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Ukrainian Crowning Wedding at North Carolina Vineyard

It’s not hard to see why Lea and Alex chose The Vineyards at Betty’s Creek for the wedding day. This North Carolina vineyard brought everything that this down-to-earth couple needed to say their wedding vows. Their love of the mountains was evident in our Max Patch engagement session. It was also evident through their choices for their couple photos on the vineyard’s property. Lea specifically wanted as much of the mountains as possible as we roamed around on a mild, rainy day. Yet, one of my favorite locations of the evening fell in front of the groom’s cabin. All the unique texture of Lea’s dress from Made With Love Bridal just popped against the rustic cabin walls. But, it’s hard to deny my love of their photos on the back porch of The Lodge. The veil blowing in the wind, and the mountains are just faintly in the background. A perfect location for any nature-loving bride and groom.

Ukrainian Crowning Ceremony

For their ceremony, Lea and Alex chose the small rock-paved landing in front of Betty’s Cellar. And can we just talk about this nature-inspired ceremony location? The mature trees near the cellar completely surround this part of the North Carolina vineyard. And the simply organic arbor complimented the feel effortlessly. But, let’s not forget the green eucalyptus crowns that adorned the top of Lea and Alex’s heads. These crowns were part of a Ukrainian Crowning. Crowns are placed on the heads of the bride and groom.  The crowns symbolize that the bride and groom will be the king and queen of their own family–ruling side by side as husband and wife. A truly powerful statement for any newly married couple!

The Vineyards at Betty’s Creek

We are in love with this North Caroline vineyard wedding venue. The Vineyards at Betty’s Creek is one of the few wedding venues that provides a unique opportunity to couples, their family, and friends — the opportunity to rent the venue for the full weekend. How amazing is that? You can immerse yourself in a comfortable atmosphere at the foothills of the Alarka Mountains for days. Spectacular views of the mountains, the vineyards, and the flower gardens can be your oasis.

East Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Erin Morrison Photography is based just a short drive away from The Vineyards at Betty’s Creek. As a preferred wedding vendor for this North Carolina vineyard, we love to travel from Tennessee as often as possible. Feel free to view another Betty’s Creek Wedding, and contact us at any time!

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Planning Your Wedding Ceremony Location

Choosing a wedding venue is at the top of every wedding-planning list. And it can get a little overwhelming at times. There are so many options to choose from, such as barns and ballroom, to cozy restaurants and eclectic haunts. While every aspect of a wedding day is important, the venue is going to be on your mind until it’s booked. But once it’s booked, further decisions need to be made. One of the biggest decisions is where to say your “I do’s” on your venue’s property! There are lots of things to consider when planning your wedding ceremony. Do you want it inside or outside? Can your guests actually fit at the ceremony spot? Does the location fit the vibe you want for your ceremony? Let’s dive into these questions a bit further! And don’t worry, I’ve got a few helpful hints on planning your wedding ceremony location.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Most people have a pretty firm stance on whether they want an indoor versus outdoor wedding ceremony. There are many upsides and downsides of each option. Obviously, the wedding venue you choose is going to provide you with options for either an indoor or outdoor ceremony. If you choose an indoor wedding ceremony you don’t have to worry about the weather, and the most likely your guests will be comfortable in either the air conditioning or heat. Obviously, indoor ceremony locations are year-round ceremony locations!

But, if you aren’t sure, consider seeing a wedding venue that has both indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces! Selecting a venue that has multiple indoor and/or options is a great way to keep your options open in case the weather turns and you have to change your location at the very last minute. There are countless wedding venues in Knoxville that can accommodate an indoor and outdoor ceremony, such as Heartland Meadows, Hunter Valley Farms, Ramble Creek Vineyards, and the Knoxville Botanical Gardens, to name a few.

How Many Guests Will You Have

Now, one downside to having an all-indoors event is that you have to be mindful of your guests! Well, in the fact that you need to fit all their butts in seats! If you’ve decided to have your wedding ceremony in a small setting, but your guest list balloons to 100 people, you may find yourself with guests who will need to stand for the ceremony. So, make sure that you have planned your guest list selectively. Some of the most stunning ceremony locations can only fit maybe thirty people. Before you fall in love with the wrong place, double-check with your wedding venue that they can hold the capacity of people you’re planning for.

Now, if your guests are standing at your ceremony, that leaves some problems for your photographers. There are times where we can’t move around during your ceremony! Mainly, those pesky side aisles get full, and nearly all of your wedding photos will be shot straight down the aisle. The limitations of an enclosed space may prevent your photographer from getting the shots you want. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, but just something to keep in mind!

When Mother Nature Has a Bad Day

Let’s be honest, with the beauty of East Tennessee, most couples want outdoor spaces. Especially if you are getting married in the spring, summer, or fall seasons. There are so many wedding venues that highlight the beauty of our area. For example, RT Lodge provided one of the best outdoor locations we have ever photographed – on their winding road. But Mother Nature may have a mind of her own on your wedding day that will certainly impact planning your ceremony location. That winding road wedding at RT Lodge? The ceremony was moved up an hour due to pending storms for the rest of the evening!

