A prefect spot for an intimate Smoky Mountain Wedding

Smoky Mountain Wedding

Smoky Mountain weddings deliver love, history, romantic atmosphere and timeless beauty. The more weddings I shoot there the more I fall in love with the mountains and the couples who choose to have their weddings there. The Smokies create personal connections. They are not as dramatic and powerful like their distant National Parks named Yellowstone & Yosemite. The Smokies are sublime, mystical and full of charm. If that sounds like a perfect place to get married, you’d be right!

Pinky Promise!!!

Lashing cords

A nice pop of color!

A little back story

This is the story of Megan & Jim. They would choose Cade’s Cove as their wedding venue. And they would choose Sandy Tracy from Radiant Gatherings to be their officiant. Sandy would refer me as a photographer. Both Sandy and I have the permit to work in GSMNP. And we like to refer one another when we can.

Megan & Jim set a date for mid September. It wasn’t a Saturday so I suspect it had personal significance. They would hire me for only a couple hours. This was more than enough time to capture their intimate ceremony and stop at a couple locations for the couple’s session.

We met at the Info Station at the beginning of the Cade’s Cove loop. The skies were low and gray. Megan and Jim were all smiles. They were committed to saying their vows come what may. That’s my kind of love.

Intimate Smoky Mountain Wedding Location

Ike LeQuire Overlook

We had discussed the Ike LeQuire (The Choir) Cemetery Overlook for the ceremony site. Once we pulled up, Jim said, “Not this spot. But the spot that looks like a golf tee box.” I knew in an instant the place. We jumped back in our cars and started the caravan to spot he wanted.

Cades Cove with a little mist making magic!

Jim and his best man heading to the ceremony site

The Perfect Spot

We found the place important to Jim. He’s right it does look like a golf tee box. Sandy & I would lead the handful of guests down to the mowed patch. Once everyone was set, Megan and her father started an amazing bridal procession. As a wedding photographer I’ve looked down long aisles of cathedrals, through the lofts of barns, and past rows and rows of chairs, but a bridal procession with places like Cobb Ridge & Horseshoe Ridge as a backdrop with some “smoke” swirling is impressive – even with rain falling.

Sandy & Jim wait for Megan to appear - love the low clouds beyond!

Jim, Sandy & the guests stand and watch as the Megan & her father come down the aisle.

Father of the bride is all smiles as they ditch the umbrella!

Rain can't stop Megan and her father from making a grand entrance! All smiles all the way!!

Jim gets a close look at his bride to be!

The ceremony would include the traditional vows. The most important people in Megan and Jim’s lives were in attendance. To a person, they were all down with a little drizzle. That part is worth noting. On wedding day, we often get caught up in details beyond our control and the cliché of “rain on your wedding day.” But what makes a wedding lovely, romantic and powerful is not the weather; it’s all about the love shared between everyone. This wedding had lots of love!

Small intimate wedding with closest familyi

Sandy in the rain not missing a beat.

Jim slides the ring on Megan’s finger with smiles all around!

Time honored Celtic hand-lashing

A very happy bride with love in her eyes.

During the ceremony Megan & Jim chose to add the Celtic tradition of hand fasting. This tradition is more than 7,000 years old and utilizes hand-made chords to bind the hands of the bride & groom.

Celtic hand-lashing to symbolize the bonds of marriage

 Sandy said the long-standing words, “You may now kiss the bride” and it was official.

You may know kiss the bride!

 The families took a moment with no umbrellas for a photo with the bride and groom.

The most important people - all smiles!!

 Then they started the Wedding Processional.

A little rain would not and could not spoil the fun!

Jim & Megan walk along under an umbrella undeterred by the rain.

Megan & Jim would take my challenge to visit a couple of locations outside of Cades Cove for some really special photos. The first stop was near a cascade in Laurel Creek. It’s not every day that I get to get into a creek at a wedding to make some magic. I am truly thankful for adventurous couples.

Jim & Megan at the edge of a waterfall.

Jim & Megan celebrate with a dramatic pose and kiss!

Magical wedding moment

Stealing a kiss . . .

But this blog wouldn’t be complete without giving some credit to a really kind lady on vacation. I gave her my card and she text’d me the images of me in the river. She didn’t give me a name. Gestures like these are treasured forever.

That’s me knee-deep into moving water - all to get the shot!

Look closely. The leaf frames Jim & Megan and me navigating the edge of the moving water/

After the adventure in the river, we headed to Metcalf Bottoms for one more location. As luck would have it, the rain became heavier. This would only fuel Megan & Jim to get out and play!!!

Can you imagine the fun?!?!

Love the way he looks at her, and I love her smile and commitment to the moment!!

Sealed with a kiss! Come what may they are in it together!

I don't have the words of gratitude for Jim & Megan for choosing me to capture their day. I owe Sandy a huge thanks too. I love capturing weddings and I love the Great Smoky Mountains too. It’s no wonder this wedding was so much fun! The Smokies never disappoint. The weather, the families & friends, Megan & Jim plus a few amazing locations in the Cades Cove and you can see why we think Smoky mountain weddings deliver!

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