were simply friends. We reconnected a year after graduating in the summer of 2010, and our friendship grew into something much more over the next few months. 

Dylan proposed in Breckenridge, Colorado on 3/14/17. We had snowshoes and went hiking on an old mine trail. We only ran into a couple of people during the hike and had the trail to ourselves for afternoon. We reached a point overlooking distant mountain ranges, and I set my iPhone up to take a self-timed photo of us. It took several attempts to get the angle “right” when propping the phone. I set the timer for 10 seconds to give me time to walk back to the ledge where Dylan was standing. The timer started ticking, and I heard Dylan say my name…once, then twice… And I thought to myself “it took me forever to get that phone propped without it falling over, he can wait 3 more seconds…” After the photo snapped, I turned to Dylan, and he was down on one knee with the most gorgeous ring held out in front of him. It was then that he proposed, so sweetly and perfectly. It was also then that I felt like the biggest jerk on the plant.

We decided on Tennessee because we have always wanted to elope or have a small, intimate ceremony outside. This is giving us the best of both worlds!  We have always loved the outdoors and have been to East TN to hike many times together.  Two of our closest friends had their wedding at Chapel in the Hollow last year, which is how we found out about the venue.  Dylan and I had been debating on an  elopement vs. intimate ceremony throughout the engagement and after finding out about Chapel in the Hollow, we felt we could get the best of both worlds there!  Due to the intimate setting, guests were limited to our closest family members. We tried to keep our wedding on a lower budget and took this into consideration with decor,  attire,  bouquets, etc.  The chapel was already decorated SO perfectly and we loved the pink/blush florals and draperies.  Chapel color themes were the inspiration for our color palette. We honestly did not do much decorating, primarily because we loved the wooded, natural setting and did not want to take away from it.   A previous bride had donated a gorgeous wooden table  to the chapel for future brides to utilize. We used it to hold our personalized fans (it was hot!!), guest book, and a few accessories (picture frame,  flower vase, etc.).

We have two rescued dogs that we adopted together who are like our children.  They bring us so much happiness and entertainment on a daily basis and knew we wanted to include them in the ceremony! Special thanks to the  fabulous groomsmen (groom’s brothers) and family who “wrangled” the pups for us.   We honestly loved the entire atmosphere at Chapel in the Hollow and this is what drew us to the venue in the first place.  Summertime in Tennessee is beautiful, though hot, and we loved the lush, green, shady trees!

Bride’s dress was from David’s Bridal and I fell in love with the lace detail and train.  I originally didn’t want a veil (trying to be cheap) and decided last minute (4 days before the ceremony) to get one – I am so happy I did!  (Special thanks to our photographer Chastidyi for her photography skills and hiding the fact that my veil was a different color than my dress!) The bridesmaid’s dresses were found at Forever 21, and I wanted something budget-friendly that the girls could wear again.  Groom and groomsmen attire inspired by color of the chapel and Pinterest.  Due to the summer heat, we opted out of a traditional suit/tux and settled for a vest for the groom and simple suspenders for the groomsmen (all found at JC Penney).  The guys’ shoes were from Target.     We bought the pup’s “suits” off of Amazon (Tail Trends) and they were absolutely adorable – dogs didn’t seem to mind them, either!

I can’t begin to tell you how happy and relieved we were to see that all of our guests made it to the chapel in time for the ceremony – and safely!!   Many were traveling from the Middle TN area the morning of the wedding, and I was so worried that there would be traffic or guests getting lost due to lack of cell service in the area.  Sure, there were some chaotic moments, but we were so thankful for the sacrifices made by our families to make our day perfect!

We enjoy hiking, mountains, camping, music festivals & hanging out with our pups! My advice to future brides is to not stress the small stuff, know that things may not go quite as you so diligently plan, and enjoy each moment!  We were guilty  (mostly me) of trying to keep things as cheap as possible, but don’t be afraid to splurge here and there to make your wedding day what you want it to be! 🙂

 

Invitations: Walgreens Photo
Hair and Makeup: Rachel Badgely
Wedding Dress Store: David’s Bridal
Menswear: JCPenney
Favors: Fans from Etsy – Side Street Designs
Shoe Store: Off Broadway
Rentals: Harvest Party Rentals
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow

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Megan and Nick’s Maternity Photos near Gatlinburg at Chapel in the Hollow

Megan and Nick’s Maternity Photos – May 22, 2019

I’ve been photographing Megan and Nick since their engagement several years ago. Each time has been such a pleasure –they have such beautiful chemistry together. When Megan contacted me about pregnancy photos, I got so excited especially when Amanda from Southern Sirens started floating some ideas around. It’s such an amazing thing to have clients turn into friends and to see such beautiful experiences happen to them.

