Smoky Mountain Vow Renewal – Bride on a Budget

This shoot is 15 years in the making. Ian and I met in 2003 and married in 2005. We haven’t had photos taken of us since our wedding day–I’m much more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it, lol. After each losing over 60lbs this year, we decided to create a photo shoot built around the idea of the vow renewal we would love to do. I brought in one of my friends that often assists me with weddings and coached her through taking the photos (it’s hard to give up control, :D). We created Chapel in the Hollow a little over a year ago. It’s been a labor of love, and it seemed the perfect place for such a special occasion because of our connection to it.

I’ve always considered myself something of a free spirit which is probably why I convinced my hubby to move into the woods with our menagerie. With the help of Jennifer Dukes from Knox Occasions, we put together a boho-vintage inspired shoot with lots of details because that mix seemed to suit our relationship so perfectly.  The bohemian aesthetic perfectly captures our unconventional artistic personalities while the dash of vintage touches on a sense of history that we both feel is important (not to mention lovely). I chose the cow skulls because they represent fertility and renewal both important aspects since we are ready to start a family.  (The one on the wall is fake, btw, no cows were harmed in the making of this shoot.) We used marsala and navy accents not only to revel in the beautiful fall colors but also because they represent passion, love, stability, and unity — all significant attributes of a continuing marriage.

The dress came from this plus-sized girl’s favorite clothing store, Torrid. I loved the ivory color and lace. It creates a soft, feminine look that made me feel fabulous. Ian’s outfit was from Target – a less formal version of the traditional suit that gave him a casual sophistication.  My necklace was a DIY from Hobby Lobby using a blue agate slice for spiritual cleansing and protection. The only other jewelry were  the wedding rings we exchanged so many years ago and a custom ring made by Close by Me using my mothers cremains–a special way we could include her since she has been such an important presence in our lives. Southern Sirens did my hair and makeup keeping it soft with a vintage flair. I had some eyelash extensions done a few days before at Whiplash Studio and a hair touchup at Southern Stylin to give myself a little extra boost.

We got an amazing bouquet from Melissa Timm Designs that included some fun feathers to tie into our bohemian theme. Then, we tied my grandparents’ wedding rings to it in the hopes that some of the wisdom and love from their 50 years of marriage would blend into ours. You can see some close ups of them with our wedding rings.

We used invitations, vow booklets, and the coordinating seed packets from Millstone Crafted. Vintage Inspiration Rentals provided some lovely decor as well as the beautiful table for the cake by Mandie Bakes, and we used moss found on our property to supplement the decor.

Cake: Mandie Bakes
Menswear: Target  $19.99 Pants, $19.99 Shirt, $42.99 Blazer
Heirlooms and Extras: Vintage Inspirations  $30 Buffet, $15 Table, $5 Chair, $40 White Sofa, $5-$10 Lanterns, $1 per Candlestick, $10 Cake Stand, $40 Delivery and Pickup
Planner: Knox Occasions  $800 Event Day Package
Lashes: Whiplash Studio $99 Classic Set
Invitations: Millstone Crafted $17.50-$55
Favors: Millstone Crafted  $15-$40
Vow Booklets: Millstone Crafted $8
Hair and Makeup: Southern Sirens   $130 per person if 4 or more people on location or for bride only if in studio, $250 for bride only on location
Dress: Torrid  $15
Rings: Helzburg Diamonds
Cremains Ring: Close by Me
Shoes: Skechers (Already Owned)
Florals: Melissa Timm Designs   $350 Bouquet
Venue: Chapel in the Hollow $450 1 Hour of Venue Rental plus Officiant
Photography: Star Noir Studio $300 1 Hour of Photography
Wedding Total with 25 Guests: $2462

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