An Irish Blessing: Adam and Sydney’s Destination wedding in the Smokies

I still remember the day Sydney called me to chat about her wedding. She and her soon to be husband would be traveling several hours to come to the smoky mountains to get married. She told me her Venue, The Barn event center of the smokies, gave her my info and we were at the top of their list or photographer referrals. From the start Sydney and hit it off over the phone. We talked budget, ideas, and more. She had such a sweet spirit from the start. When the wedding day came, she said she felt comfortable with me just by our phone conversation. Many of my brides book us from miles away. Through personal referrals, social media portfolio, and getting to know each other over the phone,  I am never worried about if we will mesh or not once they book us. As much as I love the meetings over coffee and engagement sessions that come with local brides, I have found that a lot of my favorite weddings have been couples I have not met till the day of the wedding. All this to say, don’t ever be afraid to book your photographer out of state, or have them come to you. If you love their work, see they have good reviews or referrals, notice they have plenty of wedding experience, and love their personality and your phone conversation, go for it! I truly believe that fate brings you together. Also meaning, you should hire me for your beach or canyon or Colorado mountain wedding, HINT! We have also done that many times and it’s worked out beautifully. You sometimes will find a discount for asking around and having someone come to you, or finding a local established photographer with a venue. Which is the case for this wedding. I ended up giving a small discount as a thank you for booking us, the recommended photographer for this venue. Yay!

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And this venue is great! Jordan and I have shot here 4 times now, and have gotten to know the owner and staff and are very impressed with their hospitality. We love their hearts….And their food! They are one of the best! They made Sydney and Adam’s day amazing.

After a few getting ready details, Adam and Sydney decided to do a first look, which is always our favorite.

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We then took bride and groom shots at different areas on site. Sydney and Adam giggled and laughed the whole time, making our job effortless. I love that they were both up for fun shots throughout the day. We took photos both before and after the ceremony, giving them two different looks and breaking it up so the day went smoothly.

 

After bride and groom photos we took some wedding party and family photos, then photographed the ceremony.
In between these shots, we got to know the family and venue owners a little better.
The father of the bride talked to us about his family, faith, and what he saw in us. How we were fun and filled with joy. Little does he know how much that meant to me. To share what he sees in us and only confirm this bride and groom were meant to be photographed by us. It truly was a joy to be there that day.

 

 

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After the ceremony the bride and groom and family had a lovely dinner, cake, and then more photos. One thing that stuck out to me about this venue, is the owner himself was serving food. This speaks volumes about them!

 


The cake was prepared by Art of Cakes in Maryville. Not to forget some smashing fun of course.

 

 

So many sweet moments. So many photos I could share. I definitely think Adam and Sydney did an excellent job planning their wedding. But I think they did even better at showing how their love for each other and God shone even brighter. They were so relaxed and fun. Sydney shared they were on a budget, and with some help from friends, pieced it all together beautifully. The white flowers are silk, with real greenery in between. When done right, this can be a great option for some! Her makeup was done by a friend, and the cake florals were also self pieced by a friend. So simple and tasteful.

 

 

Everything was beautiful this day. From the weather to the details. It was a small, but beautiful, fun, and intimate wedding.
It was such a pleasure to photograph here again, and to meet and photograph this couple!

This is my favorite shot of the day…..Adam and Sydney, Thank you for indulging me in my vision for this shot and laying in the grass!! And a huge shout out to my partner in crime, second shooter, and bag carrier who took this shot. Jordan, you rock and are seriously talented!
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Since your wedding was around St Patrick’s day, here is an Irish blessing for you and yours!
“May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rain falls soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.”

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We wish you all the happiness in the world! Many blessings on your marriage!

Love,

Hannah Joy

 


Venue:https://barneventcenterofthesmokies.com/
Cake:https://artofcakesbakery.com/index.html
Photographers:http://www.joywildflowerphotography.com/

 

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Wildflowers and Foot-washing – Abby and Jeremy are hitched.

It’s been about a month since Abby and Jeremy’s wedding. But the sweet moments and thoughts for a blog have been thought about several times since the big day.

In between all the weddings, editing, meetings, other shoots, and regular family/life things, sometimes the extra time for blogs fall in the back behind all these other things.
But I didn’t want to finish and send off their galley with out a small blog first.

It was too sweet and special of a wedding to not to. So here’s a little walk through with highlights from Abigail and Jeremy’s big day.