When Mother Nature decides to take a detour, we aren’t talking just rain or shine. We are talking going from a scalding summer day to freezing temperatures in the span of a day or two. Of course, it’s important to have that ‘rain plan,’ but also consider how actually hot or cold it may be at your wedding ceremony. In over the 150 weddings, we have photographed, we have seen it all. We have photographed a 90-degree-weather wedding in March, and the next month photographed a 40-degree-weather wedding in April. Guys, it just happens that way some times! Just be mindful that if your wedding ceremony space is weather dependent (outdoor only), then you may be scrambling for options.

Time of Day

The time of day you plan to get hitched is very important in regards to two main things: guest comfort and lighting. During the hot summer months, be mindful of the heat of the day. This is especially true for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Any time before 4pm between the months of May and September could mean that your guests are sweating! If you do have a ceremony outside, consider a later starting time. If not, find ways to make your guests comfortable with shade! Your wedding venue coordinators, such as the ladies at The Quarry, know exactly where the sun sets and the shade starts on their property. They can easily coordinate the best start time for your ceremony.

Of course, when you move your ceremony back, you will need to consider your guests’ dinner time! We always encourage couples to do First Looks with a late ceremony time. That way, you and your guests can go right into dinner after your ceremony. If you want more golden hour time with your new spouse, we can always take you back out at Golden Hour without missing a beat in your reception. One other note here: you can always share more about your meal in your invitation suite! Share with your guests that there will be a cocktail hour after the ceremony, or your dinner will be served at a prompt time. That way, your guests can plan accordingly! We don’t need any hangry wedding guests!

Finally, your wedding ceremony is the MOST important part of your day. A part of the day that can’t be re-done. The time of day can have a major impact on what your ceremony photos will look like. Are you getting married out in a field in the blazing hot sun? Are you getting married in a low-lit ceremony at night? Your ceremony lighting IS one of the most important light of the entire day, and certainly something to purposely consider.

Plan For the Grandparents

My husband and I were married just under a decade ago. (I know, I’m old). And in those years, we have lost four grandparents. Your grandparents are important. They are absolutely part of your past and your future, and you certainly want them to be a part of your wedding day. The hard reality is that some grandparents just can’t make it down the aisle. Let alone an aisle 100 yards long in a field. When planning your wedding, think about wheelchairs and walkers. Are they able to navigate the terrain of your wedding ceremony location?

Now, these considerations can also apply to other guests and even your bridesmaids. If you have to walk a long distance on gravel roads, or grass in high heels, you run the risk of sinking into the ground or someone hurting twisting an ankle! We don’t need an ambulance pulling into your wedding venue! Or, at least, wear some comfy shoes;-)

What Does Your Gut Say?

Last summer, we photographed an intimate feet washing ceremony under mature trees at Ramble Creek in Athens, Tennessee. The ceremony location for this meaningful wedding ceremony was absolutely perfect. If just felt right for that couple to be married in that exact spot. Your wedding ceremony location choice may come down to one thing: a gut feeling. No matter which way you go for your ceremony, we hope that it fits you as a couple. If you want it to be intimate, choose a moody indoor location at The Standard. If you want it to be loud and boisterous, choose to strut down the grass aisle at Smithview Pavillion. Your day, in the end, is whatever you want to make of it.

Erin Morrison Photography

At the end of the day, everyone is going to have an opinion about where you should have your ceremony. What’s most important is what makes you happy. If that means you smooch your spouse-to-be under mature trees in an East Tennessee field or get married in the backyard of your childhood home, so be it. It’s your day, and wherever your wedding venue ends up being it will be perfect. If you’re still unsure about where to have your ceremony, talk to your wedding planner or your professional wedding photographer. Believe me, we’re a great source of inspiration! And please, feel free to peruse through our blog and wedding portfolio, and contact us any day to photograph your wedding ceremony.

The post Planning Your Wedding Ceremony Location appeared first on Erin Morrison Photography.

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Vineyard Wedding with Meaningful Feet-Washing CeremonyBride & Groom

I fell in love with Brittany and Blake during their Smoky Mountain engagement session. This casual couple was a breeze to work with as we hopped around the Little River for an evening of picture taking. Chatting with them about their proposal and engagement, I knew this couple would make their wedding day meaningful. And it certainly was! We loved the first look with dad, and the hidden prayer before the ceremony. And of course, we loved the meaningful feet-washing ceremony at their vineyard wedding. These two honor, respect, and love each other a thousand times over. It was a beautiful day indeed!

Feet-Washing Ceremony

What is a feet-washing ceremony you ask? The Christian church introduced this ceremony to imitate the love of Jesus, paying homage to washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper the night before his Crucifixion. While there are many unique and different harmonious activities to perform during your wedding (hand fasting, sand pouring, and unity candles) this one always seems very special. Brittany and Blake had the perfect setting at Ramble Creek Vineyard and Events to perform their own feet-washing ceremony. It was a magical and intimate moment to witness as these two became husband and wife.

