Kevin & Makayla, you and your day were an absolute dream.
I am delighted you decided to change your plans and celebrate
your marriage, your way.
When we had first met, the plan for their wedding looked entirely different.
It initially began as a rather large wedding at an Indiana barn (I love these, make no mistake). However, a few months and messages later I found myself booking a bed & breakfast in Townsend, Tennessee. This laid back and easy going couple decided that large wedding plans were not for them and opted for an elopement with their closest friends & family instead. They worried I wouldn't be able to photograph it but I couldn't pack and get out of state lines soon enough.
Their elopement day flowed effortlessly (minus their birch wood wedding arch that didn't feel like standing at first; but the guys all came together to keep her standing and she was beautiful).
We started the morning at the bride's cabin, hanging her dress from the top of their back porch with a view of the mountain range. There is always such a sweetness and sentimental feeling while capturing the details; the dress, jewelry, bouquet, shoes. Alone they are small pieces of a wedding, but gathered in with the rest of the photos, they complete it. They will spark memories of their own. Some you may have brushed past in the bustle of the day.
After the bride finished getting ready, we left the cabin behind to head to the elopement spot. My partner Jimmy (who did an amazing job shooting/assisting his first wedding!) and I stopped by a food truck park (Wears Valley Social) for a quick lunch on the way. What a beautiful world it is when you can get bratwurst and tacos all in a stone's throw of each other.
The elopement took place along the Foothills Parkway at a breathtaking overlook. The parkway offers a scenic drive with mountain views through forested hills. It was not heavily trafficked at all while we were there! At times I felt so high up I got that tickle in my stomach, like when you're a kid and you go fast down a hill in the car.
I love places that make me feel small. This is certainly one of those places.
The mountains stretched before us, bearing witness to Makayla & Kevin's vows. They said "I do" amongst their closest friends and family under the shade of a pine tree, the late afternoon sun dancing all around them. I hope between the words & photos you can feel a little of the magic that was there.
After the ceremony and family photos were done, we spent the rest of our time together driving along the parkway, stopping wherever caught our eye to take photos. The day before, Jimmy and I scouted for locations we wanted to photograph them at and happened upon a small waterfall that became one of my favorite places for photos! It also ended up being the place I got so excited about while taking their pictures, that I went to run backwards for another angle and fell hard, so hard, onto my knee. I ignored it completely but after finishing their photos realized I had a decent sized gash...Thank you first aid car kit for saving the day. Anyone reading this that knows me will not be surprised in the slightest.
As we were driving them back to their car after finishing photos, the day ended with a black bear sighting! I wouldn't stop talking about how badly I wanted to see my first bear, what a perfect moment to see one.
All of this to say, I wrote a whole lot of words about this day and still feel like it doesn't come close to describing the beauty of it. I think the most beautiful aspect of a wedding day is what makes it your own. What makes it feel special to you. Tradition is wonderful and serves it purpose, but I will always be a fan of creating new ones (especially if they involve a mountain view). <3
Elopement Location: Smoky Mountain National Forest, Foothills Parkway, Tennessee
Wedding Planner: Alisha Bacon, Effortless Elopements