Amanda

Aaron & Anwesa

Aaron and Anwesa’s big day was a whirlwind amalgamation of modern and traditional, of southern hospitality and Indian celebration, of two very different people coming together to build one beautiful life together! It was also a wedding full of firsts for me. Mayur had prior experience photographing traditional Indian weddings, but I had never even seen one, much less photographed one before!

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first “first” I encountered on this journey with Aaron and Anwesa was the night before the wedding. Mehndi night! Mehndi is another word for henna, and the application of henna in those incredible intricate designs that I had only ever seen on Pinterest. This night is reserved for the bride and all the important women on both sides of the aisle to get together, eat, dance, and apply mehndi! These designs symbolize blessings of luck, joy, and love for the new couple. While Anwesa sat up front getting her henna applied, everyone else paired up to draw designs on each other and even perform short choreographed dances! It took until almost the end of the night for Anwesa’s mehndi to be completed, but as soon as it was, she was up and dancing too!

 

The next day was the wedding day! After all the fun last night, I knew the actual wedding day would be a blast. The days started a little earlier than the usual weddings I cover, and Anwesa spent no less than four hours getting ready between hair, makeup, and the assembly of the sari and veil. It was amazing to see the five or more women who were helping turn this big swath of fabric into a beautiful dress. While Anwesa got ready, Aaron and the rest of the families put the finishing touches on their ceremony space at the TN State Museum. This was another first for me! The museum had recently started booking weddings and Aaron and Anwesa had been one of the first couples to book the space!

 

After Anwesa got ready, we really got to explore the venue for their first look. The modern, geometric building surrounded by such beautiful natural elements was an incredible combination. We went upstairs to the wrap-around balcony on the second floor to take advantage of the clean columns, lovely copper accents, and the beautiful swaths of green in the background as we shot some pictures with these two. Aaron and Anwesa also complemented each other perfectly in their chosen wedding attire.

 

The ceremony itself was wonderful, and featured both Indian and American traditions. One of the more delightful moments had to be as these two passed beautiful flower garlands over each other’s heads three times. Already the simultaneous passing seems difficult, but when you add Aaron and Anwesa’s significant hight difference, it was a bit of a chore! But these two laughed their way through it and soon after celebrated with an enthusiastic kiss!

 

After the ceremony, Aaron and Anwesa flip-flopped and Aaron changed into a beautiful traditional tunic, while Anwesa changed into a stunning evening gown. Seeing this awesome outfit change, we had to snap a few more pictures of this amazing bride and groom before it was off to the dance floor! The rest of the night was spent dancing up a storm to both Indian and American pop songs, and even dancing their way down the line for their exit. The final shot of the wedding sealed the night with a kiss as these two headed off into their future together!

 

Amanda is a wedding photographer in Nashville

 

Sydney & Drew

When I arrived at Allenbrooke Farms, Sydney was just starting to have her makeup done. She was surrounded by her nine bridesmaids all decked out in beautiful, matching floral robes. There was tons of excitement in the air as the girls sipped mimosas and fawned over how beautiful this day was going to be! With nine girls plus moms from both sides, champagne glasses were in short supply. One of my favorite shots of the morning was the improvised teacup mimosa held so daintily by Sydney while she had the final pins put in her hair. After makeup was competed and the dress was on, Sydney had her big reveal for her dad. The way he beamed at her while she fixed his boutonniere captured my heart!

 

Soon it was time for Drew’s first look! Drew and his service dog, Hooch, waited patiently under a huge beautiful tree next to the Allenbrooke barn. Soon Sydney came around the corner, and the two of them shared a quick moment of respite with each other in the midst of this big, exciting day. Everyone was dressed to the nines including Hooch, who sat so perfectly at attention in his own tux and bow tie while all the family pictures were taken.

 

Though it was currently a beautiful day, the threat of rain was right on the horizon. The ceremony site was set up on the field next to the barn with a simple arch overlooking the fields. Accented with white and blush flowers, whiskey barrels, and Drew’s guitar, it was the perfect picture of a Nashville wedding. As the ceremony started, all eyes were on the sky until Drew picked up his guitar and started playing a song he had written for Sydney. Hooch came barreling down the aisle, shortly followed by two toddling flower girls and finally Sydney. The ceremony was short and sweet, punctuated by a beautiful kiss, and as soon as Drew and Sydney made it back down the isle heading towards the barn, the sky opened up!