From Megan:
Nick and I had been trying to have a baby for over a year. I got diagnosed with endometriosis and had to have surgery. All of my cycles were timed and precise, and I was on Clomid (the fertility drug!). So how we found out, was that it was Tuesday, December 4th and that was the day I had to take a pregnancy test according to my doctor! I had zero symptoms so I was (negatively) expecting the same result as the last 16 tests I had already taken. Only this one was POSITIVE! I was in shock! So I went and woke Nick up (at 5:30am) and he sleepily woke up and he was so excited! We FaceTimed my parents and slowly told immediate family and close friends over the next couple of weeks!

We did a gender reveal! Our gender reveal theme was “some bunny is on the way” it was the weekend before Easter! Nick and I went and found out the gender just the two of us the week before and it was the hardest secret to keep!! But doing it together was so special, and I’ll never forget the look on Nicks face when he figured out it was a boy, he was SO excited!! I had said all along that it was a boy so I was a little less surprised than him. I had a very easy first trimester, no morning sickness, no fatigue, nothing so I figured with how easy it was I had to have a boy in there! Lol! We did confetti cannons at the gender reveal and all of our family and friends came and they released the cannons around Nick and I. That was so awesome because we got to watch everyone else’s reaction to the news! We loved it!

Nick was going through a list of “influential men in history” because we could decide on a boy name to save our lives! And he came across Theodore Roosevelt and he asked what I thought of Theodore. I liked it so I looked up the meaning of the name, and it means “Gift from God”. With how our journey to get pregnant had gone, I thought this name was perfect! We had a miracle baby and he really is a gift from God. We decided we would call him Theo for short!

We are so excited and blessed to be parents and we can’t wait to start this next chapter in our life. For anyone out there who is struggling to get pregnant, you’re not alone, you’re seen, your feelings are understood and validated. There is a mountain of woman supporting you, praying for you, and hoping for you! You don’t have to walk this journey alone, reach out to friends, family, even Facebook groups, whatever you need to do but don’t do it alone! There is always a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

Flower Crown, Hair, and Makeup by Southern Sirens
Dresses from Amazon
Photography by Star Noir Studio
Venue Chapel in the Hollow

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Kennedy and Zackery Rainy Day Wedding in the Smoky Mountains

Kennedy and Zackery – May 18, 2019

Kennedy and Zackery were married at our first wedding on the 18th, catching some of the muggy but sunny weather before the rains hit that evening. They share a love of the outdoors and their two adorable children. Their eldest, Isabella, was a flower girl, and their youngest, Maggie, was pulled down the aisle by Parker. Congratulations Kennedy and Zackery on making it official!!

From the Bride:
We actually connected with each other on Facebook. We had mutual friends but never hung out one on one. He had “poked” me on Facebook, and I thought he accidentally hit the poke button and then another message came through saying hey! We talked for a few hours and then made plans for our first date to meet up. I didn’t expect anything to come about it other then two old friends getting together and talking… little did I know what I was in for. 😉

It felt like we had been doing it for years. It was so smooth and natural and fun! We had met at this Drive In in Brevard after my daughter and I (daughter was from a previous relationship) got out of church. We had milkshakes and chatted about what all had happened in the years we weren’t connected and to me it was just felt like a missing piece had finally be filled in. He was very interactive with Isabella and that made me feel good as a single parent. Soon after, we went on a few more dates, and then we made it official on July 27, 2016!

He proposed! It was 12:00 AM on January 1,2017. I had NO idea he was going to do it (we had been together at that point for about 6 months). We were at his house having a small new years eve party, and he took me out onto the porch and he kept checking his phone and acting strange. We had built a fire in our pit on the porch so I had turned around to get it started again and turned back around. At that moment it was 12 on the dot, fireworks were going off and Zack was on one knee. I had smoke in my eyes so I didn’t know what he was doing! He said “I know its only been a couple of months that we’ve been together but I don’t want to spend my life with anyone else other than you. Will you marry me?” And then it hit me that I was getting proposed too and said YES!!!

We originally had this huge wedding planned out for May of last year but we had our sweet little Maggie instead! After having her, we decided something smaller and more intimate was going to better suite us. From the chapel being completely surrounded by the outdoors to letting mother nature be the decor we knew it was the exact place we wanted to get married at.

We’ve been engaged for two and a half years and he has talked about it everyday since. I couldn’t wait to see his smile at the end of the alter waiting for me! Honestly we just picked the most available date that gave us enough time to tell family and friends. We’ve been engaged for two and a half years now, and we’ve just been trying to find the right time. We already bought our first home together, we had another child.. now it was time to get married!