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Abby and Jeremy got ready at two different spots. The bride at her parents house, the groom at his and Abby’s new apartment. This is one reason why hiring a photographer team duo is best. Jordan went with the groom and groomsmen, me with Abby and the girls. We were able to capture a few more authentic moments this way.

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The girls helped each other get ready, which was super sweet to see. Lot’s of music and giggles in the room. They played worship music, starting and ending the day in prayer and worship.

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The bride’s mother helped her into her gown. I love these lace sleeves.
I was also able to sneak a sweet moment between Abby and her step dad. He walked into the room and saw her and got emotional. It was so sweet.

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After everyone was ready, we headed to the venue where the bride and groom did a first look. We love these first look moments. So much anticipation and it gives the bride and groom time to be together and sink in some lovey, genuine moments before the events of the day with their loved ones begin.

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After the first look, we took some bride and groom photos. It wasn’t hard with this couple, they are already so cute and in love, it made our job easy!

So regal and romantic.

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We then joined the wedding party for some fun group photos! This group was so fun, we all had a blast. I love big wedding parties!
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After group photos, we took family photos and a few detail shots before heading to the ceremony. I love how first looks let us do all the photos beforehand! Time saver for sure!

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These wildflowers were home grown. A perfect way to save some money and add a special twist! These were in the bouquets and also lined the isle as the bride walked towards her groom…

Abby and Jeremy’s wedding was so special. Not just because I’ve know and loved this couple and their family for several years now, and have seen them grow towards this moment, but because they made it clear of their love for God.

Several moments had me crying. Here are a few of them:

This is probably one of my favorite photos below. (Okay, so I love them all. It’s hard to choose!) That guy in the back, Jeremy’s brother and best man, Caleb, he is a strong man of God. He and his brother both are such an example to all, including to me. Ive seen them both first hand in serving others, being a good friend to all, and representing Christ. Y’all, having a strong support system, someone fighting in your corner and cheering for you is huge. Not everyone gets that in their family. Marriage is serious and special. We need people to encourage us along the way.

This is a model photo of an example of just that. Caleb praying and worshiping right before Abby joins Jeremy. So powerful.
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I found myself crying tears of joy most of the ceremony. I almost couldn’t see through my lens! It was perfect. They love each other so much.

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After the vows they washed each other’s feet. Representing humility and service to one another.

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Followed by their families praying over them….

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They are married!

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Time to dance, celebrate, and eat cake!

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Congrats Abby and Jeremy!

http://www.joywildflowerphotography.com/

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Venue:https://www.facebook.com/TheManorAtStowersHill/
Dress, sash and robes:https://www.amazon.com/
Alterations:https://www.facebook.com/theperfectfitalterations/
Rings:https://www.kay.com/en/kaystore
Menswear:https://www.facebook.com/MensWearhouse/
https://www.facebook.com/SwevenVintageandRusticRentals/

Aslan + a chapel fairytale.

This past weekend I photographed Emily and Ben’s wedding at White Stone Inn in Paint Rock, TN. I grew up in Loudon not far from this venue. I had been to this venue before, but it was just for a small elopement. I had not seen the chapel in all it’s beautifully natural lite beauty, nor worked closely with the venue’s coordinator. But let me tell you, I was thrilled to have full access to the venue and photograph it’s many beautiful spots.

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Now, I am new to blogging. It’s both exciting and daunting to me. But I can not help but share the details behind so many couple’s love stories. From the business side, it’s just smart to blog nowadays. From the artist side, it only helps others see the passion behind my work. I was having a conversation with another photographer friend, and she made a very good point. Not only is it hard to blog each and every wedding, but it’s important to blog about what we are passionate about and things that stand out to us. If you know any thing about blogging, you know the material is crucial and audience building is key. So, here is my blog about Emily and Ben’s fairy tale wedding and things that stood out to me.

Emily and ben chose to have their ceremony in the chapel, which, was exciting to me both because it was 80 something degrees, (ha) but also because it really is stunning. There is such a traditional element to it with an unique twist. Which describes Ben and Emily perfectly. Their love story is simple and somewhat traditional. They waited for love and that speaks to my heart in a familiar way. Their families, both sides, all full of love for both the bride and groom. Emily’s brother, in charge of the rings, helped me towards the early part of the day. Handmade by a family member, passed down from another generation. While photographing the rings, he shared with me a little bit about the couple. He wanted his sister’s day to be perfect. It was so sweet. He shared with me the meaning behind the flowers they chose. The thistle and the rose. Right then and there I knew I had so many reasons to blog this wedding.
The thistle is the flower of Scotland, of which is Ben’s ancestry. The rose, is special to Emily and her family because her brother shared that they had a rose bush at their house growing up, and they called it “Emily’s rose bush”. I love how they incorporated it into their special day.