Ramble Creek Vineyard and Events

Located in Athens, Tennessee, just 60 miles from Knoxville, Ramble Creek Events is an event venue that offers a unique setting for your wedding day. Hidden among the woods of East Tennessee, this venue is a dream. The country setting, the stunning building called “The Ramble,” and the way these two features combine make for a memorable and romantic wedding day. One of the best parts about shooting at The Ramble the subtle rustic charm throughout the whole venue. The exposed wood beams and whitewashed fireplace inside the venue are absolutely stunning for event.

East Tennessee Wedding Photographer

I am a Knoxville based wedding photographer, servicing the Great Smoky National Park and East Tennessee. Photographing weddings at a place like Ramble Creek is always a treat. If you are interested in celebrating your love at this beautiful wedding venue, let’s chat. My familiarity with this vineyard venue is a plus. For more information about my services and availability, contact me today.

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10 Photographer-Approved Tips for Getting Ready on Your Wedding Day

GAfter you’ve said “yes” to your lifetime partner, booked your wedding venue, and locked down all the other important details for your big day, you may be wondering, what’s next? I bet you haven’t given much thought to how your emotions, actions, timing, and other details on the actual wedding day can make or break it. Well, as a wedding photographer, I’ve been to A LOT of weddings (over 150 actually). I could tell you exactly how the rest of the day is going to go just by walking into the bridal suite. No really, I can! Trust me when I say that when I walk into a room full of panic or chaos, it will continue to feed into the rest of the day. On the flip side, if I walk into a 90’s dance party paired with laughter, the day is going to turn out friggin’ epic. This is just one example of what I’ve taken notice throughout my seven years as a professional Knoxville wedding photographer.

Lucky for you, I like to share! I want to pass on Ten Photographer-Approved Tips for getting ready on your wedding day. Hopefully, these tips will lead to a happier and more “picture perfect” day for you and your partner.

1. Freaking Enjoy It!

Remember, the most important part of your wedding day is that THIS IS YOUR DAY! It’s yours. All yours. Your family and friends are all here celebrating you, your fiance, and the love you share in this world. Yes, I know that sounds really cheesy, but it’s the truth. Life is always going to be full of ups and downs. It’s never perfect, so don’t stress about every little detail on your wedding day. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to go with the flow. Because you can’t get this day back. If you enjoy having a drink, go ahead and have a mimosa or two! Just a reminder to enjoy responsibly. We don’t need a dumpster fire.

2. Stick to a Solid Hair and Makeup Timeline

A lot of times brides underestimate the time it will take to get not only their hair and makeup done, but for all the other bridesmaids too. Depending on how many bridesmaids, this can end up taking much longer than you originally planned. In fact, from my experience, hair and makeup is the number one thing that can push a timeline back! That’s how important it is ladies. You don’t want to have to cut into your photography time because you’re waiting for Sally’s hair to curl.

Just to show how important the hair and makeup part of your day is, we reached out to our friends at Southern Belle Beauty for some tips! As professional and licensed cosmetologists, they suggested that brides estimate one full hour for their hair, and one full hour for her makeup. For the bridesmaids? Southern Belle Beauty recommends 45 minutes for each service. The recommend to the bride and to the bridesmaids a few extra tips: make sure that you don’t party too hard the night before the wedding. Showing up late to your appointment for hair and makeup is definitely a bad start to the day. But, if you and your friends get done earlier than planned you will have time to take a breather, pop some champagne, take photos, or reminisce on funny college stories.

3. A Messy Room Will Kill Your Photos

Food trays. Red Solo cups. Dress steamers. It’s all there. A wedding day is rush of momentum and raw emotions. The wake of that excitement can be detrimental to your photos. One of the hardest things about a wedding day is physically maneuvering around a bridal room. And we usually take a few minutes moving these items out of the way. But let’s talk about the photos that happen in this room. Messy rooms can make photos feel…distracting. A clean space goes a long way in minimizing the mess, while keeping the attention on the emotion, the moments, and the people in the photos.

So, what’s the solution? Ask your family, friends, and bridal party to be conscious of their stuff! No biggie! It’s such such a big help to keep your “getting ready” room in some sort of decent shape. Think of it as a friend coming over for a quick stop-by, and you shove everything into one room. I mean, we all do it. Do your best to keep your bridal suite as clean and tidy as possible. I’ll be snapping a few pictures in here as your finish your hair and makeup.

One last note on the mess room. It also important to keep a clean space in the room where you will actually be putting on your dress clean. We will be moving around in this room as well, and we want ALL the angles of your getting into your dress. I mean, you have spent a lot of time planning for this moment, so let’s make the best of it!

4. Find the Light! Light! Light!

Oh, one more thing! The room where you will be putting on your dress should ideally have lots of natural light to ensure superior photographs. I recognize that some venues may not have that as an option, but if it’s available then we will take it! The more natural light the better.

The best conditions for lighting would be a room with large windows and enough light coming in through the windows to light the room evenly with the lights off. This is why I recommend taking some time to review your options for your getting ready space. Think about using your own home if it has great natural light, renting a cute AirBnb, or getting ready at cozy bed and breakfasts. One of the hardest places to photography getting ready photos? Surprisingly, instead of stuffy hotel rooms. Hotels are great, seriously, but they come with a few pitfalls: no-smoking signs, sprinklers, and questionable chairs and carpet choices. And very few places to actually hand a dress. No joke!