We love to go camping with our girls and anything outdoors. Fishing, hiking, anything that brings adventure! A typical date night for us is either going out for a concert or just a nice little evening at home sitting on the couch watching movies.. we’ve got two kids so date nights are pretty foreign to us, haha.

Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow

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Sarah and Michael – May 10, 2019

Sarah and Michael chose to get married in our sleepy little hollow on the front porch of our mini wedding chapel. Her grandfather performed the ceremony, and they included a special hand washing ritual that was lovely. This gorgeous bride had a wedding dress a mile long and when she paired it with her handsome hubby, it made for awesome photo ops!! Congratulations Sarah and Michael!

From the Bride:

We met at a super bowl party in 2016. 🙂 I actually had a paper due at midnight that night, and he stayed at the party to help me finish it. I made a 100!! Lol! Then we went to Waffle House and shared an all star. I can’t even tell you who played that night, we were obsessed with each other from day one. We were broke college kids so the first date consisted of making spaghetti at his trailer and watching What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. When I had to leave we looked at the stars forever, so our song is “Yellow” by Coldplay because it says “look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” 

Michael proposed! I had just found out that I was pregnant and had moved into my own apartment. He made spaghetti (it’s our staple meal) and asked if I wanted Parmesan. I of course said yes, and when he sprinkled the Parmesan on my plate the ring came out!! He’s so cheesy. Literally. Lol

We decided on Tennessee because of this chapel!!! I’ve looked at the chapel for a long time and have known this is where I want to get married. Being able to honeymoon while in Tennessee is a bonus. I most looked forward to finally getting to marry the love of my life!!! Definitely looked forward to just the overall feel of the day. And the pictures!! 

We love binge watching Netflix shows and being with our son, Jackson. He’s our whole world. Typical date night would be dinner and a movie, or driving around playing Pokémon go!! Lol!

Hair and Makeup by Southern Sirens
Chapel Florals by Melissa Timm Designs
Rings from Wilson’s Jewelry
Officiant: Dwane Casteel
Wedding Dress from An Affair To Remember Formal Wear
Suit from Men’s Wearhouse
Photography by Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow

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Mari and Mark – May 4, 2019

Our third wedding on May 4th was Mari and Marc. They had a few tiny sprinkles but mostly gorgeous weather! Mari wanted to be sure to have time for lots and lots of photos so we got to go off property for a few minutes to some nearby locations, and one of them had a mountain view! Everything about this beautiful wedding was luxe and romantic from the florals to the dress. Congratulations Mari and Mark!!

From the Bride:
Mark proposed during a long weekend trip that we took to the Smoky Mountains last February. On the deck of our cabin with the beautiful mountains in view, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We decided on Tennessee because during our first visit we fell completely in love with the Smoky Mountains! The area is so inviting and romantic!

