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!


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.




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!

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.”


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


Hannah Joy





“Can you take my picture?”

While in Chattanooga a few weeks ago for a wedding, Jordan and I took the bride and groom downtown for some photos at Walnut Street Bridge. 

We photographed the wedding and reception at a church nearby, then hopped in the car to head downtown for some unique photos. We photographed the wedding party and then some bride and groom photos on the bridge. You can see some of that wedding at

It was a long, hot, and wonderful day.
I love Chattanooga. We are there often either visiting family or photographing a wedding. There is so much to see and do. I did see and photograph something that day that I did not expect. I guess that is what makes it so special. As we were walking back from the bridge, there was a man and woman below. He had a banjo. She had a dog. As we were walking towards them, they simple asked, “Can you take our picture?”

Without hesitation, I said “Absolutely.”

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Playing a banjo, wearing both California and Tennessee Whisky.

Their story is probably not a simple one. This is just a part of it. I was honored to be asked capture it in a photo.
You see, the frills and joys of weddings are wonderful. I will never stop photographing them; never stop loving them. But the sweet, in-between moments are just as wonderful. For those pay in more than money can. They pay in joy with a receipt called LOVE. 


I will be the person to seek and photograph the beauty in hidden places. To tell any and all stories I get to see along my journey.

Nice to meet you Nate, Kate and Fido. I pray God blesses you on your journey.


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.


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



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.


Congrats you two!



Special thanks to:

Southren sirens – hair

#knoxvilleweddingphotographer #travelweddingphotographer