UT Gardens Wedding & Sunsphere Reception
A Classic Knoxville Wedding featuring Jessica & Mitchell. We met Jessica and her entourage at The Pink Bride Show in January. She had a solid plan for her wedding day. One of the reasons she chose us was our diverse style. We do lots of types of weddings & have great range and she liked that. She explained her ceremony would be very private at the UT Botanical Gardens with a larger reception at The Sunsphere. I really like having two locations because it gives us time to shoot between events. They were also interested in trying “first look.” And I love when couples create a day that is what they want – not what everyone expects. Jessica & Mitchell were a great fit for us.
Early on wedding day . . .
Before we get too far along, let’s back up. Let’s look at the entire wedding day. They each got ready at family members houses. Family for both of them is very important – and the biggest reason they are a good fit for us. With my wife, Allyson - an amazing second shooter, we shot the dress together at Jessica’s sisters home. Then I left her to finish capturing the ladies getting ready while I headed to the grooms getting ready.
I found the groomsmen, in typical fashion, not wanting to ever really get ready. They were shooting pool instead. Grooms often nervously spend time doing anything but getting ready. But I got them going by suggesting some fun photo ops. Mitchell’s father has a 70’s model Cadillac El Dorado that was his father’s. This is not just a cool car, but very sentimental too.
The wedding venue - UT Botanical Gardens
After getting those fun shots, I headed to UT Botanical Gardens to get some shots of the venue & to prep for “first look.”
Soon the bride arrived with her bridesmaids. We set the scene and they had wonderful few minutes together – intimate and powerful first look.
The way the venue is set up, there’s not much way to hide the bride from the guests. But one of my strengths is diplomacy – letting others have my way. I told the guests we needed to come around the backside of the gazebo for a group photo. We had them out of the way so the bride could sneak into draped gazebo.
Once she was hidden inside the guests could then find their seats. Everyone was in place. Music. Now for the reveal - here comes the bride! She was perfect!!!
The Wedding Ceremony
The ceremony was private, personal and very much a wedding ceremony on their terms with only the immediate family and very close friends in attendance. Every little details was lovely with plenty of smiles all around.
Formals & Family Photos
We then found a lovely little spot for the formal photos. The ceremony was in early March. The saucer magnolia in the background was giving us a little color.
The Getaway Car
Next the newly weds jumped into their getaway car to head to World’s Fair Park for some fun photos with the group.
Bridal Party FUN!!!
We had a blast with the entire bridal party at World's Fair Park. Not sure which is my favorite – the groomsmen skipping along or Jessica getting a handful of Mitchell’s backside.
Reception Venue - The Sunsphere
After this little photo session, we headed up to the Sunsphere. Jessica & Mitchell were introduced as Mr. & Ms. Swain for the crowd.
They moved immediately into the father/daughter & mother/son dance with Mitchell’s father filling in for Jessica’s father who passed away. But he was honored and remembered throughout the day.
The dances led to dining & mingling with guests.
Cutting the Wedding Cake
Next up was cake cutting. Both the wedding cake and grooms cake were beautiful. They were kind to one another. No smashing of cake into each others' face.
Bouquet Toss & Garter Toss
The traditions of bouquet toss and garter toss were super fun.
To work off the food and cake, the guests took to dancing.
During our first consult, Mitchell talked about having photos of the city of Knoxville below. This was important to him. The Sunsphere has tons of mirrors that produce glare and reflections. As darkness fell I began to notice the dream like quality of those reflections. So I captured a few of these.
Glow Stick Send Off
The night ended with a new trend – glow stick send off. Glow sticks & love!!!
Wedding Pros that created the magic
I want to thank all the vendors who helped make this day magical.
Colleen Porter Brackins with At Last Weddings & Events
University of Tennessee Botanical Gardens
Janice Payne, Officiant
Jake James Hasenaeur with Tuxedo Sound
The Pour Guys – bartenders that mix it up right
Fabulous make up by Amanda and her ladies at Southern Sirens
Videography by Josh & Whtney Good at Good Focus Photography
Scrumps created yummy beautiful cakes
Anderson Rentals for every little thing.
The Pink Bride - for connecting us!
And finally, thanks to my wife, Allyson, for being the best!
And a very special thanks to Jessica & Mitchell for choosing Mile Marker Images to capture their Classic Knoxville Wedding.