The type of light that you want to avoid: Anything with mixed light (daylight + mostly orange tungsten bulbs, tungsten + fluorescent lights, daylight + florescent light, etc). It’s hard to see with the naked eye, but in photos, it can lead to odd skin colors. Churches often provide rooms to get ready in, but it’s generally a good idea to look at the space before deciding to get ready there. Often the “getting ready room” ends up being a classroom with bright colored walls and florescent lighting. If you take anything away from this, just know that florescent lighting is not the most flattering light (and it flickers, which causes banding). As professional photographers, we understand how to compensate for these lighting obstacles, but giving the light a second thought will lead to better photos.

6. Keep Wedding Details Easily Accessible

This tip will help not only me, but also you since I won’t have to ask you where things are. Having all of your key essentials in one place makes it easy for me to swoop in the room, access the items, and get to shooting! I mean, that is what you paid me for! Keep your dress on the hanger so I can find it easily and photograph it. Place your engagement/wedding rings and any photoshoot details (flowers, heirlooms, accessories, etc.) together (usually in your shoe box). Anything you wish to have photographed in the room should be all in one place and simple to find. Once I am finished, I can easily return the items back to the places they belong! Easy peasy!

7. Bouquet Location is Key

Let’s be real, you have spent a lot of money on your bouquet. It is definitely one of the most utilized details you will have on your wedding day. Ideally, you will want your bouquets at the place where you will be getting ready. After you and your bridesmaids are ready for pictures, we will be doing a lot of shooting involving the bouquet. This includes bridal portraits, first look with dad and/or your partner, and the entire bridal party. It’s a must have.

8. Limit Time with Stressful People

Yes, we are going to talk about this. There may be certain individuals coming to your wedding that you simply could not take off the guest list. Whether it’s a childhood friend, neighbor, parent’s friend, or even your new mother-in-law, make sure to limit the time and interaction you spend with them if they cause you stress. There is no rule that says you have to interact with them for a set amount of time. And I really do say that with all of the love in the world. There are just some that will cause your stress levels to increase. It’s as simple as that. Again, it’s YOUR wedding day and you don’t have to deal with anyone you don’t particularly want to see.

9. Your Groom is Totally Fine

To the ladies who are marrying a man, this one is for you. Keep in mind that you are getting married to a fully functioning adult. He will be fine! Don’t waste a minute of your wedding day wondering if he got his tux ready, if his hair looks decent, or if his socks match. He’s capable of doing all of these things on his own and he will be okay without you for a few hours. Nuff said.

10. Let It Goooooooo

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, life is not perfect! Let me repeat: Life. Is. Not. Perfect. Your wedding day is not going to be “perfect” as well. If a button snaps, a drink spills, or your dress gets snagged, let it go. There are bigger things to worry about in the world, like the fact that you are about to make a lifelong commitment to another human. Take a deep breath and forget those little things even happened. Unless you’re about to walk down the aisle naked, everything else is really no big deal. A lot of brides have “wedspectations,” and it may seem if one tiny detail goes haywire the whole wedding will go wrong. This is where you have to get out of your own brain. Worrying about one minor detail could have the potential to ruin your whole mindset for a day that you will never get back. Do NOT let this happen to you. Everything is going to be okay.

Knoxille Photographer Erin Morrison

My ultimate wish for you is to have a day filled with love and incredible moments. From the makeup to the dance floor, I’ll capture all the candid and real memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a professional wedding photographer in Knoxville, please explore my portfolio and contact me for my services! I would love to be a part of your wedding day!

The post 10 Photographer-Approved Tips for Getting Ready on Your Wedding Day appeared first on Erin Morrison Photography.

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Sun-Kissed Rustic Glam Wedding at Heartland Meadows

Get ready to swoon over this rustic glam wedding at Heartland Meadows in Knoxville. On top of personalized decor, Lindsey and Brady’s wedding infused two of our favorite ingredients. What are they? A happy couple and a whole lot of sunshine. It’s a perfect wedding to lose yourself in the warmth of friendship and the warmth of summer.

Rustic Glam Details

Heartland Meadow provided the perfect backdrop for this rustic glam wedding. It’s timber-framed barn, allows any couple to incorporate the modern touches of elegance while encompassing it all in a rustic space. The bride chose a classic color palette of soft pastel with a pop of gold for this rustic glam look, which is versatile for any season. The “canvas” for the tables was a classic mahogany wood farm table. It harmonized well with the rich wood walls of the barn.

And let’s not forget about this wedding’s natural beauty outside of the barn! It played well upon the ideals of summer. Heartland Meadows is a rural sanctuary right in the heart of North Knoxville. Couples can exchange vows in different areas of the wedding venue. But the vows spoken under the ancient trees is a favorite of ours.  In fact, the entire property is a dream; allowing a perfect union of rustic and romance.

