The Mountains Are Calling

It was a cool day in mid February when I met Kayla at the Starbucks in  West Town Mall in Knoxville. Starbucks is my go to if I’m not at Empty Cup. We talked about her Cades Cove wedding, as well as her love for turtles. After our chat, I was excited for this semi-destination wedding. You see, Kayla and her finace (Robert) are both from Florida and moved to Knoxville. After the wedding, they were planning on moving back to Florida. Now, I had shot weddings in Cades Cove before, but she was getting married under a huge tree in the middle of a field and it was going to be absolutely lovely.

Now, let’s fast forward to a week before the wedding. We meed at the same spot and go over the wedding time line. This time Robert joined her. He didn’t much, only just to confirm and agree with what Kayla was saying. They weren’t even married yet and he know what to say and when to say it. lol! We confirmed all the details and solidified our plan for the following week. At the end of our conversation they dropped the bomb on m that they were expecting! Kayla was due January 2020. They were planning on using their wedding photos to announce it to the world. How cool!

So, Thursday, July 18, 2019 rolls around. I make my way to The Strawberry Patch in Townsend (right outside Gatlinburg) where Kayla is staying and getting ready. Her hair and make up artist was a hoot. She was 9 months pregnant and I was expecting to not only take pictures of a wedding, but deliver a baby too! After the girls finished getting ready, we did the first look with Kayla and her dad. However, there were two problems. The first was that it was pouring rain. That took out my original first look location, but I found another that would work. The second, however, was a bit different. You see, they guys were not completely dressed. They could get their pants and shirts on perfectly fine, it was just their ties. Seems that most weddings I shoot, guys have problems getting their tie on. So I scurries across the parking lot to the other cabin and help out the guys. Crises averted. So, the family came over to the girls cabin and we had the first look. As always, it was super sweet. Afterward, the rain stopped so we got in the cars and caravanned over to Cades Cove.

So, for those who have never been to Cades Cove, it is a loop. People drive extremely slow around the loop because there are wild deer, elk, turkey and bears to be seen. It can take 3 hours to get around the 11 mile loop. It wonderful if you have no where to be or to do. However, if you are shooting a wedding in the park, it can tend to be a bit stressful. Luckily for us, there are a few cut throughs to allow you to get from one side to the other quickly. This is what we did, for our ceremony site was at the total end of the loop. There were maybe 15 total family members (all from Florida) present for the ceremony. A good friend of Kayla’s preformed the ceremony under a huge tree in the middle of a field. The Smoky Mountains with haze was a picturesque backdrop to a beautiful and intimate wedding ceremony.

Once wed, and all family photos had been taken, Kayla and her new husband went with me around the park. We explored the Missionary Baptist Church, Tipton Place, nice fields and hidden creeks. We even had a drink at the base of a mountain. We ended our tour right were we started, in a field with a big tree. However, this time, it rained a little. This was the perfect ending as Kayla really wanted it to rain some so she could get photos under a clear umbrella…and we did! It was a magical day filled with love, laughter and new beginnings.

Vendor List:

Photographer – Fyke Photography
Flowers – Publix
Cake – Publix
Bride’s Shoes – Keds
Grooms Shoes – Vans
Dress – David’s Bridal
Groom’s Clothes – Men’s Warehouse
Make up and Hair – Summerlynn Beauty
Location – Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Cabin – Strawberry Patch in Townsend, TN
Rings – Modern Gents

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