Recently two of the largest family vacation places collided with a killer couple from Wisconsin to create what we call “Disney in The Smokies: A Wedding Fairy Tale.”
The set up & how we got involved
Sometime back in November of 2016 I received a call from a mother of a groom-to-be. Her son & fiancé were to wed on June 20 the following year – a Tuesday. They had just booked Cranzdorf Lodge, a cabin that sleeps over 50 people – HUGE! The folks who showed them the cabin referred us. We had done a bridal session there earlier in the year. I tell you this because we love word of mouth referrals. And we love Cranzdorf, and we love folks who travel to the Smokies to get married and we love folks who do things their own way. And getting married on a Tuesday qualifies as unique.
Backstory and why we loved getting invloved
So that’s the backstory. Now for the set up. I spoke with the bride to sort out the details of the contract, timeline, etc. These things evolve, but Heather was already very squared away. This is another indicator of tremendous wedding. We learned they were from Wisconsin and they loved the Smokies. We also learned that Heather has the heart of a real Disney performer. She also mentioned there’d be some sublte Disney details. We love subtle details too!
All the wedding professionals that made this happen
Before I go any further, I’d like to list all the important people and businesses that helped make this wedding wonderful.
Wedding Gown & Headpiece - Brandies Bridal http://www.brandisbridal.com/
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Earrings: Maria Elena (won at a bridal show) FREEBIE!!!
Flowers: Generations http://www.generationswfnp.com/
Cake: Simma’s Bakery http://www.simmasbakery.com/
Mouse Hair clips: Ritalane Vintage https://www.ritalanevintage.com/
Cake cutting tools: LightKnife www.etsy.com/shop/LightKnife
Hangers: GetHung www.etsy.com/shop/GetHungUp
Love sign: The Party Girl Studio https://the-party-girl-studio.myshopify.com/
Cake topper: Pink Owl Designs https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePinkOwlDesigns
Confetti: Great Crafternoon https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreatCrafternoon
Invitations - hand made by Family BONUS!!!
House: Crantzdorf Lodge https://www.vrbo.com/405357
Salon: About you Salon http://www.aboutyousalon.com/
Catering: Hungry Bear
Ceremony Sculpture: Unity in Glass https://www.unityinglass.com
The start of the wedding day - Hair & Make Up
The wedding day started at About You Salon. All the folks working there were happy, fun and really great at making the ladies beautiful. We love walking into a salon with a great vibe and happy people. Heather would be last in order so she’d be the freshest. She started with her make up & finished with hair. We really love the “getting ready” moments because of the lighthearted and playful atmosphere.
Cranzdorf - log cabin mansion
We left the salon and headed toward Cranzdorf one of the largest and most luxurious cabins in the Smokies. It is a beast of cabin above a golf course with killer views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The guys were downstairs getting ready. They were ready in just a few minutes so we captured the groom with his groomsmen.
The girls were on the main floor getting into their dresses. And the dress was just breathtaking! We cannot say enough about this dress. It was perfect for Heather. Keep reading and you’ll see just how amazing she looks. Once all the ladies were dolled up, we photographed the bride and bridesmaids.
Cutest ring bearer ever!
Every once in a while we find a ring bearer that is spunky and super fun. This kid wins the title. He was such a charmer.
Photos BEFORE the ceremony
Heather & Jeffery made some really solid choices regarding their photography. First, they opted to take the family and formal photos BEFORE the ceremony. Second, they chose the have a First Look before the family photos. In our experience this is best because it gives the couple time for each other first. And by getting the family and formal photos finished before the ceremony it means right after the ceremony the celebration can begin.
We chose a quiet little opening along side a very private road (about 5 minutes from the cabin) for their first look. We put a blindfold on Jeffery to keep Heather hidden. His Best Man busted out a cigarette for a comical “executioner” moment. We love when couples are fun, creative and risk takers. Once they were in place Jeffery removed the blindfold, spun around and took in the beauty of Heather. We love First Look!
Formal & Family Photos
After a few minutes of quiet intimacy, we bring in the families and the rest of the bridal party for formal photos. This wedding was small. This part of the day went by quickly.
We headed back to the Cabin. Heather went and freshened up Jeffery relaxed and gathered himself. The ceremony would be on the main balcony. The guests, mostly family, found their seats. The bridal procession began. Their officiant was Jeffery’s cousin, Andy Sarow.
The ceremony was filled with love, remembrance of those who couldn’t attend and very personal vows. Heather & Jeffery, along wtih their mothers to poured 4 colors of glass crystals into a vase. Each color had special meaning. They had the crystals made into a one of a kind sculpture. This idea is one more personal touch that we love.
After the ceremony
After the ceremony, the wedding recession began. The bridal party spilled into the main floor of the cabin. And we captured a few more family photos on the balcony.
Mr & Mrs Miller decided to show off a bit with a few huge twirls! And we love brides that are confident and fun! Now insert a gorgeous backdrop like The Smokies and we can make magic!
After we capture a few images of the brand-spanking-newly married couple, we take the bride to a magical spot. The main entry to Cranzdorf has old world doors that gave us the strong, protective backdrop for a delicate and beautiful bride. And Heather owned her dress. She knew exactly how to move, flow, stop, smolder and leave everyone breathless.
We took a break at this point and let the celebration become an un-photographed sit down feast. After the feast we whisked the couple to the top of an adjacent mountain for some final sunset images.
Cake & Cutting
Once the sun went down we headed back to the cabin to cut the wedding cake. The cake was not only beautiful, but delicious too. And we think the smeared cake on the personalized cake cutter was the perfect ending to Disney in the Smokies: A wedding fairy tale.