Golden Hour Couple Photos

There is nothing like golden hour at Heartland Meadows. During the summer months, the sunset splits right down the middle of the trees that surround the property. In fact, the sun seems to take forever to set! We don’t mind! It provided us with so much sun-kissed photography goodness for this newly married couple. Just like many of our other couples, Lindsey and Brady chose to partake in a few post-wedding photos. We love this time with our couple as much of the “busyness” of the day has passed and they can truly relax. You can see it all over their faces, as they roam through the tall grass. Their smiles are beaming, just like the light!

East Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Looking to get married at Heartland Meadows? We love this nestled little wedding venue in Knoxville, and it’s one of our favorite places to photograph! Please feel free to view our wedding portfolio and blog! When you are ready to book your professional wedding photographer, fill out our contact form! We look forward to hearing from you.

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6 Special Events That Impact a Wedding Day Timeline

Wait. Erin, are we STILL talking about wedding day timelines? Yes. Yes, we are. Why? Because we need to talk about a few more things. Special events on your wedding day are, well, special. And the quick answer to add them or not to your wedding day is this: ADD THEM. DO IT. We want you to take the robe photos, have the hidden first looks, and cry over those gifts exchanged. Just remember that these special events impact a wedding day timeline. In fact, these events take a fair amount of setup and planning, and us professional wedding photographers want to know about them! These seemingly small details can quickly add time to your wedding day timeline.

Again, nothing in this blog post is meant to discourage you from these activities. They are wonderful! I just want you to think ahead and plan so that there are no surprises. Communication with your wedding photographer is important for everything to go smoothly. If you want to add something to your wedding, don’t wait until the day of the ceremony to let us know. The more we know, the better.

In our 7 years of photographing weddings, we have witnessed many special events. Below are six of the most common special events on a wedding day, and the reasons why they need to scheduled on your wedding day timeline.

Robe Photos

This is for you brides and bridesmaids. In the world of Pinterest, these photos are all over the place. If you like them, and they offer a glimpse into your relationship with your bridesmaids, then we are all for taking them! Especially if you get flannel shirts, cause those things are the CUTEST. In all seriousness, these robe photos can be a nice memory to capture because they represent the start of one of the most memorable days of your life.

Now, photographing the robe photos requires one very important detail: everyone needs to have their hair and makeup done. I know you are rolling your eyes at me and saying, “DUH Erin.” Well. This is usually the first photo we will take when we arrive at the wedding venue. Why? Because, after the photo is taken, everyone will need to get dressed. If one of the people in the robe photo is to help the bride get dressed, then that person will have to get dressed first. While that person is getting dressed, we will photograph the wedding details such as the dress, shoes, veil, jewelry, and invitations.

Letter Exchange

Writing love letters to your future spouse is one of the most romantic things that we see on a wedding day. We LOVE letter exchanges. Aside from the vows, this is one of the more moving moments of a wedding day. Also, this is usually the first BIG emotional moment of the day, and things become very real and very emotional quickly. Lots of tears are shed.

There are a couple of things we need to preface with a letter exchange. First, there has to be time on the timeline for this event. Whether you decide to read the letter softly to yourself, alone in a dressing room, or for the whole world to hear, an actual letter is read. The lengths of the letters could also make reading them take up some time. Further, if a videographer is involved, they may need to put a microphone on the person talking to record every word.

Second, the letters have to actually get to the person reading them! Depending on location(s) or whether there is a first look or traditional look, there is some logistics involved in this process. Where are the letters? Who is delivering the letters? Are the letters finalized? We would highly recommend the Best Man and the Maid of Honor secure these letters and get them where they need to be! That is so helpful for everyone.

Finally, there actually has to be a letter! Yes! There are many times where we get to the letter exchange part of the wedding day, and there is one big missing piece — one of the parties has failed to write their letter. It actually happens more than most people would admit to. We would strongly encourage the letter writing the day before the wedding. This allows more time and reflection for the words forever scrawled in ink.

Hidden First Looks

It isn’t a requirement that the couple see each other before the wedding. But if the idea of having an intimate moment with your spouse-to-be sounds attractive, a hidden first look might be something for you consider. A letter exchange can be a form of hidden first look if the couple wants it to be, but there are a variety of other options available.

The common theme in all of hidden first looks is that the couple is brought close together, but are never allowed to see each other. Perhaps you hold hands from opposite sides of a wall and share a prayer. Maybe you stand around the corner from each other and just chat about how excited you are! Maybe you embrace each other while blindfolded. Whatever you choose, it’s almost always a beautiful moment that makes for fantastic photos.

But, again, those pictures take time to set up. Most of the challenge lies in the logistics of the location. We need to find a location at the venue that can accommodate a hidden first look, such a well-lit location where the couple can’t see each other. This is especially true for holding hands around a door or corner. If you are interested in being blindfolded, then we can pretty much go anywhere for this intimate moment.

First Looks

Traditionally, the couple does not see each other until they walk down the aisle. Some couples like to reveal themselves to each before the ceremony! This can make for an intimate experience away from the prying eyes of your guests. We find that half of our couples choose a First Look and half choose the traditional Aisle Look. It also allows for some pretty epic photos that melt our hearts.