 

The rain ended up being short-lived and soon we were all back out on the lawn for a few more pictures and some cheers. Inside, the reception area was set up beautifully. After a wonderful dinner, heartfelt speeches, and cake and donuts for all, it was time to dance the night away and seal it with a kiss.

 

 

Tracey & Matt

This past June, I planned a trip out to Colorado to visit my best friends and college roommates for a much-needed reunion after years apart. Flights were booked and arrangements were made months in advance so we could all have the most jam-packed, work-free long weekend! The plan was to run around Denver going rafting, brewery hopping, hiking and taking in the sights! When June finally rolled around, I was starting to get psyched for the trip when Tracey, one of my Colorado friends, texts me: “Too bad you’re not the only one who’s engaged,” along with the classic cell phone engagement ring shot. Cue the completely stereotypical screaming girl reaction! After a quick phone call, I was even more excited for the visit because I knew this meant we would be doing engagement pictures! At this point, I had met Matt – Tracey’s now fiancé – once, maybe twice, and had already fallen completely in love with him. I could not have imagined a more perfect man for Tracey. He was as goofy, if not more so, than Tracey, incredibly sweet, and just a joy to be around. I was absolutely thrilled.

 

When I landed in Denver, Tracey picked me up from the airport and we caught up around her house for a while waiting for our other bestie Brittany to get off work. It was a lovely 60 degrees out there! All the Colorado-ans were furious. They only have about 3 months of true summer before it starts to get cold again, so they jealously guard their warm days. I, on the other hand, am used to hot and humid Nashville summers that seem to start up in April, with no end in sight. The weekend continued that way, much to the chagrin of my compatriots. It rained most days and stayed in the mid 60’s, meaning the tops of the mountains were still getting snow. That meant too cold for rafting, but perfect weather for some quick photo sessions between the rain!

 

Tracey, Matt, and I took off to Golden, Colorado to some riverside hiking trails and then to one of the many breweries in that area. We spent the next couple hours of perfectly overcast lighting beebopping around trails, goofing around and laughing, and finishing off with a beer. All the while, I was capturing this incredible couple and the sweet love they share. I say this all the time, but engagement shoots are my favorite shoots ever, and the fact that I got to do this for one of my closest friends made it even more special.

 

 

Mackenize & John

I met Mackenzie and John long before their wedding date when we were only just planning their engagement session. I was instantly charmed by this soft-spoken and elegant couple. When I first arrived at the hotel on the morning of the wedding day, I knocked on the door of Mackenzie’s hotel room and was greeted by a totally different-looking Mackenzie than when I shot her engagement pictures earlier that year. She had died her hair a cool maroon color and had cut it shorter to right below her chin! I said to her, “OMG! You cut your hair! I love it!” and she replied, “Oh, I’m not Mackenzie. I’m her twin sister.” Just then, the Mackenzie I recognized walks around the corner laughing, probably having just heard my faux pas. How did I forget Mackenzie was a twin!? Thankfully the day went much smoother for me after that first blunder.

 

Mackenzie and her denim-decked bridesmaids and I jumped from the hotel to the chapel to finish getting ready. Mackenzie stepped into an absolutely beautiful dress with lots of embroidered details while her bridesmaids and John donned deep blue finery. The ceremony, in a small chapel in Franklin, was intimate and sweet, containing the first pinky promise I’ve seen in someone’s vows. The only ceremony crasher was one little flower girl, not content to just sit in the pews, instead opting for a spot on the stairs right next to the bride and groom. After the ceremony, and one short party bus ride, it was reception time! And more than anything, for Mackenzie and John, that meant dancing!

 

With the whole party in tow, they danced the night away. They were even hoisted into the air on their chairs in what must be one of the most fun and most terrifying wedding traditions to participate in that I know of. Over the course of this wedding, with Mackenzie and John in their element, surrounded by their family and friends, this beautiful couple I previously thought to soft-spoken, and even shy, erupted into the life of the party, and closed out their wedding day with one rockin’ good time.

 

 

Hannah & Kevin

Hannah and Kevin’s wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever had the privilege of attending. From the venue to the decor, and of course this beautiful couple themselves, everything was picture perfect! The day started on a beautifully sunny morning in late September at Drakewood Farm. This was my first time visiting Drakewood Farm, and it quickly became one of my favorite venues around.