From the very beginning I knew I wanted a vintage/rustic/romantic feel, with a woodsy twist and beautiful greenery. One of my absolute favorite lipsticks turned out to be the inspiration for my colors – mauve pink. I knew that this color would pair well with ivory and blush to give me the look that I was trying to achieve. I had Chapel in the Hollow provide the chapel flowers because they had the blush arrangements that matched most closely to those that I purchased for myself. Their’s were beautiful enough that I didn’t need to change them out! For our cake table, we used an old desk and chair that that was once my husband’s grandmothers. She passed away a few years ago, and we felt that it was a great way to honor her absence at our ceremony. Originally, it was an ivory desk with gold trim and handles. My mother and I worked endlessly to get the piece finished for the wedding, actually having painted it twice because I was unhappy with the way it turned out the first time around. We used Rustoleum chalk paint and brown glaze to make the edges looked vintage and distressed, sealing it last with a spray wax to make sure it would hold up in case it rained!
The flowers that you see in my photos are actually wood flowers. I chose wood flowers over silk because they looked more realistic to me, and I chose them over real flowers because I wanted to have them as a keepsake for years to come. After a thorough search on Etsy, I finally found MoonflowerNatureArt. AMAZING! She has a great variety of colors and styles, and all of her pieces are elegant and romantic, with a boho/vintage feel, fitting perfectly with the look that I was going for. As for the flowers on my cake table, they are Sola wood flowers that I actually bought and dyed myself. The website has a variety of styles, sizes, and dye colors to choose from. I picked an assorted pack for variety and simply chose colors that were closest to those in my wedding flowers. Before placing them in the vases, I added floral stems and ta-da, flowers for my cake table! The vases themselves were bought at a local thrift store, where I actually paid .50 cents each. My mom simply used chalk paint and a nail file to make them appear distressed and old!
Originally, my husband and I wanted to write our own vows, however, we both felt that we would get too teary to make it through them so we decided otherwise. For our ceremony, we did the traditional vows offered by Chastidyi and Ian, and we were so happy that we did! It was easy, took about 10 minutes, and before we knew it, we were finally married! The most favorite part of my wedding was the reception dinner that we had back at our cabin. I live in Pennsylvania and all of my wedding planning was done using Google. As I was researching caterers, I came upon a company called Fruitful Vintage Chef, a personal chef service that offers in-cabin buffet and formal dinner services for parties of 20 or less. Planning with them was a breeze, I simply sent an email with my requested date and time, number in our party, the services I was seeking, and the address to our cabin. My husband and I opted for the four-course formal sit-down dinner option, and enjoyed choosing the menu options for our guests. They were able to meet our guests for appetizers back at our cabin while we were with Chastidyi and Ian getting pictures taken, we were told that it was a great way to pass the time!
The gown that I chose is from Maggie Sottero, the Abbie. It’s a fit-and-flare style that I actually found online, and was the first dress that I tried on in the bridal shop. I fell in love! The bodice is beaded with lace appliques, which included both fishnet lace and floral lace styles. It hugs in all the write places and flares at the bottom to provide a nice hour-glass shape, a slip underneath giving it more fullness. As for the off-white color, it is actually called “antique white,” which I was able to coordinate with my overall color scheme. For Mark’s wedding look, he actually went for a more casual vest and pant, both purchased from Men’s Warehouse. It was harder to find a vest that fit him properly because of his wide shoulders, so we had him fitted when we stopped by the store. Originally we wanted to do a green tweed suit, but after multiple failures at finding one that fit properly, and knowing that Mark would be SO HOT in the TN weather, he decided to just wear the vest. It has a tweed-appearing feel to it, but it was light, which minimized the chances of him being uncomfortably hot during our ceremony, pictures, and reception.
Mark and I actually met at a local bar, through mutual friends who introduced us. Fast forward a little over a year, I had been having drinks with some girl friends at the same bar, and asked Mark to stop by. He said that he made a complete u-turn while on his way to a fantasy football draft, eager to come see me. That night, we had drinks, hung out, talked, he bought me Chinese food (haha) and the rest is history! For our proposal, we were actually in Gatlinburg for a romantic long weekend trip to the Smoky’s. As soon as we made it to the area, we were blown away by the beauty of the mountains. We made our way to the cabin, went out on the deck, and just stood in awe. It wasn’t too long before Mark disappeared and came back, telling me to turn around and face the vast mountains in front of me. I look back at this moment and think it’s so funny, because I distinctly remember asking him, “what are you doing?” He told me to turn around, and first thing I see is Mark on one knee, with a huge smile and a diamond ring in my face. Apparently our entire family knew about him planning the proposal for that weekend! He said that he was so excited to ask me that he couldn’t wait any longer. It was nice, because for the rest of our time in Gatlinburg, we were able to celebrate being newly engaged 🙂
My most anticipated moment was, of course, the KISS!! Mark and I practiced our wedding kiss on numerous occasions before getting married. We wanted to keep it sweet and special, without being over the top (since we were in front of our families). I know right before we kissed we were both thinking about getting it right, and honestly, it turned out to be the most perfect wedding kiss we could have asked for!
On my wedding day I was told by both my hairdresser and Chastidyi, “you don’t even seem nervous,” and “you’re the most easy-going, laid-back bride I’ve had in a while.” And to be honest, I truly felt relaxed and just happy to be in beautiful TN with my husband and family. We both worked so hard to make our wedding day special and memorable, but there was nothing more important to me than marrying the man of my dreams. We spend so much time trying to make everything “perfect,” but the reason behind getting married means so much more. I chose to have an intimate wedding, with only 19 guests, because I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my closest loved ones and my husband, while being able to to just simply enjoy the moment I was in. If I had any advice for future couples out there – none of the materialistic wedding things represent your love for one another. Do what makes you happy, care less about what other people think, focus on each other, and ENJOY YOURSELVES! YOU’RE IN LOVE AND YOU’RE MARRIED 🙂

Chapel Florals: Melissa Timm Designs
Bouquet and Boutonniere: Moonflower Nature Art on Etsy
Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero Designs Europe & Middle East
Chairs: Harvest Party Rentals
Cake: Smoky Mountain Cakes
Wedding Dress Store: MB Bride & Special Occasion
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair and Makeup: Organic Infusion Hair & Nail Salon
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow

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