But first looks aren’t just for couples. We love when brides and grooms reveal themselves to their family members, bridesmaids, and friends. These can also be highly emotional moments that you’ll definitely want to have captured on film.

Regardless of who is seeing you for the first time, your wedding day timeline needs to reflect this special event. We want to be in position to capture all of the important detail. This is not something that can always happen easily on the spur of the moment. It can also take time to track everyone down and get them ready for the big moment.

Gift Exchange

Couples often decide to exchange gifts on the wedding day. This may happen when they first arrive at the venue, after the festivities are over, or as part of the first look. Whenever you choose to do it, you’ll need to budget time for it. How much time you need to budget depends on the gift. For example, if you give your loved one a scrap book, they may want to take the time to look at every photo. Yes, every. single. photo. That could take up a half an hour or more! Been there and done that.

Is the gift wrapped? Is it a large gift that needs a little extra help? These may sound like minor details, and they are when properly planned for. But wedding days can be hectic and adding in these extra details at the last minute can end up costing more time than you had imagined.

Serenades

If one of you has musical talent, then there is no more romantic way to make use of it than to serenade your beloved on your wedding day. This is very romantic and will make for some sweet photographs. But as I’ve been stressing, you can’t just budget for the three or four minutes that your song will last. You’ll need to make sure that your partner is ready for your song. Heck! The serenade may be a total surprise! Trying to make time for a quick serenade that wasn’t properly planned for can include much more than the song itself.

Erin Morrison Photography

Whew! You made it through another blog post! Thank you so much for taking the time to read all about special events on a wedding day. As stated in the beginning, we love events like these because we love to photograph love! No matter where you are getting married, no matter what town you live in, we would love to photograph you wedding. Please feel free view my portfolio, and contact me us at any time! I would be honored if you’d consider me as your wedding photographer!

The post 6 Special Events That Impact a Wedding Day Timeline appeared first on Erin Morrison Photography.

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Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.comPrimitive Baptist Church Wedding in The Great Smoky Mountains

This intimate Primitive Baptist Church wedding in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is all about one thing. It was about merging the past with the present to create a better future. You see, this is a second marriage for both Brittany and Joel. They are both two kind souls who found each other through heartbreak. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they are better together than apart.

Our day in the Smokies started out with a whole lot of rain, but the weather gave way to overcast clouds. The clouds blanketed the national park and gave us a soft, intimate feel. Looking beautiful in her dress from White Lace and Promises and bouquet from Lisa Foster Floral Design, Brittany and Joel made the winding trip down Primitive Baptist Church to their wedding. Their guests greeted them inside the historic church for their vows. There, they pledged their love to each other. They also pledged their love to all their children as well.

Primitive Baptist Church

Adventure down the road of Cades Cove Loop Road, and you will find Primitive Baptist Church. Established in 1827, it was one of three churches established in Cades Cove. Built by hand by the congregation, you can see hand prints in sap on the wood-planked ceiling and walls. Prior to the construction of the church, congregants met in a log home structure for nearly sixty years. The simplistic structure is perfect for any intimate wedding or elopement.

Smoky Mountain Photographer

The Great Smoky Mountain is the most visited National Park, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Cades Cove, Spence Cabin, and LeQuire Overlook provide plenty of examples of it’s wondrous beauty.

Erin Morrison is a permitted Smoky Mountain Photographer. Wedding photography within the Smokies requires a special photography permit, and we have that permit! As a permitted photographer, I am certified by the National Park. Further, I must have a business license and liability insurance. You can rest assured, that I am a professional and licensed photographer. Please feel free to view my Smokies Portfolio, and contact us at any time! We would love to photograph your engagement, wedding, or elopement in the Smoky Mountains!

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Hunter Valley Engagement Photos

There is a lot of things that we love about shooting engagement photos in Knoxville. One of the best things? When couples choose a location that has meaning to their life. You see, these Hunter Valley engagement photos aren’t just any engagement photos. They are an extension of Sara’s life; a place where she actually lived for 2.5 years! Back in the summer of 2015, she was looking to move her beautiful horse Whinny to a new stable, and randomly stumbled across an ad on the internet. It was for an apartment above one of the barns at Hunter Valley Farms. She jumped at the apartment listing! For the next couple of years, she enjoyed the quiet 50+ acres, beautiful morning sunrises, and sunsets on the beach near the wedding venue. She also got the opportunity to ride her horse whenever she wanted. A literal dream for Sara.

Once she started dating Nolan, Hunter Valley Farms continued to be a part of her life. In fact, Nolan proposed to her on the beach! The beautiful soft sand with the waves splashing in the background, was the perfect proposal spot. And it only felt fitting to visit this scenic East Tennessee venue for their engagement photos. On our session date, the wind was absolutely blowing from recent storms in the Knoxville area. And guess what? I don’t mind one bit? Sara looked amazing as her hair whipped and twirled around Nolan. Ever kiss blanketed them in movement; both in wind and in light!