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After photographing the pretty details of the wedding, I went to set up a “first look” for the bride and groom. I love first looks. It sets a time apart for the couple to share a special time alone, together. There were many “gasps” and “awes” and tears. DSC_5650 bride.jpg

Emily chose a gown inspired by The Lord of the Rings and Narnia. Her head piece gave the perfect touch for her unique, whimsical look. Her bouquet was exquisite. She was such a beautiful bride. It felt like we had all walked into a fairy tale. DSC_5858

After the first look, we ventured around the venue for bride and groom photos. Not to forget including a photo with the sword of Aslan for their story book look.
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We took some family photos, which included some very sweet moments with Emily’s mom and dad.

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We then went to the chapel for the ceremony. Ben was just as excited to see his bride as he was for the first look. They exchanged vows, prayed together, and took communion. It was so beautiful to see their friends and family worship with them as they took their first communion together, symbolizing  the grace and freedom and love we have in Christ. The two becoming one under God. DSC_6133.jpg DSC_6190.jpg DSC_6206.jpg

Following the ceremony, Ben and Emily got to go in a special carriage ride. Side by side, taking a few moments to soak in everything. This is a services provided by White Stone Weddings for their clients. As if we couldn’t get fairy tale enough, this was just the cherry on top. *Happy sigh* Whitestone.jpg DSC_6317

While Emily and Ben enjoyed a few moments alone, their guests got to enjoy yummy Hors d’oeuvres at the reception. DSC_6507

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Once the bride and groom arrived, they took their first dance, followed by toasts, speeches, then dinner was served. The food was fabulous and catered by White Stone. dancing.1 DSC_6580

Emily took a moment to change into another beautiful gown for her reception. joywildflowerphotography.jpg

She then danced with her dad. This was such a tender moment. Not only because they are close, but because it was fathers day. There was not a dry eye in the room. DSC_6639

Emily’s dad then surprised her and her grandparents with the honor of a special dance to celebrate their 60th anniversary. They danced to the Italian song, Nessun Dorma, along with Ben and Emily dancing beside them. Her grandparents are still so in love and it is some serious goals. The room was so full of emotion. DSC_6601DSC_6608

After drying some eyes, the bride and groom cut their cake. This lovely cake was made by Art of Cakes, located in Maryville TN. DSC_6545DSC_6428.jpgDSC_6558DSC_6065

A perfectly sweet ending to a perfectly sweet day.

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Congrats you two!

love,

Hannah

Special thanks to:

http://ruelphoto.ruel.us/

Southren sirens – hair

https://www.facebook.com/WhitestoneWeddings/
https://www.facebook.com/MusicInMotionProDJ/

https://www.facebook.com/ArtofCakesBakery/

https://www.facebook.com/joywildflowerphotography/

#knoxvilleweddingphotographer #travelweddingphotographer

You Are Altogether Beautiful

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It all started with a vision. Literally. One of something in my head that I thought I created and would just be a passing thought. Then one of something in what seemed like a daytime dream. Yes, I was day dreaming. I always day-dream. I dream either about the next shoot I want to do, an idea I have, or about the beach. This day dream was exciting, different, …. And very real. Like I said, I thought this was just me being my normal self and having a hard time focusing on the task at hand (it happens a lot) I didn’t realize that God was trying to tell me something. He was using my imagination, wants, goals, talent, and what is apparently mild ADD (that seems like a curse at times but as I see here, it’s not always. Which by the way, doctors tried to medicate me but we wont go into why I refused and decided to try to just control with diet and prayer…. Personal decision. ANYWAY. Back to the story.) ….to show me a vision. 

