Roan Mountain, TN: Kayla + Michael's Rustic Woodland Wedding at Roan Mountain State Park

Roan Mountain, TN: Kayla + Michael's Rustic Woodland Wedding at Roan Mountain State Park

Kayla and Michael’s wedding day at Roan Mountain State Park was like no-other and truly embraced the word, ‘adventure.’ The threat of rain and potentially severe thunderstorms loomed as we took couple’s portraits and eventually became a reality! We made the decision to go with Plan B and Kayla and Michael became husband and wife inside of Roan Mountain State Park’s beautiful conference center. Despite the weather, it was an amazing wedding day and one for the books!

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Adventurous Weddings + Elopements: How to Respect the Great Outdoors on Your Wedding Day (Leave No Trace)

Adventurous Weddings + Elopements: How to Respect the Great Outdoors on Your Wedding Day (Leave No Trace)

It’s no secret that I hike and shoot a lot of weddings and engagements up on Roan Mountain and other scenic locations. I often feel a smidge of guilt bringing weddings and guests to these locations, simply because that’s bringing more opportunity to wear down the terrain, annoy hikers, or potentially leave pieces of litter behind, etc. However, I’m also a believer in sharing these beautiful places and trails, because nature is meant to be enjoyed! I try my best to adhere to Leave No Trace’s 7 principles and to always leave a place, “better than we found it,” and to, “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” If you’re a newbie to hiking and the outdoors, most hikers live by the Leave No Trace code- 7 principles to remember while hiking, enjoying the outdoors, or planning your adventurous wedding!

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Roan Mountain, TN: Clay + Shawna's Snowy Winter Intimate Mountain Wedding

Roan Mountain, TN: Clay + Shawna's Snowy Winter Intimate Mountain Wedding

Clay and Shawna are originally from Florida, but got engaged at an outdoors camp in Black Mountain, North Carolina! Since the Blue Ridge Mountains mean so much to them, they knew that Roan Mountain would be the perfect place to become husband and wife! When we arrived to the mountain, we were greeted with such a great surprise— SNOW! These two chose to have their ceremony in the wooded forest, which because of the shade, was a perfect winter wonderland for their vows.

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Bristol, VA: Coby + Gretchen's Intimate Woodsy Wedding at Sugar Hollow Park

Bristol, VA: Coby + Gretchen's Intimate Woodsy Wedding at Sugar Hollow Park

I arrived at Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol early that morning to see the ceremony site set up next to the creek at the campground and the trees were shading the chairs perfectly. After Coby and Gretchen exchanged vows, rings and the first kiss, they were finally husband and wife! After the ceremony, I took Coby and Gretchen around Sugar Hollow Park on a mission to find the infamous, “Black Forest,” that has pine trees in symmetrical lines, for portraits. When we arrived back to the campground and pavilion everyone had barbecue for lunch from Bristol BBQ. After cutting the cake, we all jumped into the creek to cool off, where, of course, I HAD to get some portraits of Gretchen and Coby in the water!

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Best of 2017: A Year of Adventures, Sunsets, Mountains and Love in Northeast Tennessee

Best of 2017: A Year of Adventures, Sunsets, Mountains and Love in Northeast Tennessee

Holy smokes, this year has flown by! I seriously cannot even believe that 2018 is just a few days away! It feels like yesterday that I was rounding up images and reminiscing about everything 2016 brought for last year's review blog! I'm almost at a loss for words here as I look back at all of the adventures, stunning summer sunsets and genuine smiles from laughter. I am incredibly blessed and fortunate to capture the love stories for all of my amazing couples in such a beautiful part of our country.

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Roan Mountain, TN: Joe + Caroline's Adventurous Intimate Wedding at Carver's Gap

Roan Mountain, TN: Joe + Caroline's Adventurous Intimate Wedding at Carver's Gap

Caroline and Joe had originally planned to get married on Roan on the first Wednesday in September. Mother Nature, however, had a different plan! Due to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, rain lurked in the forecast. Since their wedding had been an intimate celebration, they were able to move their wedding day to avoid the rain! These two tied the knot on top of Roan Mountain despite the threat of afternoon showers and rocked their bride and groom portraits!

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Roan Mountain, TN: Zach + Daisy's Sunset Engagement Session on Round Bald

Roan Mountain, TN: Zach + Daisy's Sunset Engagement Session on Round Bald

For Daisy and Zach's engagement session, Daisy asked if we could hike up Roan and if they could bring their dog, Dixie, along. You guys already know by now that dogs and mountains are two of my favorite things and especially spending time with my couples, so it wasn't tough for me to say, "Of course!" We spent one of the last warm evenings on top of Roan with Zach, Daisy, and Dixie, and had a great time laughing all the way to sunset.

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