Hunter Valley Farms

There are not many wedding venues like Hunter Valley Farms in the Knoxville area. It’s a versatile location with many photo-taking locations. Whether you want to take photos along the fence line surrounding the fields, or lakeside, you can’t go wrong. It’s always a delight to see newly engage couples snuggling up at any of these backdrops. Nestled in west Knoxville, Tennessee, this Knoxville Wedding venue is the charming and romantic. The grounds and reception spaces are total jewels for any couple looking to get married.

Knoxville Engagement Photography

If you are as smitten with Sara and Nolan’s engagement photos, feel free to contact me to schedule your engagement photos. Just like this couple, we would love to photograph you in a purposeful location that showcases your new stage in life. We love being Knoxville Wedding Photographers, and look forward to hearing from you!

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How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline

This is where things can get frustrating. How do you prepare for your entire wedding day? A photography timeline provided by a professional photographer can certainly help in regards to your entire wedding day timeline. With over 150 weddings under our belt, we craft photography timelines for our couples all. the. time. This is a great base to start all of your decisions. If you have a professional wedding coordinator, they can help fill in the times for hair, makeup, vendor drop-offs, and other requests you may have!

This blog post will outline two timelines that we see in most of our weddings. One timeline is for a First Look and the second is for an Aisle Look. Both timelines are based around a single venue with the sun setting at 8:30pm. Remember that all wedding days are different, and your timeline may differ due to the sunset time, number of venues, travel times, bridal party size, and length of ceremony.

I also want to make clear that we are an LGBT-friendly photographer. The timelines below, for the sake of brevity, detail a “bride” and a “groom.”

First Look Timeline

3:00pm- Photographer Arrives at Venue
3:10pm- Wedding Detail Photos/Getting Ready Photos
3:30pm- Bride Into Dress/Bridal Portrait Photos
4:00pm- Groom Into Suit
4:15pm- First Look and Couple Photos
4:45pm- Entire Bridal Party Photos and Groupings
5:15pm- Bride Hidden Away/Photography of Reception and Ceremony Decor
6:00pm- Ceremony starts
6:30pm- Ceremony ends
6:45pm- Formal Family Photos
7:15pm- Enter Reception
7:20pm- First Dance
7:30pm- Prayer and Dinner Served
8:00pm- Golden Hour Couple Photos
8:30pm- Cake Cutting
8:45pm- Toasts
9:00pm- Parent Dances
9:15pm- General dancing music starts
10:00pm- Garter/Bouquet Toss
10:45pm- Exit Photos
11:00pm- Photographer Packs Up

Aisle Look Timeline

3:00pm- Photographer Arrives at Venue
3:10pm- Wedding Detail Photos/Getting Ready Photos
3:30pm- Bride Into Dress/Bridal Portrait Photos
4:00pm- Bride and Bridesmaid Photos
4:20pm- Groom Into Suit
4:45pm- Groom and Groomsmen Photos
5:15pm- Everyone Hidden Away/Photography of Reception and Ceremony Decor
6:00pm- Ceremony starts
6:30pm- Ceremony ends
6:45pm- Formal Family Photos
7:15pm- Entire Bridal Party Photos
7:30pm- Enter Reception
7:35pm- First Dance
7:45pm- Prayer and Dinner Served
8:00pm- Golden Hour Couple Photos
8:30pm- Cake Cutting
8:45pm- Toasts
9:00pm- Parent Dances
9:15pm- General dancing music starts
10:00pm- Garter/Bouquet Toss
10:45pm- Exit Photos
11:00pm- Photographer Packs Up

Your Wedding Timeline

Your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. The feel, the mood, the details are all about you and your fiance. You can do whatever you want to do on that day. The details below are to just provide you with an idea of why we do what we do on a wedding day. You can add anything or takeaway anything that you want. Just remember that your timeline needs to be a happy medium flexibility and rigidity. If a few things here and there don’t quite go as planned, we need a wedding day timeline that is adaptable.

WEDDING DETAIL PHOTOS

Every bride loves having those beautiful shots of her bridal details. It’s an integral part of the story, and I love having some time to shoot the dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, etc. These shots allow me to get warmed up for the rest of the big day. I usually like at least 15-20 minutes for this part of the day. While I’m shooting details, I’m also capturing some shots of the bride and her girls getting ready! If the fiance is getting dressed nearby, our second shooter may begin their behind-the-scenes shenanigans before you get into your dress.

BRIDE INTO DRESS

After the details have been photographed, it’s time for the bride to get into her dress! This is a big moment! I usually ask the mother of the bride and all of the bridesmaids to be dressed by the time the bride is ready to get into her dress. This ensures that everyone will look nice in those images.  After the bride is in her gown,  she can put on her jewelry, veil, shoes, etc. and I will shoot some additional bridal portraits! 

FIRST LOOK

This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day!  I will find the perfect location for my couple’s First Look prior to the getting ready portion of the day! Don’t stress about that one bit! I will make sure the location is private and as secluded as possible.

PORTRAITS

After the bride and groom take their time with the First Look, I will begin taking a few romantic portraits of the two of them while the initial excitement is still present!  I will find the locations for these shots as well! Remember, the LIGHT determines where we shoot and so I can’t decide on portrait locations until the day-of.   As we shoot these portraits, the bridal party can start making their way to us for Bridal Party Portraits.  

BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS

Now it’s time for bridal party shots! I buffer in extra time throughout the day just in case we have some unexpected things that hold us up.  One way to make sure we stay on schedule for bridal party portraits is to have someone put the boutonnieres on the guys BEFORE they arrive for portraits. During bridal party portraits, I will make sure to take some great shots of the guys and girls both separately AND together! After bridal party portraits are complete, the bride will go into hiding so that early guests don’t sneak a peek, and the ushers will begin their duties.

RECEPTION PHOTO DETAILS

If the reception is in the same location as the ceremony, I will use this time to shoot the reception decor UNTOUCHED.  If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail hour outside of the main reception area if possible so that I can grab some great shots of your reception before the night begins and guests start laying down purses and coats on their seats!

CEREMONY

It’s time to get mawwwwied. Most ceremonies are 30 minutes long.  If your ceremony is longer than 30 mins, we’ll make adjustments to the timeline. Cherish these moments because your ceremony will pass by so quickly!

FAMILY PHOTOS

Family formals normally take place immediately following the ceremony.  It’s best to save all of the family formals until after the ceremony because ALL family members will be present at that time. We’ll need about 30 minutes for family formals and I will send a questionnaire before the wedding where you can list out the shots that you want.  I recommend shooting portraits outdoors if possible so that they resemble more natural family portraits, especially if the ceremony location is dark.

GOLDEN HOUR PHOTOS

Any time between 7pm and 8:00pm is the BEST time of day for portraits in the late spring, summer and early fall. This is when the sun is glowy and golden. I love having a few extra minutes with the bride and groom to take a few “Just Married” portraits right after family formals/

RECEPTION PHOTOS

This is when the bridal party lines up for introductions and the party begins!! By this part of the day, my timeline isn’t as strict. I work off of the natural light  and so after the sun is set, my portrait time is over and I begin focusing on the reception events!

I include 8 hours of coverage so that I can be present for the main events of the reception and about an hour of dancing!  If you’re interested in having your exit photographed, there are several options for this!  You can either add additional coverage or plan a faux exit with just your bridal party!  We have had GREAT success with this and the party never stops! Email me about this if you’re interested in learning more!

Exit Photos

Exits! Time to give all of your closest family and friends fire! We have seen all sorts of exits with all types of gear: sparklers, rice, lavender, and real or dried flowers. We have even had faux exits! If your coverage ends before your exit, you have the option of planning a faux exit with your bridal party. OR you can choose to do your “grand exit” immediately after your wedding ceremony. Whatever your choice may be, we will make sure that it is coordinated and controlled so you get the best photos possible.

Erin Morrison Photography

Erin Morrison Photography is a profession wedding photographer in Knoxville, Tennessee. We work with all of our couples to create a wedding that this true to them. Please view our wedding portfolio, and contact us for your wedding photography.

The post How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline appeared first on Erin Morrison Photography.

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DIY Antique Wedding with Honeycomb Bells

I was given the wonderful opportunity to photograph this lovely DIY antique wedding in Knoxville. This was such an amazing wedding to be a part of, especially with all of the hard work that was put into making it possible.

First off, it rained the ENTIRE day, but you never would have known that from the smiles on everyone’s face. Emma worked really hard for years collecting antique items for her wedding day. As she says, “My mom raised me up in church — and at estate sales and auctions.” Over the years, Emma and her mother started purchasing wedding cake toppers, hankies, candelabras, pie racks, milk glass vases, and old quilts. They would find them at antique stores, flea markets and estate sales. They even repurposed a lot of items, such as the fun vintage sheets and even had robes made for the bridal party. It was a lot of work. But, in the end, her wedding turned out exactly as she wanted. Rain and all!

Vintage Masterpieces

The HUGE colorful floral arbor from LB Floral and the giant wall of antique baskets Emma and her mother had accumulated really made this wedding a spectacular sight to behold! But, one of the things about this wedding that really stood out to me were the Honeycomb Bells they had been collecting as well. They were scattered all across the ceiling and it really gave the wedding that antique feel. It was quite a masterpiece and tied in so well with the floral arbor.

How did they construct such a masterpiece, you ask? Well, there’s nothing good ol’ fashioned Knoxville ingenuity, chicken wire and fishing line can’t fix. It was definitely a group effort. All of her family, including their spouses, helped cut line and tie knots. The men got on scaffolding, suspended the wire from the ceiling, and it all came together!

Sentimental items were also thrown in. A blue bicycle came from Cookeville from when Emma went to college at Tech. The huge ladders used to display quilts, as well as the cake topper came from Andrew’s grandparents. And, Emma’s mother’s collection of head vases were used on the tables at the reception.

Erin Morrison Photography

This was just such a cool wedding and I was so thankful to these two amazing peeps for hiring me as their Knoxville wedding photographer. Both Emma and Andrew have such contagious personalities and it was a true joy to be a part of this beautiful Knoxville antique wedding. I wish them all of the happiness in the world through the years to come. If you are interested in my photography services, feel free to view my portfolio and contact me any time!

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