 

Hannah and Kevin chose to get married in the courtyard in the woods, tucked away at the back of the venue, under the beautiful blue sky and surrounded by their closest friends and family. With a little coaxing from Grandma, the tiny flower girl toddled down the isle, followed shortly after by Hannah who looked absolutely stunning. After a lovely ceremony, and what was probably one of the best first kisses I’ve ever seen, Hannah, Kevin and I walked the grounds to the many beautiful vignettes around the farm. The most incredible facet of Hannah and Kevin’s relationship is their sense of humor. Kevin lives to make Hannah laugh, and it shows in their photos. It was so wonderful to be able to capture the two of them making each other so very happy.

 

After the ceremony and pictures, guests were ushered into the impeccably decorated barn and reception hall to await the arrival of the happy couple. Hannah and Kevin entered through big double doors to a room full of love and twinkling lights. An emotional speech from Hannah’s dad left the room a little misty as the party moved into dinner, cake cutting, and finally, dancing! This couple and their whole family busted some moves late into the night, capping off a truly incredible day of love, laughter and family.

 

Brittany & Zach

Zach and Brittany’s wedding took us the farthest from Nashville we have traveled for a wedding: All the way up to Portland, Maine! Neither Zach nor Brittany lived in Portland, but after a visit there with some family, they knew it was the perfect place for a beautiful waterfront wedding. After a short water taxi ride, we arrived at Harbor View at Jones Landing on one of the tiny islands just off the coast of Maine. Harbor View was decked out in purple and white flowers with a beautiful archway overlooking the ocean. You could feel the love and family connection in all the guests as these two long-time lovebirds tied the knot in an emotional ceremony complete with their two dogs, Nuggy and Loki!

 

The ceremony ended right as the sun was beginning to set, giving us the opportunity to take Zach and Brittany aside for some stunning portraits of the two of them! These two were troopers! I love when a couple is willing to go the extra mile for some truly wonderful photos. Zach and Brittany carefully climbed down the rocks scattered along the coast, in the perfect sunset light, to stand for some of my most favorite bride and groom portraits ever. After a perfect sunset kiss, Zach carried Brittany over the rocks (harder to get back up than down), and it was time to party! There were touching speeches, a beautiful first dance with a killer dip, and a very silly cake cutting before the rest of the night was spent with the whole family dancing, even Grandma!

 

These two start their lives together with a whole boatload of love and support from their friends and family. You could feel it in the room, and you could feel it on the ferry back to Portland. The singing and dancing continued into the night as we all celebrated the love of Zach and Brittany!

 

 

Rachel & Brandon

Rachel and Brandon came to us relatively close to their wedding day, but their elegant affair was anything but a last minute event. On a sweltering day in June, we were cool, calm, and collected in the beautiful historic Wightman Chapel at Scarritt Bennet in Nashville. Rachel and Brandon are both classic old souls navigating a modern world and I couldn’t have thought of a more perfect venue for these two to tie the knot. Their own personal style was evident throughout the whole day, even in the minute details of their accessories. Brandon carried an engraved pocket watch and wore vintage Ford Motor Company cufflinks and Rachel topped her ceremony dress with a lace skirt and train with incredible floral detailing. Such a beautiful dress calls for a beautiful center stage photograph.

 

Before the two of them met for prayer in the breezeway, we took Rachel and her bridesmaids up onto the choir balcony at the back of the church. In one of my favorite wedding photos to date, Rachel’s bridesmaids dutifully draped her train over the edge of the railing and we snapped a picture of the process. The attentive looks and each bridesmaid reaching to help exemplified the care that everyone involved in this wedding had for their bride and groom. To me, it looks like a renaissance painting. Too perfect for words. The resulting shot of Rachel alone on the balcony is incredibly stunning as well, but it is the details and quick moments of real love and care in the interactions between people that really stand out to me as the memory-makers of a wedding day.

 

The rest of the wedding was just as incredible. From the bagpipes leading the procession, all the way through a perfect bubble exit, Rachel and Brandon’s old souls rode off into their new life together after a beautiful expression of their individuality, and a sweet preview of their happy future.

 

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