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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Sandy said the long-standing words, “You may now kiss the bride” and it was official.
The families took a moment with no umbrellas for a photo with the bride and groom.
Then they started the Wedding Processional.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!