“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”
Okay, so maybe that Henry David Thoreau isn't perfect to describe Olivia and Jacob's Smoky Mountain wedding, but I was definitely reciting it in my head the whole time we were there. There is something so profound and overwhelming beautiful about mountains and being as this was my first time in the Smokies, photographing the sweetest ceremony I have ever been witness to, it was at times a little too much to take. Couple that with the fact that Olivia and Jacob's love seemed to come off them in waves, everyone was misty eyed and smiling from their infectious joy and grace.
Their wedding day started with a forecast of rain and gloomy skies, so the ceremony location was changed last minute to a sweet wedding chapel in Pigeon Forge. It was nestled on a hill among willow tress and honestly, I feel like it was meant to be. After getting ready at the cabin where the whole family was staying, we made our way to this little chapel, a little caravan of cars putting along the winding roads through the hills....the mountains topped with clouds seemingly rising above us. There was energy in the air; happy, nervous, excitable, loving energy that was bubbling up, threatening to spill over. We arrived and ushered Olivia into the bridal suite, where her mother helped her into her wedding dress. Once she was dressed, looking at herself as Jacob's bride the flood gates opened and all of that emotional energy came rushing out. At that moment it was real, this was happening and to be honest the rest was a blur.
Olivia and Jacob married in the chapel, with tears in everyone's eyes(including mine and my husband's) and smiling so much our cheeks hurt. They walked out as husband and wife into sunshine..the rain that was forecast never came and I swear there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
And the absolute BEST part of the day? Driving Olivia and Jacob through Cade's Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for their portraits. Four hours were spent adventuring through the mountains, taking portraits in the valley and among old log cabins, and seeing black bears playing in trees. It was so generous of Olivia and Jacob to allot so much time of their day to us and honestly, I don't think anyone regretted it for a second. Carving time out for intimate portraits gave them time to quietly soak up the day, take a breather, make out a little, and enjoy just being married. I recommend it to all of my couples.
All in all, their day was just that...their day. Hard and fast rules weren't followed, family was at the center of everything and they kept a happy and open attitude at all times.
Olivia and Jacob, it was such a joy.