A vision of something very near and dear to me. Purity. More than that, how God sees us as pure and how we can choose to walk in that vision and path and identity He has for us.
As a girl (and now), I loved all things girly. Most of the time at least. I was (trying to) playing sports, picking up frogs (Like most princess stories even kissed them) and riding bikes. But when I think about girly things I think of princess movies. (Cinderella, Enchanted, Pride and Prejudice) I somehow correlate that with flawless. They always were so pretty. The gowns and jewels and all. Men chasing after them, running into them, sweeping them off their feet. Naive and young, I thought they were perfect. Their stories all different but the end story the same. They get the prince and live happily ever after (sigh. Another good movie. Drew Barry Moore. Love her.) 
Now, place God in the prince role.
There’s my vision. How many of us let God chase after us, let Him love us with no reservation, whisper sweet things to us, and make us feel like a princess? Don’t stop reading guys. This is for you too. We need more like you to be a man after God’s own heart. We need you to treat us like princesses, because not all men do. (Insert happy sigh here as I am blessed with one) 
We need you to appreciate our purity. Am I making sense yet? 
So, with that said, I do believe that we need to think in terms of how God sees us, then in turn living out that purity. It’s hard in today’s world. It’s outspoken even. 

Now, bring in the real life princess. Olivia. When God gave me this vision, someone had red hair. No clue who it was. Until one Sunday, a familiar face caught my eye during a meeting. She probably thought I was weird for staring at her. Ha! She knew me, but we didn’t talk much before the shoot, mostly because im an introvert until you get to know me. I smiled at her, thinking “she’s a sweet girl. So beautiful!”
A few days later it hit me. I reached out to Olivia and told her I wanted help in a project. That I’d love to photograph her. I had reservations. I wanted this project to be different, but also knew to some it would look like just another “bridal shoot”. I wanted to showcase my work, of course, but I also wanted this to be something more than that. I prayed about it. I shared with Olivia my vision and goal for this shoot. I wanted to give a visual representation of the Bride of Christ. 
I am a big believer in the right timing. Her age and beliefs helped the planning of this shoot. 
I didn’t want to take away from a future wedding day and for her to look like a traditional bride. (She’s in high school, and I think it’s awkward to pose as a bride and groom before the real time. Just a personal opinion.) So with my “enchanted” theme, I tried to find a gown to fit that description perfectly. Something “with puffed sleeves!” as Anne of Green Gables would say. Something to make her feel like a princess. 
She was completely on board with my vision. 
I told her I admired her love for God. Her purity and joy shines so bright. I also wanted her to see herself as I (but most importantly God) sees her. Like I want all girls (all people) to see themselves.
I’ll admit, struggled with sharing this. The opinions of others, if something thought it was silly, or disagreed. I asked God to make me brave. He took away the fears of what others may think. I knew this was God lead and that if I am building up others, walking in love, and have confirmation, why be afraid? 
What am I doing if it is not of eternal value? How am I using my talents? How am I spreading joy? God’s been showing me a lot of what the future of Joy Wildflower Photography looks like. I know from the beginning, even in my doubts, short comings, learning curves, tears, and what sometimes seemed like I was not moving forward at all, He has shown me how I am different. I don’t want to just do something on the whim, be mediocre, or live a day thinking this is all my talent and my work. It’s not. It’s His. I’m young (ish). Im stubborn. 
I don’t stop until I know im exactly where I need to be. Which is why im ever-growing. It’s one reason why I love what I do. Yes, it helps pay the bills. But the passion and goal is greater. It’s not always easy. Its sore muscles, lots of shooting and editing, hard work, pushing past some negative thoughts in my head, sweat, and sometimes tears. But this is my calling. This is Joy. This is the heart of Joy Wildflower.
So here is my modern-day, visual interpretation of how I think God sees us. All while showcasing some of the other talented vendors I love. We worked hard to make this happen! I couldn’t have done it without you. I am so thankful for all listed here and your help in bringing my vision to life. You are all so gifted! I’m so thankful to have made some friends along the way!

Love,
Hannah Joy

You can see all the images at facebook.com/joywildflowerphotography.com

Song of Songs 4:7 – “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”joywildflowerphotography

joywildflowerphotography

Venue: The Bleak House
Gown and earrings: Lillian Ruth Bride by Wedding Wonderland
Hair: Reflections By Christina
Makeup artist: The Skin & Lash Lab/Lindsay Conroy
Bouquet: Thistle and Lace Events
Mustard chair and candlesticks: Sweven Vintage and Rustic Rentals
Copper Jewelry: New Eve Jewelry

Planning and coordinating: Always Yours Occasion 
Photography: Hannah and Jordan Brown, with  Joy Wildflower Photography